It struck me that the Ridge Top Camp Out lacked something. That it was too planned. Too tame. The Camp Out wasn’t real camping at all (which would be raw and wild), but a simulation of it. It was fake. If real camping prompted a return to nature, the Camp Out boiled down to a staged encounter, a well-choreographed rendezvous.
Most meme groups are anonymous—save for a few friends in any given group, they’re populated by strangers who don’t know each other beyond a profile picture or an “about” page. With the Tweens group, the rule is reversed: Most members go to the same school, live on the same campus, and know each other, or at least know of each other, in real life.
The “Uncanny Valley,” a term first coined by robotics professor Masahiro Mori in 1970, refers to the discomfort experienced when encountering human replicas which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings. Reborn dolls can veer into that territory if they’re made poorly, but more often than not, what is peculiar about them is that they do cross the valley.
The envelope's only contents were a small golden key inscribed “Copy Me” and a notice: The city of Cambridge had built a new park, right in front of her house.