trans in Stalder 2018

axy -- fell into crisis, new
forms of personal and collective orientation and organization emerged
which have been shaped by the affordances of this new condition. Both
the historical processes which unfolded over a very long time and the
structural transformation which took place in a myriad of contexts have
been beyond any deliberate influence. Although obviously caused by
social actors, the magnitude of such changes was simply too great, too
distributed, and too complex to be attributed to, or mold

These new institutions are well adapted to the digital condition, with
its chaotic production of vast amounts of information and innovative
ways of dealing with that.

From this, two competing trajectories have emerged which are
simultaneously transforming the space of the political. First, I used
the term "post-democracy" because it expands possibilities, and even
requirements, of (personal) participation, while ever larger aspects of
(collective) decision-making are moved to arenas that are st


I traced some aspects of these developments right up to early 2016, when
the German version of this book went into production. Since then a lot
has happened, but I resisted the temptation to update the book for the
English translation because ideas are always an expression of their
historical moment and, as such, updating either turns into a completely
new version or a retrospective adjustment of the historical record.

What has become increasingly obvious during 2016 and in

surveillance capitalism have been strengthened more quickly than the
commons-oriented practices could establish themselves. But it does not
change the fact that there are fundamental alternatives embedded in the
digital condition. Despite structural transformations that affect how we
do things, there is no inevitability about what we want to do
individually and, even more importantly, collectively.

::: {.poem}
::: {.lineGroup}
Zurich/Vienna, July 2017[]{#Page_ix type="pagebreak" title="ix"}

readability. I am likewise grateful
to Heinrich Greiselberger and Christian Heilbronn of the Suhrkamp
Verlag, whose faith in the book never wavered despite several delays.
Regarding the English version at hand, it has been a privilege to work
with a translator as skillful as Valentine Pakis. Over the past few
years, writing this book might have been the most import­ant project in
my life had it not been for Andrea Mayr. In this regard, I have been
especially fortunate.[]{#Page_xi type="pagebreak"

hardly moved at all, she nevertheless incited the audience to
participate in numerous ways and genuinely to act out the motto of the
contest ("Join us!"). Throughout the early rounds of the competition,
the beard, which was at first so provocative, transformed into a
free-floating symbol that the public began to appropriate in various
ways. Men and women painted Conchita-like beards on their faces,
newspapers printed beards to be cut out, and fans crocheted beards. Not
only did someone Photoshop a be


::: {.extract}
Agender, Androgyne, Androgynes, Androgynous, Asexual, Bigender, Cis, Cis
Female, Cis Male, Cis Man, Cis Woman, Cisgender, Cisgender Female,
Cisgender Male, Cisgender Man, Cisgender Woman, Female to Male (FTM),
Female to Male Trans Man, Female to Male Transgender Man, Female to Male
Transsexual Man, Gender Fluid, Gender Neutral, Gender Nonconforming,
Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Hermaphrodite,
Intersex, Intersex Man, Intersex Person, Intersex Woman, Male to Female
(MTF), Male to Female Trans Woman, Male to Female Transgender Woman,
Male to Female Transsexual Woman, Neither, Neutrois, Non-Binary, Other,
Pangender, Polygender, T\*Man, Trans, Trans Female, Trans Male, Trans
Man, Trans Person, Trans\*Female, Trans\*Male, Trans\*Man,
Trans\*Person, Trans\*Woman, Transexual, Transexual Female, Transexual
Male, Transexual Man, Transexual Person, Transexual Woman, Transgender
Female, Transgender Person, Transmasculine, T\*Woman, Two\*Person,
Two-Spirit, Two-Spirit Person.

This enormous proliferation of cultural possibilities is an expression
of what I will refer to below as the digital condition. Far from being
universally welcomed, its growing prese

ed by putting the
initiative on ice. However, according to the analysis presented in this
book, leaving it on ice creates a precarious situation.

The rise and spread of the digital condition is the result of a
wide-ranging and irreversible cultural transformation, the beginnings of
which can in part be traced back to the nineteenth century. Since the
1960s, however, this shift has accelerated enormously and has
encompassed increasingly broader spheres of social life. More and more
people have been pa

facilitate certain types of
connection between humans and
objects.[^7^](#f6-note-0007){#f6-note-0007a} "Digital" thus denotes the
set of relations that, on the infrastructural basis of digital networks,
is realized today in the production, use, and transform­ation of
material and immaterial goods, and in the constitution and coordination
of personal and collective activity. In this regard, the focus is less
on the dominance of a certain class []{#Page_8 type="pagebreak"
title="8"}of technological ar

was in fact introduced at the margins of
society, in cultural niches that were unnoticed by the dominant actors
and institutions. The new technologies thus evolved against a
[]{#Page_11 type="pagebreak" title="11"}background of processes of
societal transformation that were already under way. They could only
have been developed once a vision of their potential had been
formulated, and they could only have been disseminated where demand for
them already existed. This demand was created by social, polit

