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Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism

Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism

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  • This book drills into the mechanics, goals, and consequences of surveillance capitalism as practiced by internet platforms and other Big Data companies.

    From the book: “Automated machine processes not only know our behavior but also shape our behavior at scale. With this re-orientation from knowledge

    This book drills into the mechanics, goals, and consequences of surveillance capitalism as practiced by internet platforms and other Big Data companies.

    From the book: “Automated machine processes not only know our behavior but also shape our behavior at scale. With this re-orientation from knowledge to power, it is no longer enough to automate information flows about us; the goal is now to automate us.”

    The convenience offered by internet platforms is seductive, then habit forming, and ultimately addictive. It is essential for self preservation — and for society — for us to understand the issues and insist on a debate about these business practices before it is too late. We don’t let scientists clone humans. We don’t allow unsupervised experiments with infectious diseases. Why would we allow businesses to conduct massive unsupervised experiments in behavior modification?

  • "Harvard Business School professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff argues in her new book that the Valley’s wealth and power are predicated on an insidious, essentially pathological form of private enterprise — what she calls 'surveillance capitalism.' Pioneered by Google, perfected by Facebook, and now spreading

    "Harvard Business School professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff argues in her new book that the Valley’s wealth and power are predicated on an insidious, essentially pathological form of private enterprise — what she calls 'surveillance capitalism.' Pioneered by Google, perfected by Facebook, and now spreading throughout the economy, surveillance capitalism uses human life as its raw material. Our everyday experiences, distilled into data, have become a privately owned business asset used to predict and mold our behavior, whether we’re shopping or socializing, working or voting....

    When databases displace goods as the engine of the economy, our own interests, as consumers but also as citizens, cease to be part of the negotiation. We are no longer one of the forces guiding the market’s invisible hand. We are the objects of surveillance and control....

    Once it embraced surveillance as the core of its business, Google changed. Its innocence curdled, and its idealism became a means of obfuscation....

    What’s most remarkable about the birth of surveillance capitalism is the speed and audacity with which Google overturned social conventions and norms about data and privacy. Without permission, without compensation, and with little in the way of resistance, the company seized and declared ownership over everyone’s information. It turned the details of the lives of millions and then billions of people into its own property. The companies that followed Google presumed that they too had an unfettered right to collect, parse, and sell personal data in pretty much any way they pleased."

  • Great review of Soshana Zuboff's latest book:

    "Zuboff’s fierce indictment of the big internet firms goes beyond the usual condemnations of privacy violations and monopolistic practices. To her, such criticisms are sideshows, distractions that blind us to a graver danger: By reengineering the economy

    Great review of Soshana Zuboff's latest book:

    "Zuboff’s fierce indictment of the big internet firms goes beyond the usual condemnations of privacy violations and monopolistic practices. To her, such criticisms are sideshows, distractions that blind us to a graver danger: By reengineering the economy and society to their own benefit, Google and Facebook are perverting capitalism in a way that undermines personal freedom and corrodes democracy."

  • Yes!