Reading: The Circle by Dave Eggers

imagesIf you are fascinated by or scared to death of what seems to be a mass societal lifestyle of perpetual electronic connectedness, you will find The Circle interesting reading.  It is a slightly futuristic dystopia set inside a company that is Google-Facebook-Twitter, where a naive young woman, Mae, gets her first job. During her orientation (think indoctrination) she is counseled to share all of her concerns and activities with other Circle employees/members.  I am getting a creepy cult feeling. Mae starts losing and alienating her friends and family in order to succeed professionally in The Circle.  As her Circle star rises, Mae succumbs to the corporate code of full disclosure, eventually agreeing to “go transparent” and let the public watch–and comment on–her every move.

The saying/mantra that Circle management develops is:

Secrets are lies

Sharing is caring

Privacy is theft

Eggers does not pull any punches, and his storytelling is not nuanced.  He gets inside the utopia of the Google-type future, but sees it as an even worse Big Brother than you could ever imagine. This is not the kind of book I usually go for, but I found it fascinating to follow Egger’s character Mae into this cultlike world of total transparency.





Watching: Particle Fever

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Run, don’t walk, to your nearest theater that is playing Particle Fever (watch trailer), a dramatic and thrilling documentary about the discovery of  the Higgs boson, a subatomic morsel believed by physicists to hold the key to understanding the universe. If you don’t believe me that it is better than most dramas, then read the New York Times review or the Roger Ebert review…really Christy Lemire, since Roger is no longer with us.

Here’s Christy Lemire: “Post-doctorate scholar Monica Dunford is the one who consistently explains this complicated process in smart but easy-to-understand terms. She also explains the study itself very well: At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, scientists and engineers several years ago created the behemoth Large Hadron Collider, an underground, 17-mile ringed tunnel which is the biggest machine humans have ever built. There, they will send beams of protons on a collision course with each other at ridiculously high speeds in hopes of recreating the conditions that existed just after The Big Bang.”  Yes, there are women in this film explaining things!

Small Dog on Bernal Hill Ponders Sublime Secrets of the Universe



Thanks to Brian Christensen for sharing this awesome Bernal Hill labyrinth photo in the Bernalwood Flickr group.

Clearly, someone needs to get this doggie a drone!

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Watching: Existential thoughts…best cat video ever

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