on. In order to do justice to their
complexity, I will treat them on different levels: I will depict the
rise of the knowledge economy as a structural change in labor; I will
reconstruct the critique of heteronormativity by outlining the origins
and transformations of the gay movement in West Germany; and I will
discuss post-colonialism as a theory that introduced new concepts of
cultural multiplicity and hybridization -- concepts that are now
influencing the digital condition far beyond the limits of

made by more or less educated tinkerers, during the last third of the
nineteenth century, invention itself came to be institutionalized. In
Germany, Siemens (founded in 1847 as the Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von
Siemens & Halske) exemplifies this transformation. Within 50 years, a
company that began in a proverbial workshop in a Berlin backyard became
a multinational high-tech corporation. It was in such corporate
laboratories, which were established around the year 1900, that the

ginning of the 1960s,
Machlup brought these previously separ­ate developments together and
thus explained the existence of an already advanced knowledge economy in
the United States. His arguments fell on extremely fertile soil, for an
intellectual transformation had taken place in other areas of science as
well. A few years earlier, for instance, cybernetics had given the
concepts "information" and "communication" their first scientifically
precise (if somewhat idiosyncratic) definitions and had ass

and in the 1990s the debate revolved around the "network
society"[^15^](#c1-note-0015){#c1-note-0015a} -- to name just the most
popular concepts. What these approaches have in common is that they each
diagnose a comprehensive societal transformation that, as regards the
creation of economic value or jobs, has shifted the balance from
productive to communicative activ­ities. Accordingly, they presuppose
that we know how to distinguish the former from the latter. This is not

accordingly. Since the 1970s, there has
thus been a feedback loop between scientific analysis and political
agendas. More often than not, it is hardly possible to distinguish
between the two. Especially in Britain and the United States, the
economic transformation of the 1980s was imposed insistently and with
political calculation (the weakening of labor unions).

There are, however, important differences between the developments of
the so-called "post-industrial society" of the 1970s and those of the

order to achieve economic success
in this new capitalism, it became necessary for every individual to
identify himself or herself with his or her profession. Large
corporations were restructured in such a way that entire departments
found themselves transformed into independent "profit centers." This
happened in the name of creating more leeway for decision-making and of
optimizing the entrepreneurial spirit on all levels, the goals being to
increase value creation and to provide management with more

nts of the "project" at
hand.[^19^](#c1-note-0019){#c1-note-0019a} Aside from a few exceptions,
companies in their trad­itional forms came to function above all as
strategic control centers and as economic and legal units.

This economic structural transformation was already well under way when
the internet emerged as a mass medium around the turn of the millennium.
As a consequence, change became more radical and penetrated into an
increasing number of areas of value creation. The political agenda

from a
monogamous relationship to nightclubs and public bathrooms until, at the
end, he is enlightened by a political group of men who explain that it
is not possible to lead a free life in a niche, as his own emancipation
can only be achieved by a transformation of society as a whole. The film
closes with a not-so-subtle call to action: "Out of the closets, into
the streets!" Von Praunheim understood this emancipation to be a process
that encompassed all areas of life and had to be carried out in pu

ty between
homosexual and heterosexual relationships" and, on this basis, made an
argument against discrimination.[^34^](#c1-note-0034){#c1-note-0034a}
Around the year 2000, however, the classical gay movement had already
passed its peak. A profound transformation had begun to take place in
the middle of the 1990s. It lost its character as a new social movement
(in the style of the 1970s) and began to splinter inwardly and
outwardly. One could say that it transformed from a mass movement into a
multitude of variously networked communities. The clearest sign of this
transformation is the abbreviation "LGBT" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender), which, since the mid-1990s, has represented the internal

diger Lautmann quoted above -- "homophobia
lives on in the depths of the collective dis­position" -- continued to
hold true.

If the gay movement is representative of the social liber­ation of the
1970s and 1980s, then it is possible to regard its transformation into
the LGBT movement during the 1990s -- with its multiplicity and fluidity
of identity models and its stress on mutability and hybridity -- as a
sign of the reinvention of this project within the context of an
increasingly dominant digital condition. With this transformation,
however, the diversification and fluidification of cultural practices
and social roles have not yet come to an end. Ways of life that were
initially subcultural and facing existential pressure []{#Page_28
type="pagebreak" title="28"}are gra


Hybridization is thus a cultural strategy for evading marginality that
is imposed from the outside: subjects, who from the dominant perspective
are incapable of doing so, appropriate certain aspects of culture for
themselves and transform them into something else. What is decisive is
that this hybrid, created by means of active and unauthorized
appropriation, opposes the dominant version and the resulting speech is
thus legitimized from another -- that is, from one\'s own -- posit

hird," which becomes especially virulent when it
"emerges in the middle of semantic
structures."[^46^](#c1-note-0046){#c1-note-0046a} The recognition of
this power reveals the increasing cultural independence of those
formerly colonized, and it also transforms the cultural self-perception
of the West, for, even in Western nations that were not significant
colonial powers, there are multifaceted tensions between dominant
cultures and those who are on the defensive against discrimination and

ns survived,
however, which go beyond design and remain characteristic of the
culturalization []{#Page_37 type="pagebreak" title="37"}of the economy:
the discovery of the public as emancipated users and active
participants; the use of appropriation, transformation, and
recombination as methods for creating ever-new aesthetic
differentiations; and, finally, the intention of shaping the lifeworld
of the user.[^57^](#c1-note-0057){#c1-note-0057a}

