Morgan Ames Publishes Algorithmic Modernity

14 Apr, 2023

Morgan Ames Publishes Algorithmic Modernity

Morgan Ames with Massimo Mazzoti co-edited Algorithmic Modernity: Mechanizing Thought and Action, 1500-2000, published by Oxford University Press and now available on Bookshop!

Algorithms have been transforming human society long before the advent of computing. Yet they continue to exist in relative invisibility despite their presence behind many of our modern social interactions. The rhetoric of algorithmic neutrality is more alive than ever, and algorithms are often depicted as obvious and unproblematic--without context and without history.

Algorithmic Modernity draws together the history of mathematics and intellectual history to convey the enduring global history of the algorithm as a computational tool, epistemic ideal, and rhetorical figure alongside the ascendance of modernity. Through historical reconstructions of relevant thinkers and cultural phenomena over the last five hundred years, this collection of essays reveals how algorithms became the standard method for solving problems from the early inclusion of algorithms in Newton's formation of calculus to their later influence in the New Deal economy. Together, these essays create an informed history for readers interested in the social and cultural implications of today's pervasive digital algorithm.

Featuring experts in mathematics, history, and computing, Algorithmic Modernity presents a multi-faceted exploration of the genealogy of algorithmic thinking in modern times.

Morgan's first book, The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop per Child (MIT Press, 2019), won the 2020 Best Information Science Book Award, the 2020 Sally Hacker Prize, and the 2021 Computer History Museum Prize.

Check out this amazing book now!