Universität Zürich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
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The Digital Trinity—Controllable Human Evolution—Implicit Everyday Religion. Characteristics of the Socio-Technical Transformation of Digitalization


Michael Latzer

Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11577-022-00841-8

How can the ubiquitous digitalization in the early twenty-first century be grasped and characterized? A media-change perspective that focuses on innovation-driven, complex co-evolutionary processes distinguishes two phases of digitalization and points to the following characteristics of its second phase: digitalization is an intertwined bundle of socio-technological transformation processes that reveals itself as a trinity of datafication, algorithmization and platformization. On the industry and politics side, this co-evolutionary trinity is driven by the belief in a scientifically and technologically controllable human evolution, reflected in the pursuit of nano-bio-info-cogno convergence, and accordingly linked to a transhumanism standing for this belief. On the users’ side, the digital trinity is characterized and driven by the convergence of digital technology and religion in the form of an implicit everyday religion. These hallmarks of digitalization lead to a digitally transformed social order, shaped by the interplay of governance by and of this digital trinity, and challenged by growing complexity.