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Additional info for Uncoding the Digital: Technology, Subjectivity and Action in the Control Society

Sample text

As explained above, even if such a norm or mold becomes clear, there is no gratification-punishment mechanism attached to it. 10 In that respect the norm has a significant role to play in both modes of power (Venn 2007). It is for this reason that categorical sorting forms a second likely instrument of the modulatory mode of power. The lack of a gratification-punishment mechanism also indicates that the examination has no function in modulatory power. Instead, as Deleuze pointed out, the sample is one of the main instruments of 36 The Database modulation (Deleuze 1992).

Cooper 2010, 173) This is precisely the post 9/11 world that Donald Rumsfeld was operating in when he made his comment about ‘known knowns’, ‘known unknowns’, and ‘unknown unknowns’. A similar shift away from a disciplinary gaze and toward a pre-emptive form of observation is also reflected in a ‘superseding of the confession’. As Virilio argued some decades ago, 26 The Database [i]f in these tests someone is still listening for a confession, it is evident that this confession is no longer the story of a crime by its author.

Such a fourth mechanism would still function to arrange the other mechanisms to operate as part of one machine or assemblage, but it would need to achieve this in a different manner. Stated differently, it would need to compose a very different set of forces that act upon and constitute subjects entirely differently from how discipline achieves this. This is where the earlier point that action in a digital context is flow becomes significant. The reason for that is because the subject as such, or rather, the production thereof, doesn’t appear to be a central concern in the new forms of observation.

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