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Language Under Digital Conditions: Power and Action:

Perhaps we can tell the story this way: While Arendt and Steiner (among others) were largely correct about the shrinking sphere and power of language, it would be some time before ordinary citizens felt the consequences acutely. Already by the mid-twentieth century and certainly thereafter, ordinary citizens were all too familiar with the exasperating opaqueness and unresponsiveness of bureaucratic society and already experienced a vague discomfort with the scale and scope of modern technological systems. But it was not until the advent of algorithmic society that large swaths of everyday experience became similarly opaque and unresponsive to ordinary language. Now we are all increasingly confronted by the dynamics Arendt and Steiner described. The sources of our malaise might be many, but surely one of them is the apparent failure of our most basic tool for making sense, deriving meaning, and acting in the world.

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