Pardon my micro-textual emotional leakages

“We’re trying to detect a crime before it has occurred.”

OK, roll the sci-fi thriller “Minority Report,” in which Tom Cruise and
other “pre-crime” cops use psychic visions to arrest murderers before
they kill. Or maybe “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” a George Clooney
comedy inspired by real military experiments with supposedly psychic
soldiers. —Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times

How sad… a story about thought-crime that doesn’t mention George Orwell’s 1984. The article even includes the words “mal-intent” and “pre-event” and “micro-facial emotional leakages,” which are perfect examples of Newspeak (though for the last one, “facecrime” is better).

Thought-Crime does not entail Death, Thought-Crime is death. This is the essential crime that contains all others in itself. –Winston Smith, protagonist of George Orwell’s 1984

Any discipline has its jargon, including my own (the trendy paper titles from the Modern Language Association convention are regularly mocked by outsiders), so my point is not to question the value of these words as used by security experts. Rather, I lament the fact that the reporter chose the movie-star “hook” to pull in the reader.

I don’t know whether the reporter doesn’t get the literary reference, or whether the reporter knew the literary reference, but figured that the great unwashed public would be more enticed by the association with celebrity.

Either way, this is a Newspeak victory:

Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of
thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice
of words down to a minimum.–George Orwell, “The Principles of Newspeak”

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