Uncanny Valley ~ by Anna Wiener

I rather enjoy memoirs and books about Silicon Valley on their own so when this book got selected for the All-Nonfiction group’s schedule I was pleased and I’m reading it the month before it actually comes up there.  

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir
By Anna Wiener –
2020
Read by Suehyla El-Attar: 8h 45m
Rating:  8.5 / memoir

This book started slow with Anna’s background on the East Coast (New York) literary circles, but maybe that had to be there in order to understand Wiener and hr background as well as to capture the culture shock of the East/West coast differences.  I don’t know. It picked up considerably after she has got settled in, met some people and explored a wee big of San Francisco where she is ensconced in the middle of the city.  

After that the narrative turns to work practices, ethics and behaviors of the Silicon Valley start-ups. Wiener is a great writer – the tension built as she got new assignments, switched companies and made new friends. Who knew it would end up with Anna exploring her ethics and being unintentionally and maybe peripherally involved in the shadier side of social media.  

https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/anna-wiener

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4 Responses to Uncanny Valley ~ by Anna Wiener

  1. Keith says:

    Becky, great tease. There is line that comes to mind, “just because you can, does not mean you should.” Situational ethics can walk folks down a darker path, with each step. Keith

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    • Absolutely. And the “line” is often fuzzy and grey.

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      • Keith says:

        True. It is like online or phone theft of IDs, credit cards, etc. Some people think since it was easy and devoid of person encounter, it is OK. When I answer a repeated call that is the IRS scam, Amazon scam, grandparent scam, Microsoft scam, etc. and I speak with a live person, I ask him or her, “you do realize you are committing a fraudulent crime?” Click.

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  2. Keith – the thing about Uncanny Valley is that the reader doesn’t quite see Anna slipping in her ethics until the last couple or three chapters and then it’s like oh-oh!!!

    I like your response to the spammers. Maybe I’ll try it – unless I just hang up first – heh.

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