I think that the chaos of the event made them forget about their son. They were so concerned about themselves that the parents completely forgot about him.
Class:Does anyone else wonder what the setting is? They have current places, stores, etc. but it's nothing like today's society. How does this work?
It seems like the parents were very worried, like any other parents. If they even had a little bit of sense, they would have called the police department and either got a busy signal or were told that no searches could be done and the police were trying as hard as they could to get everyone under control. This would just scare the parents even more.
Grace, the setting is in San Francisco. And I completely think it is like today's society. Hell, even I know how to do some of those technological things he was talking about, like keylogging and whatnot. We're not far off at all.
Class: This inner circle discussion reminds me of the Earthquake in Haiti and how difficult it is for people to be found in the mass confusion of missing people and dead bodies, do you think that is why it was so difficult for the parents to find their family?
Grace:I think that it is sometime in the future, but not too far off. It seems like a normal society, just a little bit more futuristic because of the technology they all use.
NathanF:I don't think his parents forgot about him. They were extremely worried, and he saw that when he came back. I really thinmk that part of the chaos of the events was the fact that he was gone. They were obviously concerned about him.
Nathan-I can see this happening in 1984, but not here. His parents obviously love him a lot, and the way the parents have a relationship with their kids is much different in 1984. I don't think they could have forgotten him, I mean they were crying when he got home.
The technology used in the book is already, used or usable today. Face recognition cameras are used on home computers.
Nate: That could be but it doesn't seem like they would forget about him for 5 entire days. If I were a parent my kid would be the first thing I thought about in the chaos like that.
Eric -That's a good point. I wouldn't say that people forgot about their families, but rather they didn't have the resources to communicate with them.Justin and class, what about the technology seems futuristic?
I think that the parents are probably worried about their son, but how do they have any idea where their son is? I am sure that the government agency covered their footsteps. The parents might not even be alive.
They were crying, but they could have been in shock over the event and still forgotten all about him. His dad drives over that bridge every day and im sure was in shock over the bombing. But when he walked in the door they remembered that they hadn't seen him in 5 days.
Melanie- the technology does seem futuristic, but at the same time, like you said it is already being used. I think it is supposed to be futuristic because it isn't being used everyday in our society.
Class: did anyone think it was interesting how much the author knew about how to hack computers and get around security measures? I wonder if this information is readily available online, what are your opinions about how easy it seems to be to get such information?
Melanie:I think the technology seems futuristic because of how often it is used and how normal it is in that society. Like, today you wouldnt walk around and see cameras that know how you walk. Also, today when you check out library books they dont have the radio things that are used to track them..
Melanie-I personally don't think that the technology seems very futuristic, when you really think about it. There's the cameras in the school that match the way people walk, but even that doesn't work. I think that because this doesn't seem like a realistic event, we have it stuck in our mind that it's in the future, when in reality, it's like Melanie said- very much like our society today.
Eric:This situation is llike the earthquakke in Haiti. If you ever have been to San Francisco, you would know that the bay bridge is one of the most important things for people who live in the bay area. Many people who live in Oakland and the surrounding areas work in San Francisco. So if someone blows up the bridge, and BART, people will be stuck where they are.
I agree with Melanie. The majority of the technology described so far in the book exsisted in 2006 when the book was written. The author might be using current day technology to prove a point. He might be proving that today, we have already entered a technology controlled world.
It seems like it is more similar to 1984 with the technology, plus the main character's name in w1n5t0n, which is Winston...
Class: It seems to me that he wouldn't have gotten taken away if he hadn't stepped in front of the car. Do you think they were really looking for him or just took him because he was in the way.
Class:Somehow I missed what BART was. Could someone explain?
Garrett:I agree. I think they only took him because he had stopped their car, they weren't actually looking for him.
I agree with Sydney, saying that the book Little Brother is more connected to 1984 than Fahrenheit 451 because Little Bro and 1984 are more in tune with the government and its constraint on the people as opposed to Montag running away from the "firemen."
Class:Do you believe that in our society the Department of Homeland Security actually detains people like this?
Eric-My dad used to be a programmer, and he had to take a class on how to prevent hackers from getting into the website. I order to know how to do this, he also had to learn how to hack into websites.
