Saturday, January 11, 2014

#11 / Octopus, Seahorse And Shark

The Circle, by Dave Eggers, should probably be listed as a "must read" for Facebook Friends and Followers, and for Google apostles everywhere. 

The story told in The Circle is a cautionary tale, and raises all the right questions for anyone studying "Privacy, Technology and Freedom," which is the name of a course I am teaching at UCSC this Winter Quarter. 

The book is a little bit over the top, and a little bit hysterical, but well worth reading. As for the octopus, seahorse, and the shark, they play an important allegorical role, serving as "avatars," if you will, for the "Three Wise Men" who founded and head the Circle Corporation.

To cut to the chase, the shark wins, both in the allegory within the novel, and in the story that the novel tells.

That doesn't have to be the way it works out in real life, but as the book advises, we should be paying some close attention to "real" life, and not get too lost in the life we access and "live" onscreen. 

That is, that is what we need to do if we want to avoid being gobbled by the shark. 


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