A while back I wrote a post about the book The Circle by Dave Eggers.  As I was thinking about privacy this week I found myself referring back to the ideas presented in the book.

By Matt McGrady - words by Dave Eggers
Created on Haiku by Matt McGrady – words by Dave Eggers
Original Image Credit: opensourceway via Compfight cc

This Wired article about the book gave me another perspective on the topic of privacy.  Just an FYI the article below does give away much of the book.


It’s a shame, because The Circle raises questions that are worth discussing. A theme Eggers returns to throughout the novel is that people aren’t inherently good, but become good when others are watching; a benevolent big brother, if you will. Although the book spends a lot of time foreshadowing that The Circle as A Bad Company Up To Bad Things For Humanity, it actually accomplishes a lot of good: eradicating crime, quashing despotic regimes, deterring election fraud and making healthcare more available to Americans. The debate over whether such changes would be worth surrendering some level of privacy, freedom and individual responsibility could have been an interesting one — if only characters had been allowed to see things in anything other than black and white.


What levels of privacy would you be willing to give up to attain a better society?

What do you think your students would say to this question?  Perhaps a worthy discussion, or a fun game of would you rather?



One thought on “More About Privacy and The Circle – by Dave Eggers

  1. Another person talking about The Circle… I feel left out. I think this is going on my summer reading list!

    You raise a great question. I feel like many people want the best of everything and aren’t willing to make concessions in order to get what feel they really want or need. That said, I’m not sure I feel any safer because the NSA or TSA have greater powers of surveillance or search.


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