Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pancryptics, My Dissertation Online

[You come upon a ruin, my friend. Half of this text I would write differently now than I did then, and the other half I would not write at all. I can still commend the readings of David Brin, Eric Hughes, and David Friedman in here. Some of the basic frames and histories here are still okay, but I cannot say you won't find better elsewhere. Although the whole piece has an Arendtian spirit I am ashamed to note that two sustained engagements with Arendt on revolution and her reading of Kafka are quite terrible and I would ridicule their author cruelly for his nonsense nowadays. If you disagree with them, well so do I. I'm not sure my recent, shorter-than-a-page Twitterized Privacy Thesis isn't more substantive, when it comes to it. I sometimes think of the much better book I could write on this topic now, but even so there are better books I could write than that one were I the sort of person with the discipline and stamina to publish books at all, so I think this ruin must be all that remains of the reading and writing from that time in my life.]

Pancryptics: Technocultural Transformations of the Subject of the Privacy
by Dale Carrico (Department of Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley, 2005): Judith Butler, Chair; Mark Poster, Pamela Samuelson, Linda Williams, readers.



This falling of dusk, this darkening of the public scene… did not take place in silence… On the contrary, never was the public scene so filled with public announcements, usually quite optimistic… each promising a different wave of the future… all of which together had the net effect of desubstantializing every issue they touched… Testimony to [the] antipublic climate of the times can be found in poetry, in art, and in philosophy… Such inclinations… can lead to a passion for secrecy and anonymity, as if only that could matter to you personally which could be kept secret. –- Hannah Arendt

It is not enough to say that these are anti-authority struggles… they are also an opposition against secrecy, deformation, and mystifying representations imposed on people. -– Michel Foucault

Chapter One: Technological Transformations of the Subject of Privacy

[T]he right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men [sic]. -- Justice Louis Brandeis

We no longer think primarily of deprivation when we use the word “privacy.” -- Hannah Arendt

One: The Subject of Privacy

I. Privacy As Technocultural Problematic

II. Technologies of Privacy

III. Quandaries of Agency for the Informational Construal of Privacy

Two: The Subject of Privacy

IV. Privacy Rites

V. Let Alone

VI. Private Nodes in the Net

Three: The Subject of Privacy

VII. Subject, Object, Abject

VIII. Sovereign Or Subject?

IX. Secrecy and the Subject of Privacy

X. Tales From the War Years

Chapter Two: Markets From Math

The personal life of every individual is based on secrecy, and perhaps it is partly for that reason that civilized man [sic] is so nervously anxious that personal privacy should be respected. -- Anton Chekhov

It is insufficient to protect ourselves with laws, we need to protect ourselves with mathematics. -- Bruce Schneier

One: Weaving Nets, Smashing States

I. The "First Generation" of Cyberspatial Theory

II. Taking the First Generation Seriously

III. "California Ideology" Among the First Generation

Two: Arguments from Inevitability and from Desire

IV. Manifesto

V. What Is Manifest

VI. P2P, Not Anarchy

VII. Afterward

Three: Liber-Tech

VIII. Techniques of Secrecy

IX. Building Resistance In

X. e2e

Four: The Discretionary: Secrecy, Privacy, and Control

XI. From Privation to Discretion

XII. Description As Threat

XIII. Privacy Under Control

XIV. Digital Libertarianism

Chapter Three: Markets With Eyes

I’ve never looked through a keyhole without finding someone was looking back. -- Judy Garland

I don't think there's much distinction between surveillance and media in general. -- Bruce Sterling

One: Two Cheers for the Surveillance Society

I. Either/Or

II. Eye Infinitum

Two: Too Many Truths

III. Truths to Power

IV. Neither/Nor

Conclusion: Markets Without Materiality

Everything solid melts into air... -- Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

Information is alienated experience. -- Jeron Lanier

[Okay, another warning. If you've actually been reading this, by the time you arrive at this material you have found your way to the earliest writing in the dissertation. By the time I had completed this material I was quite ready to discard it as a Wittgensteinian ladder that had gotten me somewhere but then proven an encumbrance if not an outright embarrassment, roughly equal parts false and facile. I consigned it immediately to an "epilogue" and it is only a vestigial Catholic form of penance that keeps me from obliterating this digital trace. The criticism of the libertarianism -- both right and "left" -- of so-called tech-culture and tech-talk might be of some interest to those who want to trace early forms of the critique I continued to hammer on about most notoriously for years later.]


Don’t hate the media, become the media. -- Jello Biafra

What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing. -- Hannah Arendt

One: Social Software as Furniture and as Poetry

I. Dissing Blogging

II. Social Architectures

III. Social Software Sublime

IV. Arendt on Revolution

V. Trippi on Revolution

VI. dKos as Figure

VII. Dean as Figure

VIII. Belly of the Beast

Two: Prologue/Blogpost

IX. Blogos

X. Publicity As Relinquishment: Writing Digitexts

XI. Publicity As Relinquishment: Writing Blogtexts, Hypertexts, Tagtexts

XII. Digital Expressivity, Digital Credibility

XIII. What We Talk About When We Talk About "New" Media

Three: Trouble in Libertopia

XIV. Revenge of the Crystal; Or, Who Are These People?

XV. The Awesome Techno Blossom

XVI. Ethos Move

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