Hosts in the Machine
When capitalism imagines itself it dreams of machinery. It sees the spinning jenny and not the highland clearances. It sees the laptop and not the plant in China. And now, in the era of cloud computing and the internet of things, we are invited to believe that all that is, is air, and to talk of solids melting is an anachronism. But the internet isn’t air, it is made of metal and plastic, and the work that it does is most often done by people. This basic comprehension of how things really work is the starting point of Trebor Scholz’s latest book. Uberworked and Underpaid is a survey of the twenty-first century economy with the labour left in, and, from this foundation, it provides some of the most important insights that the field of media scholarship has produced for a long while.