Once in a blue moon, comes along a slogan that encapsulates the truth of an entire era.
Throughout the 1990s, AOL would cheerfully announce the arrival of each new electronic message with the greeting: “You’ve got mail.” Back in the early days of the web, one looked forward to receiving such communication. For one, the technology was a novelty. For another, it meant that the sender was a secret online lover or a chum or a family member—that is, people you wanted to hear from.
Today, Google celebrates the converse with the blunt text: “No new mail.” Activity in the inbox can mean either more work or more junk, neither of which is welcome. The e-mail has, over time, devolved into a tool of oppression. It’s a way for the boss to stay in touch with you after work hours. And in the hands of marketers, it’s an avenue to sell.
When people talk socially today, they connect over text, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, not e-mail.
“Got Milk?” It was this little question, which after its appearance in 1993, turned a piece of advertising into a cultural phenomenon. By the way, it also made milk famous.
“Bullet journaling” is a form of recording that doesn’t call for much investment. All it needs is a notebook, a pen, an ability think to cogently and a fondness for compressed text. It employs a combination of notation, paired with telegraphic sentences.
Its entries are of three kinds: tasks, events and notes.
“•” is the symbol for a task.
“>”means a task that has migrated over from a previous agenda.
“<” indicates a task that has been put on a future agenda.
“O” represents “events” that are to take place in the future and can be noted down alongside a date. They can also be logged after they occur.
“–” represents “notes,” which could be anything from a factoid to a quick observation to a flash of genius.
“*” next to a bullet means that it needs to get done as soon as possible.
The symbol for “eye” suggests that there is something that requires more research or merits looking into.
For those who began writing on an iPad, this method has a ring of novelty to it. But thinking minds in the past have always jotted down on paper, in shorthand, when they needed to. Only, they didn’t call it bullet journaling.
The “Ministry of Truth” is one of the many government departments in George Orwell’s “1984.” A gigantic building with 3,000 rooms above the ground level and the same below, its job is the polar opposite of what its name suggests: to present an alternate version of history by bowdlerizing and editing and expunging all manner of texts.
In that world, “war is peace,” “freedom is slavery,” “ignorance is strength”—and truth is falsehood. It is there that this book belongs. A spin on the “Little Golden Books,” it’s motivated by the concept of “alternative facts,” as proposed by Kellyanne Conway, counselor to president Donald Trump.