A Mr. Robot Reading List
I miss Mr. Robot. It won’t be back on TV until June. So I felt like making a reading list for those of you who miss it, too.
Obviously, the entire show is a sendup to Fight Club. But have you read the book? Why not?
In a future where automation replaces human labor, the managers and the engineers live big while those whose jobs are replaced live in squalor. Instead of building a future for all, the elites built a future for themselves. Manager Paul meets secret society intent on ripping apart a system producing nothing but disparity.
Zygmunt Bauman and Leonidas Donskis
Makes the case that evil isn’t usually a bad man intent on doing bad things, but rather our system’s train never stopping to question where it’s going. Bauman is not an easy dude to read. His mind palace is a messy chaos of books most people will never read. But the idea of moral blindness is useful and I think it’s a key theme in Mr. Robot.
There’s a reason the disenchanted like me don’t bother with therapy anymore and this scene is why.
Eva Illouz offers some insight into why therapeutic language fails us in talking about about social crisis and it’s part of the reason I love her so.
How did humans go from drums to Wikipedia? What is the science of data transfer between people, between entities, between epochs? If you’re involved in brokering digital information, what is your responsibility? To whom are you beholden? Who will benefit from the data you collect? When data becomes a flood, who is responsible for it? Who is accountable for the information? What is the morality of data?
The anonymous followup to The Coming Insurrection, To Our Friends was published in 2015. It’s a rejection of reformism in favor of letting this fall apart and building where the assholes can’t find you.