Kevin Slavin: How Algorithms Shape Our World

“…For the world of our own making has become so complicated that we must turn to the world of the born to understand how to manage it. That is, the more mechanical we make our fabricated environment, the more biological it will eventually have to be if it is to work at all. Our future is technological; but it will not be a world of gray steel. Rather our technological future is headed toward a neo-biological civilization.
Kevin Kelly “Out of Control, The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World“.
Entire book available in PDF here.

In this engaging 2011 TED Talk Kevin Slavin argues that our world is increasingly controlled by algorithms (complex computer programs) that we are unable to understand and with implications we can’t control.

Excerpt from n+1 newsletter #98 (translation by Socks.)

“The book by Kevin Kelly (Out of Control) anticipates a future that will determine our own evolutionary path. The machines will become less and less distinguishable from living organisms: “The kingdom of the born – all that is nature – and the kingdom of the product – all that is man-made – are becoming one. Machines are becoming biological, and what is biological is becoming mechanized.” A neo-biological civilization then, where the machines – and the political, economic and social systems – take the form of natural organisms (cell, brain, etc..) in order to keep beign able to operate. “The logic of Bios is trasnfused into machines at the same time that the logic of Technos is being in life.” Today, the ​​things made by man behave more and more in a ‘living’ way, and life is mechanizing. The separation between the organic and the artifact, which have always been the two components of a single being: the man-industry, (Marx, 1844 Manuscripts), tends to disappear. A reading would be: under capitalism man will not make it to unify knowledge, it takes another society. Now, the world of the product and the world of the born are separate, by definition: therefore, out of control, by definition.”

Following is a Michael Najjar‘s photograph from the series “High Altitude”
(Digital imagery combining landscape photography and data visualizations of the development of the leading stock market indices over the last 20-30 years).

Update:

“Rise Of The HFT Machine” – Visual Confirmation How SkyNet Broke The Stock Market On US Downgrade Day.

Related:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic_trading

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