Software is eating the world1 — and human nature. That is us. Shoshana Zuboff, a psychology professor, calls Surveillance Capitalism this “new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for behavioral data for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales.”
I want to help fix this.
I help people and companies understand what’s wrong with their current digital practice. I help them realize how they can do things differently to respect people’s well-being, personhood, privacy and data.
I’m writing a book to explain (1) the dichotomy between the misleading marketing and public relation rhetoric of companies such as Facebook and Google and the nature of their business model (that is the expropriation of personal data to help organizations alter one’s thinking, and behavior, by using addictive and micro targeting mechanisms hidden from one’s perception and sense); (2) the pernicious impact those mechanisms have on one’s well-being; (3) how one can protect themselves, and more importantly, what to protect in the age of ubiquitous technology ; and finally (4) what we can do to bifurcate from surveillance capitalism.
That is a book I’d like my family and friends to be able to read. Unlike other alarming books and documentaries 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 keys to understand how surveillance capitalist companies tie them in, and explain what alternatives they have.
Also, I am writing this book as an excuse to engage the conversation and figure out what I will work on next.
I curate a list of products respectful of people’s well-being, personhood, privacy and data (link.)
My interests are: the economy of surveillance and the economy of attention; well-being, the preservation of one’s personhood, privacy, and data protection in the age of ubiquitous technology; the slow web and small web.
Prior to focusing on writing, I worked for the French State in public relations in the digital & technology space in Asia. I also held various positions in startups.
Amongst other things, I’ve been involved with some conferences and multiple “community” projects in Asia. I also worked for a bit with a non-governmental organization in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in Pyongyang and its surroundings.
I have written articles for blogs in the US and Europe. Some of my writings were translated in Dutch, German, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
If you would like to take a look at what I have written, here is a selection:
Some more practical blog posts and curation:
I like to make reading my default activity. I play scrabble online in french and english to keep in touch with my friends. I’ve spent a fair time at sea sailing ~30-footers in the Med, Brittany, England and the Atlantic. I love taking my friends out sailing on vacation, especially in Sardinia. I do yoga, run, and intend to do vipassana again. I like hiking in the mountains and bivouac
You are welcome to message me on rpsa at pm.me. You can also send me a Direct Message on Twitter if you like that. I don’t have Facebook, Instagram.
If you want to keep in touch. There are a few options:
This website is built with Blot, an open source blogging platform with no interface. Matomo is used as an alternative to Google Analytics, it is open source and focuses on privacy and data control.
Why Software Is Eating the World, Marc Andreessen↩
Surveillance capitalism refers to an economic system centred around the commodification of personal data with the core purpose of profit-making. Since personal data can be commodified it has become one of the most valuable resources on earth.↩
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff↩