Algorithms and Digital Media: Measurement and Control in the Mathematical Projection of the Real

Part of the Transforming Communications – Studies in Cross-Media Research book series (TCSCMR)


The concept of media logic introduced by Altheide and Snow in the late 1970s intended to grasp the rules, norms, strategies, and mechanisms that media entailed. Since the emergence of Internet and especially of social media, several efforts have been made to rethink their original conceptualization in the new context. To contribute to this effort, this text analyses the role of the algorithms in the contemporary media scenario, pointing out to the understanding of the real that they imply. For that, it discusses Martin Heidegger’s concept of technology, according to which technology should not be reduced to an object or an instrument, but should be understood as a mode of Being in that a mathematical projection of the real is at stake. The text explores how the primacy of certainty in the Western metaphysics manifests itself in the technological search for measurement and control and relates this comprehension to the role that algorithms play nowadays. By doing so, it intends to clarify what the algorithms actually represent for contemporary societies and how media logics somehow entail the belief in the mathematical certainty brought by measurement and control.


Heidegger Media logicMedia Logic machineMachine technologyTechnology textText 
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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engenheiro Coelho–SP Brazil

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