Digital List Price: $29.99
Kindle Price: $16.19

Save $13.76 (46%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press) by [Finn, Ed]
Kindle App Ad

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from

Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Editorial Reviews


Deeply researched and meticulously reasoned in a style that will meet academic standards while being hugely enjoyable and interesting to a general audience. Equally comfortable talking about Perry Mason and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ed Finn surveys a broad sweep of today's business and cultural worlds while explaining how they got to be that way in a historical context reaching back centuries.

(Neal Stephenson, author of Seveneves, Reamde, and Snow Crash)

Perhaps the greatest power in our society today -- computation -- remains unexamined in a cultural way. Ed Finn calls it our magic; what is present, powerful but unseen. Finn will help you see it.

(Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick, Wired magazine)

The 'algorithmic imagination' -- Professor Finn's evocative concept -- connects the generative machine and the intelligently creative human. Think about the suggestions that appear in the search field when you begin to enter a term; that is the algorithmic imagination at work in the culture machine known as the Internet. Through a series of provocative chapters, Finn explores encounters that mark the emergence of algorithmic culture -- the search for the Star Trek computer, Bitcoin, etc. He reveals the messy entanglements of these culture machines as they both draw on and shape human culture.

(Anne Balsamo, Dean, School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, University of Texas, Dallas)

This is a brilliant and important work. I know of no other book that so ably describes the cultural work that algorithms do. Once you read this you won't think of algorithms as mere batches of code that guide processes. You will see them as actors in the world.

(Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry))

Beautifully crafted, technically lucid, and admirably precise, What Algorithms Want offers humanists a timely tutorial in the concept of the algorithm, while also offering a high-level analysis and sharp critique of algorithmic processes as they are implemented for and by us in our everyday media environments. But its true gift is the modeling of 'algorithmic reading,' a method that shows us how to become better readers -- and makers -- of culture and culture machines alike. Everyone who wonders 'how Netflix, Apple, or Google knows' needs to read this book.

(Rita Raley, Associate Professor of English, University of California, Santa Barbara)

Ed Finn's What Algorithms Want shows us just how powerful computer programs and their helpers actually are, and the book needs no recourse to science fiction.

(Los Angeles Review of Books)

About the Author

Ed Finn is Founding Director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, where he is also Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering and the Department of English.

Product details

  • File Size: 2989 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (March 6, 2017)
  • Publication Date: March 6, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,250 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

Customer reviews

Rated by customers interested in
Computer Books
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Business & Economics Books
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Finance Books
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars

Top customer reviews

on July 13, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 12, 2017
Format: Hardcover
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 17, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 11, 2017
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (MIT Press)