Instead try “An Algorithm May Be Used to Decide Who Gets Suicide Prevention” An algorithm, just like a machine, cannot decide anything. It is incapable of deciding or not deciding. An algorithm is also incapable of learning, exactly like the machine which is used to run the code which contains it. Only of a (mostly) whole human being, and some non human animals, with a (mostly) fully functional nervous system including a brain can we say they are capable of making decisions, of deciding things. To say or suggest otherwise is to commit a logical fallacy. I call it the compulogical fallacy in honor of the mereological fallacy which is its close cousin. Assigning attributes, characteristics, capabilities, behaviors, etc. to machines, computers, or in this case mathematical expressions that can only correctly (logically correctly) be applied to human beings (and some non human animals) is to commit the compulogical fallacy. The title of this very article commits said fallacy as do tens to hundreds of articles I see on this website and across the web each and every day.

Can we please stop doing this now? No. Sigh. Well I tried. Hey did you read that piece I wrote about quitting remembering stuff? It got curated. It’s really great. Super, duper, great. Really very enlightening…sigh.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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