Today, machines observe, record, and sense the world—not just for us but also often instead of us and indifferently to our meaning. The intertwined problems of technological knowledge and (our) knowledge of technology manifest in the growing industry of smart machines, the Internet of Things, and other means for self-tracking. The automation of the care of the self is buoyed by a popular fantasy of data’s intimacy, of machines that know you better than yourself. Yet as the technology becomes normalized, the hacker ethic gives way to a market-driven shift in which more and more of “my” personal truth is colonized by machines (and the people behind the machines) that I cannot question.
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