Tuesday, July 18, 2006

mr orwell, i presume

Your jersey number is 84, so you can be no one else.

I like the word 'Orwellian' far more than I should. I have used it lightly in the past, for a number of things from etiquette at weddings to the brown lunch trays in the work cafeteria. (It's also inaccurate. The first is definitely more Theatre of the Absurd than 1984.) Basic training in cultural studies has given me a vocabulary that far overdescribes my actual conditions. Atomisation, alienation, Theodore, Walter, simply marvellous to see you chaps!

Having said that, I do not believe the Indian government has executed an Orwellian move by blocking access to weblogs. A puzzling move, perhaps. Likely a fruitless one. One might even venture to say, if one was a brave-hearted revolutionary unafraid to exchange one's life for the freedom to speak truth to power, that the stupidity of said move was less gobsmacking than gobpulpingintojelly and the less one assumed about the administration's Intarnets familiarity the better.

Of course, there could be a point. After all, just because I've never seen terrorist activity taking place on a public, unsecured web journal accessible to anyone doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Why trust statistics when you can stop people talking about them at all?

Having said this: if you don't see me tomorrow, you will know why.

I've created a duplicate blog at roswitha.wordpress.com, where you may check back until I begin to threaten the state from over there.


  1. Fight the power!

  2. talk about contingency planning! disaster recovery management, as they say.

  3. I'm proud of the government. Really.

  4. anonymouse1:10 pm

    Using a Pakistani site to access this blog is so much more ... fun.


    You could always register a domain name, get some cheap hosting and run your own blog.

    This *is* an Orwellian move. Stupid and fruitless, yes. But Orwellian nevertheless.

    In an information economy, access to information is power. The government seeks to control that. On the other hand, the Internet just routes around the damage and keeps the information accessible.

    Oh, and I don't think I'll be seeing you tomorrow. Possibly October or November.

  5. So is it that you can't register a blogspot address with an Indian ISP? Is it also the case that you can't read any blogspot sites?! This seems draconian.

  6. @ bina, in case u haven't already heard: thing is (hopefully was by now) that Indian ISPs in their infinite stupidity managed to 'erroneously' block access to the entire blogspot, typepad and geocities domains /:)