Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy (Paperback)

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Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy Cover Image
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With the fallout from Cambridge Analytica still fresh in our minds, and the sense that our collective slide into tech dystopia is moving apace, Move Fast and Break Things provides an excellent primer on how we got to where we are, and why it didn't have to be this way. Come for the power-hungry data collectors lobbying for lax regulation, stay for the Silicon Valley bigwigs saying things like, "I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible." This book connects a lot of important dots, and despite the urgency of its subject matter is a surprisingly enjoyable read.

— Steve


A stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the Internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and that proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age.
Move Fast and Break Things is a path-breaking polemic in support of the future of the creative industries in the age of the Internet platform. The title, taken from a term coined by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, originally referred to reckless hacker culture at the social media behemoth. In Taplin's telling, Move Fast and Break Things piquantly describes the way in which the largest Internet platforms--Facebook, Google and Amazon-used the music, news and film industries to build their businesses to scale only to sideline them, and the millions of Americans who work for them. The result is a news industry subservient to social media traffic, a music industry in which life is harder than ever for the "middle class" musician, and a book industry threatened by the overwhelming digital market share of a single retailer. As broadband ubiquity increases, the film and television industries will be the next victim.
Taplin's story, studded with unforgettable stories from his half century as a music and film producer and early pioneer of streaming video online, begins with a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel and Larry Page among them, who in the 1990s began to hijack the original decentralized version of the Internet to create the monopoly firms which now determine the financial destiny of most cultural products in the United States. Taplin offers a masterful interpretation of the way these firms and individuals began to shape online life in their own image: tolerating piracy of books, music and film while at the same time promoting opaque business practices and subordinating privacy of individual users to create the surveillance marketing monoculture of sponsored content and other forms of relentless advertisement from which so many are alienated.
Unafraid to cut through Silicon Valley jargon, Taplin assesses the economic toll of the digital shift and interprets in a vital, forward-thinking way how artists everywhere can reclaim their audiences with knowledge of the past and a determination to work together.

About the Author

Jonathan Taplin is the Director Emeritus of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, and a former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, as well as a film producer for Martin Scorsese. An expert in digital media entertainment, Taplin is a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sits on the California Broadband Taskforce and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Council on Technology and Innovation.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316508278
ISBN-10: 0316508276
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: April 18th, 2017
Pages: 320
Language: English