Lately, in the more thoughtful corners of the Internet, everyone is talking about wealth and inequality. Everywhere else on the Internet, they’re gawking at the Internet itself. Which makes Astra Taylor’s new book, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, a perfect combination of conversation pieces. A well-researched, forward-looking indictment of this very moment, Taylor’s book has quickly become the official word on the Internet and inequality.
Stepping back from her Twitter feed for a minute, Taylor performs the downright heroic thought experiment of suppressing the “gee whiz, isn’t that neat” reaction that we’ve all been having to new technology for the past twenty-five years, and wondering instead if there is a better way for society to shape itself in the age of the Internet. If you’ve seen the new X-Men movie, Days of Future Past, then you can think of Taylor as Wolverine: a hardy visionary, sent from the post-apocalyptic near-future to stop us from making a crucial mistake that will doom us all forever. It’s a big job. If you live in society or you use the Internet (so, yes) then you must read this book.