From a cutting-edge cultural commentator, a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great leveler of our age The Internet has been hailed as an unprecedented democratizing force, a place where everyone can be heard and all can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, The People's Platform argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen so far, Astra Taylor says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Although Silicon Valley tycoons have eclipsed Hollywood moguls, a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook remain the gatekeepers. And the worst habits of the old media model—the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all—have proliferated on the web, where "aggregating" the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. When culture is "free," creative work has diminishing value and advertising fuels the system. The new order looks suspiciously like the old one. We can do better, Taylor insists. The online world does offer a unique opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices and work of lasting value will not spring up from technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.
From a cutting-edge cultural commentator and documentary filmmaker, a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great democratizing force of our age. The Internet has been hailed as a place where all can be heard and everyone can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, The People's Platform argues that for all that we "tweet" and "like" and "share," the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen in the virtual world so far, Astra Taylor says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Although Silicon Valley tycoons have eclipsed Hollywood moguls, a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook still dominate our lives. And the worst habits of the old media model--the pressure to be quick and sensational, to seek easy celebrity, to appeal to the broadest possible public--have proliferated online, where every click can be measured and where "aggregating" the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. In a world where culture is "free," creative work has diminishing value, and advertising fuels the system, the new order looks suspiciously just like the old one. We can do better, Taylor insists. The online world does offer an unprecedented opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices, work of lasting value, and equitable business practices will not appear as a consequence of technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.
"From a cutting-edge cultural commentator and documentary filmmaker, this work is a bold and brilliant challenge to cherished notions of the Internet as the great democratizing force of our age. The Internet has been hailed as a place where all can be heard and everyone can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In this seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, the author argues that for all that we 'tweet' and 'like' and 'share,' the Internet in fact reflects and amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. What we have seen so far, she says, has been not a revolution but a rearrangement. Silicon Valley tycoons now coexist with Hollywood moguls; a handful of giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook remain the gatekeepers. And the worst habits of the old media model, the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all, have proliferated online, where 'aggregating' the work of others is the surest way to attract eyeballs and ad revenue. When culture is 'free,' creative work has diminishing value and advertising fuels the system. The new order looks suspiciously like the old one. We can do better, the author insists. The online world does offer an unprecedented opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports diverse voices, work of lasting value, and equitable business practices will not appear as a consequence of technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so"-- Inside dustjacket.
“Building upon his previous empirical critiques, Tom Slee explains how ‘sharing economy’ companies have used feel-good rhetoric to mask illiberal and irresponsible business models.” —Chris Jay Hoofnagle, lecturer in residence; faculty director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology “The Sharing Economy frames its critics as Luddites, bureaucrats and rent-seekers, but Tom Slee is none of these. A thoughtful technologist, Slee paints a well-researched picture of companies that have built up massive market valuations by externalizing their costs and sidestepping regulations designed to protect consumers. This book is clear-eyed and important.” —Sue Gardner, former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation “Tom Slee's essential new book shows that the sharing economy has very little to do with sharing. Slee uses wit, clarity, and facts to demolish the self-serving mythologies of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and figure out what Uber, Amazon and their kind are really up to.” —Henry Farrell, co-chair, Social Science Research Council's Digital Culture Initiative; professor of political science and international affairs, George Washington University “In this lucid and rigorous book, Tom Slee dismantles the facade of the sharing economy, revealing hidden and often troubling truths about companies like Uber and Airbnb. If you want to understand how internet businesses really operate, What’s Yours Is Mine is the place to start.” —Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows and The Glass Cage “In a field crowded with tech-utopian blowhards and app-happy snake oil salesmen, Tom Slee stands apart. His laser-sharp insights about the real impact of popular start-ups on our livelihoods and communities are the perfect antidote to sharing economy hype. What’s Yours Is Mine is required reading for anyone interested in technology and economic justice.” —Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age The news is full of their names, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. Lyft, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, and many more companies have a mandate of disruption and upending the “old order”—and they’ve succeeded in effecting the “biggest change in the American workforce in over a century,” according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. But this new wave of technology companies is funded and steered by very old-school venture capitalists. And in What’s Yours Is Mine, technologist Tom Slee argues the so-called sharing economy damages development, extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, and presents the opportunity for a few people to make fortunes by damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk. Drawing on original empirical research, Slee shows that the friendly language of sharing, trust, and community masks a darker reality.
A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing internet-fueled social movements’ greatest strengths and frequent challenges To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti–Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today’s social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests—how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change. Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture—and offer essential insights into the future of governance.
The internet and the mobile phone have disrupted many of our conventional understandings of ourselves and our relationships, raising anxieties and hopes about their effects on our lives. In this second edition of her timely and vibrant book, Nancy Baym provides frameworks for thinking critically about the roles of digital media in personal relationships. Rather than providing exuberant accounts or cautionary tales, it offers a data-grounded primer on how to make sense of these important changes in relational life Fully updated to reflect new developments in technology and digital scholarship, the book identifies the core relational issues these media disturb and shows how our talk about them echoes historical discussions about earlier communication technologies. Chapters explore how we use mediated language and nonverbal behavior to develop and maintain communities, social networks, and new relationships, and to maintain existing relationships in our everyday lives. The book combines research findings with lively examples to address questions such as: Can mediated interaction be warm and personal? Are people honest about themselves online? Can relationships that start online work? Do digital media damage the other relationships in our lives? Throughout, the book argues that these questions must be answered with firm understandings of media qualities and the social and personal contexts in which they are developed and used. This new edition of Personal Connections in the Digital Age will be required reading for all students and scholars of media, communication studies, and sociology, as well as all those who want a richer understanding of digital media and everyday life.
With far-reaching implications, this urgent treatise promises to revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age. We used to say "seeing is believing"; now googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world's information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers. We just open our browsers, type in a few keywords and wait for the information to come to us. Indeed, the Internet has revolutionized the way we learn and know, as well as how we interact with each other. And yet this explosion of technological innovation has also produced a curious paradox: even as we know more, we seem to understand less. While a wealth of literature has been devoted to life with the Internet, the deep philosophical implications of this seismic shift have not been properly explored until now. Demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that there is much more to “knowing” than just acquiring information, leading philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch shows how our digital way of life makes us overvalue some ways of processing information over others, and thus risks distorting what it means to be human. With far-reaching implications, Lynch's argument charts a path from Plato's cave to Shannon's mathematical theory of information to Google Glass, illustrating that technology itself isn't the problem, nor is it the solution. Instead, it will be the way in which we adapt our minds to these new tools that will ultimately decide whether or not the "Internet of Things"—all those gadgets on our wrists, in our pockets and on our laps—will be a net gain for humanity. Along the way, Lynch uses a philosopher's lens to examine some of the most urgent issues facing digital life today, including how social media is revolutionizing the way we think about privacy; why a greater reliance on Wikipedia and Google doesn't necessarily make knowledge "more democratic"; and the perils of using "big data" alone to predict cultural trends. Promising to modernize our understanding of what it means to be human in the digital age, The Internet of Us builds on previous works by Nicholas Carr, James Gleick and Jaron Lanier to give us a necessary guide on how to navigate the philosophical quagmire that is the Information Age.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK SELECTED ONE OF 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI, THE NEW YORK TIMES NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • The Seattle Times • O: The Oprah Magazine • Maureen Corrigan, NPR • Salon • Slate • Minneapolis Star Tribune • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Kansas City Star • Charlotte Observer • The Globe and Mail • Vancouver Sun • Montreal Gazette • Kirkus Reviews In the near future, America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of an Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart?
How Corporatism Conquered the World, and how We Can Take it Back
Author: Douglas Rushkoff
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Category: Business & Economics
Cultural theorist Rushkoff reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life--including our inner lives--and what to do about it. In tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, Rushkoff reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a pre-existing condition of our world.
How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy
Author: Jonathan Taplin
Publisher: Little, Brown
*The book that started the Techlash* A stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the Internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and that proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age. Featured in New York Times' Paperback Row A New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceAn Amazon Best Business & Leadership Book of 2017 Longlisted for Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2017A strategy+business Best Business Book of 2017 Move Fast and Break Things is the riveting account of a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs who in the 1990s began to hijack the original decentralized vision of the Internet, in the process creating three monopoly firms--Facebook, Amazon, and Google--that now determine the future of the music, film, television, publishing and news industries. Jonathan Taplin offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life began to be shaped around the values of the men who founded these companies, including Peter Thiel and Larry Page: overlooking piracy of books, music, and film while hiding behind opaque business practices and subordinating the privacy of individual users in order to create the surveillance-marketing monoculture in which we now live. The enormous profits that have come with this concentration of power tell their own story. Since 2001, newspaper and music revenues have fallen by 70 percent; book publishing, film, and television profits have also fallen dramatically. Revenues at Google in this same period grew from $400 million to $74.5 billion. Today, Google's YouTube controls 60 percent of all streaming-audio business but pay for only 11 percent of the total streaming-audio revenues artists receive. More creative content is being consumed than ever before, but less revenue is flowing to the creators and owners of that content. The stakes here go far beyond the livelihood of any one musician or journalist. As Taplin observes, the fact that more and more Americans receive their news, as well as music and other forms of entertainment, from a small group of companies poses a real threat to democracy. Move Fast and Break Things offers a vital, forward-thinking prescription for how artists can reclaim their audiences using knowledge of the past and a determination to work together. Using his own half-century career as a music and film producer and early pioneer of streaming video online, Taplin offers new ways to think about the design of the World Wide Web and specifically the way we live with the firms that dominate it.
In the fall of 2011, a small protest camp in downtown Manhattan exploded into a global uprising, sparked in part by the violent overreactions of the police. An unofficial record of this movement, Occupy! combines adrenalin-fueled first-hand accounts of the early days and weeks of Occupy Wall Street with contentious debates and thoughtful reflections, featuring the editors and writers of the celebrated n+1, as well as some of the world’s leading radical thinkers, such as Slavoj Žižek, Angela Davis, and Rebecca Solnit. The book conveys the intense excitement of those present at the birth of a counterculture, while providing the movement with a serious platform for debating goals, demands, and tactics. Articles address the history of the “horizontalist” structure at OWS; how to keep a live-in going when there is a giant mountain of laundry building up; how very rich the very rich have become; the messages and meaning of the “We are the 99%” tumblr website; occupations in Oakland, Boston, Atlanta, and elsewhere; what happens next; and much more.
Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: that we have stopped having face-to-face conversation in favour of technological connections such as texts or emails. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools and the workplace, Turkle argues here that we now have a better understanding of this phenomenon, and that going forward, it's time we reclaim conversation, the most human thing that we do.
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse. Informed by Lanier’s experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent. From the Trade Paperback edition.
How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--and How to Make It Work for You
Author: Jeremy Heimans,Henry Timms
Publisher: Random House Canada
Category: Business & Economics
From two influential and visionary thinkers comes a big idea that is changing the way movements catch fire and ideas spread in our highly connected world. For the vast majority of human history, power has been held by the few. "Old power" is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful spend it carefully, like currency. But the technological revolution of the past two decades has made possible a new form of power, one that operates differently, like a current. "New power" is made by many; it is open, participatory, often leaderless, and peer-driven. Like water or electricity, it is most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it, but to channel it. New power is behind the rise of participatory communities like Facebook and YouTube, sharing services like Uber and Airbnb, and rapid-fire social movements like Brexit and #BlackLivesMatter. It explains the unlikely success of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and the unlikelier victory of Donald Trump in 2016. And it gives ISIS its power to propagate its brand and distribute its violence. Even old power institutions like the Papacy, NASA, and LEGO have tapped into the strength of the crowd to stage improbable reinventions. In New Power, the business leaders/social visionaries Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms provide the tools for using new power to successfully spread an idea or lead a movement in the twenty-first century. Drawing on examples from business, politics, and social justice, they explain the new world we live in--a world where connectivity has made change shocking and swift and a world in which everyone expects to participate.
