Let’s start to connect the master/slave back to our original subject-matter: algorithmic inference (I’m going to stop including “quantified-self” here just to save space — I’ve already referenced why it also belongs under the heading of “algorithmic inference”). There’s really no way to outline our relationship to corporations as a whole in the context of the current framework — that’s just way too extensive for this project.

But I can start to sketch the idea out here, starting small.

Before I do that, though, I need to ask a favor. Will you let me assume that Mom & Pop’s Tops, Inc. and I are two selves? This takes some stretching of Hegel’s framework, mostly because I am not sure that corporations can be considered selves. They do not have consciousness. Their owners, employees, and investors each do, though. And while they operate as a collective, there is a common mission taken on by this collective: to make as much money (in the form of profit) as possible through the operations of the company. Advertising and product copy (the main means through which I interact with the online-only company) come, theoretically, from a single, unified brand message. My money goes to one place.

This framing does raise more questions, however (what else is new?). What about non-online businesses? And does this kind of one-to-one recognition go both ways, or is it just how I recognize the corporation? Do the answers to these questions even matter right now?