Important resources that relate to technology, social norms and political movements?

I’m trying to capture a list of the resources that have been most important to me in coming to understand our current reality at the intersection of technology and culture, social norms and political movements, and I have a very partial list I thought I’d share. I would welcome additional suggestions or comments - I realize that I have read and pursued this information for many months, and I’m working now on how to write and talk about these topics in ways that are accessible to people who haven’t done a deep dive or don’t have the inclination or strong felt sense of need to do so. Please do share your thoughts and suggestions - I find this forum one of the most valuable discoveries I’ve made during this process.

Here goes:

Jaron Lanier Ten Reasons to Delete Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Seth Hettena Trump/Russia: A Definitive History
Michael Isakoff and David Corn Russian Roulette
Timothy Snyder The Road to Unfreedom
Clint Watts Messing with the Enemy
Tim Wu The Attention Merchants

Tristan Harris –Ted Talk: How a Handful of Companies Control Billions of Minds Every Day: The Manipulative Tricks Tech Companies Use to Capture Your Attention
Timothy Snyder Speaks, Ep. 8: Cyber Colony USA – You Tube
Zeynep Tufekci –Ted Talk: We’re Building a Dystopia Just to Make People Click on Ads

Articles and Papers
Policy Papers from the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy
It’s Not Just Facebook: Countering Russia’s Social Media Offensive
_Online Information Laundering: The Role of Social Media_

Trump Inc – Propublica and WNYC

Oxford Internet Institute Computational Propaganda Project

_Algorithms, bots, and political communication in the US 2016 election: The challenge of automated political communication for election law and administration_

[Social Norms Engineering – Elizabeth Levy Laluck (Princeton)]Norm Perception as a Vehicle for Social Change


Book: How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design]( by (me) Jenifer Joy Madden. Invoke Tristan, Jim Steyer, other thought leaders in tech activism space.

P.s. I consider myself a “tech hygienist” - i.e., someone who helps others live well with technology so it doesn’t squelch or supersede their innate human attributes.

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Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for here, as it is more historical than political, but please forgive me pluggin my own TEDx talk here: The death of the mind - and what comes next?


  • We tend to talk about ‘the mind’ as if it were a magic ghost in the brain. In this talk, I explore the historical development of the mind, and come to the conclusion that it might not be around for very much longer.
  • By examining Bronze Age archaeology, classical Greece philosophy and the early Christian theology, I illustrate a startling truth.
  • The human mind is neither universal nor unchanging. And what we have today is quite different than it was in the recent past.
  • More to the point, this ancient psychology shifted drastically as use of technology changed. That is, as human beings learned to read and write, and as the manner of reading and writing changed, how they wrote about themselves changed too.
  • Consequently, I argue that the huge changes in our reading and writing practices over the last twenty years – from single books to multiple devices, from authoritative texts to crowd sourced sources, from meditative reading to multitasking – means that it is inevitable that the next generation of human beings will have a significantly different way of understanding themselves.
  • The mind, as we know it, is dying.

Queries/thoughts/comments welcome :slight_smile:

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I’d also like to add the three volume Technics and Time by Bernard Stiegler which helped me a lot in understanding the relationship between technology and human life and culture. He’s a french philosopher who writes pretty… dense and not very straightforward. I did write my thesis about his theory of technology for a big part. If you’d like to read an intro you could read parts 8, 9 and 10 of my thesis: The Challenge of Biotechnology

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas G. Carr.

He discusses the effect of technology on the brain, referencing eye-opening studies that show how human brains have changed in response to technology over the past millennium.

I strongly recommend the article How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump by Zeynep Tufekci (which updates her Ted Talk video resource) as one of the most important resource to this topic. I also suggest that it fits nicely with the ongoing topic Is it possible that this community is dealing with a wicked problem?

I found that most of Zeynep Tufekci said in her Ted Talk was very valuable and central to this forum. I find that her new August 14 2018 article for the MIT Technology Review I added to this topic is even more valuable, as we are now converging towards the Third Degree of Clarity.

