The Stack

Author: Benjamin H. Bratton
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262029575
Release Date: 2016-02-19
Genre: Computers

A comprehensive political and design theory of planetary-scale computation proposing that The Stack -- an accidental megastructure -- is both a technological apparatus and a model for a new geopolitical architecture.

The Stack

Author: Benjamin H. Bratton
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262330190
Release Date: 2016-02-26
Genre: Computers

What has planetary-scale computation done to our geopolitical realities? It takes different forms at different scales -- from energy and mineral sourcing and subterranean cloud infrastructure to urban software and massive universal addressing systems; from interfaces drawn by the augmentation of the hand and eye to users identified by self -- quantification and the arrival of legions of sensors, algorithms, and robots. Together, how do these distort and deform modern political geographies and produce new territories in their own image?In The Stack, Benjamin Bratton proposes that these different genres of computation -- smart grids, cloud platforms, mobile apps, smart cities, the Internet of Things, automation -- can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure called The Stack that is both a computational apparatus and a new governing architecture. We are inside The Stack and it is inside of us. In an account that is both theoretical and technical, drawing on political philosophy, architectural theory, and software studies, Bratton explores six layers of The Stack: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User. Each is mapped on its own terms and understood as a component within the larger whole built from hard and soft systems intermingling -- not only computational forms but also social, human, and physical forces. This model, informed by the logic of the multilayered structure of protocol "stacks," in which network technologies operate within a modular and vertical order, offers a comprehensive image of our emerging infrastructure and a platform for its ongoing reinvention. The Stack is an interdisciplinary design brief for a new geopolitics that works with and for planetary-scale computation. Interweaving the continental, urban, and perceptual scales, it shows how we can better build, dwell within, communicate with, and govern our worlds.thestack.org

The Stack

Author: Benjamin H. Bratton
Publisher:
ISBN: 0262330180
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Computer software

A comprehensive political and design theory of planetary-scale computation proposing that The Stack -- an accidental megastructure -- is both a technological apparatus and a model for a new geopolitical architecture.

Software Studies

Author: Roger F. Malina
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262062749
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Computers

This collection of short expository, critical and speculative texts offers a field guide to the cultural, political, social and aesthetic impact of software. Experts from a range of disciplines each take a key topic in software and the understanding of software, such as algorithms and logical structures.

Speaking Code

Author: Geoff Cox
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262018364
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Computers

The aesthetic and political implications of working with code as procedure, expression, and action. Speaking Code begins by invoking the "Hello World" convention used by programmers when learning a new language, helping to establish the interplay of text and code that runs through the book. Interweaving the voice of critical writing from the humanities with the tradition of computing and software development, in Speaking Code Geoff Cox formulates an argument that aims to undermine the distinctions between criticism and practice and to emphasize the aesthetic and political implications of software studies. Not reducible to its functional aspects, program code mirrors the instability inherent in the relationship of speech to language; it is only interpretable in the context of its distribution and network of operations. Code is understood as both script and performance, Cox argues, and is in this sense like spoken language--always ready for action. Speaking Code examines the expressive and performative aspects of programming; alternatives to mainstream development, from performances of the live-coding scene to the organizational forms of peer production; the democratic promise of social media and their actual role in suppressing political expression; and the market's emptying out of possibilities for free expression in the public realm. Cox defends language against its invasion by economics, arguing that speech continues to underscore the human condition, however paradoxical this may seem in an era of pervasive computing.

Artificial Knowing

Author: Alison Adam
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134793556
Release Date: 2006-07-13
Genre: Philosophy

Artificial Knowing challenges the masculine slant in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) view of the world. Alison Adam admirably fills the large gap in science and technology studies by showing us that gender bias is inscribed in AI-based computer systems. Her treatment of feminist epistemology, focusing on the ideas of the knowing subject, the nature of knowledge, rationality and language, are bound to make a significant and powerful contribution to AI studies. Drawing from theories by Donna Haraway and Sherry Turkle, and using tools of feminist epistemology, Adam provides a sustained critique of AI which interestingly re-enforces many of the traditional criticisms of the AI project. Artificial Knowing is an esential read for those interested in gender studies, science and technology studies, and philosophical debates in AI.