As these patterns became depoliticized and commercialized

ltering it within a set of guidelines. This was taken a step
further by the idea of "user-centered innovation," which relies on the
specific knowledge of users to enhance a product, with the additional
hope of discovering unintended applications and transforming these into
new areas of business.[^63^](#c1-note-0063){#c1-note-0063a} It has also
become possible for end users to take over the design process from the
beginning, which has become considerably easier with the advent of
specialized platforms

chanically processed and stored data on
punch cards. The idea was based on Hollerith\'s observations of the
coup­ling and decoupling of railroad cars, which he interpreted as
modular units that could be combined in any desired order. The punch
card transferred this approach to information []{#Page_41
type="pagebreak" title="41"}management. Data were no longer stored in
fixed, linear arrangements (tables and lists) but rather in small units
(the punch cards) that, like railroad cars, could be combined

essage a medium might be conveying. From this perspective, reality does
not exist outside of media, given that media codetermine our personal
relation to and behavior in the world. For McLuhan and the Toronto
School, media were thus not channels for transporting content but rather
the all-encompassing environments -- galaxies -- in which we live.

Such ideas were circulating much earlier and were intensively developed
by artists, many of whom were beginning to experiment with new
electronic media. An

duction, with the newly arrived medium of the internet. Despite still
struggling with numerous technical difficulties, they remained constant
in their belief that the internet would solve the hitherto intractable
problem of distributing content. The transition from analog to digital
media lowered the production hurdle yet again, not least through the
ongoing development of improved software. Now, many stages of production
that had previously required professional or semi-professional expertise
and equ

e difference between media and
political activity.[^77[]{#Page_47 type="pagebreak"

This difference was dissolved entirely by a new generation of
politically motivated artists, activists, and hackers, who transferred
the tactics of civil disobedience -- blockading a building with a
sit-in, for instance -- to the
internet.[^78^](#c1-note-0078){#c1-note-0078a} When, in 1994, the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation rose up in the south of Mexico,
several med

ression "rough consensus." The second was that, in accordance with
the classical engineering tradition, the focus should remain on concrete
solutions that had to be measured against one []{#Page_52
type="pagebreak" title="52"}another on the basis of transparent
criteria. Such was the meaning of the expression "running code." In
large part, this method was possible because the group oriented around
these principles was, internally, relatively homogeneous: it consisted
of top-notch computer scientists -

among programmers as theft.[^90^](#c1-note-0090){#c1-note-0090a}
Previously it had been par for the course, and above all necessary, for
programmers to share software with one another. The former culture of
horizontal cooperation between developers transformed into a
hierarchical and commercially oriented relation between developers and
users (many of whom, at least at the beginning, had developed programs
of their own). For the first time, copyright came to play an important
role in digital culture.

nnium, the number of users already exceeded 53 percent. Since
then, this share has increased even further. In 2014, it was more than
97 percent for people under the age of
40.[^95^](#c1-note-0095){#c1-note-0095a} Parallel to these developments,
data transfer rates increased considerably, broadband connections ousted
the need for dial-up modems, and the internet was suddenly "here" and no
longer "there." With the spread of mobile devices, especially since the
year 2007 when the first iPhone was introdu

olent backlashes
and new forms of fundamentalism that are attempting once again to remove
certain religious, social, cultural, or political dimensions of
existence from the discussion. Yet these can only be understood in light
of a sweeping cultural transformation that has already reached
mainstream society.[^98^](#c1-note-0098){#c1-note-0098a} In other words,
the digital condition has become quotidian and dominant. It forms a
cultural constellation that determines all areas of life, and its

Medien und Wissen -- Eine Einführung* (Wiesbaden: Verlag für
Sozialwissenschaften, 2009).[]{#Page_178 type="pagebreak" title="178"}

[17](#c1-note-0017a){#c1-note-0017}  Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello,
*The New Spirit of Capitalism*, trans. Gregory Elliott (London: Verso,

[18](#c1-note-0018a){#c1-note-0018}  Michael Piore and Charles Sabel,
*The Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities of Prosperity* (New York:
Basic Books, 1984).

[19](#c1-note-0019a){#c1-note-0019}  Castel

­anzeiger, 2001).

