This Month’s Book and Movie Recommendations

The Great Hackby Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim 
If you’d rather not think about how your life is locked in a dystopian web of your own data, don’t watch the new Netflix documentary *The Great Hack*.
But if you want to see, really see the way data tracking, harvesting, and targeting takes the strands of information we generate and ties them around us until we are smothered by governments and companies, then don’t miss the film, which premieres today on the streaming platform and in theaters. Ostensibly, it tells the story of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but even if you know that sordid tale already, the film is worth a look. It uses the scandal as a framework to illustrate the data mining structures and algorithms that are undermining individual liberty and democratic society, one Facebook like and meme at a time. More

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The Three Dimensions of Freedom, by Billy Bragg
Faber & Faber Social (August 13, 2019) 96 Pages

We live in a world where strongman politics are rising; neo-liberalism has hollowed out political parties; and corporations have undermined democracy. Ordinary voters feel helpless to effect change, resulting in outbreaks of populist anger, and traditional platforms for debate are losing their viability as readers source information online. In this short and vital polemic, progressive thinker and activist Billy Bragg argues that accountability is the antidote to authoritarianism, and that without it, we can never truly be free. He shows us that Freedom requires three dimensions to function: Liberty, Equality, and Accountability – and the result is a three dimensional space in which freedom can be exercised by all. More