|f.b + g = 1984|
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
FaceBook + Google = 1984 False analogy?
A darkened room, whispering…
Julia: It’s getting like 1984.
Winston: What is?
Julia: FaceBook collecting all your private data and putting it online.
Winston: False analogy. You volunteer your private information to FaceBook. Orwell’s Big Brother was watching you.
Julia: Well how about Google then? It watches where you go and collects that information without asking.
Winston: False analogy again. Orwell’s Big Brother used the data to control the citizens. Google sells your information.
Julia: It still feels like 1984 with all the spying going on.
Winston: I will say this though. FaceBook and Google add up to something like 1984. It’s a partial analogy.
An analogy compares A with B and finds that they share features.
A false analogy is one where A and B may superficially share features but underneath there is little relevance or only a few shared features.
Hillary Clinton commented at the UN on the recent civil unrest in Syria, that to compare Syria to Libya was a “false analogy.”
Valid analogies may range from strong through partial to weak. Winston’s reasoning that two false analogies add up to a partial analogy is intriguing. It has an instinctive validity.