By Dominic Pettman
It is usually argued that modern media homogenize our concepts and activities, with out us being absolutely conscious of the constraints they impose. yet what if the matter isn't that we're all synchronized to a similar motions or moments, yet quite dispersed into numerous varied emotional micro-experiences? What if the impression of so-called social media is to calibrate the interactive spectacle in order that we by no means absolutely consider an identical means as different power allies even as? whereas one individual is fuming approximately monetary injustice or weather swap denial, one other is laughing at a lovable cat video. And, hours past due, vice versa. The nebulous indignation which constitutes the very gasoline of actual social swap should be redirected effectively round the community, averting any risky surges of radical activity.
In this brief and provocative publication, Dominic Pettman examines the planned deployment of what he calls ï¿½hypermodulation,ï¿½ as a key process encoded into the modern media atmosphere. His account demanding situations some of the narratives that painting social media as a sinister house of synchronized consciousness, during which we're busily ï¿½clicking ourselves to death.ï¿½ This severe mirrored image at the unheard of strength of the web calls for us to reconsider the potential of endless distraction that our newest applied sciences now allow.
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But it would be a mistake to think this refers to an actual conspiracy, the kind that could be reduced to an Adam Curtis narrative. ) Such subplots no doubt exist, with devastating consequences. But “the system” is far too complex to be engineered or orchestrated by a small cabal—unless we call such a group the 1 percent (which is already too many people to add up to a conspiracy, at least in the traditional sense). The Koch brothers may have links to Murdoch, who may have links to the top rank at Monsanto and Blackwater, who in turn may have links, via shady off-shore companies, to the biggest players in Silicon Valley.
The designers of our apps and interfaces, fully aware of this experimental cold fusion between distraction and attention, have minted rapidly adaptive protocols for keeping the spiral going, with little care for the limits (social, biological, ecological) they test and transgress. 6 In this mode, Stiegler talks of the insidious “hypersynchronization” afforded by contemporary technologies. ” Hypersynchronization is thus about the cynical, corporate-governmental control of attention, behavior, and thought, through physiological and phantasmatic mechanisms.
When it comes to the owners of the means of communication, however, knowledge trumps affect, precisely because the former emerges from the latter, in monetized form. The PowerPoint Posse have figured out how to incite, tickle, and channel fleeting feelings into reliable revenue streams. 3 But from another angle, this “synchronization” of souls, forged through new, global technologies, is in fact somewhat out of sync when viewed up close. In other words, the system deploys its resources and specifically tailored protocols, to synchronize our squirrel-like attention spans.