171 | Libra

What does it mean when Facebook says it wants its own currency? We explore the power, the potential and the pitfalls of Libra. How does Facebook plan to make money out of making money? Can anyone stop it? And does this represent a fundamental shift in the model of surveillance capitalism? Plus we consider some of the rivals it faces: Bitcoin, WeChat and the good old dollar.

Finally, this week we pay tribute to our dear friend and regular Talking Politics contributor Aaron Rapport (1980-2019) with some memories of his many appearances on the podcast.

144 | The Nightmare of Surveillance Capitalism

We talk to Shoshana Zuboff about The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, her game-changing account of what's gone wrong with the world of big tech and how to fix it.  What is surveillance power and why is it destroying the things we value?  How have we allowed this to happen?  Where will the resistance come from?  Plus we ask whether the real problem here is technology or capitalism itself.  With John Naughton.

91 | James Williams

We catch up with James Williams, winner of the Nine Dots Prize, ahead of the publication of his prize-winning book Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy.  What is the relentless competition for our attention doing to our well-being?  How can we fight back against the endless pull of the phone in our pocket?  And what does it all mean for politics?  The book will available free to download from Cambridge University Press on 31 May.

 

87 | Facebook vs the World

With the help of John Naughton and Jennifer Cobbe we unpick the Cambridge Analytica story and get to the heart of the matter: what is Facebook doing to us and can anything make it stop?  We talk about the business of surveillance capitalism and the difference between a scandal and a crisis.  Plus how working in tech is like working on the Manhattan Project and how Cambridge Analytica is like the Australian cricket team.