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Inside the information industry, management leverages the tools of coercive bureaucracies to routinize work that serves data-extractive ends. Corporate bureaucracies work subtly to set privacy discourses among company employees, inculcating corporate-friendly understandings of privacy as frontline workers approach their work. Organizations hobble privacy offices and amplify voices that interpret privacy law in ways that serve corporate interests. Management also constrains designers in the design process, feeding software engineers’ ambivalence toward privacy and using organizational structures to make it difficult for anyone to build better privacy protections into the designs of new technologies.
Privacy’s performances begin with discourse. This is an important step. By influencing how we think about privacy, by inculcating definitions of privacy that are so narrow, outdated, and corporate-friendly, tech companies can ensure that even those employees who consider themselves privacy advocates will nevertheless end up serving data-extractive business models in the end.
The information industry’s discursive performances have influenced everyone, including policy makers, privacy professionals, and ordinary users of technology. The campaign has seen its greatest success in the United States, where tech companies and their allies are actively undermining the push for a comprehensive national information privacy law, where studies show many people have given up on the hope that they can adequately protect their privacy online, and where many privacy professionals see corporate-friendly privacy discourses as ordinary, routine, and common sense.1
This book has been about the tools the information industry uses to routinize an antiprivacy ethos and practice through its organizations. Of course, not all tech companies use all of these tactics: some use a few, some use more, some use none. But these strategies are in use, and they have the effect of marginalizing privacy throughout the everyday work of law and design. More than just a collection of strategies, they are features of informational capitalism. They help explain how data-extractive capitalism persists.
Through a long campaign to inculcate corporate-friendly discourses about privacy, the information industry tilted our legal consciousness away from privacy and enlisted even those employees who see themselves as privacy advocates in their data-extractive missions. This softened the discursive ground on which we think and talk about privacy and weakened the privacy laws we manage to pass. Technology companies then took advantage of public-private partnerships explicitly built into those privacy laws to undermine their effectiveness. They used coercive bureaucracies and took advantage of power asymmetries to develop compliance programs that reoriented and recast privacy laws in ways that served their surveillant interests. As a result, the information industry undermined the institutions that are supposed to protect our privacy.
How can privacy law and corporate commitments to privacy be on the rise without it having a significant effect on the designs of new technologies? Tech companies use the tools of coercive bureaucracies to routinize antiprivacy norms and practices in privacy discourse, compliance, and design. Those bureaucracies constrain workers directly by focusing their work on corporate-friendly approaches to privacy. As information industry workers perform these antiprivacy routines and practices, those practices become habituated, inuring employees to corporate surveillance even as they earnestly profess to be privacy advocates. The result is a system in which the rank and file have been conscripted into serving the information industry’s surveillant interests, and in which the meaning of privacy has been subtly changed, often without them even realizing what’s going on.
We are told that accepting widespread corporate surveillance is a natural progression for human civilization. Peter Schwartz, a senior vice president at Salesforce: “Gradually, we will accept much, much greater surveillance. And in the end we won’t be too bothered by it.” Thomas Friedman in 2014: “Privacy is over.” Mark Zuckerberg in 2010: “The age of privacy is over.” Sun Microsystem’s former CEO Scott McNealy in 1999: We “have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”1
Mark Bould’s chapter on “Speculative Fiction” begins with Jonathan Lethem’s literary critical counterfactual in which the genre border between science fiction and mainstream literature never existed and all novels about science were considered one group. As Bould points out, the very term slipstream itself was coined by Bruce Sterling to refer to the disconcerting works of science fiction that played across the edges of varied genre definitions. Heady mixtures of literary conventions have informed all regions of fiction since then, as speculative fiction draws on and critiques archaic and futurist literary movements representing empire, environmentalism, disability, illness, violence, as well as racial, gendered and sexual alterities.
The material properties of platform and medium figure prominently in Scott Rettberg’s examination of digital fiction as literary engagements with computer code, video gaming, hypertext, audio and visual plug-ins, and virtual reality. Narratives with multiple or interactive pathways, role-playing and perspectival shifts, and mass authorship reconceptualize postmodern and contemporary literary themes and techniques within digital textualities.
Presentamos una revisión exhaustiva de la información disponible sobre la tecnología lítica de las sociedades finipleistocénicas de la Meseta Central de Santa Cruz (Patagonia, Argentina). Hasta el momento esta sólo había sido estudiada de manera fragmentaria. Abordamos de forma integrada los procesos de producción y consumo registrando tres aspectos de la tecnología: disponibilidad de materias primas en los paisajes donde se encuentran los sitios; estructura de los conjuntos y sus características tecnomorfológicas; y funcionalidad de los instrumentos. Los resultados indican que la disponibilidad de recursos líticos habría influenciado en la organización de la tecnología, en la elección de los lugares donde se desarrollaron distintas prácticas sociales, y en el modo en que se estructuraron las actividades de producción y consumo entre distintos sitios. Se prefirió el diseño de instrumentos unifaciales sobre soportes generalizados, pero también se elaboraron diseños que implicaron mayor inversión de trabajo. Así, las formas de uso y las funciones a las cuales fueron destinados los instrumentos influyeron en otros aspectos de la tecnología.
