What is digital (summary)

What is digital? By Milad Doueihi, online here, is an excellent introduction to understanding the concept of digital.

the digital by its very nature operates ruptures in an apparent continuity, concerning values, objects and cultural practices, offering us what seems to be simple resumptions or modest modifications or transpositions of forms or formats

It is a cultural revolution that is at stake with the advent of the digital.

Information and digital3

periods with the data processing:

  1. Computer science, whereas it was a simple branch of mathematics, becomes a science itself.
  2. Computer science becomes an industry. (As chemistry did before.)
  3. Information becomes a culture.

The third period is the most important for us, because it is in this that it defines the digital:

And it is indeed this cultural specificity, this social orientation which characterizes and ultimately defines in a way the digital

Key elements: the notion of sharing. It is because of sharing that the digital world is in crisis for the first time.

The digital come to touch all the domains of the Western societies:

  1. ethics
  2. ecology
  3. the legislation/the legal
  4. economy
  5. politics
  6. history
  7. etc.

The code

The technique, the computer science, in its production and its uses, thus constitutes a body, and this body forms, in its social reality, the digital.

Once again, culture and society distinguish the digital.

The social trust

Computer science is the science of information and of the discrete, and the digital, in its socio-cultural dimension, modifies the empirical, inserting it in a genetic logic that shapes the passage from information to trace and finally to data.

One of the symbols of these traces and data is embodied in recommendation engines. The recommendation uses geographical, semantic, social criteria, etc. to anticipate intentions and wishes. It is then introducing the social, against the classical and cold algorithms.

First approximate definition of digital:

a dynamic ecosystem animated by an algorithmic normativity and inhabited by polyphonic identities capable of producing contesting behaviors.

Algorithmic normativity is cold – it does not yet think the social – , polyphonic identities are warm – they incorporate the social.


While transhumanism wants to improve the individual and to liberate him by computer science and genetics – and no longer by education and reason in the line of Immanuel Kant-Milad Doueihi proposes to oppose it with a digital humanism.

What then is digital humanism?

Digital humanism is the assertion that current technology, in its global dimension, is a culture, in the sense that it sets up a new context, on a global scale. A culture, because digital technology, despite its strong technical component that must always be questioned and constantly monitored (because it is the agent of an economic will), is becoming a civilization that is distinguished by the way it modifies our view of objects, relationships and values, and that is characterized by the new perspectives it introduces into the field of human activity.

→ General Knowledge: the Digital