Rhea Myers

Humanity Is A Skeuomorph

Skeuomorphs are ornamental design elements that retain the structure of their functional precursors:


There are two senses in which humanity is a skeuomorph.

The first is that the quality of humanity, of being human, is irrelevant to social networking and its streams. Attaching human concepts and identities to streams is skeuomorphic, and Real Names policies only underline this.

The second is more quantitative. Capital, corporations and their algorithms do not need human beings, they are optimizing humanity out. But to the extent that they do still need to interact with human beings, they use skeuomorphic human forms such as CEOs and quants.

Humanity is a skeuomorph.