The comparative analysis essay is based on Dave Eggers’s The Circle, James John Bell’s Exploring the Singularity and John Cheever’s The Enormous Radio. From the chosen texts, it is evident that the authors are not amused by the modern technological advancements and prefers a satirical opinion of the same.
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The advancement of modern technology has violated the right to privacy, secrecy, and security.
Audiences and purpose of the texts
The texts target technology enthusiasts and the general public population as the audience. Dave Eggers’s book The Circle provides an insight into how modern technology is affecting secrecy and privacy.
On the other hand, James John Bell agrees with Eggers assertions about modern technology in the article Exploring the Singularity. Bell’s is of the view that technological evolution is unpredictable due to the rapid changes associated with the same. John Cheever provides an example of how technology disrupts normal life as evidenced in the article The Enormous Radio.
Eggers’s description of the book’s title as The Circle is similar to that of the company. Eggers’s arguments involve the assumption that the use of modern technology especially by the corporate world is a struggle for power. Eggers expose the man’s urge to experience all aspects of human life.
Mae’s work experience in The Circle exposes the character to a world of transparency. The level of transparency required of an inner member of The Circle is very high. In this context, Mae’s privacy is exposed to social media enthusiasts and the public. For example, Mae’s movement even in the confine of a bathroom is monitored through the cameras. In the end, Egger seems to portray Egger as a naive girl who is not reluctant to surrender every bit of her personal life to The Circle.
In Bell’s Exploring the Singularity, the author tries to depict a rapid change in technology that is uncontrollable. Bell envisions a rapid progression of about 20,000 years in the twenty-first century. For this to happen, Bell argues that biological and nonbiological entities in biorobotics, plants and animals will require merging (Bell 193).
According to Bell, software-based life and atom-sized machines will be a common feature in the future. In this context, Bell includes an opinion from Einstein’s philosophy of space and time. Also, the author uses Moore’s law to explain singularity after failing to define the same from a technological perspective. Moreover, the author predicts the advancement of technology by describing how nanotech will play a major role in promoting singularity.
Bell is not confined to a pro-technology argument but points to a probable negative impact of the technology. In this regard, the author draws evidence from other discussions regarding knowledge-enable mass destruction. In this context, the author asserts the use of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) and genetics, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR) as the major threats of human existence (Bell 195).
Today, the use of GNR technologies in counterterrorism activities endangers the sovereignty of nations. Apparently, the use of technology in spying other countries violates international law on a state’s right to privacy, secrecy, and security.
In John Cheever’s The Enormous Radio, the author uses characters that are fascinated by emerging radio technology. Cheever, who is fond of using realism and fantasy in his work, depicts a couple living in the fantasy world of classical music. The character uses the characters of Jim and Irene Wescott to imply how the young and educated are fascinated by technology.
Initially, the radio gave the couple a significant level of comfort before the gadget spoiled. Consequently, Irene views the new radio as an aggressive intruder. Apparently, the new radio exposes the couple to new stations. In the beginning, the couple is surprised by the radio’s high volume. From the radio, Irene learns that people expose their financial, social and sexual anxieties through new songs and talk shows.
Although the couple agrees that the new radio is exposing them to a weird world, they still keep the new instrument. At one point, Jim asks the wife. “Why do you have to listen to this stuff if it makes you miserable?” (Cheever 247) Cheever’s ability to capture people’s reaction to technological advancement exposes the fear of losing the right to privacy and secrecy.
The use of ethos, pathos, and logos is evidenced in all texts. The authors seem to use rhetorical appeals to emphasize more on the arguments related to the topic of discussion.
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Dave Eggers is a reputable author and knowledgeable in both corporate and technological concepts. The author’s ability to provide a book that is heavily, self-consciously integrated with parallel-world verisimilitude is intriguing and convincing to the audience. Eggers portrayal of the “three wise men” (Eggers 19) allows the audience to relate the same with the world’s largest technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.
Eggers uses pathos to draw the audience’s attention emotionally. Eggers uses criticism as an effectively appealing strategy. The author understands the importance of terms such as “delicious and exhilarating to provoke the emotions of the audience” (Eggers 192). The author tries to explain how the character’s involvement with The Circle was emotion-wrecking. In this context, the author asserts that Mae’s feeling was “a scream muffled by fathomless waters, that high-pitched scream of a million drowned voices” (375).
On the other hand, Eggers use of logos is effective in providing a logical text. The chronological portrayal of Mae’s journey within The Circle is easy for the audience to understand. The use of technical terms in the text is familiar with the audience. In fact, the audience relates to the familiar journey of Mae in dealing with social media.
Bell’s use of the authoritative tone in Exploring the Singularity is effective and makes the author appear knowledgeable. In addition, the familiarity of the author with modern technological advancement is convincing to the audience. For example, the mentioning of GNR technologies and nanotechnology convinces the audience of the author’s competence (Bell 195).
The use of pathos in Bell’s text is effectively used as evidenced by the author’s intention to create fear among the audience. The author is not reluctant in making the audience believe the dangers of GNR technologies or toxic spills. The author uses undertones such as terrorism and recession to create anxiety among the audience.
Bell uses logos to ensure that his arguments make logic to the audience. The author’s strategy of defining the singularity from scientific, mathematical and technological perspective proves sensible to the audience. In addition, the author’s draws arguments from notable scientists such as Gordon Moore, Einstein, and Bill Joy to prove his arguments as correct.
The author’s use of examples from theories and laws associated with nanotechnology as expressed by the Progress Action Coalition and the Foreign Institute and Progress does not contradict the Bell’s use of logic (195).
Cheever’s use of ethos in The Enormous Radio is extremely effective. For example, Cheever’s description of Jim and Irene Wescott implies the author’s familiarity with American history. The author’s description of how radio technology developed convinces the audience of Cheever’s competence.
Cheever uses pathos to engage the audience’s emotions by personifying the radio technology. In this context, Cheever terms the radio as “sensitive and unpredictable” (Cheever 192). The audience is intrigued by the author calling the radio the “aggressive intruder” (196). The constant argument between Jim and Irene draws the audience’s interest in understanding the genesis of the couple’s troubles.
The use of logos in the text is not as intense as expected since the storyline is based on a couple’s ignorance of the obvious. In this context, the couple’s ignorance of the current technological advancement makes sense to the audience once the characters get uncomfortable with the same. However, the logic of technology destroying the social norm cannot be ignored by the audience.
Understanding of the topic
The texts have been critical to understanding the social impact of modern technology. Eggers’s text is fundamental in understanding how social media is destructive as it exposes an individual’s life to the rest of the world. On the other hand, Bell’s text explains how the advancement of warfare-related technology is a threat to human existence. Finally, Cheever’s text gives an insight into how man’s lack of technological knowledge is dangerous.
Does technology violate the right to privacy and security?
While technology does violate man’s right to privacy and security, the same advancement can be used for beneficial purposes. It is important to acknowledge that technological advancement is not ending in the future. Therefore, a need to research and control the development of modern technology is important.
Bell, J. James. “Exploring the singularity.” Evolving ideas focused inquiry 2014-2015. Ed. VCU. Texas: Hayden, 2014. 193-196. Print.
Cheever, John. The enormous radio: and other stories. New York: Harper & Row, 1965. Print.
Eggers, Dave. The circle. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013. Print.