Digital Tabulation in the Narrative of Life

Byung-Chul Han, In the Swarm: Digital Prospects (MIT; 2017), 35.

A timeline does not recount the story of a life; it provides no biography. Timelines are additive, not narrative. Digital man . . . is always counting and calculating. The digital absolutizes numbers and counting. . . . The digital age is totalizing addition, counting, and the countable. Even affection and attachments get counted — as likes. The narrative dimension is losing meaning on a massive scale. Today, everything is rendered countable so that it can be transformed into the language of performance and efficiency. As such, whatever resists being counted ceases to be.

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