My “1984” Moment Of The Day

When life imitates fiction, I begin to worry. The fiction in question is one that should need no introduction: Orwell’s 1984. I reread it at the beginning of this year, so it’s still fresh on my mind, although I mostly consider whether Orwell’s dystopia is more or less likely than Huxley’s.

And then along comes this exchange:

Me: “So, you can tell from the email header that this is a phishing attempt. If this was the actual government agency they’re pretending to be, the email would end in .gov. This one is .com; that’s how you can tell it’s a fake.”

Person: “I already called their department and warned them they’ve been hacked.”

Me: “That’s not really what this is-”

Person: “It’s probably that Snowden character. He’s probably hacking us all from his secret base in Russia.”

Me: (after a long pause) “I’m reasonably certain that’s not true. For one thing, it would be difficult to obtain proper access while stranded in a Russian airport.”

Person: “Oh, he’s not stranded; he’s in league with Putin. And you just know that Putin is laughing at us all the way to the bank. Snowden’s given us all up to Putin. Why else did he run right to our enemies the first chance he got?”

Me: “Are we talking about Edward Snowden or Emmanuel Goldstein?”

Person: “What? Snowden. I don’t know the other guy. Is he a hacker too?”

Me: “I think we’re done here.”

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