This is the third book about Big Tech and the internet that I have read recently. The first two are The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and Chokepoint Capitalism. This is the most nerdy of the three as it goes into detail about the underpinnings of the internet and how they affect business and consumers. That said, it is a very engaging, interesting, and accessible read.
In part one, entitled “Seize the Means of Computation”, the author explains how Big Tech got big through network effects and by helping the government deliver on beating the “bad guys”. He then introduces the concept of adversarial interoperability. This would mean that you could leave Facebook and still interact with your friends there. The term is a mouthful. He helped coin a better term: competitive compatibility, or comcom for short. In part two, the author addresses many of the objections that come up when this solution is offered. These are “What about” questions like, “What about privacy?”, “What about harassment?”, and “What about child porn?”
Of these three books about technology and our modern world, this is the best for the general reader. For that reason, I would recommend this book first of the three. It is not the most thorough with the most documentation. That would be The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. But if you want a quick, easy read to better understand how we got in this mess with Big Tech and how we can get out of it, this is the book to read.
My rating: 5/5