Friday, February 03, 2006

Sanity is a belief

Sanity is a belief. It's malleable. It's a dualism of being statistical and not being statistical. Such were my thoughts on reading 1984. This book has set the bar too high for the best book that I'd read in my lifetime. A brilliant book that projects a consistent allegory, which doesn't seem like fiction at all, and complete to the point of defining a morphology and vocabulary for the synthetic language Newspeak of Oceania. Wonderful characterisations, beautiful prose, convincing arguments - so much so that you risk getting (self-)hypnotised into insanity! The author must have faced a wide range of human behaviour and should've thought very deeply about social systems. Wish he was alive for a few more years.

His other book Animal Farm was also excellent and got reminded of when Google updated its Ten Things, and more recently when they removed "democracy" from their policy. While "Animal Farm" was more about how social systems that start with an egalitarian motive end up becoming feudal, 1984 is about an interesting way in which a totalitarian regime could control the past and the future. A must read pair of books, I'd say.


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