age of surveillance capitalism

age of surveill.png

(2019) by Shoshana Zuboff

long book



4 min clip on sv.. jan 2019.. []:

evolves by taking things outside the market .. don’t have a price.. not commodities.. and finding ways to drag them in..

via karl polanyi: 1\ activity to labor  2\ nature to real estate  3\ exchange to money

so in 21st cent .. sc – can take private human experience.. and call it behavioral data..



the defn – surveillance capitalism: 1\ new econ order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales; 2\ a parasitic econ logic in which production of goods/services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioral modification; 3\ a rogue mutation of capitalism marked by concentrations of wealth, knowledge and power unprecedented in human history; 4\ the foundational framework of a surveillance econ; 5\ as significant a threat to human nature in the 21st cent as industrial capitalism was to the natural world in the 19th & 20th; 6\ the origin of a new instrumentarian power that asserts dominance over society and presents starling challenges to market democracy;

7\ a movement that aims to impose a new collective order based on total certainty;..t

taleb antifragile law.. carhart-harris entropy law

to this tweet maryann replies wow.. then downloads book and tweets:

Any book that begins with these haunting lines by Auden, captures my attention…”We envy streams and houses that are sure…” from “The Age of Surveillance…”

Original Tweet:

I feel compelled to write about this: “We envy streams and houses that are sure…” Auden. Read it last night in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (p. 2). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

poem not in hardy copy (at least haven’t found it yet).. glad she’s reading along in digital.. here’s the poem found on line:

Wandering lost among the mountains of our choice,
Again and again we sigh for an ancient South,
For the warm nude ages of instinctive poise,
For the taste of joy in the innocent mouth.Asleep in our huts, how we dream of a part
In the glorious balls of the future; each intricate maze
Has a plan, and the disciplined movements of the heart
Can follow for ever and ever its harmless ways.We envy streams and houses that are sure:
But we are articled to error; we
Were never nude and calm like a great door,

And never will be perfect like the fountains;
We live in freedom by necessity,
A mountain people dwelling among mountains.

—W. H. Auden, In Time of War XXVII (1938)

W H Auden – auden sure law

8\ an expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above: an overthrow of the people’s sovereignty.



1 – home or exile in the digital future


all creatures orient to home.. it is the point of origin form which every species sets its bearings. w/o our bearings, there is no way to navigate unknown territory; w/o our bearings, we are lost




it is in the nature of human attachment that every journey and expulsion sets into motion the search for home. that nostos, finding home, is among our most profound needs is evident by the price we are willing to pay for it..there is universally shared ache to return to the place we left behind or to found a new home in which our hopes for the future can nest and grow

home need not always correspond to a single dwelling or place.. we can choose its form and location but not its meaning.. home is where we know and where we are known, where we are loved and are beloved..

attachment – known by someone.. maté basic needs

the sense of home slipping away provokes an unbearable yearning. the portuguese have a name for this feeling: saudade, a word said to capture the homesickness and longing of separation from the homeland among emigrants across the centuries.. now the disruptions of the 21st cent have turned these exquisite anxieties and longings of dislocation in to *a universal story that engulfs each one of us


already on each heart.. a nother way.. *maté basic needs.. almaas holes law

in 2000 group of computer scientists and engineers at georgia tech collab’d on project ‘aware home’.. meant to be a ‘living lab’ for study of ‘ubiquitous computing’.. they imagine a ‘human home symbiosis’..  connecting awareness sensors.. to.. google home.. gathering all data.. but for whom


what is most critical is that in the year 2000 this vision naturally assumed an unwavering commitment to the privacy of individual experience..  today these rights to privacy, knowledge, and application have been usurped by a bold market venture powered by unilateral claims to others’ experience and the knowledge that flows form ti..  what does this sea change means for us/children/democracies/human in digital world..  this book aims to answer these questions.. it is about the darkening of the digital dream and its rapid mutation into a voracious and utterly novel commercial project that i call surveillance capitalism

privacy et al


sc unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data.. feed into ‘machine intelligence’.. and fabricated into prediction products.. which are traded in a new kind of market place.. behavioral futures markets.. sc’s have grown immensely wealthy form these trading operations..

eventually sc’s discovered that the most predictive behavioral data come form intervening in the state of play in order to nudge, coax, tune and herd behavior toward profitable outcomes..

sc births a new species of power that i call instrumentarianism.. knows and shapes human behavior toward others’ ends.. instead of armaments and armies.. it works its will thru the automated medium of increasingly ubiquitous computation architecture of ‘smart’ networked devices, things, and spaces

been going on for quite some time.. vie ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work


sc runs contrary to early digital dream.. .. digital connection is now a means to others’ commercial ends..t..  at its core sc is parasitic and self-referential.. instead of marx capitalism feeding on labor.. sc feeds on every aspect of every human’s experience..

work.. as solving other people’s problems

google invented/perfected sc in much same way that  a century ago general motors invents/perfecred managerial capitalism..


sv imposes a fundamentally illegitimate choice that 21st cent individuals should not have to make, and its normalization leave us singing in our chains

just as industrial civilization flourished at the expense of nature and now threatens to cost us the earth, an info civilization shaped by sc and its new instrumentarian power will thrive at the expense of human nature and will threaten to cost us our humanity..t


zuboff unprecedented law:

one explanation for sc’s many triumphs floats above them all: it is unprecedented.. the unprecedented is necessarily unrecognizable..  when we encounter something unprecedented, we automatically interpret it thru the lenses of familiar categories, thereby rendering invisible precisely that which is unprecedented..  this is how the unprecedented reliably confound understanding; existing lenses illuminate the familiar, this obscuring the original by turning the unprecedented into an extension of the past.. this contributes to the normalization of the abnormal, which makes fighting the unprecedented even moe of an uphill climb.. t


i learned many things from the fire (her house), but among the most important was the unrecognizability of the unprecedented..


the danger of closing doors to rooms that will no longer exist is very real..t.. the unprecedented nature of sc has enabled it to elude systematic contest because it cannot be adequately grasped w our existing concepts.. we rely on categories such as ‘monopoly’ or ‘privacy’ to contest sc practices.. .. the existing categories fall short in id’ing and contesting the most crucial and unprecedented facts of this new regime..

this book is a journey to encounter what is strange, original, and even unimaginable (unprecedented) in sc. it is animated by the conviction that fresh observation, analysis and new naming are required if we are to grasp the unprecedented as a necessary prelude to effective contest.. .. let’s close doors, but let’s make sure that they are the right ones

we hunt the puppet mater, not the puppet

why hunt?


sc is a logic in action.. not a tech.. not inevitable expressions of techs sc’s employ

in truth.. search engines do not retain (info) but sc does.. sc practices appear to be inevitable when they are actually meticulously calculated and lavishly funded means to self dealing commercial ends


our aim in this book is to discern the laws of sc that animate today’s exotic trojan horses.. returning us to age old questions

‘we’ve got to start to make this world over..’ – thomas edison .. it was 1912 and still the 19th cent refused to relinquish its claim on the 20th.. same can be said of our time..t


the book is intended as an initial mapping.. a first foray that i hope will pave the way for more explorers..

let’s just focus on setting people free.. and let 7b explore.. everyday.. we don’t have time for mapping and paving.. even more so.. we now have the means to not do it that way.. could say.. an unprecedented opp.. for good.. and we’re missing it..

p 1 – foundations of sc

2 – aug 9 2011 – setting stage for sc


3 events: 1\ sv’s apple becomes most highly capitalized corp  2\ fatal shooting in london sparked rioting  3\ spanish citizens assert:’the right to be forgotten’


napster hacked the music industry, but apple appeared to have hacked capitalism

30 just as ford tapped into a new mass consumption, apple .. tapping into a new society of individuals.. and their demand for individualized consumption.. implied a large story of a commercial reformation in which the digital era finally offered tools to shift focus of consumption from mass to individual..  it promised something utterly new


these conditions provide .. success to the destructive collision of two opposing historical forces..

