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Learn > Arweave

1984

Muhammad Ahmed
Muhammad Ahmed
24 Jan 2024 · 4 min
1984

Overview

Published in 1949, George Orwell's 1984 is a chilling dystopian novel. It unveils a world where individual freedoms are crushed under the weight of a totalitarian regime led by the enigmatic figure, Big Brother.

Set in the superstate of Oceania, the narrative showcases a society where citizens are under perpetual surveillance, dissent is ruthlessly crushed, and propaganda permeates every facet of life.

In this society, the truth is malleable. The state doesn't just punish dissent; it reshapes reality itself. Central to this effort is an apparatus of the regime: the memory hole. This is a furnace where the physical evidence of history that contradicts the narrative of Big Brother—books, news articles, photographs—are destroyed and forgotten.

As Orwell's narrative unfolds, the reader confronts the horrifying implications of a world where reality can be rewritten at will.

Arweave's answer to the memory hole

In 1984, the memory hole is a sinister instrument, representing the erasure of reality, the deletion of any records that could contradict the Party's version of events. Employees at the Ministry of Truth, like the protagonist Winston Smith, use the memory hole as a regular tool to discard news articles, books, and other documents in order to further the Party's narrative. Once these documents are thrown into the memory hole, they're treated as if they never existed.

On the other hand, Arweave offers a solution that might well counteract the memory hole's very concept. How so?

Immutable storage: Arweave is designed to provide permanent and unalterable storage. Once a piece of information is committed to its blockweave structure, it cannot be erased. This means historical records, once stored, would remain consistent, available for future generations as a testament to unaltered events.

Decentralised architecture: Unlike centralised systems, where a single entity can exert control or influence, Arweave operates on a network where control is distributed. Such a decentralised approach ensures that no single entity, be it a government or a powerful organisation, can dictate or modify the truth stored within the network.

Censorship resistance: Arweave's promise goes beyond just storing data. Its architecture ensures that once information is published, it remains accessible and resistant to attempts of suppression, even from powerful entities wishing to reshape narratives.

In essence, while Orwell painted a world where the past could be altered with ease, Arweave ensures the past, once recorded, is set in (digital) stone—immutable and permanent.

Essentially what we’ve attempted to do with Arweave is to make the memory hole impossible.

Conclusion

George Orwell's 1984 serves as a stark reminder of the lengths to which power structures might go to control narratives and shape reality.

For those who read the inaugural piece of this miniseries, the connection becomes clear: Winston, the protagonist of 1984, struggles against a regime that continually erases the past. Naming the mascot after him symbolises Arweave's dedication to preserving history.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell, 1894

Solutions like Arweave offer a beacon of hope, suggesting a future where truth, once recorded, cannot be undone or erased. History, in this vision, remains perpetually in the hands of many, rather than a few.

While 1984 is a masterpiece of dystopian literature, it was actually inspired by another novel. Curious to learn about 1984’s inspiration? We has the answers.

The Arweave miniseries

This article is part of a miniseries designed to help readers discover Arweave. Each piece explores a different aspect of Arweave, from what inspired the project to its practical applications. Use the list below to navigate through the other articles in the series:

Winston the elephant 

1984 📍 You are here

We, Arweave's true inspiration?

The Permaweb

How Arweave solves link rot

Understanding Permanent dApps

Arweave is Censorship Resistant

Arweave’s Universal Data License

Arweave’s Atomic NFTs

How to archive with Arweave

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