« The Weeds

How corporations got all your data

2023-04-11

Sean Illing speaks with Matthew Jones, historian of science and technology, and co-author (with data scientist Chris Wiggins) of the new book How Data Happened. They discuss the surprisingly long history of data from the 18th century to today, in service of explaining how we wound up in a world where our personal information is mined by giant corporations for profit. They talk about how the allure of measurement and precision spread from astronomy to the social sciences, why advertising became so bound to the operation of the internet, and how we can imagine a more democratic future for us and our data, given the unprecedented power of today's tech companies.

Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area

Guest: Matthew L. Jones (@nescioquid), author; James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization, Columbia University

References: 

 

Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app.

Help keep this show and all of Vox's journalism free by making a gift to Vox today: bit.ly/givepodcasts

This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Engineers: Patrick Boyd & Brandon McFarland

Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices


To view this and other transcripts, as well as support the generation of new transcripts, please subscribe.