The Exploit. A Theory of Networks. Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker. UMP 2013
Coda: Bits and Atoms
p. 149 Networks are always exceptional, in the sense that they are always related, however ambiguously, to sovereignty. Hardt and Negri: multitude = "multiplicity of singularities"
p.150 People (one) -> <- multitude (not unified, a set of singularities) Dominant tradition of political philosophy: people can rule as a sovereign power and multitude cannot.
Paolo Virno: "the multitude does not clash with the One; rather, it redefines it. Even the many need a form of unity, of being a One. But here's the point: this unity is no longer the State; rather, it is language, intellect, the communal faculties of the human race. The One is no longer a promise, it is a premise."
p. 151 Strenghth of multitude is in its decentralization. 'Multitude' - Hardt and Negri, Virno (left) -> <- 'Netwar' - Arquilla and Ronfeldt (right)
Netwar: 'refers to an emerging mode of conflict (and crime) at societal levels, short of traditional military warfare, in which the protagonists use network forms...attuned to the information age'. Five levels of netwar: technological, doctrinal, ideological, narratological, social.
Political effects: Hardt and Negri - one must examine the content of any distributed network to determine its political effects. The network form is not tied to any necessary political position, progressive/reactionary. Both the forces of the multitude and the counterforces of empire organize themselves around the topology of the distributed network.
p. 153 What is missing form both: vision of new future of asymmetry (resistance). networks - ><- networks; empire -><- multitude; what is the shape of the new revolutinary threat?
One must critique the logics of distributed networks themselves.
Multitude, networks and netwars may exhibit inhuman as well as human characteristics - is the basic unit of multitude always an individual human subject?
Properties of networks: 1) Operate at a global level from sets of local interactions; 2) Redefine "control" in the Deleuzian sense.
=> gap b/w autonomous, causal, human agency.
If no single human entity controls the network in any total way, then can we assume that a network is not controlled by humans in any total way? If humans are only a part of a network, then how can we assume that
the ultimate aim of the network is a set of human-centered goals?
... the very idea of "the total" is both promised and yet continually deferred in the "inhumanity" of networks, netwars and even the multitude.
p. 155 we propose...to bring our understanding of networks to the level of bits and atoms.. to a level that shows us the unhuman in hte human (pre-Socratic understanding of networks).
Networks operate through ceaseless connections and disconnections, but at the same time, they continually posit a topology. They are forever incomplete but always take on a shape. + Networks are scalable and have fractal (repeating) pattern.
Networks are elemental, in the sense that their dynamics operate at levels "above" and "below" that of the human subject.
Conclusion: our understanding of networks is all-too-human. We think about them in terms of nodes and edges, which is an overly spatialized dichotomy.