Imagine a world in which Google and Amazon come together to form an omniscient corporate juggernaut who could program our every move. Author Dave Eggers envisioned 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 technology monopoly that would use “your preferences and your personality.” determined by the algorithm “to help you” become the best version of yourself and the ultimate version of yourself “.
[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]
In this conversation, Swisher asks Eggers how close the real world is to this fictional dystopia. They dig into Eggers ‘technological skepticism, his fears of an e-commerce “supreme predator” poised to destroy our retail biodiversity, and why he probably won’t be on Jeff Bezos’ “phallic” rocket. He and Kara also discuss the challenges that Amazon’s rapidly growing market share poses for smaller publishers like Eggers’ own company, McSweeney’s, and why it will always sell paperbacks from a book that reviews criticism. Amazon… on Amazon.
(A full transcript of the episode will be available at noon on the Times website.)
Thoughts? Email us at email@example.com.
“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Matt Kwong, Daphne Chen and Caitlin O’Keefe, and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing of Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Liriel Higa.