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Algorithms challenge our core beliefs about ourselves

Algorithms challenge our core beliefs about ourselves Algorithms challenge our core beliefs about ourselves
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Homo Deus
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Homo Deus
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The liberal belief in individualism is founded on the three important assumptions that we discussed earlier:

  1. I am an individual - that is, I have a single essence that cannot be divided into parts of subsystems. True, this inner core is wrapped in many outer layers. But if I make the effort to peel away these external crusts, I will find deep within myself a clear and single inner voice, which is my authentic self.
  2. My authentic self is completely free.
  3. It follows from the first two assumptions that I can know things about myself nobody else can discover. For only I have access to my inner space of freedom. and only I can hear the whispers of my authentic self. This is why liberalism grants the individual so much authority. I cannot trust anyone else to make choices for me, because no one else can know who I really am, how I feel and what I want. This is why the voter knows best, why the customer is always right and why beauty is is the eye of the beholder.

However, life sciences challenge all three assumptions. According to them:

  1. Organisms are algorithms, and humans are not individuals - they are “dividuals”. That is, humans are an assemblage or many different algorithms lacking a single inner voice or a single self.
  2. The algorithms constituting a human are not free. They are shaped by genes and environmental pressures, and take decisions either deterministically or randomly - but not freely.
  3. It follows that an external algorithm could theoretically know me much better than I can ever know myself. An algorithm that monitors each of the systems that comprise my body and brain could know exactly who I am, how I feel and what I want. Once developed, such an algorithm could replace the voter, the customer and the beholder. Then the algorithm will know best, the algorithm will always be right, and beauty will be in the calculations of the algorithm.

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