Technocracy represents a fundamental requirement of Imperial expansion in the modern age. The scientifically enabled domination of nature enables the extractive efficiency necessary to develop material advantages to control groups. Digital technology and its rapid consumption of society represents the latest instantiation of this paradigm.
Historically, there are many examples of how the technocracy imbues itself in nature. One of the most potent and common points of control is the water supply. For millennia from ancient Egypt, china to the American west, hydrolic infrastructure enabled imperial expansion and social control through centralized regulation of the labor force and agriculture. Since only large centralized institutions, whom are usually in bed capital, hold the organizational and material resources to carry out large hydrolic projects inspired by unbridled expansion; issues of governance and social well-being always come about. For more information on the subject I highly recommend Rivers of Empire by Donald Worster.
Back to digital technology. In a couple of my prior posts I explore the theoretical origins of digital infrastructure primarily through the innovations of Claude Shannon in his A Mathematical Theory of Communication, which provides the theoretical origins for binary language. Sounds, color and language are abstracted into a standard language based on only 0s and 1s in order to be communicated efficiently. Fundamentally this pattern depends on a creating hyper polar perspective of reality where the universe is reduced to a beepboop.
Excessive structure acts as an attractive or negative phenomenon. It transforms interactions to fit into the structure rather than respect the nature of other things. All digital information whether its audio, visual or linguistic must be processed alchemically to fit the binary form in order to be communicated through computers. Hence the birth of DATA, the potentiator of big annalystics, AI, mass surveillance and the various other components of the digital empire originate from this negative impulse with its alternative hyper polar abstracted perspective of reality.
Of course digital technology gave humanity many gifts. The ability to communicate complex forms of information to anyone in the globe instantly enable all sorts of raising of the collective conscious. With Blockchain helps unshackle people in a meaningful way by enabling value transfer without the approval of a state or corporate entity. However the unfortunate flip side is an increased dependency on this technology in order to live our lives. Dependence on cars or electricity or gas fuel is one issue but due to the inherently separative, global and consuming nature of digital infrastructure we are increasingly contributing to our own virtual prison, especially as the internet subsumes more social/economic functions.
We could direct this new found wealth and communicative potential in ways that support people and earth, or continue to fasten the chains for the new empire. As long as we don't let the head dominate the heart, then we should end up alright :) Of course these posts get less views and thumbs up compared to anything defi related I have written about, but thats okay. Soon I will be sharing my personal journey though MakerDao/Nexus and how I became much less romantic about the state and promise of digital technology.