Computer’s Illision

The adage that computers do not impose their ways upon their users is misleading, because it hides an imposing destiny in a guise of instrumental neutrality. By reassuring ourselves that the computer does not impose its ways upon us, we have already succumbed to the imposition of its destiny. The computer, for example, promises greater freedom in creating and organizing data in accordance with our goals and purposes. Yet computers can only be used in a limited number of ways for creating, storing and classifying this information, thereby forming the goals and purposes that it purportedly serves in an instrumental manner. The resulting ‘freedom’ is illusory, because the computer, like any technology, constrains the range of choices its users can make within the limited parameters of its imposed destiny. More broadly, particular technological developments and application permit certain forms of civil society and political community while excluding others.

From Human to Posthuman by Brent Waters

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