Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Repost: Hickman on The Total Surveillance Society

[...] This sense that we are all traceable, that we have become data – to be marked and inscribed in a system of traces: gleaned, stored, organized, dispersed, sorted, analyzed and massaged; deconstructed and reconstructed into various modalities, pushed through specialized filters and segmented off algorithmically for analytical appraisal, reanalyzed by specialized knowledge-workers in the capitalist military-surveillance empire that then present their findings to higher echelons of this same global system to ultimately be registered and formalized into various linguistic traces and signifiers as adjuncts to the decisional apparatus of global governance as a system of command and control itself. This is the new world we live in, the merger of the military-industrial and security-surveillance empire of global capital. [...]

What we learn from most of these is the truth of its existence, the infrastructure that encircles not only America but the global system itself. The tip of an iceberg that seeks to trace and quantify, measure and capitalize on our lives from physical to mental and mark and inscribe it for its own ignoble purposes. But acknowledging that it does indeed exist is just a beginning. An important beginning to be sure, but only a first step in understand what we can do to resist and combat this behemoth that entraps us in its shadow world [...]

How could one escape the very technological systems that hide everywhere in plain site? Even if one were to log off, disband, disconnect from the electronic grid today: it would already have you captured in the traces its captured and analyzed and logged away within its (semi)permanent data storage systems. [...]

Another point [Zizek] makes is that all this massive data will ultimately end in confusion for those supposed experts using it: that let’s say, like our Congress who gets this massive Obama HealthCare book that is ten-thousand pages thick and realizes “Why should we read it? We know we cannot know what’s in the details, it would take years to decipher it. So they vote on what they do not know, not on what they actually know.” This our massive Big Data system: a system with so much data that even a quantum computer could not analyze and decipher, and even if it did: the humans who would benefit from it: our leaders would probably not read it, but would make decisions not on it but on their own ideological fantasies. This is Zizek’s point. [...]

Capitalism has begun to implode and destroy the very roots of its own power: private property in the visible and invisible relations of physical and subjective property. In totalizing surveillance capital is destroying the very base of its own social relations: the private individual – the Liberal Subject


Source: S. C. Hickman, "The Total Surveillance Society: The Endgame of Democracy," Dark Ecologies blog, June 28, 2015, accessed June 30, 2015, http://darkecologies.com/2015/06/28/the-total-surveillance-society-the-endgame-of-democracy/.

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