It occurs to me that I began my first post by declaring that “the first question when trying to explain a Hegelian take on the quantified self is: do I understand Hegel well enough?” when the real first question should probably be, why am I using Hegel in the first place? There are plenty of other theoretical frameworks through which to understand my subject-matter. So let’s see if we can suss this out a bit.
I’m wary of anyone with an MBA who declares themselves an “Economic Theorist, Technology Philosopher, Startup Founder, and DIYBio Innovator,” but Marie Swan does just that and she also writes her own blog at futurememes.blogspot.com. As a fellow business + tech + philosophy scholar (though my path has certainly put me in a different resulting mindset), I was not too surprised to find compelling her post about the benefits of using Hegel to understand algorithmic reality.
Anyway, Swan evokes the spirit of our dear friend Georg Wilhelm when calling out a popular tech discourse lacking in nuance: “This kind of conceptual robustness could help in articulating more nuanced positions regarding emerging technologies and moving beyond stark binaries like ‘adopt-or-don’t adopt,’ technological dualism that ‘any technology has both good and evil uses,’ and a seemingly inevitable hopelessness in the face of existential risk.” She is basically arguing that our “current technological state” is always shifting and moving and a Hegelian framework is perfectly suited to that — and his thesis, antithesis, synthesis triad is why.