25 books and 5 documentaries worth your while
Recommendations on what to read and watch from 20 Minutes into the Future
Hello from 20 Minutes into the Future. This week’s letter is 1,043 words, a 04:10 minute read. Today we’ll be wrapping up the year with a look back and some recommendations on how to dig deeper yourself.
If you’re a regular reader of 20 Minutes into the Future then you’ll know I’m an opinionated sort. As are you. A few readers have asked me to pull together a media list that vibes with our belief that big tech needs to do better. Below you'll find 25 books and 5 documentaries worth your while. Drop me a line if you do happen to give them a go.
I wanted to frame those recommendations in the context of the themes we’ve been discussing so far. Consider it a nice jumping on point for new readers or if you’ve missed a few as a regular reader. More to come in the new year.
The Outrage Economy
Back in July we took a critical look at the social media outrage economy:
If you’re as pissed as I am about the outrage economy then you should check out:
The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu
The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour
Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee
Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin
The Great Hack by Karim Amer & Jehane Noujaim
21st Century Propaganda
Up next was a dive into modern propaganda:
If you want to know more about 21st century propaganda then dig deeper by reading and watching:
Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci
Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle
It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump Into Office by Dale Beran
The War on Everyone by Robert Evans
Alt-Right: From 4Chan to the White House by Mike Wendling
HyperNormalisation by Adam Curtis
The Dystopia is Already Here
After that 20 Minutes into the Future cast it's gaze at all manner of dystopian scenarios brought on by big tech:
If you want to explore more about the details of our modern dystopia then consider the following:
New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism (Jacobin) by Peter Frase
World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace by Adam Curtis (Episode 1, 2, 3)
Big Tech’s Big Inclusion Problem
Then we spent time looking at how Google, Apple and the rest of big tech keep fucking up on diversity:
If you want to dig into big tech’s diversity and inclusion problems then you should read and watch:
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble
Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil
Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks
13th by Ava DuVernay
The Many Ways Uber Remains Corrupt
And finally we took a deep dive into Uber's predatory practices and foul long-term plans:
If you’re interested in knowing more about how Uber, the gig economy, and platform capitalism are screwing us all then you should dig into:
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac
Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat
Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway
The Uber Story by Sean Nicholls
File under: #outrageeconomy #propoganda #dystopia #inclusion #gigeconomy
Next week: We’re on a break until the new year. See you again on 7th January 2020. I hope you have a few moments of zen over the hiatus. Big Tech hasn’t made things easy for us this year. But you’re stronger and more resilient than the bastards think you are -- don't let them or anyone else grind you down.
Thanks for reading 20 Minutes into the Future. Have a friend or colleague who'd like the newsletter? Invite them to sign up. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine. Good night, and good future.
20 Minutes into the Future is a critical look at how technology is shaping our lives today. And what actions we can take for a better tomorrow. If you you're not already a subscriber and found this newsletter worth your while then please sign up.
Daniel Harvey writes 20 Minutes into The Future. He is a product designer and has written for Fast Company, Huffington Post, The Drum, & more. If you're pissed about the current state of tech and want to see us do better then you’ve found a kindred spirit.
You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @dancharvey.