"Empire of Illusions," by Chris Hedges, is a long screed about how virtual reality is trumping real reality and how, in the process, it is destroying the entity we call sometimes "civilization". Surely worth reading even though, I must confess, I found it a bit too disheartening for my taste. Out of this book, I would like to propose to you a citation that compares two dystrophies: Huxley's "Brave New World" and Orwell's "1984". Of the two, Huxley seems to have been the one who better understood the future that would become our present.
From "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman (1952) as cited in "Empire of Illusion", by Chris Hedges, p. 39"
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared that the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy-porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions" in 1984, Huxley added, they are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us. "