Read Shackles of Digital Freedom (Review of Qiu, Goodbye iSlave) by Zachary Loeb (boundary 2)

a review of Jack Linchuan Qiu, Goodbye iSlave: a Manifesto for Digital Abolition.

Really good review of Goodbye iSlave. iSlavery is Jack Qiu’s framing of the manufacture and demand for modern devices as akin to a modern international slave trade. With exploitation in the material manufacture of these devices, as well as exploitation in the deliberate addiction of people to these devices to drive their sales. With parallels between the pushing of sugar and other commodities to drive their production, all done through the exploitation in the slave trade.

That parallel linkage of these two parts of the system is really interesting to me, interested as I am in both the right to repair and the IndieWeb. In right to repair we try to counter the rampant consumption of devices, and in the IndieWeb we try to counter the pushers of these technologies.

The review highly rates the book for giving an unflinching look at the exploitation rife in the manufacture of modern devices. Not without caveats though – particular the problems of framing these modern practices as slavery in comparison to historic slavery. And also some of the modes of resistance suggested to iSlavery falling under the brackets of simply ethical consumerism, and also perhaps an uncritical assumption that all technology can be liberatory if harnessed right.

Read: Shackles of Digital Freedom

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