This fascinating TED talk by Kevin Slavin focuses on algorithms that are shaping our world in the arena of finance. But I wonder if there aren’t algorithms at work in poetry. Various flavors of “uncreative writing,” perhaps? Of course I’m being old fashioned in using the word “poetry.” There are no poems or stories, after all, only “texts.” The concept of the “text” is what makes things easier for the algorithms. (“Text” as a concept that is useless for human readers.) Theorists of the “text” are producing their own “texts” in a reader-free environment; the “reader” for them is a construct, not a person, as the writer is a construct, not a person. Reader and writer are irrelevant to the text, because the text exists (in the theorists’ world) to please the algorithm, or what the Humanities likes to call “memes.” All this constitutes, for me, a breathtaking prospect, and I mean that literally: a suffocating, homicidal prospect. This algorithmic world the anti-humanist forces are weaving all around us.