In his recent contribution to the Pervasive Labour Union special issue about Entreprecariat, “All things optimal”, Michael Dieter elaborates the concept with respect to optimisation dominant paradigm. In his view, “optimization links the axiomatic neo-classical actor in economics to programming in computer science”. When looking at sorting algorithms like Least Recently Used, Explore/Exploit calculations for A/B testing or measures for Optimal Stopping, it emerges how such computational techniques disperse decision-making into system configurations beyond reproach of those swept up in their operations. “They are purely concerned with categorization and the production of hierarchies, yet their functions remain veiled by user experience design strategies, intellectual property regimes, access rights and other forms of black boxing. If we desire any independent understanding, then the empirical dimensions of inquiry unfold on the fraught terrain of interface diagnostics and hacking. Attaining critical knowledge thus involves a concerted struggle that almost inevitably leads above and beyond a mere technical conception of ‘the digital.”


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