The Algorithmic Self

To negotiate contemporary algorithms of reputation and search—ranging from resumé optimization on LinkedIn to strategic Facebook status updates to OkCupid profile grooming—we are increasingly called on to adopt an algorithmic self, one well practiced in strategic self-promotion.

Source: www.iasc-culture.org

Excessive engagement with gadgets as a substitution of the “machinic” for the human—the “cheap date” of robotized interaction standing in for the more unpredictable but ultimately challenging and rewarding negotiation of friendship, love, and collegiality. The danger of replacing human skill with computer mediation that threatens to stifle the inventiveness that enabled the computation. 

 

‘Modulation,’ which enables advertisers, media executives, political consultants, and intelligence operatives to deploy opaque algorithms to monitor and manipulate behavior.

 

To negotiate contemporary algorithms of reputation and search—ranging from resumé optimization on LinkedIn to strategic Facebook status updates to OkCupid profile grooming—we are increasingly called on to adopt an algorithmic self, one well practiced in strategic self-promotion.

 

We have always competed for better deals, for popularity, for prominence as an authority or a desirable person. But just as our metabolic systems may be ill adapted to a world of cheap, hidden sugar, the social cues and instinctive emotional responses that we’ve developed over evolutionary time are not adequate guides to the platforms on which our algorithmic selves now must compete and cooperate. 

 

The first step toward protecting the self in an age of algorithmic manipulation is to recognize such manipulation as a problem. One also needs anchors of integrity, in more substantial “sources of the self”  than points, likes, and faves. Protecting oneself from algorithmic domination requires more than deploying counter-manipulation to nudge ourselves back to optimal states. Rather, we must accomplish a nimble fusion of old and new: a commitment to renewing the traditions from which one draws meaning and value.

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About akiramorikawa

superconnection . pattern-recognition . iDesign
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