20 Years in the Matrix: Escaping the Prison of Surveillance Capitalism
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Wachowski’s pioneering film The Matrix, a 1999 sci-fi masterpiece that seems more prophetic than ever. Here in 2019, machine learning and surveillance capitalism are increasingly feeding off of the raw material of human lives, simultaneously enslaving and entertaining us – and mirroring the film’s premise.
‘Surveillance capitalism’ is a term coined by social psychologist Shoshana Zuboff, which she expounds upon at length – for nearly 666 pages – in her 2019 tome The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. For Zuboff, our economy is increasingly built around corporation’s relentless drive to digitize and monetize our personal lives.
This should sound eerily familiar to anyone who’s a fan of The Matrix. The film presents a vision of a dystopian future, where the natural world has been scorched by human action into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. People cannot recognize this truth because their senses have been filled since birth by a placid artificial reality that enslaves them, enabling machines to feed off them. Read More …