Note — Aug 26, 2018

There Is a Leftwing Way to Challenge Big Tech for Our Data. Here It Is.

Seen in → No.46

Source →

Honestly, I’m not quite sure what Morozov is on about, it’s liked he stopped half-way through his argument. But, there might be something to his assigning the discourse of “big tech as digital feudalism” to the right, and dismissing the “rentier” argument. It leaves room on the left for a better discourse around data… maybe.

On Facebook, all roads lead to data extractivism. […]

Big tech is capitalism at its best or, rather, worst; to speak of the onset of “digital feudalism” is to pine for a capitalism that never existed. […]

The city is a symbol of outward-looking cosmopolitanism – a potent answer to the homogeneity and insularity of the nation state. Today it is the only place where the idea of exerting meaningful democratic control over one’s life, however trivial the problem, is still viable. […]

And this last quote, where I like where he’s going but it’s the extent of his “argument”:

The true challenge for the data distributist left is, thus, to find a way to distribute power, not just data. It must mobilise the nation state to turn cities into the harbingers of a new, radical democracy keen on deploying socialised big data and artificial intelligence in the interests of citizens.