First, Get a Picture of the Battlefield – Government by Way of Google Glass

***scrounged from the deep web***

“Technology is no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. If we give heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of technology will open itself up to us. It is the realm of revealing, i.e., of truth.” – Heidegger

1. One need not witness a small child trying to use the iPhone pinch/zoom function directly on her father’s face in order to understand that technologies are more than mere tools.

2. To describe the present is to demonstrate the absolute deficiency of any dystopic vision.

3. While philosophers still sit around critiquing it, and most of the politicals still have yet to even perceive it, at the level of government the old humanist order of subject-object binaries and enclosures has already been ditched for a new one based on information, feedback, and coupling. The great link-up, in other words: which is their attempt to salvage the framework of GOVERNMENT by jettisoning its old building blocks in favor of an intertwined, sinewy connective tissue that conforms to any surface (3D Printing).

4. What the partisans of privacy and transparency as well as the defenders of ubiquitous surveillance and sousveillance miss is that the content of life has been transformed into one of information. Aside from its verbal proximity to [police] informer, to inform is also to teach and instruct, to give form to something, and also to transform, translate, and represent. The operation in progress, from both sides then, is one that flattens out the intensity and degree of existence, transforming it into a series of information that can then be manipulated and handled.

5. Increasingly government’s diminution of the world is happening not at the point (the good old subject), but at the line: at the level of relations. Our relationships to each other, to the world, to a gesture, to the fucking moonlight. So it bears repeating: government is reorganizing, by putting the cornerstones on which it was built—subject and object—back together. Reuniting the separated, but of course, as always, only in their separateness.

6. Here, information provides the means to link what has already been separated, to couple these amputations into dynamic cybernetic systems: affecting them, reshaping them, and composing them. It works by making sure we are never not transmitting and tracking the information that we are. By making us experts in the economies and rhythms of our own social transmissions, connections, and appearances in semiotic space and across the screens we all carry in our pockets. By making sure we productively link ourselves, feed back, become network functions. By making sure we understand that all friendship is operative.

7. If the apparatus is now refined to the point of producing such streamlined, drone-like encounters in the desert of social space as Grindr, we wonder what else can we use each other for? Meanwhile, we become totally disoriented outside of communication and networks. We can no longer even imagine or bear the thought of a pause in communication. So if we feel so exhausted, it’s not just the relentless hustle to be somebody, to hold an identity together til one’s head bleeds (subjectification). It’s also the relentless hustle to do so in the same moment that “being somebody” has taken on a new configuration, one that really cuts apart the very interior that offered the fiction of the self in the first place. Where there’s no distinction between you and the apparatus.

8. Technology is counter-insurrectional, and the basic plan of course is still pacification, neutralization, and narcoticization (just wait till they bring in the sex robots). Window dressing on the hard nut of individual isolation laid out for all of us. That’s the transformation taking place, away from the myth of the individual and the dream of that success, towards the connected piece of meat, able to live thru any sort of shit or disaster as long as there’s a good internet connection (virtuality). See Sandy: everyone waiting it out at home alone til shit’s up and running again, caught in a media loop of reading Twitter, posting to Instagram and Facebook; “power’s about to go out, see you all on the other side.”

9. Without this communicative capacity —without feedback, information, & circulation— there is no network, no flows. Hence the reason they’ll do anything to protect it (resilience).

10. So. Exploit (don’t critique). The notion is familiar to hackers, although unlike an Achilles heel, an exploit is nothing if not simply the fruit of being able to analyze the normal functioning of a system and then finding ways to access and hijack control of it based on that knowledge. It’s a combination of a magical command word (or “insight”) and thorough mastery of something through conceptually entering, becoming, and breathing the object under attack. To know how a thing learns is to be able to unlearn it, how it grows and how it can be killed, how it works on others and how to teach others how to not allow it to work.

11. What opportunity Google has presented! The absurdity of a Google glass allows one to be able to go back in time to that vulnerable receptively-open moment when people were only beginning to get into the idea of email, mobile phones, or social internet media, to talk about what has since then been unquestionable. It isn’t a question of abuses of privacy—

“It’s my right to film everything. Re: What about privacy?” Fuck your rights. You’re a data-gathering machine for a cybernetic system, worse than a gossip, worse than a hipster librarian. A digital cabinet of curiosities for the techno-Victoriana shit show.

—It’s a question of life. We want to think about our lives in order to dramatically intensify them. What do we care for any refusal that is not at the same time a precisely measured knowledge of destruction? What do we care for knowledge that doesn’t increase our potential?

Will we allow this world to save itself by eternally wedding us to it?


First, Get a View of the Battlefield PDF



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