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Tag Archives: Machines

Knowledge

Knowledge

CAPITAL AS COMPUTATION & COGNITION

 

Capital as Computation & Cognition: From Babbage’s Factory to Google’s Algorithmic Governance

Seminar syllabus [draft, in progress]

New Centre for Research and Practice, 3-24 March 2015.

Enroll –› thenewcentre.org/seminars/capital-as-computation-cognition

Instructor: Matteo Pasquinelli –› matteopasquinelli.org

 

Since the times of Smith, Ricardo and Marx, if not for even longer, capital has functioned as a form of computation constituted by and as a complex mathematical system. As Simondon noticed, the industrial machine was already an informational relay, that was separating the source of energy (nature) from the source of information (the human). After WWII the numeric essence of capital has been coupled with the informational dimension of cybernetics and computing machines, while also subsuming emergent forms of augmented intelligence. Capitalism, as a form of accounting and as an exterior mnemonic technique, is in itself a form of transhuman intelligence. Cognitive capitalism, Specifically, on the basis of its infonumeric procedures, from layman’s accounting to sophisticated algotrading, as well as from immaterial labour to scientific research, is an institution of computation.

The aim of the seminar is twofold: on the one hand, it will provide an introduction to some critical keywords (such as abstract labour, general intellect, cybernetic loop, calculation problem, immaterial labour, cognitive capitalism, augmented intelligence, computational limit, etc.) and to more recent debates around the technological form (on Accelerationism and algorithmic governance, for instance). On the other hand, the seminar wants to provide a compact and accurate bibliography about the canonical approaches to the relation between capital, technology, knowledge and labour. A specific attention will be given to the precise historical contexts in which fundamental ideas were originated and crucial books published. All the bibliographies are therefore compiled in chronological order to make genealogies and the circulation of ideas more comprehensible (and to clarify also epic misunderstandings, weak intepretations and harsh criticism).

The seminar in structured in four parts that correspond roughly to four different historical periods and to their relative types of machinic assemblage. The seminar aims to illuminate each historical moment according to a specific composition of the three variables: capital, computation and cognition. The first technological assemblage to be covered is Marx’s industrial machine, that inaugurated the bifurcation between energy and information. The second one is the cybernetic machine, distinguished by the feedback loop system and by the first experiments at the scale of national economy. Third, the Turing machine more in general will be taken as the basic diagram of cognitive capitalism and the network society and as the terrain of a further bifurcation, that is of the split between data and metadata. Fourth, algorithms for data mining will be discussed as models of the last stage of capitalism and its algorithmic governance, marking the passage from metadata to a global machinic intelligence.

Each seminar presents two or three historical and fundamental texts that are selected from a general bibliography. Documents that will be discussed during the seminar are underlined in bold and marked with an arrow (it is mandatory to read only the texts marked with an arrow: titles in bold are highly recommended). At the end of the seminar, students will be asked to pick up one text or more and to reconstruct how the diagram of the composition of capital/computation/cognition emerges in a specific author or historical moment, or to propose new trajectories of analysis.

 

As a general introduction to the seminar is recommended the reading of:

➡ Pasquinelli, Matteo (2014) “Italian Operaismo and the Information Machine“, Theory, Culture

and Society, first published 2 February 2014. http://matteopasquinelli.com/operaismo-informationmachine

➡ Pasquinelli, Matteo (2014) “Augmented Intelligence”, in: Critical Keywords for the Digital

Humanities, Lüneburg: Leuphana university, 2014.

http://cdckeywords.leuphana.com/augmented_intelligence

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Critical Education / Education is Critical

Critical Education / Education is Critical

DEMOCRACY AND COLLECTIVE ACTION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A message from Jeremy Gilbert

A Public Event with:

Angela McRobbie

Hilary Wainwright

Mark Fisher

Jeremy Gilbert

Neal Lawson

November 11th 2014, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Committee Room 6, House of Commons

All details and booking: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/democracy-and-collective-action-in-the-twenty-first-century-tickets-13633868267?aff=eventful%2Fr%2Feventful

‘Reclaim Modernity: Beyond Markets, Beyond Machines’ is a new pamphlet published by Compass and written by Mark Fisher and Jeremy Gilbert. A brief introduction to the pamphlet can be read here, and you can click through to short piece I wrote about the pamphlet for the Guardian website, and then to the actual document, from there:
http://jeremygilbertwriting.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/reclaim-modernity/

A related essay on UKIP, Populism and the Left is here:
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/jeremy-gilbert/populism-and-left-does-ukip-matter-can-democracy-be-saved
Please circulate widely
Jeremy Gilbert
http://www.jeremygilbert.org
@jemgilbert=

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Luddites

THE LUDDITES

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

The Luddites, without Condescension – A Conference on the 200th Anniversary of the Frame-breakers’ Uprising

Friday 6th May  10am – 6pm  Room B34  Birkbeck Main Building
This event is free and open to all

In the Spring of 2011 Birkbeck will host a one-day conference to mark the 200th anniversary of the uprising of the handloom weavers in the dawn of the industrial revolution under the command of the mythic General Ludd. Even though the movement was sparked by skilled artisans, “luddite” has ever since been a byword for technophobes facing backwards and mindless rejection of progress. The conference will gather historians of luddism and others interested in what in 1800 was called “the machinery question”, to consider not only the historical luddites, urban and rural, but also contemporary movements of direct resistance, north and south, to capitalist modernization – for example, anti-nuclear movements, opposition to agricultural transgenics, resistance to big dams. The concluding session will address the issue of modernity itself, its model of temporality and the assumption that history is future-directed.

Speakers: Amita Baviskar, Iain Boal, T.J. Clark, Peter Linebaugh

More information:
Julia Eisner
Administrator
Institute for the Humanities (BIH)
Institute for Social Research (BISR)
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX
T:  (0) 20 7631 6612
E:  j.eisner@bbk.ac.uk

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com