The techlash

Maurice E. Stucke (Tennessee): Should We Be Concerned About Data-opolies? The engineers and the political system: It might be generations before a Veblenian technocrat calls the White House home, but no presidency can match the power engineers already have — a power to define progress, a power without check. Bradley Babendir reviews The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball by Noam Cohen. It’s not just Facebook — thousands of companies are spying on you. How do we ever escape surveillance capitalism? Noam Cohen interviews Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future: Staying Human in the Digital Age (and more).

Have Silicon Valley’s biggest companies become too powerful? A series on monopoly and power in the tech industry, including 6 ideas to rein in Silicon Valley, open up the Internet, and make tech work for everyone. The tech giants must be reined in: Silicon Valley usurped the role of traditional news media, without assuming any accompanying social responsibilities. The case against Google: Critics say the search giant is squelching competition before it begins — should the government step in? George Soros on how only the EU can break Facebook and Google’s dominance. Early Facebook and Google employees form coalition to fight what they built.

Dawn of the techlash: Once seen as saviours of democracy, tech giants are now viewed as threats to truth — but how did our faith in all things digital turn into an erosion of trust, particularly in the arena of information and politics? Beware the Big Five: Tamsin Shaw reviews The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace by Alexander Klimburg. Richard N. Langlois (UConn): Hunting the Big Five: Twenty-First Century Antitrust in Historical Perspective. Silicon Valley’s tax-avoiding, job-killing, soul-sucking machine: Scott Galloway on why Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google need to be disrupted. How to tame the tech titans: The dominance of Google, Facebook and Amazon is bad for consumers and competition.

The end of “too big to regulate”: Facebook and other tech giants convinced politicians that oversight stifled innovation — that’s all starting to change. Silicon Valley’s regulatory exceptionalism comes to an end. Big tech is unpopular, but we mostly have ourselves to blame. Silicon Valley techies still think they’re the good guys — they’re not. How technology is designed to bring out the worst in us: Ezra Klein interviews Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology. Will the Internet destroy us all? Sarah LaBrie reviews World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer.

How Google is helping, not hurting, democracy: Henry Farrell interviews Sean Richey and J. Benjamin Taylor, authors of Google and Democracy: Politics and the Power of the Internet. Thread: “Facebook’s repeated insistence that they mean well but just constantly blindsided—despite giant warning signs and a chorus of people trying to warn them—isn’t an apology, it is an admission that they are not equipped to handle this kind of power”. Cory Doctorow: Let’s get better at demanding better from tech. Katharine Schwab on how ProPublica became Big Tech’s scariest watchdog. Krista Tippett interviews Anil Dash on tech’s moral reckoning.

“Oh my God, this is so fucked up”: Emily Chang goes inside Silicon Valley’s secretive, orgiastic dark side. Nellie Bowles on where Silicon Valley is going to get in touch with its soul. Silicon Valley is over, says Silicon Valley.