Are you troubled by what you read about surveillance capitalism, malign conspiracies on Facebook, and the obviously addictive quality of our devices? Dipayan Ghosh, a computer scientist turned policymaker whose work in the Obama White House and at Facebook informs his views, believes that the internet is no longer the space of individual freedom that it was in the beginning. Today, the internet is a corporatized structure that conducts uninhibited surveillance to generate profit. And the same algorithmic curation utilized to sell us products is also being used to radicalize individuals to extreme political views. His book, Terms of Disservice: How Silicon Valley is Destructive by Design, proposes a regulatory scheme to safeguard individual privacy and ensure that the internet works for society at large, and not just Silicon Valley. Speaking of Silicon Valley, have you ever thought about the workers who make it all possible? In Voices from the Valley, Ben Tarnoff and Moira Weigel sit down with workers at all levels of Silicon Valley tech companies to learn what life is like when you work in tech. This session will be in the capable hands of Meghna Chakrabarti, host and editor of WBUR’s On Point. The media sponsor of this session is 90.9 WBUR.
The Internet of Stings: How Silicon Valley is Making Us Miserable
Dipayan Ghosh, a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, leads the Digital Platforms & Democracy Project at Harvard. His work in tech policy has been cited and published widely, including in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, and the BBC. Ghosh was a technology and economic policy advisor at the White House during the Obama administration. Terms of Disservice: How Silicon Valley Is Destructive by Design is, according to a review in the New York Times, a “rare and important examination” of business models, one of the “underlying problems of Big Tech today.”
Ben Tarnoff is the author of the books A Counterfeiter’s Paradise and The Bohemians. He cofounded Logic magazine along with his wife, Moira Weigel. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the New Republic, Jacobin, and Lapham’s Quarterly, among other publications. His latest, co-written with Weigel, is Voices from the Valley: Tech Workers Talk About What They Do—and How They Do It.
Moira Weigel is the author of Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, the Guardian, the Nation, the New Republic, and n+1, among other publications. She is a cofounder of Logic magazine with husband, Ben Tarnoff, also her co-author for their latest, Voices from the Valley: Tech Workers Talk About What They Do—and How They Do It. She received a fellowship to the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2016 and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Meghna Chakrabarti is a journalist, radio producer, and host of NPR’s On Point and the Modern Love podcast. In the past Chakrabarti hosted Radio Boston and was the primary fill-in host for Here and Now. She has received awards in reporting from the Associated Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association, and her WBUR team won the 2016 award for General Excellence in Radio/Audio from the Asian American Journalists Association.