Big data needs to calculate--that's what it does. Insurance companies need to know what they're insuring, for one thing. And there are market prices that need to be set--how much for a kidney, say? Or an eye? (Used to be an eye for an eye, you might say, but the times they are a-changing.) German filmmaker Peter Scharf's new film Was Bin Ich Wert? -- How Much Am I Worth?-- does the math about you. (Scharf's takes off from Jorn Klare's book: Was bin ich wert?)
The film stands as a caution against measuring people strictly by the numbers. How Much Am I Worth? celebrates people's incalculable humanity. Scharf tells Motherboard magazine: "The dark core of [today's data-driven society] is that humans are continuously being calculated in more and more systems. Someone can just decide in healthcare systems when you’re over cost." Most of the $2.5 million value Scharf places on your body comes from your organs, which he estimates at about $2.1 million. Other things add up. Like your blood and plasma--you can sell those, according Scharf's calculations, for almost $900 a year. But that's no way to measure a life is Scharf's story in the end.
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