Imagine a smartphone with unlimited text, internet access, and Google’s ability to target you with relevant ads–imagine a such a smartphone in your brain. This is what Anderson’s done–and 10 years ago, before smartphones as we know them now were mainstream. He calls it the “feed.”
Feed is a science fiction work that examines what might happen were we to have feeds. The result? Without coming right out and saying this, Anderson reveals that humans are more robotic, cyborgs, if you will.
Feed is an incredibly thought-provoking book, but a depressing one as well. There is no hero in this dystopia. Good people die. Bad people live. And the ramifications of technology mixed our corporate society are scary.
Things to Note/Discuss
- There is a mountain of profanity and swearing in this book. Every bad word you can think of is probably in here….
- Titus is a stereotypical high school boy, thinking and talking about stereotypical high school boy concerns–especially those relating to girls. And he is not discreet.
- What would happen if we had smartphones in our heads? Would our ability to think for ourselves be compromised? Would we simply follow the ads and our friends’ opinions?
- Should Titus have acted differently towards Victoria at the end? What would you have done?
- Is communication technology (or any technology for that matter) a right? That is, should everyone be entitled to it, or only those who can afford it? Where does your family fall in the lineup of electronic gadgetry?
- What makes us human? What are the differences between us and machines? Can a machine ever be as intelligent as a person?
Edited 9/27/11 to add: THIS is happening folks. We might as well discuss it with our kids and bring into the discussion what makes us essentially human, imago dei, and where we draw the line…“The Cyborg in Us All” (not sure how long this link will be active)