Ego

The Game of Life

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Pub Date 30 Nov 2015 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2015

Description

The Game of Life was an international bestseller when originally published in German. It is now published in English for the first time.

During the Cold War a model of man as an entirely egotistical being was developed: a modern homo-economicus. After the war had ended, he was not scrapped but adapted to the needs of the twenty-first century. Stock-market trading is guided by him. He uses computer algorithms to build up ideas of our preferences. We are no longer masters of our own fate. “The Game of Life” runs without us.

Schirrmacher traces the progress of this extreme rationalization from the Cold War games of the 1950s Rand Corporation to the stock-market trading techniques that brought about the financial crash of 2008, showing these developments as interwoven with the rise of game theory, rational choice theory and neoliberalism. The state and politics increasingly submitted themselves to the logic of computerized game theory and an economistic world view, evading real decision-making. In this brave new world individuals, alone in front of their computers, may think they are constructing a reality of their choosing, but in fact they are being manipulated all along by others who are setting the rules of the game.

This work is a powerful indictment of a now pervasive mind-set which threatens to undermine not only parliaments and constitutions, but also the very sovereignty of the individual.

Frank Schmirrmacher (1959-2014) was a journalist, essayist and Editor-in-Chief at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

UK publication date: 2nd October 2015
GBP Price: £20.00

The Game of Life was an international bestseller when originally published in German. It is now published in English for the first time.

During the Cold War a model of man as an entirely egotistical...

Advance Praise

Ego reads like a sociological whodunit.”Ulrich Beck, Die Welt

“A piece of cultural criticism in the very best sense: a diagnosis, prognosis and cure all in one for our technologically induced egoism.”Der Tagesspiegel

“This book is an urgently needed appeal for us to rethink what we understand by economic rationality.”Handelsblatt

Ego reads like a sociological whodunit.”Ulrich Beck, Die Welt

“A piece of cultural criticism in the very best sense: a diagnosis, prognosis and cure all in one for our technologically induced egoism.”...


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ISBN 9780745686868
PRICE $25.00 (USD)

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