Jathan Sadowski

Jathan Sadowski is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Smart Cities in the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning at the University of Sydney.

  • Too Smart

    Too Smart

    How Digital Capitalism is Extracting Data, Controlling Our Lives, and Taking Over the World

    Jathan Sadowski

    Who benefits from smart technology? Whose interests are served when we trade our personal data for convenience and connectivity?

    Smart technology is everywhere: smart umbrellas that light up when rain is in the forecast; smart cars that relieve drivers of the drudgery of driving; smart toothbrushes that send your dental hygiene details to the cloud. Nothing is safe from smartification. In Too Smart, Jathan Sadowski looks at the proliferation of smart stuff in our lives and asks whether the tradeoff—exchanging our personal data for convenience and connectivity—is worth it. Who benefits from smart technology?

    Sadowski explains how data, once the purview of researchers and policy wonks, has become a form of capital. Smart technology, he argues, is driven by the dual imperatives of digital capitalism: extracting data from, and expanding control over, everything and everybody. He looks at three domains colonized by smart technologies' collection and control systems: the smart self, the smart home, and the smart city. The smart self involves more than self-tracking of steps walked and calories burned; it raises questions about what others do with our data and how they direct our behavior—whether or not we want them to. The smart home collects data about our habits that offer business a window into our domestic spaces. And the smart city, where these systems have space to grow, offers military-grade surveillance capabilities to local authorities.

    Technology gets smart from our data. We may enjoy the conveniences we get in return (the refrigerator says we're out of milk!), but, Sadowski argues, smart technology advances the interests of corporate technocratic power—and will continue to do so unless we demand oversight and ownership of our data.

    • Paperback $22.95 £18.99

Contributor

  • The Gameful World

    The Gameful World

    Approaches, Issues, Applications

    Steffen P. Walz and Sebastian Deterding

    What if every part of our everyday life was turned into a game? The implications of “gamification.”

    What if our whole life were turned into a game? What sounds like the premise of a science fiction novel is today becoming reality as “gamification.” As more and more organizations, practices, products, and services are infused with elements from games and play to make them more engaging, we are witnessing a veritable ludification of culture.

    Yet while some celebrate gamification as a possible answer to mankind's toughest challenges and others condemn it as a marketing ruse, the question remains: what are the ramifications of this “gameful world”? Can game design energize society and individuals, or will algorithmicincentive systems become our new robot overlords?

    In this book, more than fifty luminaries from academia and industry examine the key challenges of gamification and the ludification of culture—including Ian Bogost, John M. Carroll, Bernie DeKoven, Bill Gaver, Jane McGonigal, Frank Lantz, Jesse Schell, Kevin Slavin, McKenzie Wark, and Eric Zimmerman. They outline major disciplinary approaches, including rhetorics, economics, psychology, and aesthetics; tackle issues like exploitation or privacy; and survey main application domains such as health, education, design, sustainability, or social media.

    • Hardcover $55.00 £45.00