We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Last year Target, a marketing company, yet again proved the power of algorithms, in a startling way. Its software tracks purchases to predict habits. Using this, it chooses which coupons to send customers. It seemed to have gone wrong when it began sending a teenage girl coupons for nappies, much to the anger of her father, who made an official complaint. A little later, the New York Times reported that the father had phoned the company to apologise. "It turns out," he said, "there have been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of." He was going to be a grandfather—and an algorithm knew before he did.
It would take me all day to solve simple problems with algos. My brain thinks by jumps. Computers need them though.
Algorithms can be deadly, and not just metaphorically, unless carefully watched.
A few years ago, a Washington Metrorail driver was killed when his train slid into another train stopped at a station. The "controller" had denied the driver's request to shift his train from automatic to manual control, which the driver wanted to do because of icy conditions...and the automatic control algorithm did not properly account for longer stopping distances with icy rails.