A "what if" study of a fully connected world.
The central premise of 2017's "The Circle" is that the world has been fully connected through a network of always on, always watching, tiny, cheap, inocuous cameras.
It is technically sci-fi, though all the elements I observed are more than reasonable. More a matter of minitiuarization and falling hardware prices than actual technological breakthroughs.
I am very forgiving of things that cause me to change my perception, or open me to a new way of thinking. Did this movie have flaws? Absolutely. I'll get to those later. Let's talk about what it did well.
Emma Watson went through the stages of acceptance of an omnipotent society in an extremely collapsed timeline. What she did in a matter of months most people in developed nations are still aclimatizing to.
At one point Tom Hanks turns to her and gets her to "admit" that having experiences that you do not share with others is a form of theft. A form of emotional hording. At this moment in history, such an idea seems ludicrous. Almost perverse. Only celebrities and politicians have no right to privacy? Right?
I don't know.
I am not sure people 15 years from now will agree. How would someone from 15 years ago feel about selfie sticks? Snapchats of your dinner? Tweeting by politicians. Sexting. Facebook friends. Online Dating. Etc. Probably seems pretty ludicrous. Inhuman. Disconnected. Shallow. And yet, here we are.
Yeah, a lot of great things could occur. From the trivial to the fundamental.
Ask yourself? How much would you be willing to give up for such a world?
Movie makes a big deal about having a open (probably puppet) politician.
Here is one that I fully agree with. Prisons should be places that have cameras literally everywhere. In a high risk environment like a prison, I would happily trade my privacy for the knowledge that I am not going to be raped or assaulted.
This is already occuring. I forsee that in the next decade, the cost of insuring a police officer who refuses to wear (and use) a full body camera will be so high that departments will require police officers to have them running at all times.
Heh, I don't know. It would be interesting. Could most of the goverment be entirely opened? Would we allow "black boxes" like the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc? Would it turn out that backroom negotiations by our nations actually do benefit citizens more than they hurt? Would it cut corruption? Hard to say.
Yes, it has some serious flaws. But it gives you things to think about, and it honestly resolved the ending in a rather novel way. Rather than fighting the system, Emma Watson instead fully opens and embraces it. Basically making the case that if such a system exist, it needs to be placed under open rather closed controlers.
If you are going to have a system that is going to audit the world, then you must audit everyone in control of that system.