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Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley problem: Manipulation

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Literature Review: Manipulation problem for Silicon Valley

This “Ten Problems for Silicon Valley in the 2020s” booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form journal articles, conference proceedings and students’ theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the ten problems that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. solutionism,
  2. monopolies,
  3. diversity,
  4. outsiders,
  5. gig economy,
  6. misuse,
  7. narrowness,
  8. obsolescence,
  9. manipulation,
  10. public mood.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.


9 Manipulation

THE PROBLEM — What, really, is the point of making human behavior a predictive science, in a world of agonizing inequalities of power? The companies’ ethics statements are often superficial guidelines with very little adherence to actual ethical practice or theory. Algorithmic colonialism is driven by corporate agendas and manipulation.

CASE STUDIES — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

CONCLUSIONS — Ignorance of history is a badge of honor in Silicon Valley: much of what technology leaders tout as original has been done before, and long ago. The confidence in predictions coupled with quasi-Confucianist virtue ethics is yet another demonstration of teleological utilitarianism. Emerging form of corporate abdication constructs dystopian narratives that have the power shape our future visions of social platforms and give rise to new utopias. The digitalized man does not use efficient and cold machine-like language, but is rather emotionalized through digital technology. Facebook serves as the archetype to show how idealistic thinking becomes embedded in a business culture, and shapes a controlling narrative based in self-serving ideology. Three dominant ideologies are at play: ecomodernism, Realist International Relations theory, and Keynesianism. There is little variance in the level of intrusion seen between political manipulators via social media, in liberal democracies and autocracies. Smart textiles are fabrics that, through the interaction with intelligent materials and computer technology, derive products that will react through actions. Colonialism in the age of AI takes the form of ‘state-of-the-art algorithms’ and ‘AI driven solutions’ to social problems. Philanthro-capitalism, an increasingly dominant strand within philanthropy, emphasizes private sector business methods as solutions to social problems.

TEN FREE REFERENCES FROM THE INTERNET — … buy this booklet from Amazon …


Silicon Valley Problems
“Ten Problems for Silicon Valley in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds