English – This section of the website is in English, although the overall site is written in French. Don’t hesitate to visit the rest though, and get in touch if you have questions or want to practice your French!
Français – Cette section du site est en anglais, car j’ai lu le livre dans cette langue, et qu’il m’a paru compliqué de prendre des notes en français. Si la demande est là, je pourrais potentiellement traduire le tout !
« The Age of Surveillance Capitalism« , by Shoshana Zuboff, has been in the digital zeitgeist since it was first published in 2019 (wikipedia page). Often cited by academics, policy makers, researchers and journalists, its criticism of internet companies’ business models is fierce and has proved itself influential across the industry.
But who has time to read a 500-page book these days?!
You’ll find here a chapter by chapter summary of the book’s content.
This summary will necessarily be incomplete, and I therefore highly recommend reading the book in the first place (buy it here in English and here in French). But maybe these notes will help you get interested in the complete text, and help you work up the motivation to read the whole thing.
Additionally, while the notes will probably be a somewhat personal take on the book’s materials, they are not a personal commentary or an opinion piece on the work they propose to summarize. They will probably be tinted by my own experiences and thoughts, especially if and when I disagree with points made by the author.
Nevertheless, I will aim to keep the notes as neutral and representative of Zuboff’s book as possible in this section of the website.
So strap in, and jump into the notes !
PART I – THE FOUNDATIONS OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM
Chapter 1 – Intro, not summarized.
Chapter 2 – Setting the stage for Surveillance Capitalism
Chapter 3 – The Discovery of Behavioral Surplus
Chapter 4 – The Moat around the Castle
Chapter 5 – The Elaboration of Surveillance Capitalism: Kidnap, Corner, Compete
Chapter 6 – Hijacked: the Division of Learning in Society
PART II – THE ADVANCE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM
Chapter 7 – The Reality Business
Chapter 8 – Rendition: From Experience to Data
Chapter 9 – Rendition From the Depths
Chapter 11 – The Right to the Future Tense
PART III – INSTRUMENTARIAN POWER FOR A THIRD MODERNITY
Chapter 12 – Two Species of Power
Chapter 13 – Big Other and the Rise of Instrumentarian Power
Chapter 14 – A Utopia of Certainty
Chapter 15 – The Instrumentarian Collective
Chapter 16 – Of Life in the Hive
Chapter 17 – The Right to Sanctuary