This new book by Kris Nova, a tech professional and a queer activist, expands on how to model humans, computers and money
15 March 2022
“Hacking Capitalism” may be nothing more than a book for everyone. However, for its author Kris, it is a gift in the form of advice. If her younger self had received it, her life would have been on a different course, and this book may not have been published. The desire to “understand the system” reverberates in the heart of this book.
The only companion in Kris’s life was depression and her severe alcohol addiction. Kris found herself lost in isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic and anguished from a broken queer polyamorous relationship, her habit of consuming drugs to numb herself wasn’t helping her situation either. She watched the uprising from pro-trump supporters live to form her balcony. At the same time, she said, “I remember thinking to myself while watching hundreds of undereducated Americans humiliate our country by their inability even to pull off a coup with any sort of dignity. These people have no idea about the reality of their lives apart from what the world had shown them.“ At this point, the absurdities of the tech industry and her unique experience as an openly transgender person were relatively insignificant compared to what was happening in her immediate world at run time. Finally, the coup ended, and Kris turned off the television. The show was over, but the thoughts persisted. Rest of the year, Kris worked to make her life better. First in line was sobriety, and then came interviewing for jobs. Her prior experience in her tech field, however ill-reputed, was enough to land her offer letters with handsome payouts. She got the job she needed mainly as a “staying sober” exercise. Yet, it seemed as something more than that just helped her suppress her alcohol addiction. It seemed victorious and fulfilling, as if standing in this bright light of accomplishment with the warmth of triumph engulfing her being. “I was finally able to achieve what I had set out to achieve. I wasn’t totally sure when things changed, but they did.” Kris broke away from a cycle, a cycle that seems depressed and despairing to the majority, but Kris’s reflection on how far she had come was much more than a recovery journey. “The more I explored these thoughts, the more I realized there was an enormous system that I had finally been able to break out of. That system is called Capitalism.” Owing to the malicious cycle of “Capitalism” she had been stuck in, Kris produced a manuscript based on ruthless Capitalism in the tech industry. It is almost strange that not only could a system be so cruel, but that people working at the top understood this cruelty and didn’t seem to do anything about it. “I wanted people to take away from this book what it took years of my life to understand so that their journey to success becomes less painful. I hope that if it is easier to make it to the top, it will be easier to bring kindness and compassion along the way,” advises Kris. This became Kris’s drive to produce a hack to the system.
“I did a great deal of examination before I begin writing my book because I believe it’s critical to be sure about the concept I’m focusing on, which comes from investigating a subject or area. I live-streamed the entire writing process on my twitch channel. Not only did my twitch followers excitedly follow the book, but they also gave their input on different countries that I had yet to hear of. A large part of my research process was defining a term and then coming up with a compelling example from my own story. I used my own example to guide the research process of finding larger and more impactful examples in the media and other publications”, explains Kris.
There is a lot to learn, especially for a tech worker. There are keywords and phrases mentioned that are simple in context, yet they have compelling consequences. For example, the sooner you realize that “profit-driven” implies a lot more than just making money, the better. Another way of saying this is that the tech industry is an industry first and technology second. “Without understanding the basics of the economy, modern industry, and how Silicon Valley fits into the rest of the world, it is going to be almost impossible to move past a senior level at a company,” mentions Kris.
According to Kris, her favorite part was the end of the book was the final chapter, which, to be honest, was the reason she wrote the book. Her initial goal was to bring all the topics together and lay the high-level tactics out to impact the tech industry directly.
“I wish I could write more chapters like that now that the initial topics are laid out linearly in the earlier parts of the book.”