With the control society described by Deleuze, the change is towards a greater degree of addressing people’s specific needs, about making thing more flexible so that they work better with the specifics of different individual. Being better addressed can be understood as both being better served and being better controlled. Is it by addressing us more specifically and individually that the system puts us at a position of higher level of activity, which we designate as freedom?
How do we understand this spirit, this soul of the corporation? Is the whole culture of perpetual competition and endless challenges a construct of the control system, so that instead of rules that maintain order in a certain closure, we now have a new set of morals which as they functions blur the boundary between work and leisure, company and home? Additionally, this set of morals also grant us a high level of freedom, so rather than the disciplinary workers who submissively follow the rules in the factory, we now have employees of the corporation who, immersed in the culture of competition and driven by the notion of constant self-improvement through dealing with challenges, are autonomously making decisions such as to continue working on a project after work, or to spend extra time attending training so as to obtain relevant skills while really, shaping themselves into the ideal employees?
And as Prof. Chun talked about in class, protocol, as the fundamental management style of control society, is a kind of voluntary regulation. Every user has to abide by this regulation in order for the Internet to function. Without a shared protocol, the network would not be possible. But people’s attention is generally centered on the greater degree for freedom they achieve through the Internet, the highly participatory culture where there seems to be no barriers. But there is a power structure underlying all this, making it possible. The principles that enable all the wonderful things on the Internet would also be what enable the disabling of the network. It’s interesting to see how power controls by satisfying the need of freedom and freedom is provided by the system of control.
Anna Fisher session