[35](#c1-note-0035a){#c1-note-0035}  This process of internal
differentiation has not yet reached its conclusion, and thus the
acronyms have become longer and longer: LGBPTTQQIIAA+ stands for

lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, transsexual, queer,
questioning, intersex, intergender, asexual, ally.
[36](#c1-note-0036a){#c1-note-0036}  Judith Butler, *Gender Trouble:
Feminism and the Subversion of Identity* (New York: Routledge, 1989).

[37](#c1-note-0037a){#c1-note-0037}  An

ntly that there seems to be
no way out of the existing dependent relations. For an overview of the
debates that Said has instigated, see María do Mar Castro Varela and
Nikita Dhawan, *Postkoloniale Theorie: Eine kritische Ein­führung*
(Bielefeld: Transcript, 2005), pp. 37--46.

[44](#c1-note-0044a){#c1-note-0044}  "Migration führt zu 'hybrider'
Gesellschaft" (an interview with Homi K. Bhabha), *ORF Science*
(November 9, 2007), online \[--trans.\].

[45](#c1-note-0045a){#c1-note-0045}  Homi K.

rman Parliament (June 4,
2014), online \[--trans.\].

[51](#c1-note-0051a){#c1-note-0051}  Andreas Reckwitz, *Die Erfindung
der Kreativität: Zum Prozess gesellschaftlicher Ästhetisierung* (Berlin:
Suhrkamp, 2011), p. 180 \[--trans.\]. An English translation of this
book is forthcoming: *The Invention of Creativity: Modern Society and
the Culture of the New*, trans. Steven Black (Cambridge: Polity, 2017).

[52](#c1-note-0052a){#c1-note-0052}  Gert Selle, *Geschichte des Design
in Deutschland* (Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2007).

[53](#c1-note-0053a){#c1-note-0053}  "Less Is More: The Design Ethos of
Dieter R

lang­spaziergänge durch Zürich* (Zurich: NZZ Libro,

[62](#c1-note-0062a){#c1-note-0062}  "An alternate realty game (ARG),"
according to Wikipedia, "is an interactive networked narrative that uses
the real world as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling to
deliver a story that may be altered by players\' ideas or actions."

[63](#c1-note-0063a){#c1-note-0063}  Eric von Hippel, *Democratizing
Innovation* (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).

[64](#c1-note-0064a){#c1-note-0064}  It

e-0065}  Beniger, *The Control Revolution*,
pp. 411--16.

[66](#c1-note-0066a){#c1-note-0066}  Louis Althusser, "Ideology and
Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)," in
Althusser, *Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays*, trans. Ben Brewster
(New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971), pp. 127--86.

[67](#c1-note-0067a){#c1-note-0067}  Florian Becker et al. (eds),
*Gramsci lesen! Einstiege in die Gefängnis­hefte* (Hamburg: Argument,
2013), pp. 20--35.

[68](#c1-note-0068a){#c1-note-0068}  Guy Debord, *The Society of the
Spectacle*, trans. Fredy Perlman and Jon Supak (Detroit: Black & Red,

[69](#c1-note-0069a){#c1-note-0069}  Derrick de Kerckhove, "McLuhan and
the Toronto School of Communication," *Canadian Journal of
Communication* 14/4 (1989): 73--9.[]{#Page_182 type="page


[79](#c1-note-0079a){#c1-note-0079}  Today this method is known as a
"distributed denial of service attack" (DDOS).

[80](#c1-note-0080a){#c1-note-0080}  Max Weber, *Economy and Society: An
Outline of Interpretive Sociology*, trans. Guenther Roth and Claus
Wittich (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978), pp. 26--8.

[81](#c1-note-0081a){#c1-note-0081}  Ernst Friedrich Schumacher, *Small
Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered*, 8th edn (New York:
Harper Per

formats that can
be registered by human perception. It is impossible to read the content
of billions of websites. Therefore we turn to services such as Google\'s
search algorithm, which reduces the data flood ("big data") to a
manageable amount and translates it into a format that humans can
understand ("small data"). Without them, human beings could not
comprehend or do anything within a culture built around digital
technologies, but they influence our understanding and activity in an
ambivalent way

em: re-mix, re-make, re-enactment, appropriation, sampling,
meme, imitation, homage, tropicália, parody, quotation, post-production,
re-performance, []{#Page_59 type="pagebreak" title="59"}camouflage,
(non-academic) research, re-creativity, mashup, transformative use, and
so on.

These processes have two important aspects in common: the
recognizability of the sources and the freedom to deal with them however
one likes. The first creates an internal system of references from which
meaning and aestheti

o embed
a source in its original context in order to re-determine its meaning,
but also a departure from classical forms of rendition such as
translations, adaptations (for instance, adapting a book for a film), or
cover versions, which, though they translate a work into another
language or medium, still attempt to preserve its original meaning.
Re-mixes produced by DJs are one example of the referential treatment of
source material. In his book on the history of DJ culture, the
journalist Ulf Poschar

nchita Wurst, the bearded diva, is not torn between two
conflicting poles. Rather, she represents a successful synthesis --
something new and harmonious that distinguishes itself by showcasing
elements of the old order (man/woman) and simultaneously transcending

This synthesis, however, is usually just temporary, for at any time it
can itself serve as material for yet another rendering. Of course, this
is far easier to pull off with digital objects than with analog objects,
though these categor

as Marshall McLuhan repeatedly underscored,
did not fully develop until the advent of the printing
press.[^8^](#c2-note-0008){#c2-note-0008a} It was the printing press, in
other words, that first abstracted written signs from analog handwriting
and transformed them into standardized symbols that could be repeated
without any loss of information. In this practical sense, the printing
press made writing digital, with the result that dealing with texts soon
became radically different.

