George Orwell’s classic work, 1984, depicts a society in which the gradual, systematic reduction of words, and therefore the availability of the use of words, is deliberately restricted and expunged from the universe of vocabulary. Such reduction is performed through the issuance of the official dictionary, which comprises the totality of acceptability of language in his fictionalized society.
As words and the compendium of words comprise conceptual thought; as conceptual thought form to create ideas in a universe of human consciousness; and as rebellion is acted upon through the prefatory coordination of thought, so the stamping out of rebellious-driven words is the first step towards total control of man.
Orwell’s approach is interesting, but not the only way in which to control the populace. The inverse approach is also as effective, if not more so: inundation of information can also paralyze a population from effective action. In the real society of our age, the vast expanse of information has become the problem, not the lack thereof.
In preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important to distinguish between information which is third or fourth hand (as in, “I was told that…” or, “A friend of mine said…”), and information which is accurate and of a reliable nature. Further, each case is different and unique, and stories about what X did, or the fact that Y was told that a Federal or Postal Worker got Z, should ultimately be discounted.
Vast information in and of itself is worthless unless it is guided by truth, objectivity, and relevance. Be aware of the unfettered information “out there”, for the source of information is just as important as the accuracy of such information. In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the Federal and Postal employee must always be cautious of the source of any and all information.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire