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    • Very interesting podcast on "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism" where the wonder of the possibilities of the 90's has turned into the reality of Affective Computing. Shoshana Zuboff nails it when she says..

      "Now we are way beyond targeted ads where we are delving into every aspect of your experience and your behavior. Now it turns out that there is a third big discovery and that is it's not just scale and it's not just scope, the most predictive surplus comes from actually intevening in your activities to shape and nudge and tool and herd you into specific directions that lead you to commercial outcomes that Surveillance Capitalism's business customers are paying for."

      Until we build tools to put the power of discovery back into our own hands, I fear we are going to continue down this slippery slope without anything to grab onto.

    • I listened. Leo called her book perhaps the most important book we'll read this year:

      I thought it was profound and would imagine @Richard and @lidja would want to know about it. Her premise is the world has entered a new age that it has never experienced, where there is no backstage. You are always on, always watched in ways you aren't aware of and it isn't about just serving up more targeted ads to you. We have figured out how to shape your behavior from AI knowing where you go, who and what you interact with, and a million other things, so it can both predict what you'll do and shape it.

      No one saw it coming, not even the people who developed it. They just had incidental data like logs of your clicks on the net and they discovered that AI could make a lot of sense of it. And who controls your behavior? The people and organizations who can afford to pay to play.

      She's a highly respected Harvard Business School professor, btw, and the book is held in high regard.

    • Thanks for tagging me on this, @Chris. I’m working my way through Lanier’s Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts and have LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media (Singer and Brooking) on the bedstand next up. I will track down a copy of The Age of Survelliance Capitalism now, too. 👍🏻

    • Professor Zuboff is certainly starting to get quite a bit of press.

      This is showing up on major outlets so this should start to trend which is a good thing. People need to wake up to what is happening. We are no longer being led, we are being molded into what fits best into monetized models of consumerism and politics. 2005 to 2007 was not only the birth of Web 2.0, it was the birth of Society 2.0 where algorithms didn't only begin to affect our behavior online but how we made decisions as significant as buying a home. My wife just took an assessment for a job she applied for which was 200 questions entered online. How confident am I this information won't be sold to the highest bidder? Not very!! .

    • Thanks for reminding me about this thread, as I had let it get buried under more recent stuff. I did listen to the podcast, which I found fascinating, and plan to read the book in the near future.

    • Great resource! Thanks for sharing, @Chris.

      (BTW, this article reviews Lanier’s 2014 publication, Who Owns the Future? which was his second book. Ten Arguments is his third book, released just a few months ago.)

      Correction: whoops. Dawn of the New Everything (2017) is Lanier’s third book, so Ten Arguments (2018) is his fourth book. The guy’s on a roll...

    • I haven't read the last one, but I liked Lanier's first three books a lot. Apart from his insights on VR and the net and where it went wrong, Dawn of the New Everything is in part a fascinating personal memoir. Interesting guy.

    • I was at a dog show today and it was hard to find a terminal that wasn't taken to give all your private info to Amazon and the dog show for the chance to win a gift card:

    • Just one of the many screens you fill out so you too can be surveilled! Each screen gets you excited across the top so you'll answer things like how hard should they surveil you. Do you have enough money to be worth their time?

    • Seems like the trend in communication technology is more about providers learning about us rather than us learning about ourselves. What could possibly go wrong:-(

    • When I flew to Silicon Valley, I noticed they installed Eye scanners in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to help bypass checkin. Minority Report anyone??

    • I just finished reading Zuboff's book. It's not an easy read--the writing is good but I found it conceptually difficult at times, as it draws on ideas from history, political economy, philosophy and social psychology to analyze a phenomenon that it barely emerging. Put briefly, capitalism is entering a new phase, one in which human behavior is continuously monitored, influenced and ultimately controlled by enterprises that are accountable to nobody. If surveillance capitalism is carried to its logical conclusion, democracy, freedom and human dignity are all at risk.

      I'm not sure this book will appeal to everyone--if you didn't like (or couldn't get through) Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, you probably won't like this one--at 700 pages, they are both of equal heft. But, IMO, they both deserve to be called important books, warnings that we ignore at our own peril.

    • Thank you very much for sharing, and so eloquently summarizing the book in your view. It seems pretty sadly quite veridic, if one has eyes to see what is going on today everywhere in the world, how ignorance has a way of darkening the minds. The fight is uphill against a nanny, overbearing, entirely consumerist society, and there seems isn't much one can do but "go with the flow"

      Or this, perhaps?

    • Here's a long but excellent talk/discussion with Shoshana Zuboff and Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything, and other works about capitalism, globalization and the environment.

      Has anyone else here read Zuboff's book yet? I was blown away by it, but I would be curious to hear from anyone who disagrees with her conclusions.

    • I haven't read the book yet but I really did enjoy this talk. I appreciated how Shoshana was not willing to throw capitalism out with the bathwater. The talk also brought up something I seemed to repress in my memory which was the fact that the Street View team was scraping Wifi data from nearby houses as they were mapping streets. Evidenced of her point in the arc of how we can forget such infractions as these technologies become commonplace. How we evolved in such a short span of time to so freely giveaway our data is mind boggling to me. But just like Pavlovs dog where there is reward there is repeated behavior. So I guess it is not so suprising.

    • How we evolved in such a short span of time to so freely giveaway our data is mind boggling to me.

      She describes it as a four stage process. It starts with incursion, in which a company simply seizes something (our data) and claims ownership of it, be it our email contents, search history or blood pressure. Google has relentlessly led the charge and perfected the strategy. There is resistance, usually in the form of lawsuits. Many lawsuits. These drag on for years, which leads to the second stage of the process, habituation. "People habituate to the incursion with some combination of agreement, helplessness, and resignation." Once in a while, governments will impose rulings or regulations that eventually force the company to make changes. This is the adaptation phase, and it may also be triggered by public pressure. The final stage is redirection, in which the company proudly points to the changes it has been forced to make as evidence that it is no longer behaving badly. Meanwhile, it is busily seeking new methods of appropriating and exploiting personal data, which are the raw material surveillance capitalism depends upon to survive. She documents in detail how Google followed this sequence in the development and implementation of Google Maps and Street View, but Facebook has used precisely the same approach.