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The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us (Paperback)James Ball (author)
Peering behind the programs and the platforms to glimpse the real people who drive the internet forward, James Ball uncovers wealth, influence and power on an immense scale.
The internet is a network of physical cables and connections, a web of wires enmeshing the world, linking huge data centres to one another and eventually to us. All are owned by someone, financed by someone, regulated by someone. We refer to the internet as abstract from reality. By doing so, we obscure where the real power lies.
In this powerful and necessary book, James Ball sets out on a global journey into the inner workings of the system. From the computer scientists to the cable guys, the billionaire investors to the ad men, the intelligence agencies to the regulators, these are the real-life figures powering the internet and pulling the strings of our society. Ball brilliantly shows how an invention once hailed as a democratising force has concentrated power in places it already existed - that the system, in other words, remains the same as it did before.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 202 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'In The System, James Ball takes a critical look at who runs the internet . . . His book is a sprightly history of the internet seen from the perspective of its inventors, investors, custodians, rule-makers and rebels . . . Ball recommends that we should pay far more attention to how the internet works and not allow ourselves to be "bamboozled into inaction" as we were with the finance industry before the 2008 crash' - Financial Times
'Ball, with this biography of the internet, takes us beyond Zuckerberg, Bezos et al into a murkier world where we discover how everything online works and who benefits from it. Fascinating, engaging and important, too' - Observer
'Ball is a sprightly writer and a master explainer . . . He has a gift for choosing which details to bring forth . . . He does an excellent job here of showing how the system works, where its levers of power are, and how they can be moved. Which is important. It's important because you have an interest too . . . could not be more timely' - Spectator
'An illuminating and focused guide on who controls the internet and how it controls us. Will change how you see the world' - Peter Pomerantsev, author of This is Not Propaganda
'An excellent summary of how we got where we are, and how we can move forwards to build a better internet' - Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
'A crisp, highly informative introduction to what ails the information industry and what can be done about it. Ball's analysis is thorough and courageously even-handed' - Praise for Post-Truth, The Times
'A vivid analysis of how the business models and incentives currently prevailing in digital media render decent discourse all but inaudible' - Kazuo Ishiguro, Praise for Post-Truth, Guardian, Summer Reads
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