- Many economists see markets as essentially driven by price data.
- On the Internet (especially social media) we can see systems that are essentially driven by click data.
- Stan culture, where hardcore fans gang up on critics who fail to give the latest album a perfect score
For Hayek, the advantage of the market was that it was a space in which stimulus and response could be in a constant state of interactivity: that prices send out information to people, which they respond to either in the form of consumer decisions or investment decisions or new entrepreneurial strategies.
flashing numbers that are rising and falling.
The way in which the market is visualized to people, the way it presents itself to people, the extent to which it is visible on a single control panel, is absolutely crucial to someone’s ability to play the market effectively.
to think of human beings as black boxes which respond to stimuluses in particular ways that can be potentially predicted and controlled. (In market trading, this thought leads naturally to replacing human beings with algorithmic trading.)
What you see now with this idea of Stay Alert … is a vision of an agent or human being who is constantly responsive and constantly adaptable to their environment, and will alter their behaviour depending on what types of cues are coming in from one moment to the next. … The ideological vision being presented is of a society in which the rules of everyday conduct are going to be constantly tweaked in response to different types of data, different things that are appearing on the control panels at the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
alertoriginally comes from an Italian military term all’erta – to the watch. So the slogan Stay Alert implies a visual idea of agency. But as Alice Pearson pointed out, that which is supposed to be the focus of our alertness is invisible. And it is not just the virus itself that is invisible, but (given the frequency of asymptomatic carriers) which people are infectious and should be avoided.
Rules morph into algorithms, ever-more complex sets of instructions, built around an if/then logic. By collecting more and more data, and running more and more behavioural tests, it should in principle be possible to steer behaviour in the desired direction. … The government has stumbled into a sort of clumsy algorithmic mentality. … There is a logic driving all this, but it is one only comprehensible to the data analyst and modeller, while seeming deeply weird to the rest of us. … To the algorithmic mind, there is no such thing as rule-breaking, only unpredicted behaviour.
the liberty of each human being to develop in his freedom the full measure of the human possibilities embodied in him.
Cyberneticians declared a new age in which Darwin’s placement of man as one among the talks about how animals would now be followed by cybernetics’ placement of man as one among the machines.
Norbert Wiener himself paid very careful attention to questions of labour, and actually cautioned against the too-broad application of models that were designed in relation to physical or computational systems to the social world.
Geoffrey Bowker, How to be universal: some cybernetic strategies, 1943-1970 (Social Studies of Science 23, 1993) pp 107-127
Lucy Suchman, Restoring Information’s Body: Remediations at the Human-Machine Interface (Medea, 20 October 2011) Recording via YouTube