November 5, 2014
The Circle is an institution that to me seems like it has characteristics of both Google and the U.S. government. By this I mean ,The Circle is a highly advanced technology based company with innovative concepts such as SeeChange, with cameras that can record real life happenings as they occur. It also, to me, displays some characteristics of the government. For example, privacy is the greatest issue of debate in the book so far. Mae holds it in regard while the circle is diminishing its secrecy. This draws a parallel to how in some cases the government today invades the privacy of its citizens in ways we are not aware. This is evident when Mae sees photos of herself she thought had been deleted long ago. This notion of unprecedented access to personal information is an issue in the company as well as our society. In this way I believe The Circle is something to be feared.
The idea of transparency is also something talked about in the book, as well as in our class discussions. In terms of the book, transparency means the information of a person has been surrendered to the cloud of information and accessible by all. This notion is furthered by SeeChange. SeeChange, allows people (in the beginning mostly public figures) to wear the cameras on their person so everyone knows what they are doing at all times. This idea, to me, is radical. People today portray themselves a certain way online. In a way, it is easy to produce select content to upload online and call it your internet presence than to wear a camera at all times for all to see. I think we embrace online culture so much because we can walk away from what we put into the public at any time. With SeeChange this is not possible. I don’t think we’d all use Facebook if it required all information and happenings that occur to us to display in front of all. A side thought I had was, it would be like if we all became like Britney Spears in 2007/8, with paparazzi and cameras following her into gas stations and walking in parking lots. How much could we handle? How quickly would we get frustrated and shave our heads?