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Posts Tagged ‘Shoshana Zuboff’

Orwell sought to awaken British and U.S. societies to the totalitarian dangers that threatened democracy even after the Nazi defeat.  In letters before and after his novel’s completion, Orwell urged “constant criticism,” warning that any “immunity” to totalitarianism must not be taken for granted: “Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”
For 19 years, private companies practicing an unprecedented economic logic that I call surveillance capitalism have hijacked the Internet and its digital technologies.
Because this power does not claim our bodies through violence and fear, we under-value its effects and lower our guard.  Instrumentarian power exiles us from our own behavior.  It delivers our futures to surveillance capitalism’s interests.  And it undermines human autonomy and self-determination, without which democracy cannot survive.
Surveillance capitalist falsely claim their methods are inevitable consequences of digital technologies.  But Orwell despised “the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment.”  Courage, he insisted, demands that we assert our morals even against forces that appear invincible.
Seven decades later, we can honor Orwell’s death by refusing to cede the digital future.  Like Orwell, think critically and criticize.  Do not take freedom for granted. Fight for the one idea in the long human story that asserts the people’s right to rule themselves.  Orwell reckoned it was worth dying for.
  —  Shoshana Zuboff
From her opinion / editorial:  “The Threat of Big Other
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 6 June 2019
This quote is from the hard-copy issue.  The article is also online, but significantly differs from the text version.
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On This Day In:
2019 Before & After
Quiet, Please!
2018 Heavy On The Starch
2017 But The Beginning Of What?
2016 Today’s Rule
2015 Remembering Oklahoma City
2014 Who Was That Masked Man?
2013 Enemy Mine
2012 Strengthen Me
2011 Service, Please
2010 The Church In Crisis…

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