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The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedomby Yochai Benkler
Synopses & Reviews
The utopian promise of the internet, much talked about even a few years ago, has given way to the information highways brutal realities: coltan mines in the Congo, electronics factories in China, devastated neighborhoods in Detroit. In Cyber-Proletariat, Nick Dyer-Witheford shows the dark side of the information revolution through an unsparing analysis of class power and computerization. He reveals how technology facilitates growing polarization between wealthy elites and precarious workers and how class dominates everything from expanding online surveillance to intensifying robotization. At the same time he looks at possibilities for information technology within radical movements, casting contemporary economic and social struggles in the blue glow of the computer screen.
Cyber-Proletariat brings Marxist analysis to bear on a range of modern informational technologies. The result is a book indispensable to social theorists and hacktivists alike and essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how Silicon Valley shapes the way we live today.
With the radical changes in information production that the Internet has introduced, we stand at an important moment of transition, says Yochai Benkler in this thought-provoking book. The phenomenon he describes as social production is reshaping markets, while at the same time offering new opportunities to enhance individual freedom, cultural diversity, political discourse, and justice. But these results are by no means inevitable: a systematic campaign to protect the entrenched industrial information economy of the last century threatens the promise of todays emerging networked information environment.
In this comprehensive social theory of the Internet and the networked information economy, Benkler describes how patterns of information, knowledge, and cultural production are changing—and shows that the way information and knowledge are made available can either limit or enlarge the ways people can create and express themselves. He describes the range of legal and policy choices that confront us and maintains that there is much to be gained—or lost—by the decisions we make today.
About the Author
Yochai Benkler is the Joseph M. Field 55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Yale University.
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