In the information age, we are offered a myriad of options through which to fulfill the exhortation to “know thyself.” Tech-based initiatives—including Google Calico, which seeks to address the problems of aging and death, and Quantified Self, which looks to prompt self-improvement— offer that knowledge in the form of data. This essay explores the notion of the algorithmic body—a body built from data—and its roots in a history of projects that attempt to escape some of the fundamental aspects of the human condition, including mortality.

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