Infotality: On Living, Loving, and Dying Through Information

American Journal of Bioethics 18 (2):33-35 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Responding to Danaher et al. on self-tracking technologies, I argue that human lived experience is becoming increasingly mediated by generalized, statistical information, which I term our "infotality." Drawing on the work of Foucault, I argue that infotality is historically novel and best understood as the product of biopolitics, healthism, and informatics. I then critique the authors' "stance of cautious openness,” which misunderstands the aims of the technology in question and the fundamental ambiguity of the role information plays in the achievement of human wellbeing. Self-tracking technologies are not primarily designed to change behavior; they are designed to create and sustain the desire for their use. I conclude by suggesting that infotality names a new way to fall for an old ruse: the promise that more information means more wellbeing.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
REYIOL
Upload history
Archival date: 2018-07-16
View other versions
Added to PP index
2018-02-04

Total views
55 ( #44,302 of 53,658 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #48,671 of 53,658 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.