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  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

  • The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
  • By: Shoshana Zuboff
  • Narrated by: Nicol Zanzarella
  • Length: 24 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

By: Shoshana Zuboff
Narrated by: Nicol Zanzarella
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Publisher's Summary

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism", and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the 21st century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the 20th. Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets", where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification". The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff's comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to 21st-century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit—at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future. With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future—if we let it.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Shoshana Zuboff (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"I will make a guarantee: Assuming we survive to tell the tale, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism has a high probability of joining the likes Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and Max Weber's Economy and Society as defining social-economics texts of modern times. It is not a 'quick read'; it is to be savored and re-read and discussed with colleagues and friends. No zippy one-liners from me, except to almost literally beg you to read/ingest this book." (Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence)

"My mind is blown on every page by the depth of Shoshana's research, the breadth of her knowledge, the rigor of her intellect, and finally by the power of her arguments. I'm not sure we can end the age of surveillance capitalism without her help, and that's why I believe this is the most important book of our time." (Doc Searls, author of The Intention Economy, editor in chief, Linux Journal)

What listeners say about The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

just woffle

just quantitative woffle. was hoping for facts not somebody's opinion. if that's what you want then I guess it could be good.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Challenging for the wrong reasons

At over 24 hours long, this is a meandering, rather unfocused journey. One I couldn't complete. Unfortunately this book is overly self-reflexive and self-indulgent, contains a high degree of subjectivity without much evidence or expounding to back it up. Trying hard to craft a polemic, the author gets lost in exposition and 'thesis creep'. It could easily be one third of its length. For me, the pseudo-academic style overshadows any salience.

Unfortunately the narration doesn't help. Any mildly technical term is pronounced with the kind of inflection and over-emphasis that denotes the narrator is not familiar with the issues they are talking about.

Not what I was expecting. Possibly enlightening for less technically aware listeners.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A masterpiece spanning past, present and future

This should be considered one of the great books of our time.
For all the doom and gloom, Shoshanna does spread a message of hope and the belief that humanity can still prevail against the surveillance aristocracy.
Yes, the book is long. But it's worth it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding insights into Big Tech

I thought I had a reasonable understanding of the invasion of our privacy by social media! Well this was a shock to me.
I have replaced my iPhone with a Nokia dumb phone that is not linked to the internet and is used for phone calls only.
I am not on social media other than YouTube, which will still expose me to the behavioural theft.
A must read for everyone who believes in individual freedoms!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eye opening and shocking.

Every person who wants to retain their free will should take heed of this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best book of the year

The book explained something I didn't really understand before. It brings clarity to life. Well written, well read.

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The more you know

A thoroughly researched and well presented audio book that offers insight into practices affecting most people on a daily basis. This book seeks to ask questions of companies and practices which are such an awesome part of the digital life of it's users, reminding people these practices are new and very different to how life has been lived in the past. It does take some time to work through and I found I did have to be I the mood to listen. I appreciate and commend the author Shoshana Zuboff's commitment to creating the work which attempts to educate listeners/readers of their part in the practice which is surveillance capitalism.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Eye opening

Absolutely brilliant. Both terrifying and inspiring. Illuminates clearly how social media companies manipulate us in their relentless pursuit of profit.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Futurists meet realists

An informative perspective of the prevelance of Big Other and our ability to adapt as a society to the challenger to the traditional capitalistic and democratic forms

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    5 out of 5 stars

Ambitious, overwhelming, and ever more essential

Zuboff tackles some of the biggest questions of our time: “Who knows? Who decides? Who decides who decides?”

This book is an ambitious and essential examination of a new form of power, surveillance capitalism, and its impact on the individual and society. Deeply introspective, it examines the virtuous and vicious cycle of data gathering, processing, and implementation in the mass influence of behaviour.

The book is dense, and sometimes overwhelming. It presents substantive philosophical, subjective, political and sociological perspectives on the impact of hyper scale tech companies on the world. It is not a cost/benefit analysis of these entities, but rather a deep examination of their nature and impact.

For anyone struggling to come to terms with the bigger meaning of social media, targeted advertising, big data, power and democracy and their interlink, this is a thoughtful and compelling piece to explore. For everyone else, it’s essential reading.

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