Why do we feel excited, afraid, and frustrated by algorithms?
This book explores the cultural shift in society that promotes and relies on affectively charged technology relations. Bringing relatable first-person accounts of what it means to experience algorithms emotionally alongside research developed across anthropology, sociology, media and communication studies, and science and technology studies, The Feel of Algorithms reveals how political-economic processes are felt in the everyday, as we learn about the digital geography of fear and the current lack of collective resources to build algorithmic systems. Minna Ruckenstein builds on the notion that everyday practices are not merely subject to algorithmic logic; rather, people actively respond to and live with data and algorithms, ranging from actual technical operations to their imagined effects. The pleasures, fears, and frustrations come together to produce a blueprint of how such systems should be combined with human aims and efforts. The narrated emotional reactions are not simply individual responses; they tell a more generalizable story of structures of feeling and related attempts to live well with algorithmic systems. The Feel of Algorithms demonstrates that human capacities and aims need active fostering in the algorithmic era. The structures of feeling aid in recognizing troubling practices, but they also call for alternatives that are currently ignored and suppressed.