The book about the challenges to humanity posed by the digital future. It’s the first detailed examination of the distinctive form of power called “surveillance capitalism.” And the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.
The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.
Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon she has named surveillance capitalism in this masterwork of original thinking. Certainly a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the 21st century. So the stakes could not be higher. Industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth century, and surveillance capitalism could have a similar affect this century.
Shoshana vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Specifically, ominous new “behavioral futures markets” accumulate vast wealth and power. A new “means of behavioral modification” controls the production of goods and services based on predictions about our conduct.
The New Threat
Accordingly a ubiquitous digital architecture the threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state. In short a “Big Brother” operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of a distinctive form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge free from democratic oversight. Shoshana’s comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first-century society: a controlled “hive” of real connection. This analysis seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit – at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our future.
Indeed surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future – if we let it.
About Shoshana Zuboff
Shoshana Zuboff is aHarvard professor, social psychologist, philosopher, and scholar. In addition she is the author of several books. These include In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power and The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and The Next Episode of Capitalism, co-authored with James Maxmin.
Finally The Age of Surveillance Capitalism integrates her lifelong themes. The digital revolution, the evolution of capitalism, the historical emergence of psychological individuality, and human development conditions.