"I think in general, mankind has spoken, and mankind has said they want monopolies, " Eggers has told me via a landline since his office in downtown San Francisco.
The writer does not own a smartphone, has almost no social media presence and writesmost of his writing on an old laptop which he says has never been connected to the Internet. (It's good to know that Clippy might still be alive somewhere!) Carrying out our interview via Zoom or other video platform has never been an option.
Unsurprisingly for such a renowned Luddite, Eggers is not so comfortable with the monopoly power of tech companies that collect the value of our personal information server farms, follow our lines. movements, preferences and, to some extent, our deepest thoughts.
"As a species, " he says, "we have proven that we want convenience, security, certainty, all of those things that are made possible by data and surveillance, and we are not as interested in humanity, freedom and mystery as we are in certainty, convenience and security.
In The " Circle, adapted in a film of the same name in 2017 with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, Eggers explores the dangers of the Silicon Valley social media surveillance system most of us voluntarily opted for years ago. The story follows protagonist Mae Holland and her rise from an idealistic graduate to a senior executive at The Circle. In the end, Holland transforms into a drunken Kool-Aid megalomaniac, convinced of the purity of The Circle's hegemonic mission and willfully blind to its destructive potential.
Mae returns in The Every at the head of the new mega-company. But the sequel centers on another idealistic young protagonist, Delaney Wells, and Mae is the last boss Delaney will inevitably have to face after making his way through the corporate maze. Unlike Mae, however, Delaney adopted thea subversive mission to attempt to destroy The Every from within. Motivated by the decimation of his family's small business at the hands of The Jungle, Delaney and his roommate / accomplice Wes conspire to sow all manner of supposedly horrific product ideas within the company as they ascend. The levels.
Eggers tells me that he didn't have to look far to find inspiration for such ideas. He points to a passage on measuring laughter in the office because laughing is considered good for your health.
"There was a design company here in San Francisco that was measuring laughter, for the same reason, because the scientists said it was good. So they said, " Hey well, the next obvious thing is to have a device in the boardroom that will measure how much we laugh, and that will tell us how healthy our business is. .