All watched over by machines of loving grace
It is fashionable to suggest that cyberspace is some island of the blessed where people are free to indulge and express their individuality. This is not true. I have seen many people spill their guts on-line, and I did so myself until, at last, I began to see that I had commodified myself. Commodification means that you turn something into a product which has a money-value. In the nineteenth century, commodities were made in factories, which Karl Marx called “the means of production.” Capitalists were people who owned the means of production, and the commodities were made by workers who were mostly exploited. I created my interior thoughts as a means of production for the corporation that owned the board I was posting to, and that commodity was being sold to other commodity/consumer entities as entertainment. That means that I sold my soul like a tennis shoe and I derived no profit from the sale of my soul.
Adam Curtis is one of finest documentary makers in the world today. Read an extended article ‘Adam Curtis: Have computers taken away our power?
The Guardian, Friday 6 May 2011.