::: {.section}

he internet.[^20^](#c2-note-0020){#c2-note-0020a} At the
same time, new providers have entered the market of free access; their
method is not to facilitate distributed downloads but rather to offer,
on account of the drastically reduced cost of data transfers, direct
streaming. Although some of these services are relatively easy to locate
and some have been legally banned -- the best-known case in Germany
being that of the popular site -- more of them continue to

hat these costumes are usually not exact replicas but are rather
freely adapted by each player to represent the character as he or she
interprets it to be. Accordingly, "Cosplay is a form of appropriation
[]{#Page_74 type="pagebreak" title="74"}that transforms, actualizes and
performs an existing story in close connection to the fan\'s own
identity."[^30^](#c2-note-0030){#c2-note-0030a} This practice,
admittedly, goes back quite far in the history of fan culture, but it
has experienced a striking surg

rthy features remain: the power of the desire to appropriate, in a
bodily manner, characters from vast cultural universes, and the
widespread combination of free interpretation and meticulous attention
to detail.

::: {.section}
### Lineages and transformations {#c2-sec-0008}

Because of the great effort tha they require, re-enactment and cosplay
are somewhat extreme examples of singling out, appropriating, and
referencing. As everyday activities that almost take place incidentally,
however, these

ifferences (through design, for instance) are ubiquitous.
Established civic institutions are not alone in being hollowed out;
relatively new collectives are also becoming more differentiated, a
development that I outlined above with reference to the transformation
of the gay movement into the LGBT community. Yet nevertheless, or
perhaps for this very reason, new forms of communality are being formed
in these offshoots -- in the small activities of everyday life. And
these new communal formations -- ra

he term was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s by the social
researchers Jean Lave and Étienne Wenger. They observed that, in most
cases, professional learning (for instance, in their case study of
midwives) does not take place as a one-sided transfer of knowledge or
proficiency, but rather as an open exchange, often outside of the formal
learning environment, between people with different levels of knowledge
and experience. In this sense, learning is an activity that, though
distinguishable, c

itself -- the constitution of space and time. How? The spatio-temporal
horizon of digital communication is a global (that is, placeless) and
ongoing present. The technical vision of digital communication is always
the here and now. With the instant transmission of information,
everything that is not "here" is inaccessible and everything that is not
"now" has disappeared. Powerful infrastructure has been built to achieve
these effects: data centers, intercontinental networks of cables,
satellites, hig

whose expanse
is confined to milliseconds. This process is far from coming to an end,
for massive amounts of investment are allocated to accomplish even the
smallest steps toward this goal. On November 3, 2015, a 4,600-kilometer,
300-million-dollar transatlantic telecommunications cable (Hibernia
Express) was put into operation between London and New York -- the first
in more than 10 years -- with the single goal of accelerating automated
trading between the two places by 5.2 milliseconds.

For socia

luence, temporal rhythms have to be redefined as well.
What counts as fast? What counts as slow? In what order should things
proceed? On the everyday level, for instance, the matter can be as
simple as how quickly to respond to an email. Because the transmission
of information hardly takes any time, every delay is a purely social
creation. But how much is acceptable? There can be no uniform answer to
this. The members of each communal formation have to negotiate their own
rules with one another, even

whoever opts not to []{#Page_96 type="pagebreak" title="96"}accept them
will remain on the outside. Protocols establish, for example, common
languages, technical standards, or social conventions. The fundamental
protocol for the internet is the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol (TCP/IP). This suite of protocols defines the common language
for exchanging data. Every device that exchanges information over the
internet -- be it a smartphone, a supercomputer in a data center, or a

c texts will be automated in
the future. Entirely different applications, however, have also been
conceived. Alexander Pschera, for instance, foresees a new age in the
relationship between humans and nature, for, as soon as animals are
equipped with transmitters and sensors and are thus able to tell their
own stories through the appropriate software, they will be regarded as
individuals and not merely as generic members of a

We have not yet reached this p

rhaps the best-known algorithms that sort the digital infosphere and
make it usable in its present form are those of search engines, above
all Google\'s PageRank. Thanks to these, we can find our way around in a
world of unstructured information and transfer increasingly larger parts
of the (informational) world into the order of unstructuredness without
giving rise to the "Library of Babel." Here, "unstructured" means that
there is no prescribed order such as (to stick []{#Page_112
type="pagebreak" t

ch as "central"/"peripheral."

