Digital Culture

I was attempting to make any s

I was attempting to make any sense out of some of the recent political events here in the US, and I found that framing them with Orwell has become just a little to appropriate.

Ministry of Peace:

We spend the better part of 2 years looking for bin Laden. When it becomes clear that hunting down one man isn’t what our military is trained for, we are told that Saddam is the real enemy. I have only seen ONE report on the major news networks about the recent bin Laden tape broadcast on al jazeera, but daily updates about the upcoming war in Iraq.

It seems that even now we are seeing the switching of opponents at will.

In addition, we get our dose of Two Minute Hate in our little terrorism scale…want the public to jump? Up the “threat”.

Ministry of Information:

I suppose that everyone saw the report by some in the government that Duct Tape and plastic sheeting was a good thing to have around in case of a terrorist action involving a dirty bomb or biological agents.

First off, as someone who worked in a pathological microbiology lab for the better part of 4 years, I can ASSURE you that the likelyhood of a modified smallpox virus caring that you have plastic over your windows is next to nothing. Unless you plan on locking yourself in for several months, and recycling your own air supply (and water….)….this is just ludicrous. But I suppose if you tell the plebes what it takes to scare them, it does make it easier to predict their behavior.

I have yet to see even one report on the major news networks questioning the upcoming war.

*double sigh*

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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