Tuesday, April 16, 2013

News Stories Related to Orwell

As I'm putting together the last few weeks of material for my seniors, an upcoming assignment has them accessing a blog, "Pedablogical,"and looking at some news stories relevant to Orwell and Big Brother. The original post is from March 2011 so I've updated the list a bit, stealing story links and perusing the web to find my own.  So below is a list of some very recent news stories focusing on the use of technology in the name of safety and conveneince.  You be the judge...

1.  Behind the Webcam's Watchful Eye  Online proctoring at universities is becoming more and more prevalent. 

2.  Tracking devices in school badges  Schools in New Mexico insert RIFD chips into student ID badges that can track location of students at any time.

3.  Seattle Clothing Store Runs Without People Shop with your smartphone and robots!

4.  Texas School Requires Locator Chips A judge ruled that a school can require students to wear locator chips while on campus, though one refused.

4.  Computers That See and Watch Over You  Machines are getting more and more advanced in observing and interpreting human behavior.

5.  Birthplace of Big Brother Allows Citizen Surveillance Britain is pushing legislation to allow the goverment to monitor all citizens' online activity.


  1. i think the most screwed up one is the badges and the computer with the choice to turn the web cam into a security camera.

  2. I find that the book we have read might be slowly coming to reality and having everybody no longer able to have any secrets. Then we would always be monitored and possibly start World War 3 from people wanting their lives back.

  3. The Seattle clothing store that runs without people kind've freaks me out. Having new technology is cool and all but that is going to far. People are going to get fat, lazy, and poor if machines/ robots are running everything.

  4. The article about the Texas school requiring their students to wear locator chips is too far for me. I don't need every faculty member to know where I am. That's a little bit creepy and personally, it would make me feel like I was being stalked. It's highly unneccessary.

  5. A lot of these systems are an invasion of privacy and are taking it a little far in my eyes. What I wonder is when did people start becoming so irresponsible and unable to take care of themselves. The article about the electronic attendance at a college in Arizona is a prime example. Students at a certain point need to be able to take care of themselves and be able to make their own decisions. When things like attendance are monitored so closely, I feel like it would make less students show up because the system makes them uncomfortable. Lately the government has been taking everything a little too far in terms of security and guidance, and I hope that in the future people don't lose all of their independence to "Big Brother".