Garrett-I agree. It didn't seem like they were doing anything suspicious, but stepping in front of a military car? Maybe they wouldn't have noticed he and his friends on the side of the road, had he not stepped out in the street.
Garrett: I would agree that it is very possible that they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I think that it is also likely that homeland security was looking for people to pick up because anyone near the attack might be able to provide them some of the information they were desperate for.
Grace:BART is a subway/light rail system that moves throughout the bay area (San Francisco, Oakland, San Mateo, etc.) These BART trains go underneath the bay in a tunnel. Many residents of the Bay Area depend on the BART to travel.
Kara-Yes. No. Not quite. People are to be treated right when detained, which is definitely not what happened here. They definitely detain terrorists, and when they start to act up, they have...ways...of making them calm down. But they wouldn't do that to a kid who wasn't even acting up that much, just sticking to his rights.
Kara...I do think that the Department of Homeland Security has the ability to detain people like this. I am not sure if they actually do, but I am fairly sure that they have the ability to.
Class:All of this technology exist, not just some, all of it. There are gait monitors and all of the technology exists. It just may not be severely present.
Rebekkah:But is it really not being used everyday? That's what I don't buy. I'll bet that it IS being used, just not everybody knows about it. The difference between real life and this book is how much the common citizen knows. Eric:It IS easy to get that information. At my old school, everyone from 4th grade through middle school got a school issued laptop... called an iBook. Like in the story. Yes, it had all of those security measures on it. Internet security, download security, software security... and yes, most kids did what they could to get past those security measures. It was not hard. Did you know how easy it is to hack Facebook? Most networking sites, in fact - not a problem at all! It's scary how available that information is. On the one hand, it was an advantage for me to break those codes at my old school, but it was a disadvantage for them to have kids all over school hacking their system.Justin:Like I was saying with Rebekkah, how do we know that those things aren't used? Maybe they are, we just don't know about it?
Kara-The homeland security has detained people before i think that this could be a real life situation that a kid could be detained by the government
Kara-I don't think a situation like this could really happen in our society. The military would see that someone was obviously hurt, and see that that's why there was a group of teenagers out on the street during a terrorist attack. Besides, they were Americans, not Arabian terrorists.
Class:Going off the whole sequel thing talked about in the inner circle, how did you see this in the first chapters of Little Brother. I saw that Little Brother almost puts a new ending on 1984. Any thoughts?
Garrett-A terrorist attack just happened. A massive one. You step in front of a military truck, while they are trying to get to people to help. You are in their way, and they get mad. What do you think is going to happen?
Emily:On your comment that they definetly detain terrorists, I was wondering, what is a terrorist defined as?
Eric: Ya that could be especially beccause it could have looked like he was trying to stop the car from getting to the site. And if they really suspected him they wouldn't let a terrorist out in 5 days.
class-how many people do you think were detained because there was a lot of white trucks and they all had a lot of people in them. Also do you think that Marcus is the only one that is being questioned as a terrorist?
Kara-to extend on what Meredith said, I believe that part of the patriot act gave the government the right to detain people for a certain amount of time without charging them with anything. This is probably why Homeland security let them go so suddenly.
Kara:I think that our military forces and government have power that we cannot fathom. In a way, they are the terrorists within our countries border. They can target anyone inside of their country with no reasoning. The author of Little Brother might have been trying to reveal the frightening amount of power within our military.
Class-I don't understand how this all relates to 1984. Sure, his screen name (or whatever it was) was w1n5t0n (aka Winston), but why? It just doesn't make sense to me.
Nate- I agree that the technology may be being used even though it may not be present in our society, but it is very present in the book, so I think it is portraying the future when this technology will be present everyday.
Melanie:I guess so. It just seems like it would be in the future.
Meredith-I know this is going to sound stupid, but I almost thought that W1n5t0n(Marcus) was Winston's great-grandson or something.
Kara:The definition of a terrorist depends on the person. Some people seem them as people who want to destroy the government. Others see them as people with bad intentions. It depends on the viewpoint.
Grace-Not all terrorist are arabian. There are Chinese, American and all races of terrorist. A group of rebellious angry teenagers could easily plot and carry out a plot like this. Haven't they already shown that they have the skills necessary to carry out an attack like this.
