There is a new book coming up with a very remarkable abstract, to be released on March 5, 2013:
In the very near future, â€œsmartâ€ technologies and â€œbig dataâ€ will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such â€œsolutionismâ€ affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageable matters of technological efficiency? What if some such problems are simply vices in disguise? What if some friction in communication is productive and some hypocrisy in politics necessary? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everythingâ€”from crime to corruption to pollution to obesityâ€”by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical, and civic behavior we may also change the very nature of that behavior. Technology, Evgeny Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvementâ€”but only if we keep solutionism in check and learn to appreciate the imperfections of liberal democracy. Some of those imperfections are not accidental but by design.
Arguing that we badly need a new, post-Internet way to debate the moral consequences of digital technologies, To Save Everything, Click Here warns against a world of seamless efficiency, where everyone is forced to wear Silicon Valleyâ€™s digital straitjacket.
New Republic has a wonderful chapter from it, Why Social Movements Should Ignore Social Media.