China’s Social Credit System is a compelling manifestation of cybernetic capitalism—of how financial mechanisms interlock with other systems of social control, by combining mass surveillance, gamified corporate loyalty programs, and debt peonage.
…the notion that (potential) human beings—that life—can be ‘mined’ or even created in order to provide other human beings with the material they need to be healthy and happy represents a momentous shift in how we view human being itself…
Much of mainstream liberal commentary on the 5G conspiracy consists of snide dismissals that blame credulous individuals for inaccurate beliefs. Yet, given how widespread the 5G conspiracies have become, it is not enough to dismiss them...
The mainstream media’s conflation of links with content to support the code is very problematic. It entirely avoids the fatal philosophical problem at the heart of the code: the proposition that mere links to content should now be considered, both legally and commercially, content itself to be managed by bureaucratic decree.
The bright young things of Silicon Valley, with their dreams of direct democracy on Mars and digital immortality, are often difficult to take seriously. But their hubris is only the gaudy version of a broader cultural and political belief in the power of science and technology to edit, alter and override the very stuff from which our world is made—in other words, to ‘play God’.
Whoever controls the computer-based infrastructure of the city can determine the type of future the city has... ‘Smart city’ vendors and their platforms will immediately lock-in governments and citizens and limit their development, shaping the way we relate to the city while programming citizens’ behaviour.
The ‘smart city’ agenda follows a logic of neoliberal platformisation of the city and its urban infrastructures, where wealth is transferred to private corporations that structurally cannot prioritise public benefit or citizens’ well-being above their own profit-maximising drive, or work to strengthen democratic governments and their institutions.
After COVID, it is possible that participatory democracy will become more mediatised, and public and cooperative initiatives will rise as alternatives to recover technological infrastructure as a public good.