Grace-Big Brother, Little Brother. It was based off of 1984.
Daniel: No, there were a quite a few people in the truck and i believe they were just picking random people up becuase they can and they might get lucky and actually catch somebody.
Garrett-I think don't think that they really suspected him to be a terrorist. I think that he was getting in their way, and they wanted to show that they have unlimited power, and they wouldn't let anyone get in their way.
Grace-its not just the name that is the same but the idea that people are watching you all of the time. Marcus has a bug in his computer, cameras everywhere and the school books that tell you were go on the web
Emily-I understand that it's a spin off 1984, hence the title Little Brother, but so far it doesn't seem to have any connections. The two stories just don't go together in my mind. How is it based off 1984? Where are the similarities?
Nathan-I agree-Columbine, University of Virginia (or whatever it was), and the Kansas City bombing with the day care and everything that we touched on when Mr. Escue came in and talked to us.
Grace:I believe that was the author's way of edging towards a newer version of 1984. Using leet speak was a modern way of making that connection. (For those of you that don't know, leet or 1337 speak is an internet thing where you use numbers that could look like a certain letter to form a word)Rebekkah:I think "present" is a good way of putting it. The stuff exists, it's just not present. Not open or aware.
Grace:This relates to 1984 in many ways. Perhaps Doctorow saw something in society. 1984 was meant to warn society about many things. People can argue that we didn't learn these things from 1984. Perhaps Little Brother is meant to put this concept back out there.
Grace:I think that Little Brother connects with 1984 because the book is showing how our government is just like the government of Oceania. They treat Marcus just as bad as they treat Winston. So at this point, I think that what Doctrow is trying to show is that our government is not that different.
Nathan-I know that terrorists are of all different racial backgrounds. However, in the book, Marcus was singling out Arabians as terrorists. I was just going off of that.
Grace-The surveillance level of the school, then after the attack, the surveillance the government is bound to have.
class- was winston the only person that they suspected as a terrosist? becasue his friends weren't investigated.
Grace-It seems that this compares to 1984 because he is being monitored as the book goes on, just like in 1984. The scary difference is that little brother is extremely realistic, and could happen to anyone.
Garrett-Was that sarcasm? Or are you being serious?
Eric:Talking about your comment about how you can see everything that we do on the laptops and desktops. With using the triple eee's they are not actually connected to the server, like the desktops are. The school can view the websites that your going to but not exactly everything that your doing on the laptop. The desktops however you have to sign in and I think that they can actually view what you have done.
Nathan:Terrorists are often sterotyped to be Arabian. With the whole war in Iraq, Al Queda, and Taliban, Americans have been led to believe that all terrorists are from the Middle East. It is a sterotype.
Daniel-I don't think that they actually though that Marcus and his friends were terrorists. Like I said before, they were just trying to enforce their unlimited power. The reason that they investigated Marcus so extremely was because he didn't cooperate.
Daniel:I think that they investigated everyone but they noticed that Marcus was the leader so they questioned him on his possesions and they questioned the others about Marcus because he was the leader.
Daniel:I don't think he was the only person, but the only person that we know about thus far. Because he had so many things that were blocking his passwords and computer and everything, while they couldn't actually see that information, they saw the blocks so they though, "why would someone need all this security? Someone who is up to something, of course!" They went on to ask his friends about him because they figured that he was the mastermind of it all.
Kara-but there was other people that were in the trucks with them and they weren't in the little group
Daniel- Markus's freinds were in fact investigated, they just were not drilled as hard as he was. This is probably because he had the bulk of the suspicious devices as well as having a lot of not so nice things on the internet under his name.
BLOG STUDENTS:Do you think that because of a person's race, there may be a stereotype about them (such as Arabians being terrorists?)
Daniel: I know that there were other people, but the only people that we "meet" are in the group.
Daniel:I think that w1n5t0n is the only one that we hear about is because there is a certain amount of literary play that has to be given. Winston is the main character, so this is why we hear about him.
