'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism



I’ve started reading this book, and it is brilliant.


Zuboffs talk / interview this evening was great. Real insight and some shortcutting into content of the book, which I am also ploughing my way through. I certainly have a lot of thinking to do!


Anything in particular? I’m working through the book too (she certainly offers value for money in quality and quantity!)


She read from page 521 which is an amazing piece of writing (the bit from to the children) and made some intresting comments about “hiding” in alternative tools to combat privacy but mainly opened up stuff that will likely be in the book (I expect)

Very engaging speaker and clearly a deep thinker. I was very impressed with her in total.

My intial thoughts on the core concepts is that it seems to me that if you (still) have any belief that democracy can save humanity then Zuboff is calling for action in regards to regulation and governance to take back control and that this has been done in the past as a way to tame and tether capitalism ensuring it doesn’t get out of hand, and bring back some stability that she suggests had been lost from the 1st Modernity to the 2nd (I believe). So her concern is about who takes the lead in the 3rd Modernity, which it seems she expects shortly.

She puts the concern that Information power (she gives it a better name) via the concepts bore at Google and connected to neoliberalism and anti regulation plus a number of moments in time for originally commercial gain, will quickly if not controlled be as we see in the Chinese social index rolled out across the democratic west.

So I can also understand why some would argue this is not far enough and that a totally new type of political movement is needed not just a taming of capitalism to restore demoncract to the institutions. She also clearly notes this is just the start and the start is to name the issues which I think she has done indeed!

I made some sgwiggly notes on my iPad that I’ll post here for reference. May make less sense that the above mind :joy:

Also the bit about Pokemon Go being one of the first mass predictive behaviour exercises was insane. Off to find FT article where they even admit this fact.

Her connections to historical events and such is so well researched it’s fascinating. She was optimistic that Democracy can be saved and tame capitalism once again. It was very intresting indeed. Complicated but very intresting.

That’s what I think at the moment but like you am still reading the book. :blush::crazy_face:


Instagram link - https://instagram.com/p/Btiih7ShrmG/


Thanks Adam, it’s really interesting! I’m keen to know if she sees a way past capitalism altogether… got to get more in to the book!