Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy

Jonathan Taplin. Little, Brown, $29 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-27577-4
In this insightful analysis of the intersection of technology and culture, Taplin, director emeritus of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab and a longtime figure in the music and movie industries, explains how the rise of modern Internet monopolies has changed the face of information and entertainment. “The rise of the digital giants is directly connected to the fall of the creative industries in our country, ” he argues as he explores the rise of the Internet, the emergence of new media platforms, and the legacy of the influential players who shaped the way we conduct ourselves online. His focus is on Facebook, Google, and Amazon and the way they gather and sell information, but he also goes back to the earlier days of Napster and other pirate sites to show how the convenience of file sharing affected the entertainment industries as a whole, and likewise looks at how social media affected the 2016 election. The book reads like a collection of essays revolving around a series of related topics; the sections never form a coherent, cohesive whole. Taplin provides a keen, thorough look at the present and future of Americans’ lives as influenced and manipulated by the technological behemoths on which they’ve come to depend. His work is certainly food for thought, even if he’s a little unfocused. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/2017
Release date: 04/18/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-316-50827-8
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-316-27574-3
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