Friday, 14 July 2017


Of course we’re hurtling towards the moment (accelerating, I suspect if the US Federal Communication Commission gets its way and kills net neutrality) when the whole on-line experience and thus the way our personalities and world-view is informed will just be one vanity mirror to reaffirm our ignorances and prejudice, we are probably not quite there yet.
One platform that’s helping us lurch closer to that sort of dumb, narcissistic Singularity, essayist Paul Bisceglio writing for The Atlantic, explores at length with a rather brilliant, cautionary look at the personality quiz in all its incarnations—which, like many things, has taken a bit of a sinister, prying turn in the digital age. Not to spoil the fun and perhaps something insightful to be learned by which spirit-animal, Disney princess, or silent film star one is, but all these data-points feed algorithms that are destined when mediated through bogus psychologically projective tests inevitably become unreliable, judgmental and often flawed or dangerous. Couched in uncertain and unscientific terms as they are, such demographics are irresponsible and ought not be captured for marketers and political-handlers to use but that’s stopping no one from collecting that information and manipulating digital scenery with it. Instead, if one needs to indulge in some reflection, I’d advise one to stick to the horoscopes—and preferably by hard-copy.