August 16, 2014

"We’ll hammer you with ten thousands tiny nails. You’ll love it."

Things I highlighted reading "The Circle" by Dave Eggers.
Overnight, all comment boards became civil, all posters held accountable. The trolls, who had more or less overtaken the internet, were driven back into the darkness...
"I mean, all this stuff you’re involved in, it’s all gossip. It’s people talking about each other behind their backs. That’s the vast majority of this social media, all these reviews, all these comments. Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communication. And besides that, it’s fucking dorky."...

Surveillance shouldn’t be the tradeoff for any goddamn service we get....

You and your ilk will live, willingly, joyfully, under constant surveillance, watching each other always, commenting on each other, voting and liking and disliking each other, smiling and frowning, and otherwise doing nothing much else....

When everything is known, everything acceptable will be accepted....

Increasingly, she found it difficult to be off-campus anyway. There were homeless people, and there were the attendant and assaulting smells, and there were machines that didn’t work, and floors and seats that had not been cleaned, and there was, everywhere, the chaos of an orderless world....

I use the word complete on purpose, because our work toward transparency might actually achieve a fully accountable government....

Pain experienced in public, in view of loving millions, was no longer pain. It was communion....

19 comments:

Paco Wové said...

Too many excerpts... ending with ellipses... and more ellipses.... it's as though someone's been reading Crack..... too much........,,,

JRoberts said...

"everything acceptable will be accepted...."

Who gets to define, and enforce, what's "acceptable"?

It sounds like yet another leftist dystopia to me.

Ann Althouse said...

"Who gets to define, and enforce, what's "acceptable"?"

In the book, it is everyone who decides, crowd-sourced. Likes and dislikes, with everyone connected, under their real name, and basically required to continually vote. Everyone sees what everyone else is doing, and there is no more bad behavior.

Yeah, it's dystopian.

Ann Althouse said...

@Paco I am using ellipses as the simplest way to mark the non consecutiveness of the quotes. Thanks for not appreciating the concision.

Anonymous said...

The science fiction writer David Brin has been advocating a very similar-sounding idea as a desirable change: "the transparent society."

SteveR said...

Some times I'm glad to be older and not have to care

John Lynch said...

I do this voluntarily. I don't think it should be compulsory.

Anonymous said...

Malthaus the Too-Serious Blogger says:

Boiled down to the essence, social media enables people to pretend they are located elsewhere on the racial/gender geometry construct. This construction of alternate identity is simply the act of attempting to have emotion transcend race and gender, and that is what, ultimately, social media is: Pretend. Also: female law students in short skirts are sexy when they text with their shiny red fingernails.

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

The failure of this idea is that there are many people with nothing to lose. Sure, you can deter trolling by people with careers where they are accountable. What about people on welfare? What about the independently wealthy?

You going to throw them in jail?

Anonymous said...

Malthaus the Too-Serious Blogger says:

Unfortunately, social media is weighted heavily to the BLQ. This skews perception and allows issues like race and gender to lose necessary nuance. Also: female law students in short skirts often softly lick their red lips before they speak, and this is endearing in a 'I want to see you naked' kind of way.

Anonymous said...

Malthaus the Too-Serious Blogger says:

Trolling is an act that serves solely to deny people the ability to have ownership of their place in the racial/gender geometry. Distracted from their racial/gender location, people will tend to falsify their reality and obscure placement with perception. Also: female law students in short skirts and high heels having light-hearted pillow fights would be a refreshing thing to see.

Anonymous said...

Female Law Student in Short Skirt says:

Yes, I often lick my red lips before speaking, but it is simply a moment for collecting my thoughts, not a sexual suggestion to those in the room. Furthermore, when we Female Law Students in Short Skirts and High Heels have pillow-fights it is solely to provide much-needed relief from the stress of studies: anything sexual in that is simply the projected fantasy of a BLQ mind. And I prefer skimpy panties because of the way they fit; do not read more into it than that.

Farmer said...

This is a novel? Is it all like this? Just a really long, angry blog post?

Ann Althouse said...

"This is a novel? Is it all like this? Just a really long, angry blog post?"

LOL.

I saved you some time.

rhhardin said...

What are the trolls doing in the darkness?

Probably they went back to math problems.

Ann Althouse said...

Here is the description in the book of how trolling was ended:

"To use any of the Circle’s tools, and they were the best tools, the most dominant and ubiquitous and free, you had to do so as yourself, as your actual self, as your TruYou. The era of false identities, identity theft, multiple user names, complicated passwords and payment systems was over. Anytime you wanted to see anything, use anything, comment on anything or buy anything, it was one button, one account, everything tied together and trackable and simple, all of it operable via mobile or laptop, tablet or retinal. Once you had a single account, it carried you through every corner of the web, every portal, every pay site, everything you wanted to do.

"TruYou changed the internet, in toto, within a year. Though some sites were resistant at first, and free-internet advocates shouted about the right to be anonymous online, the TruYou wave was tidal and crushed all meaningful opposition. It started with the commerce sites. Why would any non-porn site want anonymous users when they could know exactly who had come through the door? Overnight, all comment boards became civil, all posters held accountable. The trolls, who had more or less overtaken the internet, were driven back into the darkness."

Eggers, Dave (2013-10-08). The Circle (Vintage) (p. 22).

Revenant said...

Cripes, I got bored just reading *excerpts* from the book. Eggers should think about taking up a second career in anesthetics.

Strelnikov said...

Glad to see you getting around to this book - which I've been recommending on here for two years.