Aschoff, editor of "Jacobin," addresses how tech empowers community organizing and protest movements to combat the systems of capitalism and data exploitation that helped drive tech's own rise to ubiquity.
For readers who find themselves wondering about the pocket-sized smartphones that increasingly absorb our time, this in-depth examination of those ubiquitous machines and the roles they play in our everyday lives will shed some light ... She avoids a categorical moral judgment on our 'hand machines,' as she frequently calls them, instead exploring the positive and negative ways they are used through essays that encourage readers to consider deeply what we frequently do on autopilot. How are smartphones made? Who mines the materials? How does that mining impact our environment? How much of our data do tech companies have access to, and why do we allow it? Aschoff considers these questions and more as she delves into the societal transformation we are all witness to, encouraging us all to be more deliberate, thoughtful, and aware of how we impact our phones and how they impact us.
The author discusses these societal implications through a left-leaning lens, but readers of all political persuasions can find something relatable here. This is not a historical or business analysis; rather, this work cites research as well as personal stories to show how smartphones have positively and negatively impacted society. In addition to the technology crowd, readers curious about sociology or psychology will enjoy Aschoff’s articulation of how dependent we have become on smartphones ... Aschoff introduces a creative and appealing way to discuss societal issues; this book will make readers contemplate their relationship with their phone and their own place in society.
Aschoff provides both historical context and political insight ... The author doesn’t advocate for opting out, nor does she believe that the worst-case scenario is inevitable. Instead, she offers advice for pushing back and establishing some personal autonomy in the fight for 'digital justice' ... A concise analysis of how best to live within the brave new smartphone world.