The Circle Quotes

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The Circle The Circle by Dave Eggers
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The Circle Quotes (showing 1-30 of 55)
“You know how you finish a bag of chips and you hate yourself? You know you’ve done nothing good for yourself. That’s the same feeling, and you know it is, after some digital binge. You feel wasted and hollow and diminished.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than in the middle of some ladder you don’t, right?”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying. It improves nothing. It’s not nourishing. It’s like snack food. You know how they engineer this food? They scientifically determine precisely how much salt and fat they need to include to keep you eating. You’re not hungry, you don’t need the food, it does nothing for you, but you keep eating these empty calories. This is what you’re pushing. Same thing. Endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent. And you calibrate it so it’s equally addictive.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Listen, twenty years ago, it wasn’t so cool to have a calculator watch, right? And spending all day inside playing with your calculator watch sent a clear message that you weren’t doing so well socially. And judgments like ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ and ‘smiles’ and ‘frowns’ were limited to junior high. Someone would write a note and it would say, ‘Do you like unicorns and stickers?’ and you’d say, ‘Yeah, I like unicorns and stickers! Smile!’ That kind of thing. But now it’s not just junior high kids who do it, it’s everyone, and it seems to me sometimes I’ve entered some inverted zone, some mirror world where the dorkiest shit in the world is completely dominant. The world has dorkified itself.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Most people would trade everything they know, everyone they know- they'd trade it all to know they've been seen, and acknowledged, that they might even be remembered. We all know the world is too big for us to be significant. So all we have is the hope of being seen, or heard, even for a moment.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Here though, there are no oppressors. No one's forcing you to do this. You willingly tie yourself to these leashes. And you willingly become utterly socially autistic. You no longer pick up on basic human communication clues. You're at a table with three humans, all of whom are looking at you and trying to talk to you, and you're staring at a screen! Searching for strangers in... Dubai!”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“You sit at a desk twelve hours a day and you have nothing to show for it except some numbers that won't exist or be remembered in a week. You're leaving no evidence you lived. There's no proof.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“I mean, all this stuff you're involved in, it's all gossip. It's people talking about each other behind their backs. That's the vast majority of this social media, all these reviews, all these comments. Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communication. And besides that, it's fucking dorky.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Every time my brain parks the car neatly in the driveway, my mouth drives through the back of the garage.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“We are not meant to know everything, Mae. Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown? That our souls need the mysteries of night and the clarity of day? Young people are creating ever-present daylight, and I think it will burn us all alive. There will be no time to reflect, to sleep to cool.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“ALL THAT HAPPENS MUST BE KNOWN.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“It occurred to her, in a moment of sudden clarity, that what had always caused her anxiety, or stress, or worry, was not any one force, nothing independent and external- it wasn't danger to herself or the constant calamity of other people and their problems. It was internal: it was subjective: it was not knowing.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“It was not knowing that was the seed of madness, loneliness, suspicion, fear.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“(...) my problem with paper is that all communication dies with it. It holds no possibility of continuity.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“And it’s eliminated my ability to just talk to you.” He was still talking. “I mean, I can’t send you emails, because you immediately forward them to someone else. I can’t send you a photo, because you post it on your own profile. And meanwhile, your company is scanning all of our messages for information they can monetize. Don’t you think this is insane?”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“But Mercer, you run a business. You need to participate online. These are your customers, and this is how they express themselves, and how you know if you’re succeeding.” Mae’s mind churned through a half-dozen Circle tools she knew would help his business, but Mercer was an underachiever. An underachiever who somehow managed to be smug about it. “See, that’s not true, Mae. It’s not true. I know I’m successful if I sell chandeliers. If people order them, then I make them, and they pay me money for them. If they have something to say afterward, they can call me or write me. I mean, all this stuff you’re involved in, it’s all gossip. It’s people talking about each other behind their backs. That’s the vast majority of this social media, all these reviews, all these comments. Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communication. And besides that, it’s fucking dorky.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“But I'm a believer in the perfectibility of human beings. I think we can be better. I think we can be perfect or near to it. And when we become our best selves, the possibilities are endless. We can solve any problem. We can cure any disease, end hunger, everything, because we won't be dragged down by all our weaknesses, our petty secrets, our hoarding of information and knowledge. We will finally realize our potential.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“You’re like part human, part rainbow.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“It's the usual utopian vision. This time they were saying it'll reduce waste. If stores know what their customers want, then they don't overproduce, don't overship, don't have to throw stuff away when it's not bought. I mean, like everything else you guys are pushing, it sounds perfect, sounds progressive, but it carries with it more control, more central tracking of everything we do.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“The flash opened up into something larger, an even more blasphemous notion that her brain contained too much. That the volume of information, of data, of judgments, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many opinions of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and having all of it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable--it was too much.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“It was as if, for a moment, she thought Mae was one kind of person, but now, knowing she was another, she could part with her, she could give her back to the world.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“His mind seemed barely tethered to his body, much less the earth.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Her student loans were voracious and demanded monthly feedings,”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“Why shouldn’t your curiosity about the world be rewarded?”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“It was called the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages. If not for the monks, everything the world had ever learned would have been lost. Well, we live in a similar time, when we're losing the vast majority of what we do and see and learn. But it doesn't have to be that way.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“We are not meant to know everything, Mae. Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown? That our souls need the mysteries of night and the clarity of day?”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“the waterfall, and the tiki torches, all of these things the stuff of vacations and dreams and impossible to maintain, but then she knew—and this is what was keeping her up, her head careening with something like a toddler’s joy—that she would be going back to that place, the place where all these things happened. She was welcome there, employed there.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“That the volume of information, of data, of judgements, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many opinions of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and having all of it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable--it was too much.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“And worse, you’re not doing anything interesting anymore. You’re not seeing anything, saying anything. The weird paradox is that you think you’re at the center of things, and that makes your opinions more valuable, but you yourself are becoming less vibrant. I bet you haven’t done anything offscreen in months. Have you?”
Dave Eggers, The Circle
“You sit at a desk twelve hours a day and you have nothing to show for it except for some numbers that won’t exist or be remembered in a week. You’re leaving no evidence that you lived. There’s no proof.”
Dave Eggers, The Circle

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