the algorithm & the watchtower

requiem for certainty

I have a new piece out today in the wonderfully smart space curated by the good people at ‘The New Inquiry.’  My piece is titled ‘The Algorithm and the Watchtower‘ and in it I suggest that when it comes to the politics of information we are too easily distracted by visual metaphors of surveillance, watching, and all-seeing gazes.  The politics of information is not pan-optic, I argue, but rather pan-analytic.  It depends less on total visuality and more on massive harvesting, gargantuan storage capacity, and the super-complex calculative rationality we like to call ‘Big Data.’  This piece follows on from my essay in the ‘New York Times’ last year titled ‘The Age of Infopolitics‘.  Both are part of an ongoing book project involving concept work on the politics of data as well as empirical inquiry into the genealogy of how we have become what…

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