2020-08-29 Cory Doctorow

On Mastodon, I had seen @pluralistic posting a few times. It’s Cory Doctorow’s blog, somehow sliced and diced to fit into 500 character toots and it’s weird. I think I’m just going to add his blog to my feed reader.

I like the subtitle: “No trackers, no ads. Black type, white background. Privacy policy: we don’t collect or retain any data at all ever period.”

I’m currently reading his book, How to Destroy ‘Surveillance Capitalism’.

The fear of surveillance capitalism starts from the (correct) presumption that everything Big Tech says about itself is probably a lie. But the surveillance capitalism critique makes an exception for the claims Big Tech makes in its sales literature — the breathless hype in the pitches to potential advertisers online and in ad-tech seminars about the efficacy of its products: It assumes that Big Tech is as good at influencing us as they claim they are when they’re selling influencing products to credulous customers. That’s a mistake because sales literature is not a reliable indicator of a product’s efficacy. — Cory Doctorow

What I like most about it is that it debunks the ascribed superpowers. No, Facebook is not mind-controlling us, or turning us into fascists. But it’s ubiquitous and it allows widely dispersed wannabe-fascists to find each other and organise. The solution is simple: break it up. The problem is not gullible people. The problem is tech monopolies.


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