Class: I think it's interesting how Marcus knows how to hack all the systems and destroy the tracking signal on the books, and bypass the gate security. It seems like there could be more people that know about this also and it's strange that the author makes the school security look like fools and in 1984, The Party and the Thought Police are like these big impossible tasks that everybody fears.
eric- i knew that they were investigated, but all of their questions were about him and they wouldn't just drill him so hard because he didn't give them his password at first
Sydney-Yes! I just got back from Florida, and at the airport, there were a lot of customs agents or whoever they are walking through and asking anyone who was foreign to step to the side for extra screening. I was pretty mad, but if it keeps people safe, then give everyone extra screening!
Sydney:I think that there are racial sterotypes today. For example, some people still think that African Americans are inferior the whites. These sterotypes are built strongly into history and those current circumstances. These sterotypes continue today.
Garrett:I agree. Maybe there are other people that we just don't know about, kind of like the brotherhood in 1984..
Sydney:Absolutely. There's no questioning that. There is a stereotype about every race... and while people don't want to stereotype, of course everyone does. It's a natural instinct that we can't help as humans.
Sydney-I do believe that there are racial stereotypes, such as the one you mentioned. If you are referring to my comment earlier about Arabian terrorists, I wasn't stereotyping. I was just referencing the book when Marcus says that they way he picutres terrorists were Arabian. But yes, there most definitely are racial stereotypes. For example, when we were driving to California near the Mexican border, there was a guard who pulled over a Mexican man, but let us drive right through. It was obvious that there was some racial stereotyping, that the guard was making sure that the man wasn't trying to smuggle drugs over the border.
Sydney:Yes, I do believe that if a person looks like they are from somewhere else, they will be classified as a terrorist. If someone is from the Middle East, they will be given sharp looks and avoided at all costs. However, what people do not grasp is that not all Middle Easterners are terrorists. The terrorists are the radicalized people. And not all people are radicalized.
Garrett:They probably aren't too concerned about students getting around security as long as they aren't a threat to the nation.
Sydney-Also, there was a test done a few years ago where someone sat in a chair and viewed pictures of people. They were monitored, and when a picture of an African-American showed up, they would get a little scared.
Bloggers:With this new technology that some people agree exists today, why do we not hear about it? It seems that in some governmental buildings this technology should be utiltzed. Why is it not public?
Logan: Which Marcus is ha ha
Sydney:I think that racial profiling is present in every society. Governement often has seen racial profiling as a necessary safety measure. I am not sure if that is the case in Little Brother, but it does happen all the time in today's society.
kara-if you look at all of the attacks on U.S. soil conserning terroism, most of those men are from the middle east. People start not liking them because their people are the ones that are attacking us, not whites or african americans.
Sydney- I do think people are stereotyped because I was just watching a movie where when one thing went wrong on the plane that everybody was on, the Arabians at the front of the plane were immediately blamed for trying to blow up the plane.
Garrett:He kind of does make the school security look pathetic, and I think that's an interesting parallel you're making between the Thought Police and that. That's what everyone was able to do at my old school. It really is not hard to know this stuff - you just have to invest time in learning it. Most people don't. But that doesn't mean that those things aren't insanely simple, which in my opinion, sucks. I don't like how easy it is to be tracked. I don't like how easy it is to track someone. And yet, it is. Both sides of technological security are way too unbalanced if you ask me...
Class:When Doctrow wrote this book, do you think it was a prediction for the future or was he depicting the current society?
Logan-I disagree. I think that they are very concerned about students getting around security. If they weren't concernced about it, then there wouldn't be any security that they'd have to get around. I can't emphasize enough how much these people want to enforce their power. I think that the reason the security seems so easy to get around is because of the main character. If Marcus wasn't so good with technology, then security would seem much more strong. It's all about point of view.
Class- I wonder if one of the author's messages is to watch what you put on the internet? Obviously, Markus got in a lot of trouble for what he put on line and it came back to hurt him, causing him to lose his freedom to the government. Do you think that Markus brought this on himself?
Garrett:No Marcus is not a threat all he does is go around and play a video game.
Meredith:Some of the technology that has been invented is seen as controversial. If the governments used the technology there would be huge problems.
Meredith:I think Doctrow is depicting the current situation. As Mr. Escue said, they can follow you for up to a month "Just in Case."
Meredith-I think it was more of a warning than anything else. If we continue to let the government take over everything, what is going to happen? It's a book to make us think.
