The People's Platform Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/7/2015
  • Publisher: Picador

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"Taylor is the Marshall McLuhan or the Neil Postman of our new digital economy, the lonely voice raising urgent questions we need to answer together . . . If The People's Platform doesn't spark the conversation about the kind of democracy and culture we deserve, then we'll deserve the one we get."—NY1 News' The Book Reader

The Internet has been hailed as an unprecedented democratizing force, a place where all can participate equally. But how true is this claim? In a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions, The People's Platform argues that the Internet in fact amplifies real-world inequities at least as much as it ameliorates them. Online, just as off-line, attention and influence largely accrue to those who already have plenty of both. A handful of giant companies remain the gatekeepers, while the worst habits of the old media model—the pressure to seek easy celebrity, to be quick and sensational above all—have proliferated in the ad-driven system.
We can do better, Astra Taylor insists. The online world does offer a unique opportunity, but a democratic culture that supports work of lasting value will not spring up from technology alone. If we want the Internet to truly be a people's platform, we will have to make it so.

Author Biography

Astra Taylor is a writer and documentary filmmaker. Her films include Zizek!, a feature documentary about the world’s most outrageous philosopher, which was broadcast on the Sundance Channel, and Examined Life, a series of excursions with contemporary thinkers. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Salon, Monthly Review, The Baffler, and other publications. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Preface 1

1. A Peasant's Kingdom 11?
2. For Love or Money 39?
3. What We Want 68?
4. Unequal Uptake 104?
5. The Double Anchor 141?
6. Drawing a Line 177
Conclusion 214
Notes 233?
Acknowledgments 265?
Index 267

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