Notes

Ian Bogost, “You Are Already Living Inside a Computer” ()

Computers already are predominant, human life already plays out mostly within them, and people are satisfied with the results. …

Today, people don’t seek out computers in order to get things done; they do the things that let them use computers. …

People choose computers as intermediaries for the sensual delight of using computers, not just as practical, efficient means for solving problems.

That’s how to understand the purpose of all those seemingly purposeless or broken services, apps, and internet-of-things devices: They place a computer where one was previously missing. They transform worldly experiences into experiences of computing. Instead of machines trying to convince humans that they are people, machines now hope to convince humans that they are really computers. It’s the Turing test flipped on its head.

… the actions computers take become self-referential: to turn more and more things into computers to prolong that connection. …

The real threat of computers isn’t that they might overtake and destroy humanity with their future power and intelligence. It’s that they might remain just as ordinary and impotent as they are today, and yet overtake us anyway.