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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 ā€¦

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 grown an matured, offering a way out of the digital serfdom he warns about. It would be interesting to get the authors comments on how social networks free of ads, algorithms and centralized control fits into his vision of a world where technology is on the users side, respecting their attention and goals.