Twenty-Fifteen: I’m doing something I’ve been putting off for far too long. I’m getting serious about reading, again. I’ve dusted off my paperbacks and charged up my Kindle. It’s time to take the time to feed my poor television-adled brain with a selection of healthy, nourishing fiction. So, read on, little brain. Read on. We’re going Book to the Future!
I finished reading Dave Eggers’ “The Circle” this morning over a cup of coffee, then immediately logged out of Facebook, deleted my Twitter profile, and put black tape over all the video cameras in my house.
Nah… only joking.
As a fan of dystopian science fiction, perhaps I’m being a little too hard on “The Circle” by giving it only a three star rating. After all, it was not bad. But in my little explanation of ratings in a previous post on just that very topic, I wrote about three star ratings thus: It’s a book that didn’t really do it for me. Perhaps it’s just an okay book –average, and this is where the ratings get a little fuzzy– and I gladly acknowledge that lots of other people may like or love this book… just not me.
I enjoyed “The Circle” but at the end I was a little bit… meh.
On one hand I applaud Eggers for updating the Orwell classic “1984” in the context of ubiquitous social media on the internet and seemingly endless streams of video. Perhaps if one had never bothered to read that or it’s many imitators, and one was willy-nilly handing out their personal information to everyone they met with no understanding of the consequence, then yeah… this book would be an awesome wake up call.
But three things…
1) I go online. I watch conversation. And no matter how utopian-awesome-brilliant a company makes it, there have always been as many naysayers and wavers of metaphorical red flags whenever this stuff comes out. There are privacy commissioners and technophobes and enough bureaucracy that (for the foreseeable future) it’s tough to imagine the world handing over it’s privacy so easily, and so sheep-like, no matter how much guilt was thrown at them.
2) I get too that Mae was ‘the one’ who brought all the pieces together an opened the door to the privacy apocalypse. But I guess I hope that no person in real life is simultaneously so smart to get into that position but so dumb as to let is subsume them.
3) I use technology. Everyday. I build with it. I understand it. The sophistication, bandwidth, battery-requirements, and processing requirements required by the level of surveillance and sharing suggested in the book is… um… more optimistic than anything.
Read it. Check it out. It’s worth your time. Just don’t expect your mind to melt if you’ve read anything in this genre before.