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Post Zuboff's "Age of Surveillance Capitalism"
Created by John Eipper on 02/22/21 3:20 AM

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Zuboff's "Age of Surveillance Capitalism" (Paul Levine, Denmark, 02/22/21 3:20 am)

Yes, Shoshana Zuboff has written one of the most important books of the last decade.

You get a sense of her argument from a NYT op-ed from January 29, 2021.

JE comments:  Here's the link--I had to click around a bit and surrender my personal data to get through the NYT firewall.  Given the thesis of Dr Zuboff's op-ed, there's abundant irony in this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/opinion/sunday/facebook-surveillance-society-technology.html

Fascinating and unsettling essay.  Our present times are defined by "epistemic inequality"--meaning, what I can know is far less than what can be known about me.  We are well on our way to an institutionalized system of "surveillance capitalism," where private entities and their machines not only know, but decide--and exercise more control than governments and democratic institutions.

Ultimately, it boils down to the business model of "free" internet services--Google, Facebook, etc. etc.  When you don't pay for a product, it means that you are the product.

Here's a related observation:  last week in class I asked my students (18 to 22 demographic) how many have Facebook accounts.  Most of them do, and they all agreed on the reason:  to stay in touch with their grandparents.  Zuckerberg--are you listening?


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