[Doctorow-L] My upcoming free lecture on the role monopoly plays in distorting our discourse and creating conspiracies

Cory Doctorow doctorow at craphound.com
Thu Jul 2 15:21:15 EDT 2020

On Jul 21, I'm giving a free live talk with Q&A for LogicLounge, an 32nd
CAV 2020 event sponsored by the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms.

It's called "Working as Intended: Surveillance Capitalism is not a Rogue
Capitalism," which is (not coincidentally) the title of a forthcoming
pamphlet I've written on the role that monopoly plays in our toxic and
conspiratorial discourse.


The "surveillance capitalism" thesis holds that companies spy because
data lets them conduct devastatingly effective influence operations
while racing past regulators who might otherwise rein in their operations.

I believe this gives undue credence to Big Tech's sales literature --
the source of the claims about the power of behavioral advertising to
influence behavior. Worse, it underplays the role that monopoly and
state surveillance play in both the decay of public discourse and
governmental complacency when it comes to corporate surveillance.

What if Big Tech's ability to command billions for ads have more to do
with cornering markets and eking out marginal gains through targeting,
with stale data being largely useless for commercial purposes -- but
still full of kompromat for greedy state surveillance agencies?

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