However, I need to disclose that I tweeted a question to her (and repeated it to a few of the ongoing tweets conversations) associated with the shared image added here and she blocked my Twitter account. For your consideration, next is the text of my tweet followed be the image:

@ zeynep If # AI is ready to enable # PersonalTrust , Can trust govern rather than money? # GlobalDebout ( # 15M # EuropeIN for ex. from # UY # Spain # Venezuela # USA # UK # DomRep ) Ref: "How management, workers and society might benefit with # TheBeginnersCreed " …

Please consider the update Taking #GlobalDebout on a first come, first serve, basis to the #BG_NS. as a key resource for this topic. This is meant to be a contribuition under the topic Helping the Humane Tech and the #GlobalDebout communities mutually reinforce each other .

Two fantastic books come to mind that explore the ‘humane’ in ‘humane technology’ - a collection of Wendell Berry essays called The Art of the Commonplace and Ivan Illich’s Tools for Conviviality. They are ‘make you do some soul-searching’ kind of books.

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The books “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” by Yuval Noah Harari are a must read. Also do follow him up on his various talks on WEF and TED. Zeynep Tufekci’s “Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest” and Werner Herzog’s documentary and book are all very, very inspiring, thought-provoking and simply mind-blowing.


Do you suggest reading Sapiens before Homo Deus? The latter fascinates me greatly but I feel as if I would be missing its larger scope without reading Sapiens first.

Absolutely…Sapiens first followed by Homo Deus. Without knowing our history, how will we ever understand anything at all? “If you don’t know where you come from, you won’t know where you are going”…

There seems to be a renewed interest in history these days, archeology as well. As we catapult into the future, the longing to know “true” history is also deepening…just an observation…

I have a long book list (with selected films) in pdf format, if anyone wants a copy. I don’t have it linked but I could try to figure out how to ask my workplace for that. I used these pages and book reviews from the past 6 years to create a pretty good list. -Jill

I would really appreciate a copy.

Sorry this is so long but there is no way to attach a pdf
AIQ : how people and machines are smarter together by Nicholas Polsen (2018) how intelligent machines are changing the world, told with stories rather than equations, to help readers understand the math used, and provide a better grasp on concepts 620.82 POL

The Art of Screen Time: How your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life/ by Anya Kamenetz (2018)

The Art of Invisibility: The World’s Most Famous Hacker Teaches You How to Be Safe in the Age of Big Brother and Big Data by Kevin D Mitnick (2017) A highly useful handbook for how not to be seen—online, anyway. 005.8 MIT

Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads (2016) by Tim Wu, who coined term “net neutrality”–a revelatory look at the rise of “attention-harvesting,” we face a barrage of advertising, branding efforts, sponsored social media, & commercials 659.1042 WU

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers (2016) By Nancy Sales
Social media has fostered a culture “ hostile" to girls - sexism, harassment, and cyber-bullying have become the “new normal,” along with the “constant chore” of one’s image 305.2352 SAL

The Death of Expertise : the campaign against established knowledge and why it matters by Tom Nichols (2017) Ties the rise of anti-expertise sentiment and anti-intellectualism not only to the pervasiveness of the internet, but to other technologies 303.4833 NIC

Deep Work: Rules for focused work in a Distracted World (2016) by Cal Newport A case for everyone should practice deep work: “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.” 650.1 NEW

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier. (2015) Thoughtful proposals to preserve individual freedom without compromising national security. 005.8 SCH

The Darkening Web (2017) A program director at The Hague, Alexander Klimberg blends anecdote with argument-the struggle for cyberspace, from a scenario of debilitated civilian infrastructure to a 1984-like erosion of privacy and freedom of expression. 327.102 KLI

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (2017) Fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender and more, all drawn from the world of big data.
302.231 STE

Eyes and Spies: How You’re Tracked and Why You Should Know (gr 7 up) Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Big data efforts to track 95 percent of North American kids between the ages of 12 and 17 is a risk, so those who teach or interact with teens can use this as a guide. 323.44 KYI

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (2017) by Scott Galloway provocative & insightful look at four powerful forces that dominate our social, psychological, and economic states today 338.761 GAL