1\ mass: longer history of modernization and centuries long societal shift from mass to individual;

2\ individual: decades long elab and implementation of neolib econ paradigm: its political econ and transformation of society.. esp its aim to reverse, subdue, impede, and even destroy the individual urge toward psych self determination and moral agency


the two modernities: 1\ ford and mass  2\ apple and individual


(on mass): this new world order of the mass and its bureaucratic logic of concentration, centralization, standardization, and admin still provided solid anchors, guidelines, and goals for each life.. if there was anxiety .. it reflected the necessity of living up to the requirement of one’s roles..  one was expected to suppress any sense of self that spilled over the edges of the given social role, even at considerable psychic costs..

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work.. labels


(on individual): society of individuals.. hundreds of millions gained access to experiences that had once been the preserve of a tiny elite: uni, travel, life expectancy, disposable income,..

the hierarchical social compact and mass society of first modernity promised predictable rewards..  but their very success was the knife that cut us loose and sent us tumbling onto the shores of the 2nd modernity.. propelling us toward more intricate and richly patterned lives.. communication, info, consumption and travel stimulated individual self consciousness and imaginative capabilities..  could no longer be contained by predefined roles of group id..

marsh label law

predict\able ness


erik erikson described it: ‘the patient of today suffers most under the problem of what they should believe and who she should – or.. might – be or become; while the patient of early psychoanalysis suffered most under inhibitions which prevented him from being what and who he thought he knew he was’..

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

first modernity suppressed growth/expression of self in favor of collective.. second modernity.. self is all we have..  we learn thru trial/error.. nothing is given. everything must be reviewed.. reconstructed.. on terms that make sense to us..

the burdens of life w/o a fixed destiny turned us toward teh empowerin info rich resources fo the new digital milieu as it offered new sways to amplify our voices and forge our own chosen patterns of connection ..

so profound is this phenom that one can say w/o exaggeration tat the individual as the author of his/her own life is the protagonist os four gage, whether we experience this fact as emancipation or affliction

yes.. huge.. let’s make it so everyone experiences it as emancipation..

let’s facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. via 2 convers as infra

tech as it could be.. (listening to every voice.. everyday) in order to augment interconnectedness

in spite of its liberating potential, the second modernity was slated to become a hard place to live, and our condition of existence today reflect this trouble

because it won’t work unless it’s all of us (everyone) .. dancing the dance..  an undisturbed ecosystem begs everyone in sync from the get go.. so let’s do this firstfree art-ists.


we live in this collision between a centuries old story of modernization and a decades old story of economic violence that thwarts our pursuit of effective life..t



in the ‘crisis of democracy’ zeitgeist, the neoliberal vision and its reversion to market metrics was deeply attractive to politicians and policy makers, both as the means to evade political ownership of tough economic choices and because it promised to impose a new kind of order where disorder was feared..the absolute authority of market forces would be enshrined as the ultimate source of imperative control, displacing democratic contest and deliberation w an ideology of atomized individuals sentenced to perpetual competition for scarce resource. the discipline of competitive markets promised to quiet unruly individuals and even transform them back into subjects too preoccupied w survival to complain..t


as the old collectivist enemies had receded, new ones took their place: state regulation and oversight, social legislation and welfare policies, labor unions and the institution of collective bargaining, and the principles of democratic politics..  all these were to be replaced by the market’s version of truth, and competitions would be the solution to growth.. achieved thru deregulation, privatization and lower taxes..


aug 9.. 2011.. (same time apple conference room cheers) 16 000 police officers flood streets of london to quell ‘the most widespread and prolong breakdown of order in london’s history since the gordon riot of 1780’

saskia sassen: ‘if one underlying conditions – unemployment and bitter poverty  among people who desire to be part of middle class.. and are keenly aware of sharp ineq.. unbearable’



we now have the tools to grasp the collision in all of its destructive complexity: what is unbearable is that economic and social ineq’s have reverted to the preindustrial ‘feudal’ pattern but that we, the people, have not.. we are not illiterate peasants, serfs, or slaves..t

but according to wengrow/graeber never stupid law.. we were never stupid

and .. better.. we now have tools to listen to every voice everyday.. ie: tech as it could be..

the sense of being invisible was widespread.. as one woman explained ‘the young these days need to be heard.. ‘ t

we all need to be heard.. everyday.. ie: 2 convers as infra

occupy et al


we live in the knowledge that our lives have unique value, but we rae treated as invisible..

the deepest contradiciton of our time.. zygmunt bauman: ‘the yawning gap between the righ of self assertion and the capcity to control the social settings which render such self assertion feasible..  it is from that abysmal gap that the most poisonous effluvia contamianting the lives of contemporary indivdiuals emanate’


can the instability of the second modernity give way to a new synthesis: a third modernity that transcends the collision, offering a genuine path to a flourishing and effective life for the *many, not just the few? what **role will info capitalism play..t

*many isn’t enough.. has to be everyone

**info begs to be self-talk as data.. will never work if we keep cycling around the wrong (non-legit/inhumane/whale) data


carnegie mellon profs in 2008: ‘a reasonable reading of all the privacy policies one encounters in a year would require 76 full workdays at a national opp cost o f$781 b.. the numbers are much higher today


every successful vaccine begins w a close understanding of the enemy disease.. what is crucial now is that we id this new form of capitalism on its own terms and in its own words..

sv where things move so fast that few people know what just happened.. ‘at the speed of dreams’

if the digital future is to be our home.. then it is we who must make it so.. we will need to decide who decides..

