Discipline and Control

“Computer games clarify the inner logic of social control at work in the world. Games give an outline of what actually happens in much messier and less totalized ways. Thereby, however, games point up the ways in which social control is precisely directed towards creating game-like clarities and firm outlines, at the expense of our freedoms.”//Gianni Wise

“This is both a warning, and a hope. It’s a warning that we will not get anywhere by expressing horror at “gamespace” or by yearning for an older world, and older media, before the algorithmic calculations of the military-entertainment complex ruled everything. We can’t ever go back; the only way out is through. The hope is that there is something better if we do go through.”//Gianni Wise

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Gianni Wise is my new blogcatalog-neighbour (If I get too annoying, just let me know.It might help.)

These are some very helpful thoughts, for me, right now.

I love the Netz.

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Society of Control
Gilles Deleuze

“Foucault has brilliantly analyzed the ideal project of these environments of enclosure, particularly visible within the factory: to concentrate; to distribute in space; to order in time; to compose a productive force within the dimension of space-time whose effect will be greater than the sum of its component forces.

But what Foucault recognized as well was the transience of this model: it succeeded that of the societies of sovereignty, the goal and functions of which were something quite different (to tax rather than to organize production, to rule on death rather than to administer life); the transition took place over time, and Napoleon seemed to effect the large-scale conversion from one society to the other.

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This is obvious in the matter of salaries: the factory was a body that contained its internal forces at the level of equilibrium, the highest possible in terms of production, the lowest possible in terms of wages; but in a society of control, the corporation has replaced the factory, and the corporation is a spirit, a gas. Of course the factory was already familiar with the system of bonuses, but the corporation works more deeply to impose a modulation of each salary, in states of perpetual metastability that operate through challenges, contests, and highly comic group sessions. If the most idiotic television game shows are so successful, it’s because they express the corporate situation with great precision. The factory constituted individuals as a single body to the double advantage of the boss who surveyed each element within the mass and the unions who mobilized a mass resistance; but the corporation constantly presents the brashest rivalry as a healthy form of emulation, an excellent motivational force that opposes individuals against one another and runs through each, dividing each within.

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Marketing has become the center or the “soul” of the corporation. We are taught that corporations have a soul, which is the most terrifying news in the world. The operation of markets is now the instrument of social control and forms the impudent breed of our masters.

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Many young people strangely boast of being “motivated”; they re-request apprenticeships and permanent training. It’s up to them to discover what they’re being made to serve, just as their elders discovered, not without difficulty, the telos of the disciplines”////////////////////L’autre journal, Nr. I, Mai 1990–nadir.org

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