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Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Have Cornered Culture and What It Means For All Of Us Hardcover – 4 May 2017

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (4 May 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1509847693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1509847693
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Taplin wields his axe mercilessly...by the end of this book you will agree with Taplin that the tech firms are abusing their monopoly power to rip us off and debase our culture - breaking the world as he sees it...It is time for consumers to break back. This manifesto is a punchy start. (The Sunday Times)

A bracing, unromantic account of how the internet was captured…Move Fast and Break Things is a timely and useful book (The Observer)

A nuanced look at the downside of what is glibly tossed around as "disruption" by various cyber-messianic blowhards. Taplin is hunting big game; it is his contention that the giants of the cyberworld-from Google to Amazon-are threats to the fundamental foundations of democracy and that they also cement inequality into our systems in new and dangerous ways (Esquire)

Mr Taplin brings an informed perspective to his task (Wall Street Journal)

Jonathan Taplin's new book could not be more timely. Twenty years after the initial euphoria of the Web, ten years after the invention of social media, it's time to stop breaking things and start thinking seriously about the new habitat we're creating. Move Fast and Break Things provides a blueprint for a future that humans can live in (Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion)

Move Fast and Break Things goes on my bookshelf beside a few other indispensable signposts in the maze of life in the 21st Century--The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul, The Image by Daniel Boorstin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin, The Medium is the Message by Marshall McLuhan, The Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian, Christ and the Media by Malcolm Muggeridge, and Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. I pray the deepest and highest prayer I can get to that this clarion warning is heeded. The survival of our species is at stake (T Bone Burnett, Oscar-Winning Songwriter, soundtrack and record producer)

Jonathan Taplin's Move Fast and Break Things, a rock and roll memoir cum internet history cum artists' manifesto, provides a bracing antidote to corporate triumphalism - and a reminder that musicians and writers need a place at the tech table and, more to the point, a way to make a decent living (Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress)

A powerful argument for reducing inequality and revolutionizing how we use the Web for the benefit of the many rather than the few (Kirkus Review)

An absolute must-read for anyone who wants to gain a little savvy in the internet era (Newsweek)

Insightful.... Taplin provides a keen, thorough look at the present and future of Americans' lives as influenced and manipulated by the technological behemoths on which they've come to depend. His work is certainly food for thought (Publishers Weekly)

Jonathan Taplin, more than anyone I know, can articulate the paralyzing complexities that have arisen from the intertwining of the tech and music industries. He counters the catastrophic implications for musicians with solutions and inspiration for a renaissance. He shows the way for artists to reclaim and reinvent subversion, rather than be in servitude to Big Tech. Every musician and every creator should read this book. (Rosanne Cash, Grammy-winning Singer and Songwriter)

A breakthrough, must-read book… a tour de force―a compelling, story-driven work focusing on the handful of men who have shaped and essentially taken over the massive tech industry. Along the way, Taplin tells his own personal story with charm and insight. If you want to understand what has happened to our country and where tech will take us in the era of Trump, put aside some time to read this book. It will take your breath away (Alternet)

Jonathan Taplin's excellent new book explains exactly how Google, Facebook and Amazon are undermining democratic institutions, accelerating the rise of oligarchy...and destroying both cultural and economic opportunities for millions of people. (The Chicago Tribune)

A new analysis of the dark side of the digital revolution...Taplin goes beyond familiar critiques (Financial Times)

Book Description

Fake news. Digital monopolies. Stealth Marketing. This is the story of how the internet, which began as a dream, has become a nightmare and the people that did it.

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Format: Kindle Edition
It is hard to be a young filmmaker or journalist or musician today because as Taplin points out the digital age has eroded these professions beyond recognition. Internet monopolies are the key problem.

The Web is increasingly affecting our lives, and yet its design was never voted upon by anyone. Google, Amazon and Facebook in the main made the decisions. There was no regulatory scrutiny. The same is true of Uber, Twitter and Airbnb. In reality, we have a Wild West world without privacy or security. We are all vulnerable to criminal acts and government intrusion. Our democracy is also being altered. Look how Donald Trump used Twitter.

Facebook is now the main news source of almost 50 per cent of Americans. Frightening. Fake news is now a serious and growing problem. Oligarchy is now threatening democracy. Most people haven't a clue about what is happening under their noses. One writer quoted here says software is eating the world.

The financial details regarding Amazon, Google and Yahoo are eye watering. In 2015, Amazon had net sales of $6.9 billion. It controls over 65 per cent of all online new book sales. On the other hand, music, home video and newspaper advertising revenues have plummeted. Google is the largest media company in the world.

The change is more profound than just market capitalisation. It is economic inequality resulting from the rise of the Internet. Technology is literally destroying jobs and job security. Yet it is also creating new jobs that did not exist ten years ago. Nonetheless, Taplin is right, technology firms are abusing their enormous power. He wants consumers to fight back. Read this and learn how.

This is an important book that deserves wide readership. It is controversial and not without faults , the economics, for example, is a bit shaky. Taplin does not hold back, he attacks his targets without pity.
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