The Costs of Connection (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Stanford University Press
226 x 152 x 28 mm
568 g
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The Costs of Connection (häftad)

The Costs of Connection

How Data Is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism

Häftad Engelska, 2019-08-20
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Just about any social need is now met with an opportunity to "connect" through digital means. But this convenience is not free-it is purchased with vast amounts of personal data transferred through shadowy backchannels to corporations using it to generate profit. The Costs of Connection uncovers this process, this "data colonialism," and its designs for controlling our lives-our ways of knowing; our means of production; our political participation. Colonialism might seem like a thing of the past, but this book shows that the historic appropriation of land, bodies, and natural resources is mirrored today in this new era of pervasive datafication. Apps, platforms, and smart objects capture and translate our lives into data, and then extract information that is fed into capitalist enterprises and sold back to us. The authors argue that this development foreshadows the creation of a new social order emerging globally-and it must be challenged. Confronting the alarming degree of surveillance already tolerated, they offer a stirring call to decolonize the internet and emancipate our desire for connection.
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"A profound exploration of how the ceaseless extraction of information about our intimate lives is remaking both global markets and our very selves. The Costs of Connection represents an enormous step forward in our collective understanding of capitalism's current stage, a stage in which the final colonial input is the raw data of human life. Challenging, urgent, and bracingly original."-Naomi Klein, Gloria Steinem Chair of Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies, Rutgers University "A provocative tour-de-force. A powerful interrogation of the power of data in our networked age. Through an enchanting critique of different aspects of our data soaked society, Nick Couldry and Ulises A. Mejias invite the reader to reconsider their assumptions about the moral, political, and economic order that makes data-driven technologies possible."-danah boyd, Microsoft Research and founder of Data & Society "There's a land grab occurring right now, and it's for your data and your freedom: companies are not only surveilling you, they're increasingly influencing and controlling your behavior. This paradigm-shifting book explains the new colonialism at the heart of modern computing, and serves as a needed wake-up call to everyone who cares about our future relationship with technology."-Bruce Schneier, author of Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World "Couldry and Mejias have written a profoundly important book, demonstrating the lasting value of social theory to the interpretation (and improvement) of our new digital reality. They deeply understand the nature of platform capitalism. They draw striking and rigorously reasoned parallels between modern tech giants and the firms and governments that exploited colonies in centuries past. And they advance an agenda for decolonizing data that promotes a healthier ecology of online interaction. This book is an essential guide to understanding the depths of the crises in data protection, privacy, and automation that we now face."-Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law, University of Maryland Carey School of Law "Couldry and Mejias show that data colonialism is not a metaphor. It is a process that expands many dark chapters of the past into our shiny new world of smartphones, smart TVs, and smart stores. This book rewards the reader with important historical context, fascinating examples, clear writing, and unexpected insights scattered throughout."-Joseph Turow, University of Pennsylvania "This book is a must-read for those grappling with how the global data economy reproduces long-standing social injustice, and what must be done to counter this phenomenon. With a feast of insights embedded in visceral historical and contemporary illustrations, the authors brilliantly push the reader to rethink the relations between technology, power, and inequality."-Payal Arora, author of The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West "This is a deeply critical engagement with the systems that enable 'data colonialism' to extend its reach into the past, present and future of human life itself. Couldry and Mejias provide a comprehensive and well-considered challenge to the seeming inevitability of this transformative development in capitalism. Theirs is a giant step forward along the path toward rediscovering the meaning and possibility of self-determination. It is not too late to join in!"-Oscar H. Gandy, Jr., Emeritus Professor, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania "This book is among the most insightful and important contributions to our understanding of the political economy of data and the 'internet of things.' It brings together historical analysis, critical theory, and a trenchant sense of urgency to reveal what's really at stake as we choose to send information through everything and connect our bodies and minds to streams of data."-Siva Vaidhyanathan, au

Övrig information

Nick Couldry is Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science.Ulises A. Mejias is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Institute for Global Engagement at the State University of New York, College at Oswego.


Contents and AbstractsPreface: Colonized by Data chapter abstractThis chapter draws readers into the argument by asking: How can it be that there is something "colonial" about the everyday relations we have with apps and other devices that want our data? The basic feature of today's data colonialism is explained: the appropriation, not of physical territory but of human life itself, through data extraction. The double nature of the book's argument is laid out, an argument about a new and shocking colonialism, close to home, and the social and economic order that colonialism builds for capitalism. This double argument helps us see the true time scale of what is happening with data: less a new capitalism than a new phase in the five-hundred-year history of colonialism's intertwining with capitalism. Other key terms of the book's argument are introduced, including the dubbing of data corporations and platforms as the "social quantification sector." 1The Capitalization of Life without Limit chapter abstractThe key moves on which the book's argument centers are explained in this chapter. Historic colonialism meant four things: (1) appropriation of resources, (2) unequal social relations, (3) unequal distribution of economic benefits, and (4) "colonial" ideologies that attempted to justify all this. These four features persist in data colonialism through the ideology of connection. But the emerging order has a distinctive geography, both external and internal and led by both the West and the East. New data relations commit human beings to continuous extraction, but the origin of this new order goes far beyond social media and can be traced to a principle already found in logistics and the management of supply chains. The book's differences from other prominent critiques of capitalism are also explained. 2Cloud Empire chapter abstractThe focus of this chapter is the way the social quantification sector has organized an extractive infrastructure, and the way this infrastructure is being naturalized and extended across all social domains in a totalizing model referred to as the Cloud Empire. A discussion of how the Cloud Empire came to be and how it works is presented: apps, platforms, and smart technologies capture and translate our life into data; artificial intelligence algorithms then pore over the data to extract information that can be used to sell us our lives back, albeit in commodified form. The major and minor players that comprise the social quantification sector are analyzed in the context of the dual poles of the new empire: the United States and China. Finally, the chapter considers the implications for how the Cloud Empire is shaping the economy and the workplace. Interlude: On Colonialism and the Decolonial Turn chapter abstractFor readers unfamiliar with the history of colonialism, this chapter provides a free-of-jargon overview of its political and economic development. The chapter begins by tracing the roots of colonialism to the arrival of Europeans in America, and it distinguishes between earlier forms of imperialism and European colonialism. Colonialism is described as a set of practices and ideologies that created violent systems for exploiting and oppressing colonized environments and peoples and that eventually made possible the emergence of industrial capitalism. These systems included modes of representing the colonizer and colonized and of organizing the production of knowledge. Postcolonialism and decoloniality are explained as the two key responses to that legacy. These responses, especially the more recent notion of decoloniality, not only question the "natural" colonial order but try to imagine alternative ways of life that reject capitalism and colonialism as universal and exclusive models for organizing humanity. 3The Coloniality of Data Relations chapter abstractIf data colonialism works by appropriating social resources, it can be fully understood only