Even though the PageRank algorithm was highly effective and assisted
Google\'s rapid ascent to a market-leading position, at the beginning it
was still relatively simple and its mode of operation was at least
partially transparent. It followed the classical statistical model of an
algorithm. A document or site referred to by many links was considered
more important than one to which fewer links
referred.[^104^](#c2-note-0104){#c2-note-0104a} The algorithm analyzed
the gi

greater amount of contextual []{#Page_115 type="pagebreak"
title="115"}information, which influences the value of a site within
Page­Rank and thus the order of search results. The algorithm is no
longer a fixed object or unchanging recipe but is transforming into a
dynamic process, an opaque cloud composed of multiple interacting
algorithms that are continuously refined (between 500 and 600 times a
year, according to some estimates). These ongoing developments are so
extensive that, since 2003, se

flowing or stuck in a jam.
If enough historical data is taken into account, the hope is that it
will be possible to redirect cars in such a way that traffic jams should
no longer occur.[^110^](#c2-note-0110){#c2-note-0110a} For those who use
public transport, Google Now evaluates real-time data about the
locations of various transport services. With this information, it will
suggest the optimal route and, depending on the calculated travel time,
it will send a reminder (sometimes earlier, sometimes later) when it is
time to go. That which Google is just experimenting with and

and efficient service that provides a quasi-magical product. Out of the
enormous haystack of searchable information, results are generated that
are made to seem like the very needle that we have been looking for. At
best, it is only partially transparent how these results came about and
which positions in the world are strengthened or weakened by them. Yet,
as long as the needle is somewhat functional, most users are content,
and the algorithm registers this contentedness to validate itself. In

im, namely that of borrowing sources without
acknow­ledging them.

[3](#c2-note-0003a){#c2-note-0003}  Ulf Poschardt, *DJ Culture* (London:
Quartet Books, 1998), p. 34.

[4](#c2-note-0004a){#c2-note-0004}  Theodor W. Adorno, *Aesthetic
Theory*, trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor (Minneapolis, MN: University of
Minnesota Press, 1997), p. 151.

[5](#c2-note-0005a){#c2-note-0005}  Peter Bürger, *Theory of the
Avant-Garde*, trans. Michael Shaw (Minneapolis, MN: University of
Minnesota Press, 1984).

[6](#c2-note-0006a){#c2-note-0006}  Felix Stalder, "Neun Thesen zur
Remix-Kultur," ** (May 25, 2009), online.

[7](#c2-note-0007a){#c2-note-0007}  Florian Cramer,

ise decided in
Google\'s favor. The Authors Guild promptly announced its intention to
take the case to the Supreme Court.

[14](#c2-note-0014a){#c2-note-0014}  Jean-Noël Jeanneney, *Google and
the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe*, trans. Teresa
Lavender Fagan (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007).

[15](#c2-note-0015a){#c2-note-0015}  Within the framework of the Images
for the Future project (2007--14), the Netherlands alone invested more
than €170 million to digitize

tary film *TPB AFK:
The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard* (2013), directed by Simon Klose.

[21](#c2-note-0021a){#c2-note-0021}  In technical terms, there is hardly
any difference between a "stream" and a "download." In both cases, a
complete file is transferred to the user\'s computer and played.

[22](#c2-note-0022a){#c2-note-0022}  The practice is legal in Germany
but illegal in Austria, though digitized texts are routinely made
available there in seminars. See Seyavash Amini Khanimani and Nikolau

t al. (eds),
*Geistiges Eigentum und Originalität: Zur Politik der Wissens- und
Kulturproduktion* (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2011).

[33](#c2-note-0033a){#c2-note-0033}  Roland Barthes, "The Death of the
Author," in Barthes, *Image -- Music -- Text*, trans. Stephen Heath
(London: Fontana Press, 1977), pp. 142--8.

[34](#c2-note-0034a){#c2-note-0034}  Heinz Rölleke and Albert
Schindehütte, *Es war einmal: Die wahren Märchen der Brüder Grimm und
wer sie ihnen erzählte* (Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn

oday is indicative
of how difficult []{#Page_188 type="pagebreak" title="188"}it has become
for any single organization to attract broad strata of society.

[39](#c2-note-0039a){#c2-note-0039}  Ulrich Beck, *Risk Society: Towards
a New Modernity*, trans. Mark Ritter (London: SAGE, 1992), p. 135.

[40](#c2-note-0040a){#c2-note-0040}  Ferdinand Tönnies, *Community and
Society*, trans. Charles P. Loomis (East Lansing: Michigan State
University Press, 1957).

[41](#c2-note-0041a){#c2-note-0041}  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels,
"The Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848)," trans. Terrell Carver, in
*The Cambridge Companion to the Communist Manifesto*, ed. Carver and
James Farr (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 237--60,
at 239. For Marx and Engels, this was -- like everything pertaining to
the dynamics of cap

ment. For,
in this case, it finally forced people "to take a down-to-earth view of
their circumstances, their multifarious relationships" (ibid.).

