Every year I return from a visit to California dazed at cyberia’s next expansion in reach. After machines that can track and record our every move will come sensors that can identify our faces and gather, catalogue and distribute such data worldwide. After tools that can read messages come ones that can hear our talk and predict our needs, converse with us and deliver us products, services, cures, contentments. There is no escape from this. Everyone has a footprint, including those who think they do not.
Updating Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four for the digital age, Dave Eggers, in his novel The Circle, satirises Silicon Valley’s “completion of the singularity”.
Each person becomes a global avatar, bugged and followed 24 hours a day. All transactions, all experiences are public. A virtual realm mirrors the physical one.