Ecologies // Cybernetics // Rhizomes

Ecologies, just like cybernetics, operate within closely interconnected systems. Digital literacy begins with the understanding that there is a political hierarchy of ordering. The same is quite true for the social operation of society, pointed out Foucalt and then later Deleuze in “Postscrips to the Societies of Control”. Deleuze argues that control societies work closely together towards enclosure, modulating the concept of individuality between the “administrative numeration that indicates [a human’s] position within a mass”. This numeration may be your position in school, your assigned gender, perhaps your socioeconomic standing. Through code, this standing is indicated via a ‘password’ frame, creating either a pathway or a roadblock towards the information that each code signals.

But why is this important for digital theory? Well, according to Deleuze: “Machines express the social forms capable of generating and using them”. It is one argument behind the coding ideology of software, and the related affective logic that would create this understanding towards a certain system of assemblages. Assemblages, however, are often themselves unified without specific ideology. Deleuze specifies, an assemblage actually quite often “has to do with surveying, mapping, even realms that are yet to come” (5).

Human experience is regulated and mapped in control societies by unseen factors including privilege and systematic discipline. Individuals are mapped both by codes and labels, and placed on certain trajectories of opportunity through institutions of mass regulation. The map is often non-linear – the system offers many nodes and various, differing intersections. This structure of passages is filled with multiple detours, the rhizome itself being a location of encounter. Without a doubt, the degree of probability that an event or chain of events is likely to occur (be it in software or in life) are influenced by this structured system of codification. Affective reactions emerge from this catalyst – assemblages possessing the “agency” to “form a “culture”, or to “self-organize” . . . [thanks to] elemental forces sharing powers and operating in dissonant conjunction with each other” (Bennett 34).

Everything is closely ordered in chaos. Power emerges from this understanding.

-Kristen

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~ by kristenlyning on September 14, 2014.

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