McKenzie Wark on the Ludic Century

The twenty-first century – the ludic century – is animated in part by just that fantasy: that the feedback loop can be closed, and action can be modified in realtime depending on data about its immediate effects. Of course in reality it is always rather more imperfect. Google and Facebook never quite tailor the advertising on which their business in part depends to our actual wants or desires. Given what we know about how imperfect those systems are, imagine what its like for the NSA or other security agencies, trying to needle of ‘terrorism’ in the haystack of trillions of bits of data banality. It’s the very impossibility of closing the feedback loop that drives the tendency to total surveillance.

 McKenzie Wark, “A Ludic Century?

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