Surveillance Capitalism, 12

I hate most analogies because people tend to make really forced ones but Zuboff uses them brilliantly to explain what surveillance capitalists are doing.

She talks about the discovery of the New World by Spanish conquerors. They would disembark, mumble the legal formula of the Requerimiento (which is the equivalent of those privacy notices nobody reads or understands), and then take everything while we sit there, incapable of comprehending what’s happening because it doesn’t fit anything in our understanding of the world.

Another analogy is that of turtles in the Galapagos Islands who were made to ingest trackers so that scientists could observe and eventually control their behavior.

What’s really interesting is that the engineers of this new reality actually use the language of fluidity to describe what they do.

“We want to liquefy the world,” one of these CEOs said. I don’t suspect him of being a reader of Zygmunt Bauman’s work, so the use of the terminology might be unwitting yet telling.

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