Three Disruptive Models of New Spatial Planning: “Attention”, “Surveillance” or “Sustainable” Capitalisms?
Methodological and Research Design Issues
2. Three Neoliberal Models: “Attention”, “Surveillance” and “Sustainability” Capitalisms
2.1. Attention Capitalism
“…in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.”
The novel’s protagonist, Cayce Pollard, isn’t a hacker but a brand strategist who’s been hired by a viral-marketing think tank for a commercial research project…… she practices a kind of semiotic hygiene, dressing only in clothes, ‘either black, white, or grey,’ that ‘could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000.’ She treasures in particular a black MA-1 bomber jacket made by [Japanese firm] Buzz Rickson’s….There is now a range of ‘Buzz Rickson’s x William Gibson’ military outerwear. Meanwhile, a marketing think tank modeled on the one in the novel, popularized Cayce’s fashion philosophy in the form of ‘normcore,’ a trend—forecast, then real—based on the idea of secretive, informed, intentional blankness. Normcore influenced design more broadly, shaping the aesthetics of companies like Everlane and Uniqlo. The boundary between fiction and reality turned out to be even blurrier than Gibson had thought. He had rewritten the code himself.
2.2. Origins and Recent Practice of “Economy of Attention”
The reason I care about this problem so much is I studied at a lab called the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford that taught students how to recognise exactly these techniques. There’s conferences and workshops that teach people all these covert ways of getting peoples’ attention and orchestrating peoples’ lives. And it’s because most people don’t know that that exists that this conversation is so important.
2.3. ”Attention Capitalism” Model of Spatial Planning
…..is in one sense a caricature of outsized villainy……But in another, deeper sense, he is pure symbol: less a person than a shell company for a diversified portfolio of anxieties about the future, a human emblem of the moral vortex at the centre of the market…… [New Zealand hedged] the eventuality of some kind of systemic collapse scenario–synthetic virus breakout, rampaging AI, resource war between nuclear-armed states, so forth–Thiel’s plan…. was to get on a private jet and fly to his property in New Zealand. (The plan from this point, you’d have to assume, was to sit out the collapse of civilisation before re-emerging to provide seed-funding for, say, the…………).
3. Surveillance Capitalism: Attention’s “Original Sin”
These digital assistants will be so useful that everyone will want one and the scare stories you read today about privacy concerns will just seem quaint and old-fashioned. Google’s can monitor your emails, searches and locations and constantly remind you about forthcoming meetings or trips, all while patiently checking real-time weather and traffic.
3.1. From “Surveillance Capitalist” to “Smart Neighbourhood” Test-Bed
…ubiquitous connectivity; incredible computing power including artificial intelligence and machine learning; the ability to display data; sensing, including cameras and location data ads to people in proximity, and then obviously over time track them through things like beacons and location services as well as their browsing activity….
But something doesn’t add up here: few of us expect our personal assistants to walk away with a copy of all our letters and files in order to make a profit off them. For our virtual assistants, on the other hand, this is the only reason they exist. In fact, we are getting shortchanged twice: first, when we surrender our data–eventually, it ends up on Google’s balance sheet–in exchange for relatively trivial services, and, second, when that data is then later used to customise and structure our world in a way that is neither transparent nor desirable.
‘Smart cities’ rely on IP and data to make their vast array of city sensors more functionally valuable, and when under the control of private interests, an enormous new profit pool. As Sidewalk Labs’ chief executive Dan Doctoroff said: “We’re in this business to make money.” Sidewalk also wants full autonomy from city regulations so it can build without constraint.
Sidewalk Labs agrees to work with Waterfront Toronto and governments to ensure proposed solutions do not impede accessibility, freedom of association, freedom of expression, equitable treatment of marginalised groups, and public engagement.
3.2. From Ubiquitous Computing to the Disappearing Internet
I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it,” he explained. “It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.
