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Stand out of our Light (EBook, 2018, Cambridge University Press) 5 stars

Former Google advertising strategist, now Oxford-trained philosopher James Williams launches a plea to society and …

A must-read for anyone interested in the future of social media, advertising and the attention economy!

5 stars

This book does a great job at putting words to aspects of the attention economy that we as a society has lacked a collective understanding of. The author, James Williams, does not only explore the immediate and practical harms caused by today's algorithmically driven attention economy, he also does a deep dive into philosophical arguments and frameworks which paints a broader picture of the challenges we are facing in this brave new digital world we all find ourselves in.

Personally, I like the first part of his book the best, where he does a great job at framing the problem. In the last and shorter part of the book, he goes through possible solutions and ways of navigating humanity to calmer digital waters. Here, his background as an employee at Google seems to somewhat colour and limit his imagination.

Since the release of this book in 2018 the Fediverse has …

Freezing Order (2022, Simon & Schuster, Limited) 5 stars

A highly relevant real world thriller

5 stars

A riveting story that reads like a thriller, except it's not fiction but a true story. This book paints an intriguing picture of Putins motivations and also how his eagerness to Make Russia Great Again™ repeatedly causes him to overplay his hand.

The current war started by Russia against Ukraine, although not mentioned, makes this book incredibly relevant and a must-red!

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The Technological Society (1964, Vintage Books) 4 stars

As insightful and wise today as it was when originally published in 1954, Jacques Ellul’s …

Let no one say that man is the agent of technical progress [...] and that it is he who chooses among possible techniques. In reality, he neither is, nor does anything of the sort. He is a device for recording effects and results obtained by various techniques. He does not make a choice of complex and, in some way, human motives. He can decide only in favor of the technique that gives the maximum efficiency. But this is not choice. A machine could effect the same operation. Man still appears to be choosing when he abondons a given method that has proved excellent from some point of view. But his action comes solely from the fact that he has thoroughly analyzed the results and determined that from another point of view the method in question is less efficient. (Page 80)

The Technological Society by 

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Snow Crash (Paperback, 2000, Bantam Books) 4 stars

Within the Metaverse, Hiro is offered a datafile named Snow Crash by a man named …

Review of 'Snow crash' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

I knew nothing of the content of this book coming in, although it's been on my radar to-read for 20 years now. Being late to the party I suspected a somewhat dated cyberpunk hacker expose: similar to Gibson's Neuromancer.

This is true in some sense, although I don't think it dates as poorly as Neuromancer does. There's not a gigantic amount of technical jargon that's fallen out of use (PROM - programmable read-only memory) is perhaps the only concept that kids growing up now wouldn't understand directly (even though we still use it a lot in our daily lives, RFID for example).

What I wasn't expecting was the connections to ancient Sumer, religions and gnosis; language hacking, culture exploration and a whole raft (!) of other tropes tying together to uncover an answer to one of societies oldest questions.

A thrilling ride all in all.

The ending felt a little …