Dangers of surveillance capitalism
The several dangers of the instrumentariam powers of the surveillance capitalists’ agenda to reorder society through the means of total digital rendering of peoples’ lives into a “hive society” of drone consumerism, by way of behavioural modification, is becoming more apparent.
Since my previous letter (April 5/19) in this newspaper, I have finished reading the voluminous exposé The Age of Surveillance Capitalism which, through 10 years of research, Shoshana Zuboff completely explains the methods and outcomes of this threatening phenomenon.
She compares the industrial revolution with our digital one: “The aim now is not to dominate nature, but rather human nature. This global installation of instrumentarian power overcomes and replaces the human inwardness that feeds the will to will and which gives sustenance to our voices in the first person, incapcitating democracy at its roots.”
She also says that the controllers of Facebook, Google, etc. — she refers to them as “Big Other” — “replaces legitimate contract, the rule of law, politics, and social trust with a new form of sovereignty and its privately administered regime of reinforcements.”
One of the greatest challemges we face as informed citizens has come from Facebook and Google’s over-reaching ambitions “to supplant professional journalism on the internet. Facebook’s decision to standardize the presentation of its News Feed content so that all news stories looked roughly the same as each other,” (regardless of the legitimacy of the source). Zuboff terms this as “radical indifference”.
Further quoting: “The journalist’s job is to produce news and analysis that separate truth from falsehood. This [examination] of equivalece defines jouralism’s raison d’etre as well as its organic reciprocities with its readers. Under surveillance capitalism, though, these reciprocities are erased….This expression of equivalence without equality made Facebook’s first text [news stories] exceptionally vulnerable to corruption from what would come to be called ‘fake news’.”
I think this explains why we have such turbulance and polarization now.