I am writing a book to discuss the nature of our relations with software, applications and other devices that belong to the data economy; i.e. organisations that collects data about how individuals behave to make a profit.
My work attempts to explain the impact software, applications and other devices have on the formation of our psychic and collective individualities, that is the part of our individualities that allow us to form desire, dreams, and build relationships with others and the future.
To conclude the book, I suggest a path forward to develop software and devices that foster the formation of our individualities, and societies.
This is the synopsis:
Some of us still remember the days when the internet was hailed as a promised space, where ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal would prevail. A space that is everywhere and nowhere, a space of self determination, where anyone could express their belief, where thoughts could spread — John Perry Barlow wrote in 19961.
Today, ventures of the data economy dominate the internet. Beyond the web, those organizations challenge the social orders of our nations, societies, and market economies. In our societies we were owners, employees, consumers; on the territories of the data economy, we are users. We became addicted to the ubiquity and convenience of digital products. We feel empowered, but we are lured into giving up bits of ourselves. Our attention, behavior, and intimacy is the land those ventures seek to concur. Bit by bit, we lose ground, we surrender control in exchange for access to consumption, and convenience. But these applications consume us, we lose desire, our impulses take over; “software is eating the world,” as one investor wrote back in 20112. This world is us.
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and some book info:
This is a book catered towards the non-tech savvy people, to raise awareness and as a path forward. Unlike other alarming materials about ‘tech surveillance’ that make people feel anxious and provide little alternatives, I would like my book to make people feel better by providing them with knowledge to understand how objects, tools, and other devices of the data economy tie them in - and share knowledge with readers for them to identify alternatives to take care of their selves.
My essay draws on the works of: Deleuze, Durand, Foucault, Huxley, Laborit, Morozov, Orwell, Postman, Stiegler, Winnicott, Zamyatine, Zuboff.
Also, I am writing this book as an excuse to engage the conversation and figure out what I will work on next.
If you would like to keep in touch — I am not on social media; I use a mailing list to keep the conversation going with people. You can sign up here to receive an email from me (~3-4 times per year). If you see something you like in the newsletter, let’s chat; if you don’t like the newsletter, you can unsubscribe in one click.
You can also contact me
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (1996) by John Perry Barlow, poet and Internet philosopher, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation aka EFF↩︎
Software Is Eating the World (2011) by Marc Andreessen, cofounder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz a.k.a. a16z↩︎