Articles by: Timothy Erik Ström

Author Biography:

Timothy Erik Ström is an independent writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Globalization and Surveillance and his writings can be found at his website: The Sorcerer’s Apparatus. He is Arena Online Editor.

Informit: Expand and centralise: Twenty years of google

On 4 September 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin deposited a cheque for $100,000 written by 'angel investor' Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. With this money put into a newly opened bank account, the pair formally incorporated their start-up, dubbing it 'Google Inc'. They chose this name in reference to the obscure mathematical concept 'googol', a number represented as a one followed by 100 zeros, or in scientific notation, 10100. The word googol was…

Expand and Centralise: Twenty Years of Google, by Timothy Erik Ström

The first of three articles in the twentieth anniversary year of Google: from garage project to global institution

Leviathan in Electric Sheep’s Clothing, by Timothy Erik Ström

Technology, debt and control in China’s Social Credit System

Informit: Leviathan in electric sheep’s clothing

Over the last few years, the Chinese government has been working on a colossal experiment in social control. The first public mention of this project was in mid-2014 in a document called 'Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System'. There the State Council, the chief administrative authority of the People's Republic of China, proposed the creation of a vast system of surveillance in which every citizen would be given a numerical score…

Informit: Abstraction and production in google maps: The reorganisation of subjectivity, materiality and labour

Maps can be seen as a potent symbol and the technological manifestation of the abstraction process fundamental to human practice. Cartographic abstraction grants an organising power to the way we look at the world, and hence map-makers and the institutions they serve have often worked to intensify this abstraction. Google Maps goes a step further. In addition to offering an abstracted view from above, the very materiality of the map is itself abstract. Its production…