Review: The Circle

November 18, 2013

The Circle
The Circle by Dave Eggers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is really a great and timely book. I think it demonstrates the best of fiction, science fiction especially, in that it posits a believable scenario that asks us to think about the world we live in from a different viewpoint. While we see millions of people adopting social media tools fairly rapidly, I think very few average users give much thought to what happens when a great amount of data is aggregated. It may not mean much to post a photo of myself at the beach, but cross-referenced with my home address and purchasing habits, it can provide interesting data for a burglar.

The Circle takes this to the semi-obvious extreme of a world where a company (ahem, not Google and not Facebook) has assembled all this data and added real-time access. Some have criticized the book for being too simplistic, for setting up straw-man arguments, and I would agree that this is somewhat true. However, I would say that keeps the book accessible to those just looking for a good read, while the issues opened are of incredible depth for those who wish to plumb further.

Definitely a recommended read, especially if you’re a social media user!

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