The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it… (and)… that allows the computers themselves to vanish into the background… (to)…fit the human environment instead of forcing humans to enter theirs…..
… should users be sharing information with Google as if it were a “trusted friend?” Schmidt responded, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
“You have zero privacy anyway.” Sun Microsystems chief executive McNealey famously said in 1999. “Get over it.”
and………none of the cool kids care about privacy. Neither should you.
People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that’s evolved over time.
4. Sustainability Capitalism and the Practical Engineering of Productive Plans
4.1. Musk Breaks Free from Extreme Libertarianism
4.2. Effective Altruism Faces Messy Reality
4.3. The Logistically Efficient Underlying Model of Sustainable Capitalism
There are many companies that can offer a better work-life balance, because they are larger and more mature or in industries that are not so voraciously competitive. Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity, but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause.
5. Discussion and Conclusions
Conflicts of Interest
- Cooke, P. Regional innovation systems, clean technology and Jacobian cluster platform policies. Reg. Sci. Policy Pract. 2008, 1, 23–45. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Cooke, P. Complex Adaptive Innovation Systems; Routledge: London, UK, 2012. [Google Scholar]
- Cooke, P. Gigafactory logistics in space and time: Tesla’s fourth gigafactory and its rivals. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2044. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Sadowski, J. Google wants to run cities without being elected. Don’t let it. The Guardian, 24 October 2017; 9. [Google Scholar]
- Anthopoulos, L. Smart utopia vs smart reality: Learning by experience from 10 smart city cases. Cities 2017, 63, 128–148. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Cooke, P. Silicon Valley imperialists create new model villages as smart cities in their own image. J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6, 24. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Cugurullo, F. Exposing smart cities and eco-cities: Frankenstein urbanism and the sustainability challenges of the experimental city. Environ. Plan. A 2017, 50, 73–92. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rothman, J. How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real. New Yorker. 9 December 2019. Available online: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/16/how-william-gibson-keeps-his-science-fiction-real (accessed on 20 October 2020).
- Yigitcanlar, T.; Kamruzzaman, M.; Foth, M.; Sabatini-Marques, J.; Costa, F.; Ioppolo, J. Can cities become smart without being sustainable? A systematic review of the literature. Sustain. Cities Soc. 2019, 45, 348–365. [Google Scholar]
- Knowles, T. Google researchers put the focus on fish. The Times, 3 March 2020; 5. [Google Scholar]
- Kosoff, M. Does Peter Thiel Know Something We Don’t? Vanity Fair. 9 February 2018. Available online: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/02/peter-thiel-new-zealand-estate-panic-room (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- Yun, L.; Lee, M. Smart city 4.0 from the perspective of open innovation. J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2019, 5, 92–100. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Hall, P.; Soskice, D. Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Competitive Advantage; Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 2001. [Google Scholar]
- Kay, J.; King, M. Radical Uncertainty, Decision Making for an Unknown Future; Norton: New York, NY, USA, 2020. [Google Scholar]
- Bishop, C. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning; Springer: New York, NY, USA, 2016. [Google Scholar]
- Gibson, E. Sidewalk Labs Advances Plans for Toronto Smart City Dezeen. 1 November 2019. Available online: https://www.dezeen.com/2019/11/01/sidewalk-labs-waterfront-toronto-development/ (accessed on 20 November 2019).
