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Re: <nettime> Return to feudalism
John Hopkins on Tue, 19 Sep 2017 02:02:14 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Return to feudalism


Whomever, whatever controls the protocols, controls the device and reaps the rewards that the device brings. This is because the protocol is a proxy for the actualized projection of energy or the pathway that energy is mandated to follow. A protocol determines the characteristics of the energy flow: where power accumulates, where it is sourced -- at the scale of electronic circuits up to the widest expression of the techno-social system. An electronic circuit is simply a set of parameters/protocols to confine and direct the flow of electrons. Allowing them to temporarily persist before being shunted along by the 'force' of electric current.

Did you ever consider that electrical generation is a 'push' service?

When we 'pay' attention to the dominant flows -- of what is labeled, for the Marxist to understand, 'social capital**', but is actualized as 'social energy' -- we give our personal energy to those dominant flows: we are paying with our invaluable and limited life-time. The accumulation of power and energy in the socio-political sphere ultimately rests on the ability of protocols within that system to accumulate and direct the energies of the human lives of those 'participating' in that system. The statement "Kim Jong-Un would have less power if the population of North Korea were 250,000 instead of 25 million" may seem obvious, but to generate a nuclear weapon requires a certain minimal 'infrastructure' which, again, ultimately rests on human shoulders to create and maintain. For generating the same weapon system, the population size will differ somewhat from nation-state to nation-state, based on other energy sources available to the system (in whatever form: relative ease of access to hydrocarbons, intellectual development, etc), but there is a certain minimum cumulate energy level necessary to 'build a (nuclear) bomb'. The bomb, with its purpose to direct concentrated destructive energy to the 'enemy' is a cumulative expression of many interlocking protocols that actually 'gather' energies together for that energized expression. That minimum energy level is also necessary to control the process to the high degree of precision necessary to materialize the technologies necessary to construct a bomb. This is why there is a difference between simply building a bomb (where size doesn't matter), and fabricating one that fits in the nose-cone of an ICBM: smaller size equilibrates with higher degree of precision which means greater energy consumption per unit device: therefore more difficult to do unless you tap more energy from the given population base, or you have a larger population base...

If you starve 23 of the 25 million North Koreans to near-death you might make a dent in the energy procurement system necessary to construct a bomb, though perhaps not. The elites drive the process, though they need to eat as well.

We in the west exist in a different energy-harvesting regime, but one that concentrates our attentions with impressive thoroughness. It has many tentacles, many of them screen-related, though as pointed out, IoT quickly insinuates itself into tampons, medicine, wine bottles, toilets, ... everything ...

IoT represents another dimension of the acquisition and control of power flows: regulation via feedback. Regulation saps energy from a system by forcing it into rigid flow patterns. Regulation exists on a sliding scale that spans anarchism to state-sponsored sclerosis. Regulate what is 'necessary' to reach the goals of the system, let the rest go. Regulation demands constant feedback to ensure the sweet spot, feedback costs energy. Big data is regulation run amok, and one [energy] price is CO2-generating, hydrocarbon-burning server farms. When everything is known about every living consumer, then the planet will be covered with server farms.

**capital is far too mechanistic/materialist word to be using anymore (or should have ever been!), rooted as it is in Newtonian relations -- capital is an expression that reifies what is a temporal concentration of energy (gold in Ft. Knox, bbl of petroleum reserves, well-fed human slaves, explosives, buildings, anything human-constructed, human-compiled, etc, etc...). These concentrations of energized matter persist only for a time, they are transitory and cannot be maintained except through the addition of energy to the system to maintain their order (ever own a house?).

jh


On 17/Sep/17 12:39, Morlock Elloi wrote:
This meme cannot be repeated often enough (even if one starts to resemble RMS).

While esoteric discourses about consequences can be amusing, we really need to get back to the root causes. They are not novel, just often forgotten.


--
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Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
hanging on to the Laramide Orogeny
twitter:  {AT} neoscenes
http://tech-no-mad.net/blog/
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