Dataism: God is in the Algorithm

Sam Brinson
Jun 26, 2018 · 6 min read

Rise of the Network

The seeds of dataism were sown long ago, when people learned how to pass information from one person to the next. When we first started spreading across the globe, communication was limited to the small groups we were in. But eventually, with the help of agriculture and money, those groups grew very large, and began connecting with other groups to trade information and resources.

Information Wants to be Free

In this ideology, freedom of information is the greatest good. Unlike freedom of expression, freedom of information is a right given to the information rather than to any person.

The Limits of the Human Mind

Because the data pool is too large and the system too complex for people to fully grasp, we rely on machines to do most of the heavy lifting. The more information we feed them the better they get, from spotting diseases to recognising faces and translating languages. The more we entrust these systems to make decisions, the more we admit that the human algorithm just isn’t capable of handling the influx of information.

The End of humanism?

For many years we have treated human feelings as the basis of our morals and values — making the world a better place often means ensuring it is hospitable to creatures that can consciously experience it. Dataists believe that data-flow trumps human feelings. They don’t have anything against feelings, but rather believe they have no intrinsic value.


Don’t stop learning—actually, start learning how to learn, by picking up a copy of Connecting the Dots.

Connecting the Dots

What is a mind and how will it change and evolve? Notes on psychology, neuroscience, tech, philosophy and more. http://SamBrinson.com

Sam Brinson

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An emergent property of billions of chaotically firing neurons. Currently thinking about thinking. http://sambrinson.com/

Connecting the Dots

What is a mind and how will it change and evolve? Notes on psychology, neuroscience, tech, philosophy and more. http://SamBrinson.com