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From biased robots to race as technology

Ranking search results, filtering spam e-mails, recommending movies and books, evaluating credit card fraud, diagnosing malignant cells in cancer research, selecting job applicants – more and more tasks are being carried out by new media technologies such as machine learning algorithms. Their logic does not only simplify our daily approach to large masses of information but also applies at a higher level in the observation and regulation of population flows.

The reorganization of the bureaucratic encounter in a digitized public administration

Whether because of the structure of the apparatus or because of the structure of memory, it is certain that the noises of the first telephone conversations echo differently in my ear from those of today. They were nocturnal noises. No muse announces them. The night from which they came was the one that precedes every true birth. […] Not many of those who use the apparatus know what devastation it once wreaked in family circles.

A vanishing act: The magical technologies of invisibility in care work


In J.K. Rowling’s epic fantasy novels about Harry Potter, the reader meets Hermione Jean Granger, a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the best friend of the protagonist, Harry Potter, and another central character, Ron Weasley. Hermione is referred to as the little know-it-all because of her encyclopaedic knowledge, which at times has the effect of making her ignorant of her surroundings. Hermione’s snootiness, however, hides her insecurity and fear of failure.

Vorsprung durch Technik?

According to Heidegger the modern world is an image, a Gebild, a structured perception, which is put and held in place by the Gestell – TV and computer screens, stock-exchanges, business schools and automobiles, which enframe or emplace the world for us. The goings-on, the hustle, of this emplacement as well as its perception is technology, or maybe better, technics, as Heidegger suggests in his essay ‘Die Frage nach der Technik’ (‘The Question Concerning Technology’, or, ‘Questing After Technics’).

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