The essay formulates a theory of dandyism that relates the literature of Dark Romanticism to computer science and psychology. Oswald Wiener describes dandyism as an ambivalent response to scientific and technological developments that reduce human beings to their observable behavior and seek to render them predictable. Dandyism, according to Wiener, articulates itself in social experiments in which the dandy adopts a behaviorist perspective yet at the same time distances himself from any aspect of his personality whose mechanisms he thereby understands.

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