The Internet Con
How to Seize the Means of Computation
This isn’t a book for people who want to fix Big Tech. It’s a detailed disassembly manual for people who want to dismantle it.
Tech giants started out with high-minded ideals about “connection,” but Doctorow shows us how “connection” was a sticky trap that locked up everyone you love and everything you care about, turning “users” into “hostages.” So far, all the proposed solutions amount to self-policing: telling platforms “you’re so big you cause problems, so you have to get bigger so you can solve them.”
The Internet Con presents a solution that actually works. It reveals the thing that platforms fear the most: interoperability. Interoperability is the technical, policy and social tool that will decompose tech platforms into services that anyone can mix, match, plug into—or render obsolete.
Interoperability is how we “seize the means of computation,” putting control over tech into tech users’ hands. Enshrining new protections for reverse-engineers, tinkerers, co-ops, nonprofits and startups will fundamentally alter the politics and economics of tech monopolies, weakening them and hastening the day that regulators break them up so they no longer present a threat to society.
The Internet Con charts where Big Tech monopolies came from—and makes play how we'll abolish them for good.
- 208 pages
- Verso (9/5/23)
- 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches