The Future of Decision: Governance, Algorithms, and Cognitive Bias

 

Berardi makes a valid point in his critique of Srnicek and Williams Inventing the Future:

“Srnicek and Williams suggest that we should ‘demand full automation, demand universal basic income, demand reduction of the work week’. But they do not explain who the recipient is of these demands. Is there any governing volition that can attend to these requests and implement them?

No, because governance has taken the place of government, and command is no longer inscribed in political decision but in the concatenation of techno-linguistic automatisms. This is why demands are pointless, and why building political parties is pointless as well.”1

Governance is ubiquitous, invisible, and decentralized within the networks itself now, power is part of the very interactive environment we face daily. The moment you open your iPhone, etc. you’re confronted with a governed set of choices and possibilities that capture your desires and modulate those very choices through sophisticated and ubiquitous algorithms. Same for almost every aspect of our once sacrosanct private lives, too. Our homes in the coming decades will be invasively programmed with ubiquitous smart devices that will attune us to techno-commercial decisioning processes out of our control, and yet they will allow us to still believe it is we who are choosing, deciding, using our oh so ingrained “free will” – that as many neuroscientists keep telling us is an illusion, delusion, a cognitive bias and hereditary error of judgment, etc.

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