Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Data-Driven Life - Foucault's Biopower

Excellent article by Gary Wolf which owes a great deal to Kevin Kelly's "Quantified Self" Foucault could see the deeper implications of our race to intimately know ourselves. To take control of our own data. We are being turned into the instruments of our own control.
Our entire lives are now being managed by ourselves, which seems good doesn't it. Government collates and quantifies citizens (biopolitics) but this extends beyond government, much as government hands most social infrastructure to private companies. Companies will increasingly demand our consent and contract for every civic provision. Our privacy and data for their services. While this wears a compelling face for the classic neoliberal subject with the illusion of individual mastery and freedom, this is nonetheless becoming compulsory. Foucault's Biopower in Deleuze's Societies of Control.
This also illustrates the 'irrationality of rationality' in Weber's 'iron cage of rationality'. Increasingly, we record our lives rather than living them.

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