Yesterday I posted my impressions of the first half of Dave Eggers’ new novel The Circle. I initially intended to write a final post at the end of the book, but I am feeling inspired to write more today, because there are more things that Eggers got right that I left out of the first post.
I love the juxtaposition that the author sets up between nature (kayaking in the story) and modern technology. There is a parallel conflict at work between privacy and sharing. Whenever Mae gets into a kayak (which is rarely ever planned) she does not talk about it to anyone, she does not post about it, she does not take pictures – nothing. She never even considers documenting the experience or inviting someone along. Despite how great she feels as part of this community and the excitement she feels from sharing online, she stills desires some private moments, even if she does not realize it at this point. Eggers also conveniently locates the kayak drop between Mae’s parents house (her old life) and The Circle.
The story is becoming a cautionary tale of connectedness and powerful technology. We are starting to see what would happen if data tracking, online sharing, and digital transparency are followed out to the extreme. Instead of community, Eggers shows us surveillance, power, and control. There is an overall sense that this is not a desirable outcome, though we don’t yet know exactly why.
As much as I share online and enjoy using products from the biggest technology companies, I appreciate the way the novel is making me think a bit more critically about those dynamics.
Part 1 of this book review – initial impressions
Last week I used my Nikon 55-300mm lens with a polarizer filter at the beach during sunset. Since the lens has a rather impressive built in stabilizer I thought I would try long exposures to capture images of the Gulf waves and wake to achieve the smoothing out of the motion. I have to say, I am very happy with the way some of them came out – it was so hard to choose for this post! The soft colors of the cloudy sunset matched nicely with the smooth motion. I like how it creates the look of a painting in some of them. Next time, I think I will try a neutral density filter to see how the results differ.
For more from this shoot, follow the link to my Flickr page below. Enjoy!
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Some days, I publish an original photo along with some of the technical information. You can see more of my photography on my Flickr page.
My photography is licensed under Creative Commons (see details below). In addition, I ask that if you use any of my images that you try to show me how you used them. I think it would be interesting to see and track how my images are being used. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Newsy is a site I just heard about that produces videos for the biggest news stories of the day. They compile information from various news outlets to report their stories, including links back to the original articles and a transcript of the video. If you like to have your news delivered in video form, this could be a good site for you to use. It also could be a great resource for teachers and students who are reading article or research about current issues. The videos could act as an introduction to a topic, provide background information, or just be an alternative source for information. From what I have seen the videos are very professionally produced and comprehensive in coverage. This is not a source for cutting edge, investigative, or breaking news. I see it more as a supplement to discussions of current events.
They also have mobile apps for every platform.
Have any teachers used Newsy with their students?