Friday, January 27, 2023

Now I remember what it reminded me of

From 1984
And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary job was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes, plays, novels--with every conceivable kind of information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary.

And the Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs of the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a lower level for the benefit of the proletariat. There was a whole chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, crime and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator. There was even a whole sub-section--Pornosec, it was called in Newspeak--engaged in producing the lowest kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets and which no Party member, other than those who worked on it, was permitted to look at.

It wouldn't have to be just songs, would it? With the proper AI and CGI, you could even crank out sports videos.


Korora said...

Let's see. Truth is held to be whatever the woke thinkers claim it to be, the talk about "spirit murder" and such seems to be saying that ignorance is strength, and the woke political theorists are maintaining that freedom is slavery.

james said...

Well, yes, but my train of thought had to do with "automatic generation" of entertainments--I'd just tested the system's poetry chops. I knew I'd seen something about generated entertainments before, and just remembered where.

Christopher B said...

Well, today it wouldn't but if you are imagining AI and CGI then why not use them to make porn as well so people in The Party don't have to sullied by making it? Kinda OT in the way of Korora this excerpt highlights that The Party seeks to control the proletariat, not be composed of them, which might have been the point of the somewhat hypocritical production of things forbidden to the (Outer) Party by The Party itself.

Suggesting mechanical animation in the 1940s would have seemed to be a logical extension of cartoons but creating songs sounds a bit of sci-fi. That said, he does say 'composed' rather than 'produced' or 'performed' so maybe he was thinking of something along the lines of AI like ChatGP but the actual performance wasn't automated.

J Melcher said...

I tried to test ChatAI and got the "busy now, try later" page. Which offered me a limerick that:

1) Violated the meter / scansion, and even the syllable count in lines 3 and 4
2) Failed to rhyme in line 5 -- barely a similar sounding vowel
3) Wasn't funny. Or sexy.

So, all in all, not a limerick at all.