Human optimization

From Kristin Dombek‘s essay in the July 2015 issue of Harper’s Magazine. She’s referring here to The Happiness Industry by William Davies.

In Davies’s view, the language of good feeling and scientific utopianism are a cover for an older, more insidious goal: ‘a single index of human optimization’ that would reduce all human experience to qualities that can diagnosed, tracked, graphed, and, ultimately, controlled. The methods may be new, Davies argues, but this is what the architects of free-market capitalism have wanted all along.

The full essay is available on the Harper’s website (subscription required).