- Kaufman, S.; Yaden, D.; Hyde, E.; Tsukayama, E. The Light vs. Dark Triad of personality: Contrasting two very different profiles of human nature. Front. Psychol. 2019, 10, 467. Available online: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00467/full (accessed on 20 October 2020). [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Foroohar, R. Don’t Be Evil: The Case Against Big Tech; Allen Lane: London, UK, 2019. [Google Scholar]
- Harris, T. How a Handful of Tech Companies Control Billions of Minds Every Day, TED Talk. 2017. Available online: https://www.ted.com/talks/tristan_harris_how_a_handful_of_tech_companies_control_billions_of_minds_every_day/reading-list?language=en (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Szalai, G. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: ‘The Internet Will Disappear’. 22 January 2015. Available online: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/google-chairman-eric-schmidt-internet-765989 (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Söderström, O.; Paasche, T.; Klauser, F. Smart cities as corporate storytelling. City 2014, 18, 307–320. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Fazzini, K. Google will Spend $13 Billion on U.S. Real Estate in 2019, Expanding into Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Nebraska. CNBC. 13 February 2019. Available online: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/13/google-will-spend-13-billion-on-real-estate-moves-in-2019.html (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Van Krieken, R. Celebrity Society: The Struggle for Attention; Routledge: London, UK, 2018. [Google Scholar]
- Franck, G. Scientific communication—A vanity fair? Science 1999, 286, 53–55. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Franck, G. Vanity fairs: Competition in the service of self-esteem. Mind Matter 2016, 14, 155–165. [Google Scholar]
- Franck, G. Sensory intermodal resonance: Towards a neuroaesthetics of architecture. J. Psychol. Psychiatry 2018, 2. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Waterfront Toronto. Quayside Development Plan; Waterfront Toronto: Toronto, ON, Canada, 2019.
- Fogg, B. Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do; Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco, CA, USA, 2003. [Google Scholar]
- Hollands, R. Will the real smart city please stand up? City 2008, 12, 303–325. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Duke, S. Raider is doing Twitter a favour: Its part-time boss must be shown the door. The Times, 7 March 2020; 41. [Google Scholar]
- O’Connell, M. Why Silicon Valley Billionaires are Prepping for the Apocalypse in New Zealand. The Guardian. 15 February 2018. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/15/why-silicon-valley-billionaires-are-prepping-for-the-apocalypse-in-new-zealand (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Palma, S.; Reed, J. Crackdown Sinks Plans by ‘Seasteaders’ to Create Floating Nation. Financial Times. 28 May 2019. Available online: https://www.ft.com/content/efc38392-7d3c-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560 (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- Lacy, S. Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good; Penguin: New York, NY, USA, 2008. [Google Scholar]
- Paulhus, D. Toward a taxonomy of dark personality. Curr. Dir. Psychol. Sci. 2014, 23, 421–426. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Paulhus, D.; Williams, K. The dark triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. J. Res. Personal. 2002, 36, 556–563. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Popkin, H. Privacy is Dead on Facebook: Get Over it. msnbc.com. 13 January 2010. Available online: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34825225/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/privacy-dead-facebook-get-over-it/ (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Thompson, N. Tristan Harris: Tech is ‘Downgrading Humans.’ It’s Time to Fight Back. WIRED. 23 April 2019. Available online: https://www.wired.com/story/tristan-harris-tech-is-downgrading-humans-time-to-fight-back/ (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- Kauffman, S. Reinventing the Sacred; Basic Books: New York, NY, USA, 2008. [Google Scholar]
- Zuboff, S. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism; Profile: London, UK, 2019. [Google Scholar]
- Musk, E. Tesla Company Statement, Tesla. 18 January 2019. Available online: https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/blog/tesla-company-update?redirect=no (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- Doctoroff, D. Google City: How the Tech Juggernaut is Reimagining Cities—Faster than you Realize. 2016. Available online: https://www.bisnow.com/south-florida/news/technology/sidewalk-toronto-dan-doctoroff-82334 (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Weinberg, G. What does Google know about me? Quora, 5 March 2020. [Google Scholar]
