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Thread: Internet Freedom/Filtering

Author Image Gerry Patterson. The world's most humble blogger
Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with Microsoft Windows

Novel Prompts Reflections on Our Technological Lives

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Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 23:30:00 +1100

Novel Prompts Reflections on Our Technological Lives

As reported in the New York Times today:

Book critics are divided over the quality of Dave Eggers's highly anticipated novel "The Circle," which went on sale Tuesday. Is it an eviscerating takedown of the tech industry? Or is it a sanctimonious screed that fails to understand its subject? But in Silicon Valley and beyond, the book's theme promises to spark an even bigger debate over the 21st-century hyperconnected world that Mr. Eggers describes, Julie Bosman and Claire Cain Miller report.

Set in an "undefined future time," the novel tells the story of Mae Holland, a young idealist who comes to work at the Circle, an immensely powerful technology company that has conquered all its competitors by creating a single log-in for people to search, shop and socialize online.

Other early readers of the book said they were reconsidering their attachment to the Internet. In an essay titled "Dave Eggers Made Me Quit Twitter," Michele Filgate, a writer and bookseller in Brooklyn, wrote about her experience swearing off social media for a week, an experiment prompted by the unsettling feeling the book produced.

"I hope that it allows people to step back and have a conversation about how we want to use technology," said Jennifer Jackson, Mr. Eggers's editor at Knopf. "I don't think that this book is really going to make people stop using social media and I don't think that's at all Dave's intent. This book is going to make people be more thoughtful - that's my hope." Mr. Eggers, who lives in the Bay Area, declined to be interviewed. He is not doing any readings or events to publicize the book.

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