Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dave Eggers's Short-Story Adapted from his New Book, The Circle

"We like you so much and want to know you better" (published in The New York Times Magazine) "

“Oh, I’ve never brought a camera.”

Josiah looked up, his eyes pained.

“But how do you identify all these animals?” Denise asked.

“I have this little thing my ex-boyfriend gave me,” Mae said. “It’s just a little foldable guide to local wildlife.”

Josiah exhaled loudly.

“I’m sorry,” Mae said.

Josiah rolled his eyes. “No, I mean, I know this is a tangent, but my problem with paper is that all communication dies with it. It holds no possibility of continuity. You look at your paper guide, and that’s where it ends. It ends with you. Like you’re the only one who matters. But think if you’d been documenting. If you’d been using a tool that would help confirm the identity of whatever birds you saw, then anyone can benefit — naturalists, students, historians, the Coast Guard. Everyone can know, then, what birds were on the bay on that day. It’s just maddening, thinking of how much knowledge is lost every day through this kind of shortsightedness. And I don’t want to call it selfish but — ”

NYT - "Behind the Cover Story: Dave Eggers on Imagining the Future World of Over-Sharing" 

Q: In both the book and the excerpt, the company is dominated by young people, almost all who are in thrall to the Circle. Are you surprised at all at how easily younger generations have adopted social media and happily given up their privacy?

A: Every generation swims in different water. I grew up doing all my homework in front of the TV, which baffled my parents and horrified my grandmother. Now younger people toggle between far more media and devices than I ever could, and I’m assuming they somehow make it work. The privacy part, though — that seems to be an area that’s still being worked out.

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