Meredith- I think that he is predicting the future, but in a way, he is depicting our current society. He may be trying to bring it to our attention that this technology is being used more than we think and he probably just wanted us to think about how much we really know.
Logan: And hack the entire school security system
Why are they talking about religion on the inside circle? I missed out on the point.
Class: Do you think that Doctrow is trying to warn us about the situation in San Francisco? Will someone target the Bay Bridge?
This comment has been removed by the author.
Class:This book was published 2008. Why did Doctorow write it then and not after 9/11? In 2008, the election happened and we were in Iraq. Regarding technology, these issues were not in the forefront. Is this why Doctorow wrote the now?
Meredith:My guess is he was depicting the present rather than predicting the future. And I believe we DO know about this stuff - it's written in books! We see the security cameras at school. We know we're being searched when we go to airports. We know EVERYTHING is logged onto our computers for other people to see. Just most people don't really care all that much about it, and they accept it because they know they don't have many options.Eric:I would say that he brought it on himself, but not by doing something bad, per se. He brought it on himself for knowing how to work with technology and simply immerse himself in it. He wasn't intending to overthrow the government or anything.
Inside Circle-I agree with Eric. Not every book has to have religion incorperated into it. Maybe this author's point is beside religion. Like Eric said, just because the main characters aren't affiliated with religion, doesn't mean there isn't any. It's just a subject that the author chose not to write about.
Meredith-Writing a book, especially if trying to balance another job, takes years.
Meredith-I think that the time he wrote the book is irrelevant. Yes, it was after 9/11, but that's all we really have to know. I don't think he was waiting for a certain event to happen before he wrote the book; I think that the idea of this story just happened to come upon him in 2008.
I second Emily's question... how did they get on the topic of religion?I don't see it as a main point in the story at all, personally.
Kara:It may have been intention, but most terrorists are not concerned with the Bay Bridge. When you think of San Fransico, the Bay Bridge is not on the postcards. Most terrorists really want to disrupt a bigger governmental structure.
Melanie-I completely agree. Religion is just not one of the topics in this book. I think that someone may have just asked why there isn't any religion incorperated into the story.
Meredith:I do not think that all of these problems went away. They were kind of the "800-pound elephant in the room." You do not want it to be there but it is. Over the duration of the past few years, these problems have become magnified. So the timing could not have been better.
Who is the villian in this story? Is it the government or the terrorists?
Eric and Grace make a really good point. Today, religion is present in people's lives. However, not everyone's life includes religion and even those who are religious may not talk about it. That doesn't mean that religion doesn't exist.
Meredith:The Bay Bridge is more important for the millions that live in the Bay Area. So if they want to cause terror in millions, they would blow up the Bay Bridge.
Meredith-Like Marcus said in the book, terrorists aren't going for landmarks. They may be trying to just kill as many people possible, or maybe Bay Bridge was just a handy place to blow up. We won't know though, because we aren't terrorists. We don't know what their reasoning is, nor will we. Attacking Bay Bridge really did effect most peoples' lives in San Fransico, and it did create a major problem for the government.
Kristen:I think that the villian appears to be the terrorists but if you think about it I think it is the government. The government is the one with all the control thats taking over the society in a negative way.
Meredithyl:I dont think that terrorist necessarily want to disrupt the bigger governmental structure, rather to cause fear. The word terror is in the word terrorist. Terror is fear, and ist is someone who follows or studies. They dont care if the government is destroyed, they want to cause as much fear as possible.
Class:What is government?
Kristen-Right now, it seems to be the government. They keep showing up and making thins worse for Marcus, and the terrorists showed up once. Extremely visible, but once.
Meredith:A government is the body within a community, political entity or organization which has the authority to make and enforce rules, laws, and regulations.
The government is the controling force in a society. That is what I believe it is. That leaves it open to be able to be in many different forms.
Meredith:The government is a body that the society created, so that order can remain and society won't be thrown into chaos. Kristen:Both the factors are placed as threats towards society currently. The terrorists are obviously going to remain a threat that the people can recognize easily. They are going to bevery wary of what comes in and out of their city, but the government is the unknown threat. No one is realizing how the government is slowly gaining power. Bothare threats, I don't think one could be said to be the "good guy."