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Too Smart : How Digital Capitalism Is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking over the World [Paperback]

by Sadowski, Jathan

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"The world is getting smarter. Things of all shapes and sizes-from the smart comb to the smart city and everything between-are now being digitally upgraded with the latest sensors, software, and connectivity. Even your toothbrush can now collect data about when, how long, and how well you brush. And, since it is Bluetooth enabled, it sends that brushing data to cloud servers so that your dentist can monitor your performance and send you personalized tips for a brighter smile. The promise of smart tech isthat-by channeling the power of data, networks, and algorithms-we will enjoy a vast array of new capabilities and conveniences. Indeed, it is common for the most energetic boosters to describe smart upgrades in mystical terms. Using smartphones to control our home appliances, they simultaneously exclaim and lament, is the closest we can get to being wand-wielding wizards. While the wonders of smart tech might feel like magical enchantments that enable us to cast digital spells, this book intends to dispel any notions that we inhabit the charmed castle of Fantasia. If anything, it's more like the witchy world of Sabrina, where every spell comes at a cost and unintended consequences abound. Whether celebrating or criticizing smart tech, our attention tendsto be captured by concerns about how we choose to use personal devices. The focus on things like how people should detox from the Internet and practice good cyber hygiene elides a far more important issue: how others use digital systems on us, whether wewant them to or not. Across three different domains-the smart self, smart home, and smart city-this book explores essential questions about whose interests are materialized by new technology, what imperatives drive its creation, and how we are all impacted by its use"--

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