3 – the discovery of behavioral surplus


google.. the pioneer of sc..  similar to ford’s mass production based managerial capitalism


discovery of behavioral surplus – google chooses key search words – google’s declared state of exception was the backdrop for 2002, the watershed year during which surveillance capitalism took root..


google’s many patents file during those early years illustrate the explosion of discovery, inventiveness, and complexity detonated by the state of exception that led to these crucial innovations and the firm’s determination to advance the capture of behavioral surplus.. among these efforts, i focus here on one patent submitted in 2003 by three of the firm’s top computer scientists and titled ‘generating user info for use in targeted advertising’..  the patent is emblematic of the new mutation and the emerging logic of accumulation that would define google’s success..


behavior the holy grail of advertising and prior to.. much was a waste.. now a scientific solution that exceeded dreams of any ad exec..  user profile info – upi


this new google assures its actual customer that it will do whatever it takes to transform the natural obscurity of human desire into scientific fact.. t

this is huge to idio-jargon as natural encryption.. we do have a natural obscurity.. let’s just work with that.. not to mention.. that once we ‘fact‘ human desire.. the data is no longer legit (to a living/ever-changing human).. it’s just legit to ie: whales in sea world

this google is the superpower that establishes its own values and pursues its own purposes above and beyond the social contracts to which others are bound

doesn’t have to be that way


key to our conversation is this fact: sc was invented by a specific group of human beings in a specific time and place.. it is not an inherent result of digital tech.. not a necessary expression of info capitalism..


ford’s inventions revolutionized production. google’s inventions revolutionized extraction

the extraction imperative meant that raw material supplies must be procured at an ever expanding scale..


the new logic of accumulation spread first to facebook.. which launched same year google went public.. mark: mission to connect every person in world.. w/o them paying…. opened fb.. 6 months later.. launched his big advertising product.. beacon..


sandberg became the ‘typhoid mary’ of sc as she led fb’s transformation form a social networking site to an dad behemoth..


this new market form declares that serving the genuine needs of people is less lucrative and there fore less important than selling predictions of their behavior.. google discovered that we are less valuable than others’ bets on our future behavior.. this changed everything.. t

predict able ness

4 – the moat around the castle


polanyi’s commodity fictions:

1\ human life as labor to be bought/sold 

2\ nature as land/real-estate

3\ exchange as money

david harvey: accumulation by dispossession.. sc originates in this act of digital dispossession..


today’s owners of sc have declared a fourth fictional commodity.. expropriated form the experiential realities of human beings whose bodies, thoughts and feelings are as virgin and blameless as nature’s once plentiful meadows and forests before they fell to the market dynamic..

4\ human experiences subjugated to sv’s market mechs and reborn as behavior

these behaviors are rendered into data, ready to take their place in a numberless queue that feeds the machines for fabrication into prediction sand eventual exchange in the new behavioral futures market

the commodification of behavior under sc pivots us toward a societal future in which market power is protected by moats of secrecy, indecipherability and expertise. even when knowledge derived from our behavior is fed back to us as a quid pro quo for participation, as in the case of so called ‘personalization’ parallel secret operation pursue the conversion of surplus into sales at that point far beyond our interest. we have no formal control because we are not essential to this market action..

indeed.. but been true forever… ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work


when asked his thought on how to limit ‘negativity’ and increase ‘positivity’ page reflected, ‘maybe we should set aside a small part of the world.. as technologists we should have some *safe places where we can try our some new things and figure out what is the effect on society, what’s the effect on people, w/o having to deploy kind of into the normal world

everything is experiment.. everyday.. for everyone – *in the city.. as the day..  ie: cure ios city.. has to be everyone.. everyday

larry page

104: this kind of lawlessness has been a critical success factor in the short history of sc..105:  it is important to understand that sc’s are impelled to pursue lawlessness by the logic of their own creation..

well.. the law less ness is important.. we’ve just not yet seen it as a benevolence to humanity.. because it’s only been exercised by a few… it has to be exercised by everyone.. every single person .. every day.. or it won’t work.. and we’ll end up saying.. ‘see.. it doesn’t work.. it’s a tragedy.. we have to order/rule the people’


on self regulation allowing ie: google to takeover like it did

again.. self reg is what we need.. but it doesn’t work unless it’s all of us.. undisturbed ecosystem: ‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows


cia director michal hayden conceded as much in 2013 when he told an audience that in the years following 9/11, the cia ‘could be fairly charged w the militarization of the www’..

why we need ie: gershenfeld something else law as our protection et al


in this environ of trauma and anxiety, a ‘state of exception’ was invoked to legitimate a new imperative: speed at any cost.. ‘the suspension of normal conditions is justified w ref to the ‘war on terrorism’.. between cia and google.. made surveillance exceptionalism .. a unique historical deformity..  ‘picking signal out of noise’ by ‘cia swimming in the valley’ .. et al

true.. but happened before that.. ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work


collab between google and intelligence community, esp nsa.. unprecedented


as wired concluded ‘the govt needs silicon valley more than ever as it seeks to defend from security threats in cyberspace’.. schmidt to new board – defense innovation advisory board


why risk experimentation w more organic paths to *monetization when surveillance and extraction operations were safe from law and hugely profitable.. once surveillance revenues set the bar of vc’s and walls street analysts, it became that much easier for internet co’s to go w the flow. then it became onerous not to

again.. none of this new.. this is fractal to the ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work.. perhaps just more obvious..

*we have to let go of money.. just like it has to be everyone.. or it won’t work.. there aren’t good and bad monies.. the measuring/exchanging ness of it is all cancerous to humanity


(on google’s role/connection to politics/elections.. esp obama)..  in 2017 wall street journal reported that since 2009 google had actively sought out and provided funding to uni professors for research and policy papers that support google’s positions on matters related to law/reg/competition, patents and so forth..

one guy at fb and 2 at google in control

5 – the elaboration of sc: kidnap, corner, compete


in ch 6 i offer a new way of thinking about danger. the threats we face are even more fundamental as sc’s take command of the essential question that defines knowledge, authority and power in our time: who knows? who decides? who decides who decides?

6 – hijacked: the division of learning in society


according to the philosopher of language john searle, a declaration is a particular way of speaking and acting that establishes facts out of thin air.. creating a new reality where there was nothing.. john: ‘we make something the case by representing it as being the case’

declarations rise/fall on the strength of others’ acceptance of the new facts.. as searle concludes ‘all of institutional reality and therefore .. all of human civilization is created by.. declarations‘..

declarations are inherently invasive because they impose new facts on the social world while their declarers devise ways to get others to agree to those facts.


the exercise (reading edicts) was so cynical and cruel that the approaching invaders (16th cent spaniards) . . often dispatched their obligation by mumbling the edict’s long paragraphs into their beards in the dead of night as they hid among the thick vegetation waiting to pounce..


these 21st cent invaders do not ask permission ; the forge ahead, papering the scorched earth w faux-legitimation practices.. .. instead of cynically conveyed monarchical edicts, they offer cynically conveyed terms of service agreements.. whose stipulations are just as obscured and incomprehensible..

76 days to read them et al []

eric schmidt asked for trust, but google’s ‘declarations’ ensure that it did not require our trust to succeed..

on the strength of its unprecedented concentrations of knowledge and power, surveillance capitalism achieves dominance over the division of learning in society – the axial principle of social order in an info civilization. this development is all the more dangerous because it is unprecedented. it cannot be reduced to known harms and therefore does not easily yield to known forms of combat..

begs gershenfeld something else law


the ordering principle of the workplace had shifted from a division of labor to a division of learning..

we have the means to go deeper than this.. no division.. i wish we could quit stating the future in terms of the past..

let’s do something completely different.. let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. renders your 3 questions (who knows, who decides, who decides who decides) irrelevant.. because it’s all of us.. everyday..

