“… instead of focusing on bodies in space, the new forms of observation focus on detecting and predicting the emergence of specific patterns of code” #bigdata #code #database #datapolitics

[…] “One of the key characteristics of the new forms of observation, as pointed out above, is that they are pre-emptive (Massumi 2009, 167), that is, they are aimed at anticipating actions before they actually occur. In short, the new forms of observation are characterized by the fact that they aim to recognize patterns of code generated on the machine level. This code is produced whenever we do something, or are observed doing something, by way of a digital machine, whether this be our action as the action of an individual, or our action as part of a population, or, indeed, both. It is significant that this form of observation does not operate in perspectival space, which is in direct contrast to how observation functions in the disciplinary machine. As I briefly touched on above, discipline organizes spaces so as to produce specific forms of conduct. One of the key elements in making spaces work – making them productive – is precisely the use of the instrument of hierarchical observation, as Foucault’s example of the panopticon demonstrates so well. However, rather than looking through or behind something, the new forms of observation always project onto a screen (Bogard 1996, 21), and, indeed, when no humans are involved screens themselves are superfluous. In short, instead of focusing on bodies in space, the new forms of observation focus on detecting and predicting the emergence of specific patterns of code. Since they are not spatial, nor are necessarily aimed at modifying an individual’s behavior, it suggests that they form part of a very different mechanism of power. For this reason that first mechanism can usefully be termed the recognition of patterns, and it is a key mechanism in the modulatory mode of power” (Savat, Uncoding the Digital, Palgrave, 2013)

Schermata 07-2456502 alle 21.13.14

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Cosimo Accoto

Research Affiliate at MIT | Author "Il Mondo Ex Machina" (Egea) | Philosopher-in-Residence | Business Innovation Advisor | www.cosimoaccoto.com

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