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The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 2007

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Exploit "The Exploit" is that rare thing: a book with a clear grasp of how networks operate that also understands the political implications of this emerging form of power. It cuts through the nonsense about how 'free' and 'democratic' networks supposedly are, and it offers a rich analysis of how network protocols create a new kind of control. Essential reading for all theorists, artists, activists, techh... Full description

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23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
defining networks as they are becoming essential social presences 16 décembre 2007
Par Henry Berry - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Authors Galloway and Thacker--with New York University and the Georgia Institute of Technology respectively--pose a dichotomy between networks and sovereignty. Sovereignty is the longtime, historical form of government and society; often described as "hierarchic." Networks, on the other hand as any contemporary person knows, are newer, postmodern, forms of social organization--or topology--and activity. The difference between sovereignty and network is the difference between architecture and biology.

The co-authors take a "more speculative, experimental approach [resulting in] a series of marginal claims" rather than a theory to try to grasp the essential nature and actual effects of networks; all the while recognizing that "the nonhuman quality of networks is precisely what makes them so difficult to grasp". With sovereignty, leaders--i. e., persons--and laws or conventions were recognizable formative elements. With networks on the other hand, there are no permanent nor widely-accepted leaders and no code of law or centuries of convention forming or even governing them. Yet, there are businesses and services such as protocols and institutions such as Microsoft and Google which strongly influence and in some ways determine the presence and activity of networks. The belief that networks, particularly the Internet, are naturally, intentionally, or inevitably egalitarian is misleading.

The author's "speculative" approach carries them to summaries and critiques of philosophers from widely differing ages and with widely differing ideas and even worldviews; among these, Plato and Hobbes, Foucault and Guattari, Baudrillard and Virilio, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. In accordance with their understanding that they are making only "marginal claims," they do not presume nor work to synthesize such diversified, in some cases exclusionary thoughts. The authors' wide historical and literary learning, however, with their patent familiarity with all aspects of contemporary computer and networking technology allow for continuous illumination. The play of the diversity of the content is stimulating rather than conclusive or even much suggestive.

"Nodes" and "Edges" are the two chief parts of the book within which the play occurs. Nodes (to simplify) are the businesses, or the sources, of networks; the protocols, programs, Microsofts, Myspaces, etc. These will come and go as the field of networks evolves, just like businesses have always done. While the nodes are essential, the authors see the edges are more meaningful for those involved with networks. The edges represent networks' potentials in that they indicate the human desire and choices which give shape to the networks. "What matters more and more is the very distribution and dispersal of action throughout the network, a dispersal that would ask us to define networks less in terms of the nodes and more in terms of the edges..." Yet, ever provisional in their approach, Galloway and Thacker imagine networks could be best comprehended "in terms other than the entire, overly spatialized dichotomy of nodes and edges altogether." But with this as the next-to-last sentence, they do not begin to move onto this ground.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A refreshingly sober look at the socio-political effects of contemporary ... 6 septembre 2014
Par ryan - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A refreshingly sober look at the socio-political effects of contemporary network technologies, advancing thought along the trajectory established by Deluze's late work on societies of control.
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
deceaving abstract 20 janvier 2014
Par Ken - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Surely the idea is interesting but the content is nonsense, not very well structured (it talks about protocols for 50 pages and then it defines them), talks about a lot of useless things without getting to the point, there is not a single example that touches ground in the whole book.
15 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Bluster 26 juillet 2011
Par Mark J. Tomko - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The authors clearly had a great idea, but this book ends up containing a lot of nonsense, bluster, and outright garbage. Too bad: I would have loved to read the book that it promised to be. There are real implications of our increasingly networked society; changes to dynamics of power and control. Unfortunately, the authors are too busy tying themselves in knots of their own psychobabble to sort any of it out.

I don't think that the authors really understand the technology whose implications on society they purport to review. Anyone who's taken a course in computer networking will understand that there are no political implications in the maxim "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send," enshrined in RFC 1122. That is a guideline for implementing a software system and nothing else. One chapter includes a series of "fork bombs", little Perl scripts intended to crash a computer if they're run. They inserted in the text without comment, as a way to make the authors look smart, but any script kiddie could have looked up these little programs on the Internet. Why present them here? Turn to the end of the book and you'll see the authors' own "programming language" full of idiotic constructs that in the end add nothing to the book. Obviously, it's not intended to be implemented anywhere, but it also doesn't further anyone's point to include some Duchampian computer language. How childish.
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