viernes, 8 de junio de 2012

The Structure of Technological Revolutions

Palabras Claves: Tahrir Square, Manuel Castells, Cybernetics.

Technological disruption may render a temporary instability on power structures. I call this a vortex of revolution. The power structures within the vortex are, up to fluctuations, at equal ground, with the 'powerless'. It doesn't last much time, if the powerless doesn't consolidate the revolution fast enough, the power structures eventually manage to domesticate the new technological conditions. In a way, the reaction of the status quo is like developing robust algorithms on top of an algorithm which has new features threatening the structure of older features –those we associate to old power structures–.

PD. : And so, what should be the natural question after the latter descriptive hypothesis? I personally answer that with a call to reflect on the issue of velocity of action which often compromise the predictability of the outcome of our actions. Zizek had already point out that we should act now and negotiate the future later: "don't negotiate in enemy territory". The fact that time is running against our expectations of structural change (which, don't forget, are driven by a pragmatic diagnosis of the present state of civilization) may support Zizek's call. In fact, the outcome of power is very difficult to compute (we still have problems predicting the behavior of proteins!). Usually what happens is that we negotiate power and the outcome of such negotiations often takes the form of pseudo-a priori political theories.
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