Books to Read if You Liked “The Social Dilemma” (and want to learn more)

I’m glad to see The Social Dilemma spreading information about the information, economy, and designed outrage wrapped up in social media – but it’s also just a brief overview of a complex course of study. In this list, I pulled together books about the potential dystopia of technology (mainly ones I’ve read for classes) for anyone who might want to dip their feet in a little deeper:

Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

My personal favorite. Grounded in media studies and sociology, presents more of a reframing than elimination approach.

Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

More deeply about the data and it’s interpretations than about societal impact, and touches on ad auctions (the key to how the economics operates) too!

Twitter and Tear Gas by Zeynep Tufekci \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

About the good and bad of how social media has changed political movements and protest.

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

How ‘black box’ “algorithms” detriment our society when used to make big decisions. Author was featured in the film.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

Introduces the term surveillance capitalism and how it affects our media and economies. Author was featured in the film.

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

A narrative non-fiction story that I think uniquely highlights how tech leaders move towards money making, and how fringe ideologies spread online.

A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence by Kartik Hosanagar \ Indiebound \ Bookshop

I’ve only read excerpts from this, but it seems to do a good job of breaking down how these “algorithmic” systems work and how they can affect us beyond social media.

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