The Circle

By Dave Eggers

The Circle

 3.4 

The Circle

21 Quotes    3.4 

Mae Holland believes she has been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when she is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company. The Circle, which is based on a sprawling California campus, connects users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with thei... r universal operating system, creating a single online identity and ushering in a new era of civility and transparency. Mae is enthralled by the company's modernity and activity as she tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, and the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work. There are late-night parties, famous musicians performing on the lawn, athletic activities, clubs, and brunches, and even an aquarium with rare fish retrieved by the CEO from the Marianas Trench. Mae can't believe her good fortune, her great fortune to work for the world's most powerful corporation--even as life outside of the Circle becomes increasingly distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as a compelling story about one woman's ambition and idealism quickly transforms into a suspenseful novel that raises issues of memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge. (flap on the front)

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Quotes from The Circle

(...) my problem with paper is that all communication dies with it. It holds no possibility of continuity.

Better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than in the middle of some ladder you don’t, right?

Listen, twenty years ago, it wasn’t so cool to have a calculator watch, right? And spending all day inside playing with your calculator watch sent a clear message that you weren’t doing so well socially. And judgments like ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ and ‘smiles’ and ‘frowns’ were limited to junior high. Someone would write a note and it would say, ‘Do you like unicorns and stickers?’ and you’d say, ‘Yeah, I like unicorns and stickers! Smile!’ That kind of thing. But now it’s not just junior high kids who do it, it’s everyone, and it seems to me sometimes I’ve entered some inverted zone, some mirror world where the dorkiest shit in the world is completely dominant. The world has dorkified itself.

It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying. It improves nothing. It’s not nourishing. It’s like snack food. You know how they engineer this food? They scientifically determine precisely how much salt and fat they need to include to keep you eating. You’re not hungry, you don’t need the food, it does nothing for you, but you keep eating these empty calories. This is what you’re pushing. Same thing. Endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent. And you calibrate it so it’s equally addictive.

You know how you finish a bag of chips and you hate yourself? You know you’ve done nothing good for yourself. That’s the same feeling, and you know it is, after some digital binge. You feel wasted and hollow and diminished.

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.

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