Report from /Vaultstock!: Access is Everything

We take our gestures public

Our challenge as consumers in the age of paid search and performance marketing, therefore, is whether/how to wrest control back from the machine that has begun to anticipate our intentions for its proprietary gain. As Norbert Weiner warned in 1950, in the Introduction to the first edition of The Human Use of Human Beings:

Control, in other words, is nothing but the sending of messages which effectively change the behavior of the recipient… I wish to devote this book to a protest against this inhuman use of human beings; for in my mind, any use of a human being in which less is demanded of him and less is attributed to him than his full status is a degradation and a waste.

I am not sure exactly what attributing full status to a human being looks like on the Internet, but it likely relates to making the value of private gestures public, rather than having them live as secret elements in a black-box algorithm.