Is Limitless Choice Killing Us Slowly?
By New York Times Opinion
Imagine a world in which Google and Amazon join together to form an all-knowing corporate juggernaut that could program our every movement. Author Dave Eggers has contemplated such a future in his latest dystopian novel “The Every.” Eggers, who limits his own use of technology to the bare minimum, says he was inspired by the limitless choice of our digital world and the idea of a data-driven tech monopoly that would use “your preferences and algorithmic-determined personality” to help you “become the better version of yourself and the ultimate version of yourself.”In this conversation, Swisher asks Eggers how close the real world is to this fictional dystopia. They dig into Eggers’s tech skepticism, his fears of an e-commerce “apex predator” poised to destroy our retail biodiversity, and why he probably won’t be on Jeff Bezos’ “phallic” rocket ship. He and Kara also discuss his the challenges that Amazon’s rapidly-growing market share poses for smaller publishing houses like Eggers’s own company McSweeney’s, and why he’ll still be selling paperbacks of a book that is critical of Amazon … on Amazon.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.