The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones by Benjamin Wittes, (2015) 303.6011 WIT

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab (2017)A plain-language overview, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, describes transformative tech poised to trigger the next economic and social revolution. 338.064 SCH

The Glass Cage (2014) by Nicholas Carr uses neurological science anecdote and history to gauge the organic impact of computers/internet of things, It’s about automation’s human consequences. 303.483 CAR

Glow kids : how screen addiction is hijacking our kids-- and how to break the trance by Nicholas Kardaras. (2016) J 616.8584 KAR

Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance by Cyrus Farivar Through well-researched case law, -how today’s courts interpret the capabilities enabled by tech will enjoy the precomputer perspective on privacy 323.448 FAR

The hacking of the American mind : the science behind the corporate takeover of our bodies and brains (2017) by Robert H Lustig points at social media, Big Pharma’s and Big Food’s marketing strategies, plus the federal government’s administration of Social Security, 152.42 LUS

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal (2104) rather than marketing; link your service to your customers’ emotions daily, getting them “hooked” thru frequency with which they use it and its perceived utility 658.575 EYA

Homo deus : a brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (2017) 909.83 HAR Where do humans go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution

How to be a Durable Human Being (2016)

Humans Need Not Apply : A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan (2015) A potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure is weighted by two great scourges of the modern developed world: volatile labor markets and income inequality. 006.3 KAP

The industries of the future, by Alec Ross (2016) Former senior advisor to HRC explores emerging fields, robotics, genomics, and big data. The author likens the approaching robotics age to the Internet explosion’s last two decades. 338.064 ROS

iGEN : the 10 trends shaping today’s young people-and the nation, by Jean Twenge (2017) A first look at how today’s members of iGen–the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later

Internet of Things by Michael Miller (2015) How devices help people “do more, do it smarter, do it faster.” Also the potential risks–to your privacy, your freedom, & your life. IoT is coming quickly. Prepares you. 302.231 MIL

Irresistible : the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked by Adam Alter(2017) Acknowledges that we are all potential addicts. Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, is at the cutting edge of research into what makes these products so compulsive 302.231 ALT

The great convergence : information technology and the new globalization by Richard E Baldwin (2016) How things are made in business today, Information and communication technology has radically changed production, and, lastly, what this now means for jobs.

Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark (2017) Call for strong controls on AI systems sits awkwardly beside his acknowledgment that controlling such godlike entities will be almost impossible. Love it or hate it, it’s an engrossing forecast. 006.301 TEG

Lights Out: A Cyberattack : A Nation Unprepared by Ted Koppel (2015) shows the interconnectedness and vulnerability of our data infrastructure and what we must do to protect it. 363.325 KOP

Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts (2018) Former FBI Special Agent and leading cyber-security expert offers a devastating and essential look at todays vulnerabilities. 303.483 WAT

Move Fast and Break Things by Jonathan Taplin (2017) examines the “monopoly platforms” built by Facebook, Google, Amazon and others and how they have “cornered culture”303.4833 TAP

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David Sanger (2018) Cyberwarfareis able to disrupt and damage key infrastructure and, as we are seeing, influence elections. 363.3259 SAN

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (2015) by Martin Ford. Can accelerating technology disrupt our entire economic system to the point where a essential restructuring is required?331.1 FOR

Russian roulette : the inside story of Putin’s war on America and the election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff.

Soonish: Emerging Technologies that’ll improve and/or ruin everything by Kelly Weinersmith 2017 Kelly and Zach Weinersmith boil down some particularly juicy advances and present them in a compelling, accessible, and wryly funny way. 601.12 WEI

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Whitney Phillips (2016) Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture - links the abusive and antagonistic rhetoric of trolls to the oppressive and dominant culture 302.231 PHI

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (2015) by Jon Ronson: An exploration of the experience of public shaming, and the way public shaming becomes a form of social control. What does our desire to shame say about our society in the 21st century. 152.44 RON (Also-Is Shame Necessary? / Jennifer Jacquet (2015) and Shame Nation by Sue Scheff (2017)

