You Are Already Living Inside a Computer | The Atlantic

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer; Ian Bogost; In The Atlantic; 2017-09-14.
Teaser: Futurists predict a rapture of machines, but reality beat them to it by turning computing into a way of life.

Ian Bogost
  • The Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in media studies
  • A professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games
    Ian Bogost; Basic Books; 2016-09-13; 288 pages; ASIN:0465051723: Kindle: $19, paper: $7+SHT; site
  • Biography, by The Atlantic.

tl;dr → Computers are a fetish (just like any other). The “smart gadgets” are silly.
and → <quote>This new cyberpunk dystopia is more Stepford Wives, less William Gibson.</quote>
and → <quote>There’s some tragedy in this future. <snip/>  It’s [computers] they might remain just as ordinary and impotent as they are today, and yet overtake us anyway.</quote>


  • planned obsolescence
  • Google
  • fidget spinners
  • Roomba
  • GasWatch
  • connected toasters
  • Smartphone-connected bike locks .
  • Samsung TV
  • Automated Content Recognition (ACR)
  • CIA
  • hacked TVs
  • hacked baby monitors
  • botnet
  • Hilton
  • Hampton Inn
  • Twitter
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attack
  • Ring, a “smart” doorbell
  • <quote>these are not the robots we were promised</quote>, attributed to Nicholas Carr, as a “wisecrack.”
  • Alan Turing, paper, 1950
  • Turing machine, 1936
  • Silicon Valley
  • Watson, an “Artificial Intelligence (AI)”, IBM
  • Something about how Twitter will trial Watson to detect abuse.
  • Earlier this year, Chris Moody, Twitter’s vice president of data strategy, because <quote>stopping abuse [as] the company’s first priority</quote>, attributed to Chris Moody, VP Stratego®, Twitter
  • Turing Test
  • reverse Turing Test (the CAPTCHA)
  • Uber
    honorific: <quote>The ride-hailing giant</quote>
  • Ring
  • the “disruption”
  • intelligent machines
  • robot apocalypse
  • pleasure of connectivity.
  • early dystopic scenarios
  • the actions computers take become self-referential
  • cyberpunk dystopia
  • Stepford Wives
  • William Gibson.
  • “hyperemployment”
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Nick Bostrom
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • “superintelligence”
  • robot apocalypse.
  • David Chalmers
  • Ray Kurzweil
  • the “singularity”
  • Google, which operates
  • a division devoted to human immortality


  • GasWatch
  • Nest
  • Nokē
  • Roomba


  • Nick Bostrom
  • Nicholas Carr
  • David Chalmers
  • William Gibson
  • Ray Kurzweil
  • Chris Moody, vice president of data strategy, Twitter
  • Alan Turing,
  • Joseph Weizenbaum


The editor has helpfully placed certain sentences of the essay in the 50pt font to develop a sort of “spinal navigation” to the piece; and so you can’t miss the point, given all the words.

  • Computers already are predominant, human life already takes place mostly within them, and people are satisfied with the results.</quote>
  • 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.
  • The Turing test works best when everyone knows the interlocutor is a computer but delights in that fact anyway.
  • Doorbells and cars and taxis hardly vanish in the process. Instead, they just get moved inside of computers.
  • The present status of intelligent machines is more powerful than any future robot apocalypse.






In Jimi Wales’ Wiki


In The Atlantic

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