[42](#c2-note-0042a){#c2-note-0042}  As early as the 1940s, Karl Polanyi
demonstrated in *The Great Transformation* (New York: Farrar & Rinehart,
1944) that the idea of strictly separated spheres, which are supposed to
be so typical of society, is in fact highly ideological. He argued above
all that the attempt to implement this separation fully and cons

ecise term
"dividual" (the divisible) has also been used. See Gerald Raunig,
"Dividuen des Facebook: Das neue Begehren nach Selbstzerteilung," in
Oliver Leistert and Theo Röhle (eds), *Generation Facebook: Über das
Leben im Social Net* (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011), pp. 145--59.

[53](#c2-note-0053a){#c2-note-0053}  Jariu Saramäki et al., "Persistence
of Social Signatures in Human Communication," *Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America* 111
(2014): 942--7.

arf der Chef
ständige Erreichbarkeit ver­langen?" *Zeit Online* (June 13, 2012),
online \[--trans.\].[]{#Page_190 type="pagebreak" title="190"}

[57](#c2-note-0057a){#c2-note-0057}  Hartmut Rosa, *Social Acceleration:
A New Theory of Modernity*, trans. Jonathan Trejo-Mathys (New York:
Columbia University Press, 2013).

[58](#c2-note-0058a){#c2-note-0058}  This technique -- "social freezing"
-- has already become so standard that it is now regarded as way to help
women achieve a better balance be

ine Tribes* (London: Pluto Press, 2009).

[74](#c2-note-0074a){#c2-note-0074}  Eric Steven Raymond, "The Cathedral
and the Bazaar," *First Monday* 3 (1998), online.

[75](#c2-note-0075a){#c2-note-0075}  Jorge Luis Borges, "The Library of
Babel," trans. Anthony Kerrigan, in Borges, *Ficciones* (New York: Grove
Weidenfeld, 1962), pp. 79--88.

[76](#c2-note-0076a){#c2-note-0076}  Heinrich Geiselberger and Tobias
Moorstedt (eds), *Big Data: Das neue Versprechen der Allwissenheit*
(Berlin: Suhrkamp,

6a){#c2-note-0086}  Steven Levy, "Can an Algorithm
Write a Better News Story than a Human Reporter?" *Wired* (April 24,
2012), online.

[87](#c2-note-0087a){#c2-note-0087}  Alexander Pschera, *Animal
Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution*, trans. Elisabeth Laufer
(New York: New Vessel Press, 2016).

[88](#c2-note-0088a){#c2-note-0088}  The American intelligence services
are not unique in this regard. *Spiegel* has reported that, in Russia,
entire "bot armies" have been mobilized for the "p

in the sense of
unprocessed, and "cooked," in the sense of processed, derive from the
anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, who introduced them to clarify the
difference between nature and culture. See Claude Lévi-Strauss, *The Raw
and the Cooked*, trans. John Weightman and Doreen Weightman (Chicago,
IL: University of Chicago Press, 1983).

[114](#c2-note-0114a){#c2-note-0114}  Jessica Lee, "No. 1 Position in
Google Gets 33% of Search Traffic," *Search Engine Watch* (June 20,
2013), online.


w a line between production and reproduction. Thus, this set
of concepts, which is strictly oriented toward economic production
alone, is more problematic than ever. My decision to use these concepts
is therefore limited to clarifying the conceptual transition from the
previous chapter to the chapter at hand. The concern of the last chapter
was to explain the forms that cultural processes have adopted under the
present conditions -- ubiquitous telecommunication, general expressivity

rs, and everyone else with access
to the underbelly of the infrastructure, including the British
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US National
Security Agency (NSA), both of which employ programs such as a MUSCULAR
to record data transfers between the computer centers operated by large
American providers.[^10^](#c3-note-0010){#c3-note-0010a}

Nevertheless, email essentially remains an open application, for the
SMTP protocol forces even the largest providers to cooperate. Small

do -- and the resulting experience of failing to shape one\'s
own activity in a coherent manner are ideal-typical manifestations of
the power of networks.