A novel of love, sadness, wasted youth, and literary and intellectual ambition-"a wincingly funny debut" (Vogue) Keith Gessen is a Brave and trenchant new literary voice. Known as an award-winning translator of Russian and a book reviewer for publications including The New Yorker and The New York Times, Gessen makes his debut with this critically acclaimed novel, a charming yet scathing portrait of young adulthood at the opening of the twenty-first century. The novel charts the lives of Sam, Mark, and Keith as they overthink their college years, underthink their love lives, and struggle to find a semblance of maturity, responsibility, and even literary fame.
Daily life is connected life, its rhythms driven by endless email pings and responses, the chimes and beeps of continually arriving text messages, tweets and retweets, Facebook updates, pictures and videos to post and discuss. Our perpetual connectedness gives us endless opportunities to be part of the give-and-take of networking. Some worry that this new environment makes us isolated and lonely. But in Networked, Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman show how the large, loosely knit social circles of networked individuals expand opportunities for learning, problem solving, decision making, and personal interaction. The new social operating system of "networked individualism" liberates us from the restrictions of tightly knit groups; it also requires us to develop networking skills and strategies, work on maintaining ties, and balance multiple overlapping networks. Rainie and Wellman outline the "triple revolution" that has brought on this transformation: the rise of social networking, the capacity of the Internet to empower individuals, and the always-on connectivity of mobile devices. Drawing on extensive evidence, they examine how the move to networked individualism has expanded personal relationships beyond households and neighborhoods; transformed work into less hierarchical, more team-driven enterprises; encouraged individuals to create and share content; and changed the way people obtain information. Rainie and Wellman guide us through the challenges and opportunities of living in the evolving world of networked individuals.
The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy
Author: Nathan Schneider
Publisher: Nation Books
Category: Social Science
The origins of the next radical economy is rooted in a tradition that has empowered people for centuries and is now making a comeback. A new feudalism is on the rise. While monopolistic corporations feed their spoils to the rich, more and more of us are expected to live gig to gig. But, as Nathan Schneider shows, an alternative to the robber-baron economy is hiding in plain sight; we just need to know where to look. Cooperatives are jointly owned, democratically controlled enterprises that advance the economic, social, and cultural interests of their members. They often emerge during moments of crisis not unlike our own, putting people in charge of the workplaces, credit unions, grocery stores, healthcare, and utilities they depend on. Everything for Everyone chronicles this revolution--from taxi cooperatives keeping Uber at bay, to an outspoken mayor transforming his city in the Deep South, to a fugitive building a fairer version of Bitcoin, to the rural electric co-op members who are propelling an aging system into the future. As these pioneers show, co-ops are helping us rediscover our capacity for creative, powerful, and fair democracy.
How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age
Author: Adam Segal
Category: Political Science
In this updated edition of The Hacked World Order, cybersecurity expert Adam Segal offers unmatched insight into the new, opaque global conflict that is transforming geopolitics. For more than three hundred years, the world wrestled with conflicts between nation-states, which wielded military force, financial pressure, and diplomatic persuasion to create "world order." But in 2012, the involvement of the US and Israeli governments in Operation "Olympic Games," a mission aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear program through cyberattacks, was revealed; Russia and China conducted massive cyber-espionage operations; and the world split over the governance of the Internet. Cyberspace became a battlefield. Cyber warfare demands that the rules of engagement be completely reworked and all the old niceties of diplomacy be recast. Many of the critical resources of statecraft are now in the hands of the private sector, giant technology companies in particular. In this new world order, Segal reveals, power has been well and truly hacked.