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Summary

In artist Paul Klee’s The Twittering Machine, the bird-song of a machine acts as bait to lure humankind into a pit of damnation. Leading political writer Richard Seymour argues that this is a chilling metaphor for our relationship with social media. Former social media executives tell us that the system is an addiction machine. We are users, waiting for our next hit as we like, comment and share. We write to the machine as individuals, but it responds by aggregating our fantasies, desires and frailties into data, and returning them to us as a commodity experience. 

Through journalism, psychoanalytic reflection and insights from users, developers, security experts and others, Seymour probes the human side of the machine, asking what we’re getting out of it, and what we’re getting into.

©2019 Richard Seymour (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

“Richard Seymour has a brilliant mind and a compelling style.” (Guardian)

 “A brilliant, urgent, game-changing intervention.” (China Miéville)

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Nice

Very easy listen- the writer uses language very eloquently and it was pleasant to listen to. The topics are gripping and will stick with me for sure. Quitting facebook has done wonders for me and this book affirms why it was a good decision!

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A very important book

I found this book to be incredibly insightful and thought-provoking. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched. Even though the information gets quite 'heavy' in places, it is well worth the journey.

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  • thomas b young
  • 20-12-20

Packs a loaded punch

Great listen. Great ideas. Very compact exposition on topics. Much gold to review in the details for those interested in deeper concepts. Great for individuals who know a lot about the space already.

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  • Ismail Mohamed
  • 18-10-20

Very important read/listen

Loved every bit of it and will definitely be returning to it again and again. Challenged many of the assumptions that I had about the "twittering machine" and how far it has reached into our lives. It's a pretty dark book, at times even depressing, but a very necessary read.