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Jeremiah Cornelius's Journal: What Can We Learn from LoTR About the Surveillance State? 2

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

Slate has an article: The Eye of Sauron Is the Modern Surveillance State. Although the insights provided are not necessarily unique, and echo the observations of some like Bruce Schneier, Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges, they do illustrate them nicely, through an unexpected allegorical reading of Tolkien's familiar epic. The gist is that unlike most dystopian fantasy - especially the explicitly political variety - Tolkien understood that the minions of absolute power were untrusted by that power, itself. It's also worth reading for the defense of the fantasy-epic genre, which offered Tolkien the opportunity to explore themes like the "distinction between omnipotence and omniscience," that were under-examined in modern idioms, but relevant to Tolkien from a theological interest and connected to the experience under tyranny.

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What Can We Learn from LoTR About the Surveillance State?

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Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.

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