the 3 questions are missing a big roadblock.. who knows what.. decides what..  the game completely changes if we base it off 7b curiosities.. new everyday

we’ve got to let go of any ‘sure‘ ness.. of the day

huge miss


the result (of wholly new electronic text extending beyond confines of factory/office .. to computers, credit cards, cameras… et al).. is that both the world and our lives are pervasively rendered as info..  the essential questions confront us at every turn: who knows? who decides? who decides who decides?..t

those are so not essential enough questions.. in the holistic scheme of things.. all that data is non legit.. so.. it’s simply an extension beyond confines of non legit data (ie: more info on whales in sea world.. et al).. asking who knows this data.. or who decides on this data.. is irrelevant to humanity (mufleh humanity law)

this is huge


more than 600 yrs ago, the printing press put the written word into the hands of ordinary people, rescuing the prayers, bypassing the priesthood and delivering the opp for spiritual communion directly into the hand of the prayerful..t

depends how you look at it.. i see it as adding to hierarchy.. and dependence on others to interpret/teach you.. (we assume the printed words are/were legit..?).. then deem you literate or not.. rather than trusting what is already inside each one of us

we have come to take for granted that the internet enables an unparalleled diffusion of info, promising more knowledge for more people..t

in both cases.. printing press and internet.. our focus needs to be on connecting.. not on knowledge/info..  i think that’s the something more doug engelbart was looking for.. ie: rather than augmenting human intellect.. augmenting interconnectedness.. via a means of non hierarchical listening (ie: tech ).. because it has to be all of us (aka: everyone).. everyday.. or it won’t work

p 2 – the advance of sc

7 – the reality business


schmidt 2015 at davos: ‘the internet will disappear.. so many ip addresses/devices.. you won’t even sense it’.. he was, in fact, merely paraphrasing mark weiser’s seminal 1991 article ‘the computer fore the 21st cent’ which has framed sv’s tech objective for nearly 3 decades..



weiser intro’d what he called ‘ubiquitous computing’  w two legendary sentences: ‘the most profound techs are those that disappear. they weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it’..  ‘allows computers to vanish into background..machines that fit the human environ instead of forcing humans to enter theirs will make using a computer as refreshing as talking a walk in the woods’

weiser understood that the virtual world could never be more than a shadow land no matter how much data it absorbs: ‘vr is only a map, not a territory. . vr simulates the world rather than invisibly enhancing the world that already exists’..  in contrast, ubiquitous computing would infuse that real world w a universally networked apparatus of silent ‘calm’ and voracious computing.. .. the ‘computing environ’..

calm tech

schmidt was not describing end of net.. but its successful unshackling from dedicated devices.. for sv’s this transition is not a choice.. surveill profits profits flow from new markets for future behavior.. .. a second (first was extraction imperative) econ imperative – the prediction imperative..

predict able ness (of live things) – a myth


economies of scale were implemented by machine based extraction architectures in the online world.. now the reality business requires machine based architectures in the real world.. these finally fulfill weiser’s vision of ubiquitous automated computation processes that ‘weave into everyday life..indistinguishable form it’ but w a twist.. now they operate in the interests of sv’s

there are many buzzwords that gloss over these operations and their econ origins: ‘ambient computing’ ‘ubiquitous computing’ ‘internet of things’.. i will refer to this as the ‘apparatus’


on behavioral modification.. the aim of this undertaking is not to impose behavioral norms, such as conformity or obedience, but rather to produce behavior that reliably, definitively and certainly leads to desire commercial results..

how is that diff that obedience/comformity..? voluntary compliance ..manufactured consent .. et al.. ie: to causing cancer to humanity

gartner: ‘the mastery of the iot will serve as a key enabler in transformation of business models from guaranteed levels of performance to guaranteed outcomes..’ .. this is an extraordinary statement because there can be no such guarantees in the absence of the power to make it so

this is all irrelevant if we think about the essence of humanity.. and let go of business/business-models.. et al.. there are no guarantees.. only vague/dead/death patterns when we assume/accept humans as if we were whales in sea world

this wider complex that we refer to as the ‘means for behavioral mod’ is the expression of this gathering power

not power.. so much as manufactured consent

under this regime, ubiquitous computing is not just a knowing machine; it is an actuating machine designed to produce more certainty about us and for them..

as is/was ie: the supposed to’s.. of school/work


futuristic as this may sound, the vision of individuals and groups as so many objects to be continuously tracked, wholly known, and shunted this way or that for some purpose of which they are unaware has a history..  it was coaxed to life nearly 60 yrs ago under the warm equatorial sun of the galapagos islands..  when giant tortoise.. swallows cactus this a dedicated scientist had wedged a small machines..  *locking these creatures in a zoo would only eliminate the very behavior that scientists wanted to study.. t.. but how were they to be surveilled.. all that has changed is that now we are the animals..

wow.. so much here.. 1\ not futuristic.. been happening for way more than 60 yrs.. ie: supposed to’s/surveillance. of school/work.. and we’ve been like the animals.. the whales in sea world.. all this time.. ie: forever..

*this is key.. we’ve been going off data from ie: whales in sea world.. forever.. then calling it human nature and spending our days analyzing it.. ie: deciding how much freedom could/should be allowed..

what we need is to get us out of sea world.. ie: hari rat park law et al.. we’re spinning our wheels.. wasting energy/time.. trying to figure out surveillance.. we just need to set us all free (return our shells.. return us to the ocean/nature).. first.. and trust us/everyone/undisturbed ecosystem.. unconditionally

what we need most is the energy of 7bn alive people

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

a nother way


telemetry – a frontier tech based on long distance transmission of computer data (used in galapagos w tortoises)..

mackay’s first gen ‘wearable techs’ made it possible to study ‘unrestrained animals’ among every species, including people..t

not true.. no one has done this yet.. we are so restrained.. need detox embed in order to get to unrestrained people..

biomedical telemetry, he stressed, was uniquely suited to gather info that would be otherwise impossible to collect ‘in the wild’..t

we are no longer in the wild.. even if some appear to be in the wild.. it has to be all of us for us to be unrestrained..

the key principle was that his telematics operated outside an animal’s awareness

awareness of observation is only one aspect keeping us from truly being us

this was esp useful in solving problems such as the difficulty of measuring ‘uncooperative animals’ and the need to gather data even when herds roamed thru ‘inaccessible regions’

studying cooperation amongst humans won’t be legit until we set them free.. and it has to be all of them

mackay’s inventions *enabled scientists to render animals as info even when they believed themselves to be free, wandering and resting, unaware of the incursion into their once mysterious landscapes

we have yet to set humans free.. rather.. *enabled scientists to believe humans were free


mackay stressed that the transmission and monitoring of sensor data were only part of the story.. the route was not enough; it had to be the routing. he argued for a ‘reverse process’ .. that would not only monitor behavior but also reveal how it could be modified and optimized, providing what he regarded as ‘a remote dialogue between the subject and the experimenter’..t

for humans.. dialogue has to be between subject and themselves.. every day.. ie: self-talk as data

in a metamorphosis that mackay did not foresee, the science of animal tracking that grew from his pathbreaking vision became the template for surveillance capitalism’s next phase of evolution as telematic now applied to human behavior succumbed to the thrall of a new and lucrative logic of accumulation

again why this begs to be about interconnections rather than info

the requirements of prediction that would later merge into an econ imperative were already evident in mackay’s work

exactly.. tell tale sign that it was already cancerous


mackay yearned for discovery, but today’s ‘experimenters’ yearn for certainty as they translate our lives into calculations..

