Reading Ebocloud reminded me of one of my favorite TED talks, “The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain. In her talk, she emphasizes different ways introverts play important and often critical roles in our society. She makes points about creativity requiring periods of isolation and other ways that introverted behavior is often so useful. Being a pretty strong introvert myself, most of her points make a lot of sense to me, and many of the examples she describes have at some point applied directly to me or to someone I know. It is probably for this reason that the technology in Ebocloud unsettles me so much. I can’t imagine an environment less conducive to introverts.
The dToos have some extremely cool applications in the book. I particularly liked the Helping Hands app and the example of the group of friends collectively jumping out of the way of a bus, and I generally enjoyed Moss’s cleverness in coming up with interesting applications for the technology. What I think would be problematic, however, is the overarching goal to bring human minds closer to together and forever end human loneliness. While the idea of it sounds good in theory (especially to extroverts), I think the constant connection would become exhausting and eventually debilitating.
I would claim that any current (and foreseeable future) human society requires hermits and eccentrics to function. Even in the world of Ebocloud, the majority of the innovation driving the new tattoos comes from the two characters in the book most separated from the rest of the world, Radu and Ernesto, and it should also be mentioned that Lotte and Penchast choose to leave for a remote island in Desalt’s novel.