Confronting Connectivity


The future is ‘connectivity,’ or so say today’s tech execs. “Soon everyone on Earth will be connected,” they declare, followed by worn promises of increased productivity, health, education, and happiness.[i] On its face, they are simply echoing the old trope of the level playing field repeated by empire builders from Niccolò Machiavelli to Thomas Friedman. What then is new? How connectivity forges horizontal connections between the virtual and physical worlds. As a consequence, the digital logic of combinatorial difference is now used as a tool of governance to “intensify, accelerate, and exacerbate phenomena in the world so that a difference in degree will become a difference in kind.”[ii] In sum, connectivity is the new techno-utopian business strategy that braids the physical with the virtual to create a socio-political empire of difference.

Google’s connectivity thesis is a sign that power is logistical – its authority resides in roads, cellphone towers, and data centers, which are overseen by legislators who keep the flows moving. Continue reading “Confronting Connectivity”

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The Archaic State and the Priestly State

Room of the Ninja Turtles, 2003 shadow chamber series

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

Disemboweling the Metropolis (complete)

metropolis
This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

Vein 4: A System of Compulsory Visibility

visibilities

This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

Escape: A Talk

Chisenhale Road 1951 by Nigel Henderson 1917-1985This following talk was presented last week at the 2012 North American Anarchist Studies Network conference. The Q/A period was perhaps more interesting than my talk. If you look around, you’ll find the videos.

Today, I will do three things:
1) Sketch a model of the State
2) Outline our terrain of struggle
and 3) Fill your arsenal with a few political weapons

This paper is a gloss of my current writing project, which is entitled Escape. Like many, I love stories of leaving it all behind, whether those are tales of fed-up employees quitting their jobs, restless romantics hitting the road, or the enraged laying waste to the civilization around them. Yet my thinking about escape originated from an academic interest that began after reading a curious comment early on in the popular book on “running to the hills,” James C Scott’s “The Art of Not Being Governed.” Continue reading “Escape: A Talk”