Here are two books that I’ve found helpful in understanding why the Internet has, in so many ways, become an instrument of oppression; a domain for what Zuboff calls ‘surveillance capitalism’ where, despite many positive uses, millions of people are disadvantaged and exploited. There follows a short article that draws on these and related sources to assess some emerging risks attending this and other aspects of the IT revolution.
Scanning the macro environment for signals of change can be a daunting experience. But when links that imply a particular pattern keep getting stronger, or more frequently expressed, you know that something is happening that may require closer attention. Over the last few years, for example, evidence that the digital revolution has been compromised has been turning up with increasing frequency. It’s not merely wandered off-course, so to speak, but been actively hijacked by a handful of companies. They are not using it for the betterment of humankind – they are using it in pursuit of historically unprecedented levels of wealth and power. A PDF of a longer version of my ‘Time to Disrupt to Disruptors’ piece is available here.