ok.. if so.. even so.. mackay didn’t go deep enough into the wild to get to the essence of a human.. rendering discoveries.. right back to what he was trying to avoid.. ie: studying whales in sea world

mackay’s animals were unrestrained and *innately uncooperative because they felt themselves to be free, sheltering and roaming in unknown terrain..t

same misthinking as in the tragedy of the commons.. ie: not truly free to begin with so data gained.. illegit

so annoying that *this assumption keeps being made.. slid in.. w/o a question

joseph paradiso (@0zric) of mit media lab.. where sc’s most valuable capabilities/applications from data mining to wearable techs were invented..t

not quite valuable enough (to humanity) .. though we have the means.. you just can’t hear it.. as it could be..

pardiso writes ‘ w/o ubiquitous sensate environs.. the cognitive engines of this everywhere enabled world are deaf, dumb, and blind, and can’t respond relevantly to he real world events that they aim to augment’.. in other words, ubiquitous computing is *meaningless w/o the ubiquitous sensing that conveys the experience for computation..t

rather.. *meaningless until we get us all back to an undisturbed ecosystem first.. ie: rat park or whatever

he and students invented a ‘listen tree’..  which emits streaming sound that ‘invites attention’.. t

for humans.. that streaming sound.. is silence.. where they can listen for their daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. so simple.. we have the means.. and we’re missing it..


according to paradiso and his coauthor, gershon dublon (@gershonatron).. the next great tech challenge is ‘context aggregation’.. the ability to assemble rapidly expanding sensor info into new ‘applications’..  ‘this shift will create a *seamless nervous system that covers the planet.. and one of the main challenge for the computing community now is how to merge the rapidly evolving ‘omniscient’ electronic sensoria onto the **human perception..t

the *seamless nervous system already exists.. we just have to uncover it.. free it up.. get out of the way and listen to it..

if we do that.. **human perception also.. already tapped in..


unstructured data cannot merge and flow in the new circuits of liquified assets bought and sold.. they are friction

they are safety net.. idio-jargon as safety


the uncontract is not a space of contractual relations but rather a unilateral execution that makes those relations unnecessary

so too the contract.. unilateral.. we just think we have a say.. ie: voluntary compliance et al


where does all this freedom come together.. the city.. ie: sidewalk labs

sidewalk labs et al


in light of these ambitions, it is not surprising that doctoroff (sidewalk labs), like page, prefers lawless space

but neither has experimented with true lawless spaces.. because it has to be everyone and 100% free.. unconditional.. they assume.. like you?.. uncoop is innate.. et al.. so have never let go enough to see..

schmidt: ‘the genesis of the thinking for sidewalk labs came from google’s founders getting excited thinking of ‘all the things you could do if someone would just give us a city and *put us in charge‘.. noting that ‘ he joked he knew there were good reason that doesn’t happen’.. and then it did ‘oh my god, we’ve been selected.. **it’s our turn

perhaps rather.. *no one in charge.. and/or someone who knows how/why to not be in charge is setting the infra.. ie: 2 convers as infra

**only way it will work if the infra is set so that it’s everybody‘s turn.. in sync

8 – rendition: from experience to data


susan sontag: ‘to photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. it means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge – and, therefore, like power



we worry about co’s that amass personal data and wonder ‘who ownd the data?.. but every discussion of data protection/ownership omits the most importan question of all: why is our experience rendeereed as behavioral data in the first place..

this chapter and next draw our attention to the gap between experience and data.. i call these opeartions (to transform one to the other) rendition..


rendition: double meaning 1\ turning one thing into another  2\ way the thing gives itself over to this process – sur render


lesson of this chapter and next: there can be no sc w/o rendition


under the regime of sc, individuals don’t render their experience out of choice/or obligation but rather out of ignorance and the dictatorship of no alternatives..t..  the ubiquitous apparatus operates thru coercion and stealth.. our advance into live necessarily takes us thru the digital, where involuntary rendition has become an inescapable fact..

again.. not new.. just another version of voluntary compliance.. perhaps more visible.. at least more are talking about it now

we are left w few rights to know, or to decide who knows, or to decide who decides.. t

rather.. we are left w/o space to be curious

9 – rendition from the depths


this is a new frontier (2016 – microsoft intro’s personal digital assistant – cortana) of behavior surplus where the dark data continent of you inner life – your intentions and motives, meanings and needs, preferences and desires, moods and emotions, personality and disposition, truth telling or deceit – is summoned in the light for others’ profits.. under the banner of ‘personalization’

except.. since we are all intoxicated from all the prior voluntary compliance ing.. none of that is legit anyway

skimmed much of this.. on collecting data w/o people knowing it .. cambridge analytica et al.. and from emotional ness w/machines

10 – make them dance


‘the new power is action’ a sr software engineer told me. ‘the intelligence of the internet of things means that sensors can also be actuators’..  now the real aim is ubiquitous intervention, action and control..

again.. not new.. ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

this actuation capability define a new phase of the prediction imperative that emphasized economies of action. this phase reps the completion of the new means of behavior mod.. a decisive and necessary evolution of the sc ‘means of production ‘ toward a more complex, iterative, and muscular operational system

perhaps more iterative/muscular.. much like a machine/factory.. but same story: supposed to’s.. of school/work turning us into slaves (aka: whales in sea world)


automated behavioral mod ..designed and controlled by co’s to meet their own revenue and growth objectives..

again.. this is what co’s/govt/et-al have been doing for years via supposed to’s..  school/work ..


calling it ‘nudges’ ‘herding’ ‘conditioning’ ..

is compliance ever voluntary
manufactured consent ness toward pluralistic ignorance ness. perhaps we reimagine our broken feedback loop of assumed supposed to’s.. wilde not-us law.. science of people in schools ness.. public consensus always oppresses someone… et al

skimming again.. thru fb experiments and pokemon go do.. et al


in this future we are *exiles from our own behavior, denied access to or control over knowledge derived from our **experience.. knowledge, authority and power rest w sc, for which we are merely ***human natural resources

*again.. not new

**not legit

***not natural

11 – the right to the future tense


(on her writing the book.. and how friends look at her w pity.. but how free she feels.. because she willed/committed herself to writing it.. and.. she knows she could quit)

to make a promise is to predict the future; to fulfill a promise thru the exercise of will turns that prediction into fact

hannah arendt devoted an entire volume to an examination of will as the ‘organ of the future’.. in the same way that memory is our mental organ for the past..  the power of will lies in its unique ability to deal w things ‘visibles and invisibles, that have never existed at all . just as the past always presents itself to eh mind in the guise of certainty, the future’s main characteristic it is basic uncertainty, no matter how high a degree of probability prediction may attain’..  w freedom of will we undertake action that is entirely contingent on our determination to see our project thru. these are acts that we could have ‘left undone’ but for our commitment. *’a will that is not free’ arendt concludes ‘is a contradiction in terms’


*but ever present in most all of us today.. ie: krishnamurti free will law

arendt’s metaphor of will as the ‘mental organ of our future’ suggests that it is something built into us: organic, intrinsic, inalienable,.. moral philosophers have called this ‘free will’ because it is the human counterpoint to the fear of uncertainty that suffocates original action. arendt describes promises as ‘islands of predictability’ and ‘guideposts o reliability’ in an ‘ocean of uncertainty’.. they are , she argues, the only alternative to a diff kind of ‘mastery’ that relies on ‘domination of one’s self and rule over others’


predict\ability as cancerous.. uncertainty as freedom

the freedom of will is the existential bone structure that carries the moral flesh of every *promise, and my insistence on its integrity is not an indulgence in nostalgia or a random privileging of the pre digital human story as  somehow more truly human..  this is the only kind of freedom we can guarantee ourselves.. no matter the weight of entropy or inertia and irrespective of the forces and fears that attempt to collapse time into an eternity of shadowboxing now and now and now.. these bones are the necessary condition for the possibility of **civilization as a ‘moral milieu’ that favors the dignity of the individual and respects the distinctly human capacities for dialogue and problem solving ..any person, idea or practice that breaks these bones and tears this flesh robs us of a self authored and we authored future..

