Networks and the Ongoing Crises of the Information Society

UTS Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre
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Conventionally networks are thought of as reflecting order or as generating spontaneous order, but what if networks express disorder, help produce disorder, or exaggerate disorder and spread it faster the more efficient they are? What if network ordering produces networked disordering? The software basis of network information capitalism not only fails recurrently or seems inadequate but even when working, frequently produces an experience of disorder for its users. This is demonstrated by continuing high rates of software installation failure or disruption, despite some 50 years experience. This paper investigates the disorder experienced in networks, these perceptions of failure, confusion and chaos, through interviews and through online postings about experiences in the world of financial capital, argues that networks and software models emphasise the informational crisis of hierarchy within the corporation, and that this leads to magical thinking and ultimately collapse.
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