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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the… (2019)

by Shoshana Zuboff

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1532714,753 (4.01)15
"Shoshana Zuboff, named "the true prophet of the information age" by the Financial Times, has always been ahead of her time. Her seminal book In the Age of the Smart Machine foresaw the consequences of a then-unfolding era of computer technology. Now, three decades later she asks why the once-celebrated miracle of digital is turning into a nightmare. Zuboff tackles the social, political, business, personal, and technological meaning of "surveillance capitalism" as an unprecedented new market form. It is not simply about tracking us and selling ads, it is the business model for an ominous new marketplace that aims at nothing less than predicting and modifying our everyday behavior--where we go, what we do, what we say, how we feel, who we're with. The consequences of surveillance capitalism for us as individuals and as a society vividly come to life in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism's pathbreaking analysis of power. The threat has shifted from a totalitarian "big brother" state to a universal global architecture of automatic sensors and smart capabilities: A "big other" that imposes a fundamentally new form of power and unprecedented concentrations of knowledge in private companies--free from democratic oversight and control"--… (more)
Recently added byrcoelacanth, judypat, ariel1234987, youngt2, private library, bulent.ozbilgin, aiddy
  1. 00
    Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport (timoroso)
    timoroso: If you find Zuboff too heavy and academic, Newport discusses similar ideas from a more practical standpoint. Still, Newport’s book is no replacement for Zuboff’s.
  2. 00
    World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer (kukulaj)
  3. 00
    The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul (kukulaj)
    kukulaj: Ellul describes the seeds.... Zuboff the hardy sapling. Anybody's guess where it goes from here!
  4. 00
    Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier (kukulaj)
  5. 00
    Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age by Peter D. Hershock (kukulaj)
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» See also 15 mentions

English (26)  French (2)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
This book could have been condensed down to half its size and still clearly gotten its point across. It did have a number of interesting chapters that kept me in it for the long haul, but it wasn't easy. Overall, I enjoyed the majority of the content, minus one star for the writing. ( )
  NonFictionFan | Nov 29, 2022 |
Ms Zuboff has a number of outstanding points to make in this weighty tome. Unfortunately she seems to have attempted to do it in Klingon. A 250 page book without the repetitive, dense, unnecessarily high-flown prose would have been perfectly okay. Now this book will go down as a laborious, soul destroying pile of paper. 5 stars for the content, deduct three stars for the writing style. ( )
  Herculean_Librarian | Sep 10, 2022 |
I read it some time ago, borrowed from the university library.
The book moved me by the tone and the immense amount of repeated work (caused by fire destruction). ( )
  ruit | Aug 9, 2022 |
This is an informative book and a frightening one. The book is heavy reading, so take your time to digest the matter contained within. Most of us know we are tracked by the companies that provide us with internet and social media services. In recent times, many of us have become concerned with the way these companies seek to manipulate our behavior and thinking.
Shoshana Zuboff lays bare the ruthless capitalist streak that all these business owners have. What becomes difficult to digest, but we must, is the concept of the "God View", and the work taking place to manipulate society.
This comes through clearly in the book.
Shoshana Zuboff blends historical trends in social development, with the theories of some behavioral scientists and what is happening today in her narrative.
It is a compelling narrative and must put us all on high alert if we are to preserve our own sense of individuality.

The book is about one hundred pages too long. She would have been more effective had the book been shorter.
Nevertheless, it is an important book, and one we must read and digest. ( )
  RajivC | Apr 14, 2022 |
Overly verbose. The ideas here are important & valid, but they're lost amidst an ocean of anecdotes and purple prose. I don't need to know about Zuboff's house fire, her ancestor's immigrant experiences, or the cozy bakery in Spain. The important work of dissecting surveillance capitalism gets lost in the pages and pages of fluff. If this book had been at least 1/3 shorter, it would have made a clearer and more effective argument. ( )
  susanbooks | Mar 22, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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"Shoshana Zuboff, named "the true prophet of the information age" by the Financial Times, has always been ahead of her time. Her seminal book In the Age of the Smart Machine foresaw the consequences of a then-unfolding era of computer technology. Now, three decades later she asks why the once-celebrated miracle of digital is turning into a nightmare. Zuboff tackles the social, political, business, personal, and technological meaning of "surveillance capitalism" as an unprecedented new market form. It is not simply about tracking us and selling ads, it is the business model for an ominous new marketplace that aims at nothing less than predicting and modifying our everyday behavior--where we go, what we do, what we say, how we feel, who we're with. The consequences of surveillance capitalism for us as individuals and as a society vividly come to life in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism's pathbreaking analysis of power. The threat has shifted from a totalitarian "big brother" state to a universal global architecture of automatic sensors and smart capabilities: A "big other" that imposes a fundamentally new form of power and unprecedented concentrations of knowledge in private companies--free from democratic oversight and control"--

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