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman. (2015) Heavy social media users are constantly sharing, updating, branding, and seeking viral fame, relinquishing personal information without seeing the cost it has exacted in loss of privacy 303.4833 SIL

They Know Everything About You by Robert Scheer. (2015) Our most intimate habits; private correspondence, book pages read, and lists of friends and phone conversations have been seamlessly combined in order to create a detailed map of an individual’s social and biological DNA 323.448 SCH

War on Normal People by Andrew Yang (2018) Is Universal Basic Income the solution to disappearing jobs due to tech? 362.582 YAN

We are Data by Cheney-Lippold (2017) From philosophers, digital theorists, historians, legal scholars, anthropologists, queer theorists, and political scientists- our datafied identities in marketing, predictive policing, and in such matters as our identity 303.4833 CHE
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data
Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (2016) Welcome to the dark side of Big Data. In this illuminating and disturbing account, the many ways in which widely used mathematic models based on prejudice, misunderstanding, and bias tend to punish the poor and reward the rich. 306.46 ONE

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier. (2013) While digital technologies should be guaranteeing our financial health, the information economy has in fact concentrated wealth in the hands of a few—weakening our middle class, ie, democracy. Lanier makes suggestions—including monetizing data now treated as being cost free. 303.4833 LAN See also Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now 2018

World Without Mind by Franklin Foer (2018) after Foer was fired from New Republic for an article about Amazon’s unusual power in publishing, he deeply researches and reveals the business models and motives of Facebook, Amazon and Google, industries who find themselves pinned to advertising and your data. 303.483 FOE

Citizenfour (2015) This behind-the-scenes chronicle follows award winning director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with whistle-blower Edward Snowden as he hands over classified documents about illegal invasions of privacy by the NSA. DVD CITIZEN

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World by Werner Herzog (2016)

(Short Stories) Chasing shadows : visions of our coming transparent world / As we debate Internet privacy, revenge porn, the NSA, and Edward Snowden, cameras get smaller, faster, and more numerous. Has Big Brother happened? Or thousands of Little Brothers?

The Circle: a novel by Dave Eggers (2013)
Mae Holland goes to work at an internet company in the near future. A vivid, roaring dissent to the companies that have coaxed us to disgorge every thought and action onto the Web. FIC EGGERS

I Hate the Internet : A Useful Novel, by Jarett Kobek (2016) Reminds us who really controls and makes money off of the internet, Kobek clears out years of bullshit, techno-utopian thinking. Activism, Tumblr social justice posts, Facebook, comment cesspools, flame wars, trolling…it’s all for generating ad revenues to enrich billionaires. FIC KOBEK, JARETT

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow (2017) In a world where scarcity is artificial—thanks to the ability to 3-D print food, clothing, and shelter—the hyper-rich zottas are only getting richer, and there’s no advancement in the workforce. So, the disenfranchised and unsatisfied simply . walk away FSF Doctorow

Invasion of Privacy by Christopher Reich, (2015), Somewhere outside of Austin, FBI agent Joe Grant and a confidential informant are killed in a deadly shootout. Left to pick up the pieces is Mary Grant, Joe’s young wife and mother of their two daughters. The official report places blame for the deaths on Joe’s shoulders. FIC REICH

Purity: a novel by Jonathan Franzen (2015) Amid a tangle of characters, Pip is squatting in Oakland. After a chance encounter with a peace activist, Pip accepts an internship in South America with the Sunlight Project, which aims to unearth the world’s secrets. FIC FRANZEN

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (2010) Shteyngart’s earnestly struggling characters keep the nightmare tour of tomorrow grounded. A rich
commentary on the obsessions and catastrophes of the information age and a heartbreaker worthy of its title. FIC SHTEYNGART

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris. (2014) A Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God. Suddenly impersonated, Paul watches ias a Facebook, and a Twitter account are created in his name. FIC FERRIS


This is fantastic - I’ve copied the whole post into word so I can safe it and look at it closely. I so appreciate you sharing this - it’s heartening to know you and others in this community who read and think about these issues seriously, as I do.

Wow! That one is a super duper mega list, with useful synopsis too! Will be referring to it from time-to-time! Thanks @Jill!