“Things to Come” was, in the end, quite optimistic. The actual shape of things to come seems to leave not much room for optimism. Movies, fact and fiction, have covered much that is related to what we can expect.
The historical Zombie eruptions have involved a less brain dead variety than the current, but that is no guarantee that they were more deadly.
Twitter disallows many statements, as does Facebook. Youtube removes videos and whole channels. Amazon removes books. Where there is not simple deletion of information there can be guiding notes attached to historical and seemingly neutral scientific information.
One interesting possibility is that this is explained as a stage of the zombification process, where the brain begins to liquefy and barriers between the associative and analytical lobes start to break down. If it were only so simple.
“Herd Immunity” went through a fairly radical shift in meaning, at least for a while.
Stalin’s most celebrated victims were themselves used to humiliation and self-abasement. As Robert Conquest writes in his indispensable book The Great Terror, “Their surrender was not a single and exceptional act in their careers, but the culmination of a whole series of submissions to the Party that they knew to be ‘objectively’ false.” Conquest tells of a former member of the Soviet Supreme Court who was informed by an interrogator, “Well, the Party demands that you, as a Bolshevik, confess that you are an English spy.” The man responded: “If the Party demands it, I confess.”
It is hard to imagine that the authors of the present confessions know anything to be ‘objectively’ false.
“Our harassment training makes clear that what matters is how an act makes the victims feel,” wrote the Times staffers. Even if McNeil “didn’t act maliciously or with hateful intent,” they added, that doesn’t matter, since “intent is irrelevant.”
Another difference. In the good old days intent mattered, it was the star of the show both as sincere sacrifice to the party and as the falsity to confess to. In the Zombie version without brains intent can play no role.
Dmitry Orlov suggests something similar to the collapse of the USSR is imminent but it seems that thought patterns are still becoming more those of the USSR itself, witnessed by Scott Aaronson and now Natan Sharansky: The Doublethinkers.