We may be inclined to think, naively, our society as a whole is increasing its efficiency by eliminating the instances that bring about small talk, but this part of daily existence is more important than we could imagine.
The Circle joins Gary Shteyngart's hilarious Super Sad True Love Story in its prediction of the kind of world we might get to live in if we continue to outsource our data and decisions about it to Silicon Valley's technocrats.
Whether we enter a robot utopia, a robot smog or somewhere in between, we will close the gap between robotically aware and organically alive. Do we create new life forms, as Jansens suggests of his progeny?
Technology is wonderful -- I'm a big advocate of its strengths. At the same time, we're just in the courting stages with it, feeling it out and learning what the best way to relate to it is. In doing this, we can develop greater "screen sense."
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is quite different from FONBATR, the Fear of Never Being Able to Retire, which is an affliction many of the 50-plus-year-olds attending this ideas festival/policy-wonk conference are experiencing. But it doesn't mean we don't experience FOMO, too.
No one expects a teenager to suddenly be hailed as the next Mozart or Martin Scorsese. But, as three films screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival clearly demonstrate, an impressive new generation of filmmakers is starting to deliver some very exciting work.
One of the wonderful things about teaching through conversation is that we get to help our students unplug from the inputs they have customized to reinforce their own tastes, expectations and identities.
By letting technology into our lives in an unbounded fashion, we are not only losing the art of conversation, we are losing our emotional lives. The answer is putting the technology in its place. It is time for all of us to unplug for one day.