Rise of the Machines

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“If we are to have any hope of retaining our agency and exerting some measure of control over the circumstances of our being in the years to come, we will need to know a lot more about where these radical technologies came from, how they accomplish their work in the world, and why they appear to us in the way that they do. What follows is an attempt to shed light on all of these questions.”

“Yes, we can now perceive the rhythms of the city through the use of our technology. But more pertinently, networked digital information technology has become the dominant mode through which we experience the everyday.

In some important sense this class of technology now mediates just about everything we do.

It is simultaneously the conduit through which our choices are delivered to us, the mirror by which we see ourselves reflected, and the lens that lets others see us on a level previously unimagined…

Networked digital information technology looms ever larger in all of our lives. It shapes our perceptions, conditions the choices available to us, and remakes our experience of space and time.

It requires us to master arcane bodies of knowledge, forcing us into a constant cycle of obsolescence and upgrade that, with startling rapidity, makes nonsense of our most diligent attempts to reckon with it. It even inhibits our ability to think meaningfully about the future, tending to reframe any conversation about the reality we want to live in as a choice between varying shades of technical development.

The extent to which it organizes the everyday is one of the defining characteristics of our era, and for all the apparent power it offers us, our attempts to master it observably leave most of us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

If we are to have any hope of retaining our agency and exerting some measure of control over the circumstances of our being in the years to come, we will need to know a lot more about where these radical technologies came from, how they accomplish their work in the world, and why they appear to us in the way that they do. What follows is an attempt to shed light on all of these questions.”

http://a.co/7XnSUCL

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