The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Tim Wu at the NYRB:

To most people, the assertion that we are living in Skinner boxes might sound alarming, but The Age of Surveillance Capitalism goes darker still. Skinner, at least, saw himself as a do-gooder who would save humanity from its own delusions. His behavioral engineering was meant to build a happier humanity, one finally at peace with our lack of agency. “What is love,” Skinner wrote, “except another name for the use of positive reinforcement?”

Zuboff, in contrast, sees Silicon Valley’s project of behavioral observation in the service of behavior control as lacking an interest in human happiness (other than as a means); its goal is profit. That’s why Zuboff calls it “surveillance capitalism.”

more here.

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