Hackerspaces: Making The Maker Movement by Sarah R. Davies

The Blurb On The Back:

A new industrial revolution.  The age of making.  From bits to atoms.  Many people are excited by the possibilities offered by new fabrication technologies like 3D printers, and the ways in which they are being used in hacker and makerspaces.  But why is the power of hacking and making an idea whose time has come?

Hackerspaces: Making The Maker Movement takes the rise of the maker movement as its starting point.  Hacker and makerspaces, Fab Labs, and DIY bio spaces are emerging all over the world.  Based on a study of hacker and makerspaces across the US, this book explores cultures of hacking and making in the context of wider social changes, arguing that excitement about the maker movement is not just about the availability of new technologies, but the kind of citizens we are expected to be. 

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Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

The Blurb On The Back:

What unites Google and Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb?  Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are turning into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on.  This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of ‘platform capitalism’.

Platform Capitalism critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis.  It shows how the foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future.  This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy. 

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Can The Internet Strengthen Democracy? by Stephen Coleman

The Blurb On The Back:

From its inception as a public communication network, the Internet was regarded by many people as a potential means of escaping from the stranglehold of top-down, stage-managed politics.  If hundreds of millions of people could be the producers as well as the receivers of political messages, could that invigorate democracy?  If political elites fail to respond to such energy, where will it leave them?

In this book, renowned scholar of political communication Stephen Coleman argues that the best way to strengthen democracy is to reinvent it for the twenty-first century.  Governments and global institutions have failed to seize the opportunity to democratize their ways of operating, but online citizens are ahead of them, developing practices that could revolutionize the exercise of political power. 

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Bad Choices: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter And Live Happier by Ali Almossawi

The Blurb On The Back:

The secret recipe for modern success. 

Ali Almossawi’s first book Bad Arguments (“A flawless collection of flaws” Alice Roberts) was a cult hit all round the world.  In Bad Choices, he takes on algorithms, those perennially misunderstood principles that underlie so many of our everyday activities.  Taking us through twelve very funny, highly illustrated situations – from how we listen to music to finding every item on a shopping list as quickly as possible – Bad Choices explains how algorithms work and how to use them for yourself.

We all have an intuitive knack for solving problems, but can we use this ability to find items in logarithmic time?  Can we create cognitive stacks to cut down on errands?  Can we figure out which book we want to read next with link analysis?  Almossawai shows us how and once we recognise what makes a method faster and more efficient, we’ll all become more nimble, creative thinkers, ready to face new challenges.

Covering everything from maze-solving in Ancient Greece to the Two Ronnies, and from rapping in supermarkets to how Facebook predicts our likes, in opening algorithmic thinking to all readers Bad Choices shows us how to choose better – and live happier.

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