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Jeff Bell

Joined 1 year, 7 months ago

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Jeff Bell's books

Currently Reading

Rebecca Giblin, Cory Doctorow: Chokepoint Capitalism (Hardcover, 2022, Beacon Press) 4 stars

A call to action for the creative class and labor movement to rally against the …

Plenty to think about

4 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit skeptical at first, because the plight of people in the creative industry hasn't previously caught my attention. However, Doctorow and Giblin do a good job of using creatives to illustrate a larger problem of how corporations use anti-competitive measures to build chokepoints accrue dominant status in almost any given market, at the expense of both labor and the consumer. This book has given me a lot to think about.

reviewed Foundation by Isaac Asimov (The Foundation Novels, #1)

Isaac Asimov: Foundation (Paperback, 1991, Spectra) 4 stars

One of the great masterworks of science fiction, the Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are …


2 stars

I expected to like this more than I did. It blandly assumes "empire" is a good thing and equates imperialism with civilization, while simultaneously equating the old Empire with decay. This is an unsophisticated approach that should have been apparent even in Asimov's time.

Cory Doctorow: Attack Surface (2020, Tor Books) 5 stars

Cory Doctorow's Attack Surface is a standalone novel set in the world of New York …

This book helped me realize the asymmetric nature of targeted state surveillance. An advanced threat only needs to find one mistake made by an activist or journalist to compromise their security.

I also really appreciated how Doctorow characterized technology not as magic solution to problems, but just as a tool activists can use to try and fix politics. This is absolutely correct.