The problem experienced by the unwilling-willing users of Facebook has
not been caused by the transformation of communication into data as
such. This is necessary to provide input for algorithms, which turn the
flood of information into something usable. To this extent, the general
complaint about the domination of algorithms is off the mark. The
problem is not the algorithms themselves but rather the specific
capitalist and post-democratic setting in which they are implemented.
They only become an instrument of domin­ation when open and
decentralized activities are transferred into closed and centralized
structures in which far-reaching, fundamental decision-making powers and
possibilities for action are embedded that legitimize themselves purely
on the basis of their output. Or, to adapt the title of Rosa von

ge) but rather for
political repression and the protection of central power interests --
or, to put it in more neutral terms, in the service of general security.
Yet the NSA and other intelligence agencies also record decentralized
communication and transform it into (meta-)data, which are centrally
stored and analyzed.[^41^](#c3-note-0041){#c3-note-0041a} This process
is used to generate possible courses of action, from intensifying the
surveillance of individuals and manipulating their informational


According to the legal scholar Frank Pasquale, the sum of all these
developments has led to a black-box society: More social processes are
being controlled by algorithms whose operations are not transparent
because they are shielded from the outside world and thus from
democratic control.[^56^](#c3-note-0056){#c3-note-0056a} This
ever-expanding "post-democracy" is not simply liberal democracy with a
few problems that can be eliminated through well

ntees the freedom of unlimited use, modification,
and distribution. The developers understand this primarily as an ethical
obligation. They explicitly regard the project as a contribution "to the
free software community." The social contract demands transparency on
the level of the program code: "We will keep our entire bug report
database open for public view at all times. Reports that people file
online will promptly become visible to others." There are both technical
and ethical considerations behi

but the main work
of the developers -- the program code -- flows back into the common pool
of resources, which the explicitly non-profit Debian Project can then
use to compile its distribution. The freedoms guaranteed by the free
license render this transfer from commercial to non-commercial use not
only legally unproblematic but even desirable to the for-profit service
providers, as they themselves also need entire operating systems and not
just the kernel.

The Debian Project draws from this pool of

ive Commons (CC), a California-based foundation that
began to provide easily understandable and adaptable licensing kits and
to promote its services internationally through a network of partner
organizations. This set of licenses made it possible to transfer user
rights to the community (defined by the acceptance of the license\'s
terms and conditions) and thus to create a freely accessible pool of
cultural resources. Works published under a CC license can always be
consumed and distributed free of ch

x rules, lack of young personnel, and
systematic attempts at manipulation, have been well documented because
Wikipedia also guarantees free access to the data generated by the
activities of users, and thus makes the development of the commons
fairly transparent for outsiders.[^84^](#c3-note-0084){#c3-note-0084a}

One of the most fundamental and complex decisions in the history of
Wikipedia was to change its license. The process behind this is
indicative of how thoroughly the community of a commons can

es and communities
in terms of open data, the use of open-source software, the availability
of open infrastructures (such as free internet access in public places),
open policies (the licensing of public information,
freedom-of-information laws, the transparency of budget planning, etc.),
and open education (freely accessible educational resources, for
instance).[^95^](#c3-note-0095){#c3-note-0095a} The results are rather
sobering. The Open Data Index has identified 10 []{#Page_169
type="pagebreak" ti

eak" title="175"}

::: {.section .notesSet type="rearnotes"}
[]{#notesSet}Notes {#c3-ntgp-9999}

::: {.section .notesList}
[1](#c3-note-0001a){#c3-note-0001}  Karl Marx, *A Contribution to the
Critique of Political Economy*, trans. S. W. Ryazanskaya (London:
Lawrence and Wishart, 1971), p. 21.[]{#Page_196 type="pagebreak"

[2](#c3-note-0002a){#c3-note-0002}  See, for instance, Tomasz Konicz and
Florian Rötzer (eds), *Aufbruch ins Ungewisse: Auf der Suche nach
Alternativen zur kapitalistischen Dauerkrise* (Hanover: Heise
Zeitschriften Verlag, 2014).

[3](#c3-note-0003a){#c3-note-0003}  Jacques Rancière, *Disagreement:
Politics and Philosophy*, trans. Julie Rose (Minneapolis, MN: University
of Minnesota Press, 1999), p. 102 (the emphasis is original).

[4](#c3-note-0004a){#c3-note-0004}  Colin Crouch, *Post-Democracy*
(Cambridge: Polity, 2004), p. 4.

[5](#c3-note-0005a){#c3-note-0005}  Ibid.

nce in a special issue of the journal
*Neue Soziale Be­wegungen* (vol. 4, 2006) and in the first two issues of
the journal *Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte* (2011).

[8](#c3-note-0008a){#c3-note-0008}  See Jonathan B. Postel, "RFC 821,
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol," *Information Sciences Institute:
University of Southern California* (August 1982), online: "An important
feature of SMTP is its capability to relay mail across transport service

[9](#c3-note-0009a){#c3-note-0009}  One of the first providers of
Webmail was Hotmail, which became available in 1996. Just one year
later, the company was purchased by Microsoft.


note-0021a){#c3-note-0021}  Carlos Diuk, "The Formation of
Love," *Facebook Data Science Blog* (February 14, 2014), online.

[22](#c3-note-0022a){#c3-note-0022}  Facebook could have determined this
simply by examining the location data that were transmitted by its own
smartphone app. The study in question, however, did not take such
information into account.

[23](#c3-note-0023a){#c3-note-0023}  Dan Lyons, "A Lot of Top
Journalists Don\'t Look at Traffic Numbers: Here\'s Why," *Huffington

ty Press

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