For any sufficiently complex dataset, the idea that ‘the data speak for themselves’ is implausible; developers and analysts select from a wide variety of mathematical and visual methods to make the data speak, to filter, arrange and summarize them from different angles, following questions that orient how they look at them.


‘…[m]edia are not only devices of information, they are also agencies of order’ in the sense that they support and organize social, political, and economic systems in specific ways.


Information ordering techniques become engines of social order when they operate and intervene in such environments, where ‘[t]hey may change social relations but […] also stabilize, naturalize, depoliticize, and translate those into other media’.

Bernhard Rieder

Rieder, B. (2020). Engines of order – a mechanology of algorithmic techniques. Amsterdam University Press.