dang.. i’m seeing promises as cancerous to the human spirit.. to play.. and to spontaneity… to the bravery to change our mind everyday..

am seeing **civilzation as cancerous to society


these principles are not quaint accessories.. rather, they are had won *achievements that have crystalized over millennia of human contest and sacrifice.. our freedom **flourishes only as we steadily will ourselves to close the gap between making promises and keeping them

dang.. that stinks.. that’s being sure ness

*achievements.. and hard won order.. cancer.. freedom **doesn’t flourish there..

if it did.. today we’d all be free.. because we’ve gotten good at achievement and hard won order et al..

the concept of ‘freedom of speech’ as a formal right emerged only when society evolved to a degree of political complexity that the freedom so speak came under threat..

not complexity.. rather degree of political/heirarchical hearing.. complexity would allow for every voice.. to be heard.. everyday

ie: as it could be..

no one has declared a ‘right to breathe’ or a ‘right to bodily movement’ because these elemental rights have not come under attack and therefore do not require formal protection

well.. they have for some people.. no? suffocating/death/prison/homelessness/b&b.. et al

rights.. can of cancerous worms

i suggest that we now face the moment in history when the elemental right to the future tense is endangered by a panvasive digital architecture of behavior mod owned and operated by sc, necessitate by its econ imperatives, and driven by its laws of motion , all for the sake of its guaranteed outcomes

not new.. maybe new to you.. but not to most people in the world..


most simple put, there is not freedom w/o uncertainty; it is the medium in which human will is expressed in promises..

no.. that sounds nice.. people will love that sentence.. but promises are not part of our  natural nature..

when we join our wills and our promises, we create the possibility of collective action toward a shared future, linked in determination to make our vision real in the world..this is the origin of the institute we call ‘contract’ beginning w the ancient romans


rather.. when we listen to daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city.. and then find local people that day to play/experiment with.. that’s the collective action..toward a shared future.. that will last.. because it’s the thing we each can’t not do.. everyday.. no incentive/contract needed..


contracts originated as shared ‘islands of predictability’ intended to mitigate uncertainty for the human community, and they still retain this meaning..

uncertainty/entropy is our means to antifragility.. et al.. it’s our only means to staying alive..

‘contract law focuses on problems of cooperation’ – one eminent scholar

the problem isn’t cooperation.. it’s true freedom.. let go

‘contract law.. reflects a moral ideal of equal respect for persons.. this fact explains why contract law can produce genuine legal obligation as and is not just a system of coercion’ – another eminent scholar

rather.. contract s are a sign that we’re not trusting people.. not trusting the day..

conferences.. where they start w.. ‘we can’t trust humans’.. so need contracts.. that we can verify thru tech.. so we trust tech..i don’t like that vision   – Michel Bauwens

which means we’ll not get back/to an undisturbed ecosystem

obligation as cancer

it is in this context that the destructiveness of the uncontract is most clearly revealed..

wow.. bummer

so you’re essentially pushing the tragedy of commons myth


in the dystopia of the uncontract, this daily human thing is not normal.. there would be no loan manager engaging in a give and take w customers..

any contract is not a daily human thing..

all ie’s i’m reading here have to do with payments.. house, car,..  not natural.. and again.. most of the people in the world today.. have not received give and take ness from management

in the dystopia of the uncontract, sc’s drive toward certainty fills the space once occupied by all the human work of building and replenishing social trust.. which is not reinterpreted as unnecessary friction in the march toward guaranteed outcomes. the deletion of uncertainty is celebrated as victory over human nature: our cunning and our opportunism.. all that’s left to matter are the rules that translate reason s in to action, the objective measures of behavior and the degree of conformance between the two.. social trust eventually withers.. by positing our lives together as already failed, it justifies coercive intervention for the sake of certainty.. against this background of the gradual normalization of the automated plan and its planners

not new..


so let us establish our bearings.. uncertainty is not chaos but rather the necessary habitat of the present tense.. we choose the fallibility of shared promises and problem solving over the certain tyranny imposed by dominant power of plan because this is the price we pay for the freedom of will

i see both as the same.. assuming a promise/problem just as cancerous as being given a plane.. neither allow for spontaneity.. which means death to the human spirit


in order to reestablish our bearings, i have asked for a rebirth of astonishment and outraged..

we need to go deeper than google et al.. and question the years and years of behavior modification via ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work


this was the crucible of mass society, its hierarchical authority, and its centralized bureaucratic forms of public and private power, all of it haunted by the specters of conformity, obedience, and human standardization. lives were defined by institutions that mirrored industrial organization: schools, hospitals, and even aspects of family and domestic life, in which ages and stages were understood as functions of the industrial system, from training to retirement..

yes that..

no train

at a time when sc has emerged as the dominant form of info capitalism, we must ask: what kind of civilization does it foretell

perhaps we let go of civilization ness

why we haven’t yet gotten to global equity (everyone getting a go everyday.. everyone.. everyday)

tweets to here

p 3 – instrumentarian power for third modernity

12 – two species of power


under sv, the ‘means of production’ serves the ‘means of behavioral mod’.. machine processes replace human relationships so that certainty can replace trust

fabricate predictions which become more valuable as they approach certainty..


as to this species of power that remakes human nature for the sake of its lucrative certainties.. i name it instrumentarianism, defined as the instrumentation (puppet) and instrumentalization (relations that orient puppet masters to human experience)  of behavior for the purposes of modification, prediction monetization and control

not new


sv’s have no interest in murder or the reformation of our souls. although their aims are in many ways just as ambitious as those of totalitarian leaders.. (stalin, lenin, hitler)


hannah arendt described the defeat of nazi germany as ‘the first chance to t\try to tell and to understand what had happened.. still in grief and sorrow and .. a tendency to lament, but no longer in speechless outrage and impotent horror..

