Many would argue that Ok Computer is a concept album. Far fewer people, however, would actually say what concept the album is built around.
One theory, which seems likely, suggests that the album is based on the George Orwell novel, Nineteen Eighty-four. The album not only carries a similar theme and atmosphere to those in the novel, but also contains many little hints that point towards it:
In Karma Police : The song could have been a transcript of a conversation describing a turning-in of a outlaw citizen to the thought police. Major examples - The citizan is being tortured, he's 'Giving all i can, it's not enough'. The police replies - 'this is what you get when you mess with us'. In the end of the song, the citizen is brainwashed and cured. He says - 'Phew, for a minute there I lost myself'.
In Paranoid Android : In Oceania, there was a ceremony that was called 'Two Minutes Hate' in which the citizens were forced to hate the enemies of the state. The distrotion filled parts of the song could simulate this ceremony.
In Fitter Happier : The way that the text is spoken is more or less how you'd imagine the telescreens speaking to the citizens. The content of the text itself also suggests a very conformative way of living, much like the one described in the novel.
In No Surprises : The atmosphere in the song is similar to the one in the end of the book, in which the main character, Winston, is under the control of the party and is willingly accepting his life. There are many similarties between lyrics in the song and terms used in the book : "The worst thing was the pain in his belly" - "my final belly ache". The coughing fits Winston suffered from - "this is my final fit", etc.
In Climbing Up The Walls : "Whichever way you turned, the telescreen faced you" - "Either way you turn, I'll be there, Open up your skull, I'll be there".
In Lucky :There's a line in the song that says "The head of state has called for me by name". This could refer to when Winston is invited to the house of a party executive.
In the album sleeve :
- The writing '1=2' is similar to the book quote '2+2=5' which refers to the principle of doublethink.
- Below the album credits there's a row of drawings. The 2nd and 6th drawings from the left look like what you would imagine telescreens look like.
- In the album credits, Ed O'brien's name is the only one in uppercase. There's a character in the book named O'brien.
- Britian is referred to in the novel as 'Airstrip One' and the sleeve clearly shows pictures of planes and an airstrip landing pattern drawing.
- There's a writing in the sleeve that says 'AUTHORITIES HERE ARE ALERT'. This is clearly an idea similar to the ones in the book.
All of this (compiled from various internet sources, mostly followmearound.com and greenplastic.com) seems like a bit more than random coincidence.
As for the name of the album, it was conceived by Thom Yorke, when he was sitting in front of his Apple Mac, trying to use an early generation voice recognition software. The replacement for clicking the 'ok' button in dialog boxes was saying 'Ok Computer'.