Creator: Izzie Levinson
Date Created: November 15, 2016 (based off of book published by Dave Eggers in October 2013 entitled The Circle)
Name of Document: “Limit Your Use of Technology: A Reaction to a Conversation with Dave Eggers”
Context: This image features a quote from the dystopian sci-fi novel by Dave Eggers, set on the “campus” of a Google-type megacorporation as seen through the eyes of the book’s protagonist, Mae, as she joins her college best friend, Annie, at work. The Circle, as the company is called, is moving towards an ideal of constant surveillance — a state known as “transparency.” I read this book last summer and didn’t even like it that much at the time, but have thought about it nearly constantly since then. Eggers’ vision of the near future is both terrifying and, in certain ways, all too prescient of the culture we increasingly move towards.
Potential Relevance for the Future: The book — as well as its cultural response — indicate modern iterations of sci-fi, which I believe as a genre can tell us a lot about cultural anxieties and technological developments, especially in regards to the ways in which these notions intersect. The phrase as it is represented here evokes to me the classic phrase from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in its own time a highly relevant social satire of the Russian Revolution (“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”).
Other relevant headings: science fiction, Dave Eggers, The Circle, literature, George Orwell, dystopia, Animal Farm, Google, technology, surveillance, Facebook, social media