‘totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing human beings from w/in’ wrote arendt


totalitarianism’s insistence on domination of the human soul.. to command populations right down to their souls requires unimaginable effort, which was one reason why totalitarianism was unimaginable..  it requires henchmen and their henchmen and their henchmen..

like the inspectors of inspectors.. of bureaucracy

totalitarian power cannot succeed by remote control. mere conformity is insufficient. each individual inner life must be claimed and transformed by the perpetual threat of punishment w/o crime.. mass murder warrants economies of scale – the camps, massacres, and gulags – but for the rest it would be a handmade terror that aims to remake every aspect of the individual from the inside out.. this craftwork requires the detailed orchestration of isolation, anxiety, fear , persuasion…

like ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

arendt: the ‘iron band’ of terror ‘mercilessly presses men.. against each other so that thee very space of free action.. disappears.’ terror ‘fabricates the oneness of all men’


instrumentarian power moves differently and toward an opposite horizon..  totalitarianism operated thru the means of violence, but instrumentarian power operated thru the means of behavioral mod, and tis is where our focus must shift

we’ve been experiencing that for year.. structural violence via bureaucracy via the supposed to’s.. of school/work et al

instrumentarian power has no interest in our souls or any principle to instruct. there is no training or transformation for spiritual salvation, no ideology against which to judge our actions.. it does not demand possession of each person from the inside out.. it welcomes data from (whatever).. it is profoundly and infinitely indifferent to our meanings and motives..  trained on measurable action, it only cares that whatever we do is accessible to its ever evolving operation of rendition, calculation, modification, monetization and control

although it is not murderous, instrumentarianism is as startling incomprehensible and new to the human story as totalitarianism was to its witnesses and victims..  our encounter w unprecedented power helps to explain why it has been difficult to name and know this new species of coercion, shaped in secret, camouflaged by tech and technical complexity and obfuscated by endearing rhetoric

not new.. structural violence via bureaucracy via the supposed to’s.. of school/work et al

totalitarianism was a political project that converge w economics to overwhelm society. instrumentarianism is a market project that converges w the digital to achieve its own unique brand of social domination

graeber f and b same law


some of my most vivid memories of grad school are the times i spent w him (skinner) in close debate..


skinner: knowledge does not make us free but releases us form the illusion of freedom.. in reality, he writes, freedom and ignorance are synonyms.. for meyer and skinner.. our attachments to notions such as freedom, will, autonomy, purpose and agency are defense mechs that protect us from the uncomfortable facts of human ignorance.. the environ determines behavior and our ignorance of precisely how it does so is the void that we fill w  the fantasy of freedom

meyer: soul, self, mind, consciousness.. restricted.. can have no scientific value because it cannot be observed and measured.. this otherization of humanity was to be the road to a new kind of political liberation.. ‘atrocities (of past) were due to the fact that the judge was serving as mind reader, and that the accused was regarded primarily as a soul’..


in meyer’s thinking the shift from ‘human being as a soul’ to ‘human being as an organism’.. explained ‘why the trend of history is in the direction of democracy’.. as science overtake civilization, meyer assumed a new global recognition of equality and democratic fellowship rooted in the basic fact of our overwhelming similarity as fellow organisms..

so (to him/them/history) consensus works.. rather than oppresses..


the divisions that haunt society, politics and economics based on class, wealth, liberality, race and so on would become ridiculous ‘in real world wide human life, the differences among individuals are entirely swamped by their likenesses..  to him who accepts the scientific view that human society is a group of organisms, it is an absurd proposition to divide.. into.. classes..’ .. ‘christ going among his fellow men, an organism among organisms..’

interesting.. insightful.. as to the why

skinner’s commitment to the viewpoint of the other-one was unshakable, and it is thru his elaboration of this viewpoint that we can begin to grasp the essence of instrumentarian power.. ‘freedom is merely ignorance waiting to be conquered.. primitive systems of behavior assign causality to entities beyond man’..

skinner called his work ‘radical behaviorism’ insisting that the only meaningful object of behavioral study was observation of action devoid of subjective attributions. that’s what made it radical.. ‘behavior is wha tan organism is doing – or more accurately what it is observed by another organism to be doing’ he declared in his first book’s opening pages.. ‘operant’ behavior was his term for this active, observable ‘doing’..  the vocab for rending descriptions of operant behavior was to be purged of inwardness; an organism cannot be said to ‘see’ but rather to ‘look toward’..  only such objective description can render measurable behavioral facts that  in turn, lead to patterns and ultimately to the documentation of causal relationships between environ and behavior


in nearly every book/article, skinner declared the truth that planck taught meyer and meyer imparted to his students, the single truth that can be grasped only thru the viewpoint of the other one: freedom is ignorance..the felt experience of free will is but a bit of undigested denial.. produced by lack of info about the actual determinants of behavior.. they regarded freedom as an ‘accident’.. illusory..


(skinner) believed that humanity was desperately needed a plan, and he imagine powerful new instruments that could engineer behavior in every domain.. .. as early as 1953 he anticipate today’s digitally engineered casino environs..


like today’s sv’s (skinner) was confident that the slow drip of tech invention would eventually push privacy to he margins of human experience.. where it would join ‘freedom’ and other troublesome illusions


two utopias.. skinner and orwell.. 1948-9.. orwell’s received.. skinners not received..  lewis mumford describe walden two (skinner’s) as a ‘totalitarian utopia’ and a depiction of ‘hell’.. but in fact these characterization are a persistent and as we shall see.. dangerous confusion.. books similar.. but depictions of power precise opposites



orwell laid bare the disease, and skinner asserted the antidote


skinner’s cure for crushed souls – not democracy; not free market; not existentialism; but rather.. other-one ness.. the ‘organism among organisms’.. as the object of ‘behavioral engineering’..  ideal community as ‘superorganism’ that can be shaped and controlled ‘as smoothly and efficiently as champion football teams’


skinner’s utopia was meant to illustrate the possibility of a successful social order that transcends the use of force and rejects the need to dominate human souls..

the walden two community equally disdains the practices of democratic politics and rep govt..  its laws are derived from a science of human behavior.. to improve every domain of modern life.. and aimed to cultivate the good life.. by forfeiting: freedom, autonomy, privacy, a people’s right to self rule..

skinner’s vision is brought to life in the relentless pursuit of sv’s econ imperatives

13 – big other and the rise of instrumentarian power


big other.. replacing the engineering of souls w the engineering of behavior.. thanks to big other’s capabilities, instrumentarian power reduces human experience ot measurable observable behavior while remaining steadfastly indifferent to the meaning of that experiences..  i call this new way of knowing radical indifference.. carrying individuals on a fast moving current to the fulfillment of others’ ends..

not new.. zombie ness from the supposed to’s.. of school/work et al


dehumanized methods of evaluation that produce equivalence w/o equality these methods reduce individuals to the lowest common denominator of sameness .. from big other’s pov we are strictly other ones: organisms that behave

how do you not see this as old hat? – perhaps your route thru harvard? again.. glad it’s becoming visible to more people.. but not new


the diff between sc in the west and china’s emerging social credit system pivots on the patterns of entanglement and engagement between instrumentarian and state power.. there are structural differences..


astonishment is a necessary alarm. we need it, but it should not leave us frozen in disbelief.. this journey is not as long as you might think.. there is a fork in the road.. in one direction lies the possibility of a synthetic declaration for a 3rd modernity based on the strengthening of democratic institutions and the creative construction of a double movement for our time..  we harness the digital to reunite supply and demand.. w a flourish *democratic social order..  the first step down this road **begins w naming, establishing our bearing, reawakening our astonishment and sharing a sense of righteous indignity

no.. *democratic social order..? righteous indignity?.. we can do better than that today..