In Industry Unbound, Ari Ezra Waldman exposes precisely how the tech industry conducts its ongoing crusade to undermine our privacy. With research based on interviews with scores of tech employees and internal documents outlining corporate strategies, Waldman reveals that companies don't just lobby against privacy law; they also manipulate how we think about privacy, how their employees approach their work, and how they weaken the law to make data-extractive products the norm. In contrast to those who claim that privacy law is getting stronger, Waldman shows why recent shifts in privacy law are precisely the kinds of changes that corporations want and how even those who think of themselves as privacy advocates often unwittingly facilitate corporate malfeasance. This powerful account should be ready by anyone who wants to understand why privacy laws are not working and how corporations trap us into giving up our personal information.
This chapter considers the place of the desert in relation, following Nietzsche and Heidegger, to the character of human development in the modern era – “the wasteland grows; woe to him who hides wastelands within”. It looks at Heidegger’s concern with technology and language, or the way technological progress has reduced language to “idle talk”, against which the only adequate resistance, as Heidegger saw in Hölderlin, is a rebirth of the poetic. It then looks at how language interconnects with politics and science through the work of Hannah Arendt, and her distinctions between labour, work, and action in The Human Condition. Here recovering language from the colonization of science, technology and mass data begins by restoring the forms of political discourse qua speech, which in turns requires dispensing with what Uwe Poerksen calls “plastic words” that professionalize, institutionalize and modularize language. The chapter concludes these thoughts by returning to Heidegger’s question of poetry, and specifically to words by Matthew Arnold, where the desert that is in our words might become our saving power.
This chapter discusses both the role of irrigation in river basin development and closure and how its share in total water use can be reduced. It first briefly outlines the importance of unchecked irrigation development in the growing share of water consumption and the closure process of the basins examined in this volume. This understanding of how irrigation came to play a peculiar role in river basin development is important for discussing how its share can be reduced. The chapter recalls the diversity of policy options available to respond to imbalances between supply and demand and that supply augmentation is generally favored. Finally, the chapter focuses on the issue of "water savings," documenting various responses by the irrigated sector to shortages and exploring how policies to modernize irrigation technologies may inadvertently contribute to enhancing evapotranspiration and therefore undermine purported conservation objectives.
This chapter examines how a variety of twentieth-century popular forms – circus, Las Vegas spectacles, the modern pop/rock concert, living history museums, and theme parks – created new languages of performance and expanded the realm, scale, and scope of spectacle by borrowing and reshaping past forms and methodologies. These new languages of popular entertainment performance engage most directly with threads of technology, narrative, authenticity, and audience engagement. These threads in turn come to characterize the popular and influence contemporary traditional theatre practice, both nationally and internationally.
The American avant-garde theatre of the post-World War II era, with its underlying engagement with the betterment of society and a foregrounding of the body, either solo or collective, could be seen as an extension of the Romantic project. But by the 1990s, the ideas and impulses that fueled its artistic drive seemed to dissipate as it became subsumed by Postmodernism and also by popular culture. The avant-garde energies and impulses did not disappear, however, and increasingly they could be found in the theatre’s eager adoption and exploration of new technologies and digital media. By mediatizing live performance, the new technologies often became co-equal with, or dominant over, the human actors. Beginning with groups and individual artists such as Squat, The Wooster Group, and Laurie Anderson and continuing through The Builders Association, Big Art Group, and Annie Dorsen, among many others, a post-avant-garde has emerged that does not fetishize technology, but rather embraces it as a tool to alter consciousness—much as the historical avant-garde did—and to expand the possibilities and definitions of performance.
This chapter moves beyond the primarily German, elite context in which E. T. A. Hoffmann’s 1810 review of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 was initially received, to consider musical Romanticism in its broader European (and in particular, French) context. In so doing it highlights three expressive modes in which music was understood as operating in partnership with real and imagined visual stimuli: the melodramatic tableau, the unsung voice, and symphonic scenography. These modes pervaded European culture and offer a perspective on musical Romanticism that acknowledges its breadth and the social diversity of its audiences, as well as the variety of listening experiences. Theatre and concert works by Benda, Cherubini, Beethoven, Weber, Meyerbeer, Auber, Donizetti, Berlioz, and Mendelssohn are considered.
Romantic music has often been seen as an exploration of ideal, disembodied realms of spirit and feeling. It has also been presented as a consolation against the violent changes, profound uncertainties, and fierce social tensions of industrial modernity. Yet technical inventions and adaptions, such as new and improved instruments and new lighting and staging techniques, were at the heart of many of the defining characteristics of Romantic music: these included the sense of wild, dangerous, creative energies in both nature and human arts, the exploration of the most exalted and sombre of human emotions and states, restless formal invention, and appeals to both the intimacy of the individual soul and to vast audiences. Romantic music was bound up with industrialisation, urbanisation, and imperial expansion. Through its dependence on technology, and its ability to reflect upon technology’s consequences, Romantic music was an exemplary manifestation of its age.
Mailer remained skeptical of many forms of technology; he felt technology to be the enemy of critical thinking, growth, and magic. As this chapter acknowledges, his wariness of various technologies informed works such as Of a Fire on the Moon, in which Mailer eerily predicts some of the very criticisms that have become magnified since the advent of the Internet, fearing that “digital computer was not a machine which would force men to think in new ways about the environment” but was instead “plastic brainpower” that might accelerate “the rush to extermination.”