[nexa] Tim Wu recensisce Zuboff (NYRB)

J.C. DE MARTIN demartin at polito.it
Sat Mar 21 21:37:26 CET 2020

Una delle migliori recensioni del libro di Zuboff.

L'unico neo di un certo rilievo è che ignora che il "dossieraggio"
aveva un cospicuo valore economico già a partire dagli anni '60
nell'ambito del "credit scoring" (v. Frank Pasquale) e forse anche
in altri ambiti.



    Bigger Brother

Tim Wu <https://www.nybooks.com/contributors/tim-wu/>
April 9, 2020 Issue <https://www.nybooks.com/issues/2020/04/09/>

        The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future
        at the New Frontier of Power

by Shoshana Zuboff
PublicAffairs, 691 pp., $38.00

In the 1970s, when Shoshana Zuboff was a graduate student in Harvard’s 
psychology department, she met the behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner. 
Skinner, who had perhaps the largest forehead you’ll ever see on an 
adult, is best remembered for putting pigeons in boxes (so-called 
Skinner boxes) and inducing them to peck at buttons for rewards. Less 
well remembered is the fact that he constructed a larger box, with a 
glass window, for his infant daughter, though this was revealing of his 
broader ambitions.

Zuboff writes in /The Age of Surveillance Capitalism/ that her 
conversations with Skinner “left me with an indelible sense of 
fascination with a way of construing human life that was—and 
is—fundamentally different from my own.” Skinner believed that humans 
could be conditioned like any other animal, and that behavioral 
psychology could and should be used to build a technological utopia 
where citizens were trained from birth to be altruistic and 
community-oriented. He published a novel, /Walden Two/ (1948), that 
depicted what just such a society would look like—a kind of /Brave New 
World /played straight.


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