**begin w facil-ing daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

let go

let’s go with a nother way to live.. that doesn’t even require the pre req of ie: astonishment.. one that is already in each one of us.. just needs to be uncovered..

the other road.. links us to shenzhen.. we find our way to sc’s antidemocratic vision for a 3rd modernity.. it is a future of certainty accomplished w/o violence.. the price we pay is not w our bodies but w our freedom.. this future don’t not yet exist..

sure it does.. we’ve been living it for years.. and it is.. has been.. inundated w violence.. lacking in freedom

396-7 – chart – figure 4

zuboff chart

14 – a utopia of certainty


(weiser vision).. if instrumentarian power can make totalitarianism look like anarchy, then what might it have in store for us?


although instrumentarianism (market) and totalitarianism (political) are distinct species, they each yearn toward totality, though in profoundly diff ways..

graeber f & b same law


the machine hive becomes the role model for a new human hive in which we march in peaceful unison toward the same direction based on the same ‘correct’ understanding in order to construct a world free of mistakes, accidents and random messes..  individual freedom is forfeit to collective knowledge and action.. nonharmonious elements are preemptively targeted w high does of tuning, herding and conditioning,  including the full seductive force of social persuasion and influence..  for the sake of *guaranteed outcomes..

not new.. ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work..

*american dream et al..

15 – the instrumentarian collective


applied utopianist execs such as page, nadella and zuckerberg do not say much about their theories..  but a cadre of data scientists .. has leapt into this void.. one outstanding ie is work of alex pentland



few consider the social ramifications of their work w pentland’ insight and conviction, providing us w an invaluable opp to critically explore the governance assumptions, societal principles and social processes that define an instrumentarian society..

pentland as high priest .. often referred to as the ‘godfather of wearables’..

just wish he could hear/see a potential we’ve not yet tried.. ie: tech as it could be..

thad starner, one of pentland’s doctoral students..  then hired by sergey to work on google glass

starner.. brin..


pentland’s academic credentials and voluble intelligence help legitimate a social vision that repelled and alarmed intellectuals, public officials and the general public just decades ago.. most noteworthy is that pentland ‘completes’ skinner, fulfilling his social vision w big data,.. ubiquitous digital, adv math, theory, coauthors, institutional legit, lavish funding, corp friend in high places.. suggests the depth of psychic numbing to which we have succumbed and the loss of our collective bearings.. social physics et al.. for a god view


skinner bitterly lamented the absence of ‘instruments and methods’.. as if in response.. pentland and his student shave spent the last 2 decades determined to invent the instruments and methods.. that can transform all of human behavior.. into highly predictive math..  sociometer et al

none of this matters (ie: instrument) if wrong data..

begs a mech w/a detox embed.. and one where we can all leap in sync


pentland: we leave behind virtual breadcrumbs.. they tell a more accurate story of our lives than anything we choose to reveal abou tourselves

rather.. a more accurate story of whales in sea world..

dang.. you have the means pentland.. and the heart (remember you talking about your grandchildren).. you just can’t seem to hear.. that is the issue..  and why we need to try tech as it could be..


a final question is urgently posed: ‘how to get the humans in these systems to participate in the plan?’.. his answer do not lie in persuasion or ed but in behavior mod.. he says we need ‘new predictive theories of human decision making.. incentive mech design..

we have no idea how much time/energy we keep wasting harping on ‘decision making‘.. life is more about living/curiosity .. than deciding on all these issues our cancers have created..  and.. thinking we need incentives is a huge red flag that we’re doing it wrong

16 – on life in the hive


on sm as addictive/addiction

almaas holes law

maté addiction law


adolescence officially ‘discovered’ in us in 1904..

we created it.. via ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work

we are all currently ..whales in sea world .. begs we focus on maté basic needs


fb, sm in general – these are the environments engineered to induce and exaggerate this homing to the human herd, particularly among the young..

not new

17 – the right to sanctuary


according to big other’s architects, these walls must come down. there can be no refuge..

except.. bit other architects are craving that refuge too.. so .. we design for that (almaas holes law).. and they are happy to leap along with.. they can’t not leap along with


every unicorn has a hunter

again.. why we need to design for everyone.. that includes.. hunters, huntees, inspectors, inpsectees.. everyone


18 – a coup from above


sv’s antidemocratic and antiegalitarian juggernaut is best described as a market driven coup from above


right now we are at the beginning of a new arc that i have called info civilization, and it repeats the same dangerous arrogance.. the aim now is not to dominate nature but rather human nature..

not new

instead of a violence.. it’s a taming

a training.. yeah.. not new.. ask most of the silenced people of the world.. after their detox of course.. because they’ve been trained/tamed all too well


this promise of democracy reflects an enduring lesson i absorbed form milton friedman at the uni of chicago as a 19 yr old undergrad.. his instruction of the chilean doctoral candidates who would soon lead their country to cataclysm,marching under the freidman-hayek flag.. the professor was an optimist and tireless educator who believed that legislative and judicial action invariably reflect the public opinion of 20-30 yrs earlier..

oh my

there is no single variety of capitalism or org of production.. this will continue to b true i the future.. new forms of org and ownership remain to be invented.. piketty.. rober unger enlarges on this point.. arguing that *market forms can take any number of distinct legal and institutional 


oh my..

ownership et al



we need *them to become irrelevant.. let’s design for that


when i speak to my children or an audience of young people, i try to alert them to he historically contingent nature o f ‘the thing that has us’.. ‘it is not ok to have to hide in your own life; it is not normal.. *these things are brand new‘.. what is at stake here is the human expectation of sovereignty over one’ sown life and authorship of one’s own experience’..

*they aren’t.. you’re lucky your life hasn’t made this visible to you.. you haven’t had to hide.. but most of the world does.. has..

there is a way today.. to set us all free..

facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

2 convers as infra

as it could be..


pity us and those who come next is we *forfeit a human future to powerful co’s and a rogue capitalism that fail to honor our needs or serve our genuine interests.. worse still would be our own **voiceless capitulation to the message of inevitability that is power’s velvet gloved right hand

*liess about forfeti.. more about missing this most incredible opp to reset

**not voiceless – tech as it could be..


arendt, like orwell, asserts the possibility of new beginnings that do not cleave to already visible lines of power

let go

ends w insight from friedman


ok.. good first half ish.. then huge mix of frustrating..


via Eliot Miranda on fb

Evgeny Morozov’s review of Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism is, for me, profoundly illuminating, and relevant to P2P…/capitalisms-new-clothes-morozov

Two quotes:

“Managerial capitalism” hunted and automated the body; “surveillance capitalism” hunts and automates the mind.

What, for example, about new social and economic rights, such as the right to unconditional and unlimited use of computer infrastructure, backed by the universal right to strong encryption when needed, which might lead to new forms of coordination grounded in solidarity, not the pursuit of profit?

from my reading it (skimming)

Lacking a theory of what institutions and practices ought to lie outside the logic of capitalism, Zuboff can only turn to individual rights and consumption.

Recast as a warning against “surveillance dataism,” the book holds up quite well.

Zuboff’s Copernican revolution is much easier to explain by its debt to Chandler than Foucault. Chandler’s own prescriptions were usually limited to demanding that managers be more responsible. Zuboff transcends such defeatism. But her double movement will not win before both managerial capitalism and surveillance capitalism are theorized as “capitalism”—a complex set of historical and social relationships between capital and labor, the state and the monetary system, the metropole and the periphery—and not just as an aggregate of individual firms responding to imperatives of technological and social change. That the latter, miniaturized account of competitive enterprise is the working definition of “capitalism” in American business schools is no reason to impoverish the broader discussion of the system’s rationales and shortcomings.


cory on surveil capital