Code space

Author: Rob Kitchin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262042482
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Computers

Rob Kitchin and Martin dodge examine software from a spatial perspective, analyzing the dyadic relationship of software and space. The production of space, they argue, is increasingly dependent on code, and code is written to produce space. Kitchin and Dodge argue that software, through its ability to do work in the world, transduces space. They develop a set of conceptual tools for identifying and understanding the interrelationship of software, space, and everyday life, and illustrate their argument with rich empirical material. And, finally, they issue a manifesto, calling for critical scholarship into the production and workings of code rather than simply the technologies it enables---a new kind of social science focused on explaining the social, economic, and spatial contours of software.

Enduring Innocence

Author: Keller Easterling
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026205079X
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Architecture

How outlaw "spatial products"—resorts, information technology campuses, retail chains, golf courses, and ports—act as cunning pawns in global politics.

Software Takes Command

Author: Lev Manovich
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9781623567453
Release Date: 2013-07-04
Genre: Social Science

Offers the first look at the aesthetics of contemporary design from the theoretical perspectives of media theory and 'software studies'.

Poiesis and Enchantment in Topological Matter

Author: Xin Wei Sha
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262019514
Release Date: 2013-12-06
Genre: Art

A groundbreaking conception of interactive media, inspired by continuity, field, and process, with fresh implications for art, computer science, and philosophy of technology.

Transductions

Author: Adrian MacKenzie
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0826481698
Release Date: 2006-09-27
Genre: Science

Part of the Technologies: Studies in Culture and Theory series. Through a critical analysis of the widely accepted notion that technology speeds everything up, this book argues that there are only ever differences in speed. The question for us is how can such differences be represented?

Builders of the Vision

Author: Daniel Cardoso Llach
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317755951
Release Date: 2015-06-05
Genre: Architecture

Builders of the Vision traces the intellectual history and contemporary practices of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Numerical Control since the years following World War II until today. Drawing from primary archival and ethnographic sources, it identifies and documents the crucial ideas shaping digital design technologies since the first numerical control and CAD systems were developed under US Air Force research contracts at MIT between 1949 and 1970: the cybernetic theorization of design as a human-machine endeavor; the vision of computers as "perfect slaves" taking care of the drudgery of physical labor; the techno-social utopias of computers as vehicles of democracy and social change; the entrepreneurial urge towards design and construction integration; and the managerial ideologies enabling today’s transnational geographies of practice. Examining the contrasting, and often conflicting, sensibilities that converge into CAD and BIM discourses - globalism, utopianism, entrepreneurialism, and architects’ desires for aesthetic liberation - Builders of the Vision shows that software systems and numerically controlled machines are not merely "instruments," or "tools," but rather versatile metaphors reconfiguring conceptions of design, materiality, work, and what it means to be creative. Crucially, by revealing software systems as socio-technical infrastructures that mediate the production of our built environments, author Daniel Cardoso Llach builds a strong case for the fields of architecture, media, and science and technology studies to critically engage with both the politics and the poetics of technology in design. Builders of the Vision will be essential reading for scholars and practitioners across disciplines interested in the increasingly complex socio-technical systems that go into imagining and building of our artifacts, buildings, and cities.

Feminist Geopolitics

Author: Professor Deborah P Dixon
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9781409455462
Release Date: 2015-12-28
Genre: Social Science

In this thought-provoking and original contribution, Deborah P. Dixon cautions against the exhaustion of feminist geopolitics as a critique of both a classical and a critical geopolitics, and points instead to how feminist imaginaries of Self, Other and Earth allow for all manner of work to be undertaken. Importantly, one of the things they provide for is a reservoir of concerns, thoughts and practices that can be reappropriated to flesh out what a feminist geopolitics can be. While providing a much-needed, sustained interjection that draws out achievements to date, the book thus gestures forward to productive lines of inquiry and method. Grounded via a series of globally diverse case studies that traverse time as well as space, Feminist Geopolitics feels for the borders of geopolitical thought and practice by navigating four complex and corporeally-aware objects of analysis, namely flesh, bone, touch and abhorrence.

Platform Capitalism

Author: Nick Srnicek
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781509504886
Release Date: 2017-05-23
Genre: Philosophy

What unites Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb? Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are transforming themselves into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on. This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of ï¿1⁄2platform capitalismï¿1⁄2. This book critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis. It shows how the fundamental foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms, and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future. This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy."

Software Theory

Author: Federica Frabetti
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Incorporated
ISBN: 1783481978
Release Date: 2014-11-17
Genre: Philosophy

This book engages directly in close readings of technical texts and computer code in order to show how software works. It offers an analysis of the cultural, political, and philosophical implications of software technologies that demonstrates the significance of software for the relationship between technology, philosophy, culture, and society.