Textual analysis

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“World Without Mind: Mark Zuckerberg’s War on Free Will,” by Franklin Foer.


Foer’s central thesis is that algorithms have the potential to strip us of our free will. But what are the mechanisms by which algorithms limit our ability to think for ourselves?

Foer brings up several answers to this question:

1)Facebook’s opacity, or lack of transparency

2)Facebook’s belief in the ultimate transparency in the user.

3)Data mining

4)The newsfeed

5)Facebook’s experiments.

For this assignment, I want you to find a quote for each of these answers that points to how this

mechanism works. This quote should be idea-rich, and lend itself to a robust, fruitful analysis.

Then,I want you to analyze that quote to show exactly how this mechanism functions to

limit our free will. Each of these analyses should be 75-100 words. You should analyze each of these concepts, so

there should be 5 quotes, and somewhere between 375-500 words of original writing.

That’s five quotes – one for each mechanism, and five corresponding analyses.

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