[-empyre-] network critical: immanent effects

Antonas Office antonasoffice at gmail.com
Sun Mar 18 18:29:49 EST 2012

Dear Simon Taylor,

Thank you for bringing Albert-László Barabási in the discourse. I am very interested in your observations. My idea about your question will be that the ruling concept in this distinction between the network and the "real" world is the concept of protocol. In the net we seem to be used to be voluntarily restricted by strong, operative protocols that we accept in order to give meaning to any connection. We have not seen what this acceptance will bring as an after effect to "reality". States, constitutions and legislation were systems of protocols that seem very old to operate in this condition. Companies are quicker: they are already adapted in many senses to this different "protocol world" where, when it is question of connection, we obliged to accept a strong system where communication is predefined and categorized as a restricted system of answers to specific questions or an affirmation of a interchangeable, chosen (between others) platform. The concept of protocol that became so strong on the Internet seeks its possible incarnation in "reality" while the net and the real lose the meaning of their distinction. Your questions, Simon, show this dead end: what would mean today the concept of urban protocols? How the concept of protocol will be grounded on our existing cities in order to transform them to something we do not know yet. It is in this condition that the concept of the citizen would have to be restructured while the lighter, operative and irresponsible concept of user will define the acting role of a lost urban subject. 

I am going too quickly to conclusions; my city is changing rapidly too. It will be a network city and it would not look like a realized utopia. A question that will be important will be analogous to the one concerning the Internet; will the market prescribe the protocols of connectivity in the city or can we think other possible systems of civility, within this given frame? Who will be the subject who would fight for what urban protocols?

Aristide Antonas

Sent from antonas iPhone

On Mar 18, 2012, at 3:28, simon <swht at clear.net.nz> wrote:

> Dear <<empyreans>>, Ana Valdés, Teddy Cruz, Aristide Antonas,
> I am inspired by the discussion to add these speculations, on the theme of crisis and continuity as much as resilience and resistance. It occurs to me that time is at issue here and I have in the following assayed a way of addressing this, whether timely or not. Forgive its speculative suspension. To go on at any further length seemed to threaten redundancy as well as relevance.
> But I hope at least a little of the latter is found here: I would also ask what the network city might look like? an anatomy of utopia?
> Albert-László Barabási has written two beautiful books dealing with network theory. It is in the second, however, that what was only latent in the first becomes clear. It is brought out in three ways: in this book Barabási shows that he is a writer; Bursts deals with network effects in time; and where the real world application of network theory worked by way of analogy in Linked, in the second, and under the auspices of time, it is the real world that takes over.
> My question is: at the very time that we are most connected, why is it that we are most isolated?
> It is as if they are part of the same problematic, as if the network connecting us itself provided the anatomy for our isolation, as for our connection.
> It is also as if the very time were part of the problematic and the question had as much to do with its realism - its adequacy to reality - as the reality of what is purported and what purports to be current, present, relevant, even critical: the current "crisis."
> We are caught in a movement between Barabási's two books. From the analogical real world application of network theory to the immanence of communicating networks in a real world in time. Moreover, the intensification of this critical moment, of this moment of crisis - the intensification of the crisis, then - could itself be a network effect, in Barabási's words, a burst. That is, the fact of there being power-nodes operating in a spatialised network produces a concatenatory effect in time. Time is not indifferent, but broken or cut by moments of crisis: bursts of intensity, self-intensifying and self-exacerbating according to network effects.
> The very time, however, is it one of crisis or continuity? How to judge, when the space-time network is so resilient, has been       engineered to be so resilient, as to withstand, continue and even       thrive in times of crisis!
> The crisis of these very times may be prolonged indefinitely, exactly continuous with and in continuity with the network.
> Best,
> Simon Taylor
> www.squarewhiteworld.com
> _______________________________________________
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> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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