The Internet Con

How to Seize the Means of Computation


English language

Published Sept. 6, 2023 by Verso Books.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

When the tech platforms promised a future of "connection," they were lying. They said their "walled gardens" would keep us safe, but those were prison walls.

The platforms locked us into their systems and made us easy pickings, ripe for extraction. Twitter, Facebook and other Big Tech platforms hard to leave by design. They hold hostage the people we love, the communities that matter to us, the audiences and customers we rely on. The impossibility of staying connected to these people after you delete your account has nothing to do with technological limitations: it's a business strategy in service to commodifying your personal life and relationships.

We can - we must - dismantle the tech platforms. In The Internet Con, Cory Doctorow explains how to seize the means of computation, by forcing Silicon Valley to do the thing it fears most: interoperate. Interoperability will tear down the walls between technologies, …

1 edition

Sibling work to Chokepoint Capitalism

5 stars

After explaining how chokepoint capitalism leads to us being locked in into enshittified walled gardens to extract our money from us, "The Internet Con" expands on this. Drawing on his years of internet & copyright/left related activism, Doctorow outlines how DRM and copyright are being used - i don't dare say misused, as it's been clearly been premediated - to keep switching costs high.

This book makes an amazing case for how interoperability can save us, and why we need to lobby both for proactive interoperability as well as for the right to engage in adversarial interoperability.

Doctorow's Best Explanation of Enshittification

4 stars

The Internet Con is the clearest expression of Doctorow's ongoing discussions around the ways monopolies have created significant harm to the Internet and how to fix it. The explanations of both the problems and solutions are accessible, and the book was a breeze to read.

Anhang zu "Chokepoint Capitalism"

4 stars

Cory Doctorows Buch über die zerstörerischen Monopole in der Technologie ist fundamental wichtig, um den aktuellen Zustand des Internets zu verstehen. Auch seine Forderung nach Interoperabilität und der Legalisierung "konpetitiver" Interoperabilität ist richtig und wichtig. Das Buch wirkt aber teilweise lediglich wir ein Anhang zu seinem letzten Buch "Chokepoint Capitalism" und wiederholt dessen Argumente im Kern "nur". Auch finden sich leider - entgegen den Versprechungen - keine wirklich praktischen Tipps, wie Einzelne zumindest etwas dazu beitragen können, das Problem zu lösen. (Ich war da vorab aber ohnehin schon skeptisch bzgl. dieser Versprechungen, weil das Problem eben nicht individuell zu lösen ist.)

Loved it.

4 stars

I haven't gone through an audiobook as quickly as I did this one.

Great exposition for those who haven't been paying attention to what's been going on "behind the scenes" of the Internet. It's my field so I was aware of most of it.

Cory is a helluva reader! Quite entertaining and The writing was good and all that but listening to it felt more like have a conversation with a friend who won't shut up rather than a book lecturing me.

If you're interested in what has become a major social influence you should read this, because these things DO influence your life, whether you like it or not.

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rated it

5 stars