In This Chapter

The Safety

Authored by: Jordan Crandall

The Routledge Companion to Media and Risk

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138638938
eBook ISBN: 9781315637501
Adobe ISBN:


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In “The Safety,” Jordan Crandall speculates a future where a universal algorithmic culture regulates all human perception and cognition, behavior and action. Crandall presents a sci-fi scenario in which the automotive industry works in tandem with authoritarian civic institutions to integrate humans more fully into mobile machines. At a point when self-driving cars are imminent, the story invites readers to consider what its blueprints for “intelligent transit” mean for individual freedoms. The algorithmic calculus turns discrete aberrations and accidents into probable error patterns, which then calls for management through a regime of punishments and rewards. The ultimate goal is “safety,” which drives the new control systems: the realignment of roads and cars, protocols and signals becomes lucrative business. Despite the dystopian risk scenario, Crandall places the corporeal, capricious, all-too-singular human body at the center of the story, a body whose motions, rhythms, and instincts scuttle the will to security.

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