Bookmarked The New Octopus by K. Sabeel Rahman (Logic Magazine)
Taming technological power will require changing how we think about technology. It will require moving beyond Panglossian views of technology as neutral, apolitical, or purely virtuous, and seeing it as a form of power. This focus on power highlights the often subtle ways that technology creates relationships of control and domination. It also raises a profound challenge to our modern ethic of technological innovation.
K. Sabeel Rahman takes a look at changes in construct of power. He unpacks the way in platform capitalism has come to control many elements of society. These changes can be organised into three categories:

  • Transmission power: The ability of a firm to control the flow of data or goods (Amazon)
  • Gatekeeping power: Control of the gateway to an otherwise decentralized and diffuse landscape (Google Search)
  • Scoring power: ratings systems, indices, and ranking databases

Rahman provides a number of suggestions for how we can respond to this situation:

  • Public options
  • Structural restraints on data and power
  • Big data tax
  • Anti-trust movements

He gives the example of the New Deal and the way it broke up the oil monopolies. Another example is the response to Microsoft at the end of the 90’s. Whatever the solution(s), it will involve rethinking the way we see technology. Something that the Luddbrarian discusses in regards to Facebook.

via Ian O’Byrne