Posted by: robertheinz | November 19, 2012

Rise of the machines

While examining what the internet does to our brains, Nicholas Carr referred to Frederick Taylor and our permanent quest for maximum efficiency. Carr states that the “Internet is a machine designed for the efficient, automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information” (Carr, N., 2010, p. 150). But with the Internet potentially governing over our brains, does it make us humans more efficient (machines) as well?

Metrics are more and more the driving force of our society and we are obsessed with them. Bank transactions and trades are now determined by algorithms on Wall Street, Nate Silver predicted the 2012 presidential elections in a though-provoking manner and as Bill Clinton would put it “its arithmetic’s”. We even have a proverb in our language, saying that “numbers don’t lie”. Why? Because humans do?

In fact the presidential elections may have given us an outlook of what is to come – a time where we are measured and judged by the traces of data we leave on the Internet! Nowadays specific audiences are bought through central advertising exchanges, like those ran by Google. The political ads you’ve seen and read on the internet will probably differ as much as our political views and values differ.

Fast-paced work environments, burnouts, information overload, and the myth of multitasking.  I am asking myself if our environment becomes increasingly foreign to our human nature? Does this development ask for a more humanistic approach?

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