As book review sections of newspapers diminish daily in size and significance, and as those same newspapers publish dirges to their own demise, online reviewing sites (of just about anything) proliferate. This paradox makes our moment in history a particularly appropriate time to examine the ethics, economics and politics of reviewing. In the great democratization of reviewing that we are witnessing, anybody and everybody can become a reviewer, or what some would call an “empowered consumer.” Buy a book and you can review it on Amazon.com. In fact, you might be able to do so without even reading the book. Who would check? You do not have to be an expert or a professional, or even honest. And this applies not only to books, of course, but to anything that can be evaluated, from Toronto restaurants to Paris hotels, from DVDs to video games.
// Marginal Utility
"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.READ the article