- Balsillie, J. Sidewalk Toronto Has Only One Beneficiary, and It is Not Toronto. The Globe and Mail. 5 October 2018. Available online: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-sidewalk-toronto-is-not-a-smart-city/ (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Sauter, M. Google’s Guinea-Pig City. The Atlantic. February 2018. Available online: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/googles-guinea-pig-city/552932/ (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Shapins, J.; Di Mascio, P. How the Urban Design for Quayside Evolved in Response to Public Protest. Medium. 24 July 2019. Available online: https://medium.com/sidewalk-toronto/how-the-urban-design-for-quayside-evolved-in-response-to-public-feedback-b114d4bb0bad (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- Gibson, W. Pattern Recognition; Penguin: London, UK, 2003. [Google Scholar]
- Simon, H. Designing Organizations for an Information-rich World. In Computers, Communication, and the Public Interest; Greenberger, M., Ed.; Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, MD, USA, 1971; pp. 37–52. [Google Scholar]
- Johnson, R. Privacy No Longer a Social Norm, Says Facebook Founder. The Guardian. 11 January 2010. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Morozov, E. Facebook Isn’t a Charity. The Poor Will Pay by Surrendering Their Data. The Guardian. 26 April 2015. Available online: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/26/facebook-isnt-charity-poor-pay-by-surrending-their-data (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Tetlock, P.; Gardner, D. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction; Penguin: London, UK, 2016. [Google Scholar]
- Wellman, S.; Kozai, T. Understanding the inflammatory tissue reaction to brain implants to improve neurochemical sensing performance. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2017, 8, 2578–2582. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Weiser, M. The computer of the 21st century, Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks. September 1991. Available online: https://www.lri.fr/~mbl/Stanford/CS477/papers/Weiser-SciAm.pdf (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- McLuhan, M. Understanding Media; Mentor: New York, NY, USA, 1964. [Google Scholar]
- Prusik, M.; Szulawski, M. The relationship between the dark triad personality traits, motivation at work, and burnout among HR recruitment workers. Front. Psychol. 2019, 10, 1290. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed][Green Version]
- Summers, N. Toronto Rejects Some of Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Neighborhood Ideas. Engadget. 21 February 2020. Available online: https://www.engadget.com/2020/02/21/sidewalk-quayside-waterfront-toronto-technical-evaluation/?guccounter (accessed on 20 October 2020).
- Matyszczyk, C.; Quoting Schmidt, E. The Internet Will Vanish Says Google’s Eric Schmidt, CNET. 22 January 2015. Available online: https://www.cnet.com/features/inside-the-dystopian-nightmare-of-an-internet-shutdown/ (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Hao, K. The Messy, Secretive Reality behind OpenAI’s Bid to Save the World. MIT Review. 17 February 2020. Available online: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615181/ai-openai-moonshot-elon-musk-sam-altman-greg-brockman-messy-secretive-reality/ (accessed on 20 February 2020).
- Hammerbacher, J. The Best Minds of My Generation Are Thinking about How to Make People Click Ads, Quote Investigator. 12 June 2017. Available online: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/06/12/click/ (accessed on 20 October 2018).
- Newton, C. We Finally Know Why the Instagram Founders Really Quit. The Verge. 17 April 2019. Available online: https://www.theverge.com/interface/2019/4/17/18411363/why-instagram-founders-quit-hamburger-button-location-tracking (accessed on 20 October 2019).
- Wu, T. The Attention Merchants: The Epic Struggle to Get Inside Our Heads; Atlantic Books: London, UK, 2017. [Google Scholar]
- Knowles, T. Self-driving car sees pedestrian 500m in front. The Times, 6 March 2020; p. 18. [Google Scholar]
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Share and Cite
Cooke, P. Three Disruptive Models of New Spatial Planning: “Attention”, “Surveillance” or “Sustainable” Capitalisms? J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2021, 7, 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010046
Cooke P. Three Disruptive Models of New Spatial Planning: “Attention”, “Surveillance” or “Sustainable” Capitalisms? Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity. 2021; 7(1):46. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010046Chicago/Turabian Style
Cooke, Philip. 2021. "Three Disruptive Models of New Spatial Planning: “Attention”, “Surveillance” or “Sustainable” Capitalisms?" Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity 7, no. 1: 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc7010046