More and more, we create our work to be read by a machine.
SEO specialists tell you how to write a blog post that Google will like. Your resumé needs to have the right keywords to get tagged. Everything has an ISBN, an ASIN or a catalog number. Ideas become data become databases…
We did the same thing when assembly lines started up. Every part had to be the same size, the cogs in the system were less important than the system itself.
Being machine readable might feel like a shortcut to getting where you're going. After all, fitting in as a machine-readable cog into the database of ideas gets you a faster start. But it's also the best way to be ignored, because you've chosen to be one of the many, an idea that's easy to pigeonhole and then ignored.
What happens if your work becomes machine unreadable?
So new we don't have a slot for it.
So unpredictable that we can't ignore it.
So important that we have to stop feeding the database and start paying attention instead…