Answer either question 1 or question 2.
A. Critically address the following question: “With so many people rejecting the practices of surveillance capitalism, even considering how little most of us know about these practices, how is it that this market form has been able to succeed?” (Zuboff, 2019: 341).
B. Drawing on relevant examples, critically consider to what extent the “first text” of surveillance capitalism resembles the “cloak of ethicality” with which Fleming & Jones (2013) assert that neoliberalism conceals its true intentions, and explain Zuboff’s (2019: 504) unexpected revelation that although surveillance capitalism was nurtured by neoliberalism, its intended outcomes diverge significantly from it.
C. Critically consider the extent to which Polanyi’s (1957) warning about the risks to society and the environment, from the over-exploitation of “fictitious commodities”, is now relevant to surveillance capitalism, and how such risks may be adequately contained and controlled.
Answer all parts. Each part carries equal weight.
Fleming, M. & Jones, M. (2013), The End of CSR, London: Sage
Polanyi, K. (1957), The Great Transformation, Boston (MA): Beacon Press
Zuboff, S. (2019), The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, London: Profile
A. Critically discuss if and how autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) might enable the UN SDGs to be achieved by 2030 and save the planet from catastrophic climate-related impacts.
B. Critically evaluate the ethicality of turning to social physics as one possible “pathway out of gridlock” (Hale et al., 2013:306) which, if vested in “supranational institutions with enforcing power” (Perez (2016), in Jacobs & Mazzucato, 2016:214), could lead to a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive society.
C. Critically evaluate one other potentially viable way (e.g. the Collaborative Commons, or the Belt and Road Initiative with its Environmental Big Data Platform) “to heal the planet and advance a sustainable economy” (Rifkin, 2013: 305). Answer all parts. Each part carries equal weight.
Hale, T., Held, D. & Young, K. (2013), Gridlock, Cambridge: Polity Press
Jacobs, M. & Mazzucato, M. (2016), Rethinking Capitalism, Chichester: WileyBlackwell
Rifkin, J. (2013), The Zero Marginal Cost Society, London: Palgrave Macmillan
Overall word limit: 2500 words