Surveillance Capitalism - Shoshana Zuboff and Misha Glenny



Thanks for the heads-up on this @adamprocter. If we didn’t live across the Irish sea, we’d definitely try to be there! Sounds like a great event. I’ll get our local bookshop to order me a copy of Shoshana Zuboff’s book too!


Good book so far. No matter how much I thought I knew about SC there’s always more to learn. Shoshana’s a little long winded, but still keeps it interesting with Conquistadors and other history. She’s a PhD, so to me it reads much like a text book and I have to pull out the dictionary every now and then (footnotes section is 1/5 of the book). This book should be a class (main text book for a class). A very eye opening history of Google and the fact that we don’t know what they’re doing NOW or what they will be doing tomorrow (constant new ways to consume raw materials–that would be all of us). And what with ISPs tracking you I guess VPN needs to be the norm for most + probably change your VPN provider every now and then. Still haven’t gotten to the end for the WTF can we do about all this and this New Age.



I’m five chapters in and agree with you. It is dense! But not unreadably so. Shoshana packs in a lot of factual information and contextual background that really helps back her punches when she makes them. e.g:

Even when knowledge derived from our behavior is fed back to us as a quid pro quo for participation, as in the case of so-called “personalization,” parallel secret operations pursue the conversation of surplus into sales that point far beyond our interests. We have no formal control because we are not essential to this market action.

In this future we are exiles from our own behavior, denied access to or control over knowledge derived from its dispossession by others for others. Knowledge, authority, and power rest with surveillance capital, for which we are merely “human natural resources.” We are the native peoples now whose tacit claims to self-determination have vanished from the maps of our own experience.


I might need to contact the publisher. There are at least 50 passages from the book I’d like to quote in the future. Copyright says it’s ok for review purposes, as you’ve done.
I highly reccommend this book to anyone in the IT industry and anyone who likes to read (non-fiction) or has any interest in current events, history or psychology. OK, anyone who can read.


Seconded. It is really insightful.