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Publisher's Summary

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce white supremacy and deepen social inequity.

Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the "New Jim Code", she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life.

This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold but also the ones we ourselves manufacture.

©2019 Ruha Benjamin (P)2021 Tantor

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Narrator Sounds Robotic

I understand this is a book regarding technology, but is the narrator meant to sound robotic? At a 6 hour+ listening time, it made it difficult to complete this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible

The world must not become complacent simply because the oppressed look like others. Someday soon they will look like you!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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the narration is awful

it was hard to finish this but I did, not because the book was awful, the book is great, but dear God, the narration was really difficult to get pass.

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Please buy and read this book

You’re here. You’re looking at it. You should buy it. Cool. Scroll up. Click buy. You’re welcome.

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Insightful and thought-provoking

A deep dive into social justice issues that must be carefully and consultatively considered as we move into a more technological future. This will be a highly referenced guidebook for public and private institutions for decades to come.