243 16 human and machines are not fundamentally

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16 Human and machines are not fundamentally different and in opposed relation to each other. Meaning and identity are created in the recursive process between human subject and intelligent machine. Hayles proceeds to argue that [e]ncountering intelligent machines from this perspective enables me to see that they are neither objects to dominate nor subjects threatening to dominate me. Rather, they are embodied entities instantiating processes that interact with the processes that I instantiate as an embodied human subject. […] The challenge, as I see it, is to refuse to inscribe these interactions in structures of domination and instead to seek out understandings that recognize and enact the complex mutuality of the interactions. ( Mother 243) In this quotation, it becomes clear that Hayles’s updated version of the posthuman revolves more around ‘mutuality’ . But, with referring to ‘structures of domination’, it becomes clear that Hayl es still very much reasons from the logic of centralized power relations. If we add Galloway’s theory of networks and its powers relations to Hayles’s notion of the posthuman, we can come to a productive way of researching the mutual control that is being alternated between humans and digital technologies. Galloway and Internet Protocols Alexander Galloway has written two vital books concerning networks and the distribution of power. In Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization (2004) , he researches the question of control within networks. The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (2007) follows in the path of Protocol, and theorizes the political implications of the Internet that can be seen as a network consisting of networks (Galloway, Protocol 38). Galloway argues in Protocol that cybernetics acts as an alternative or even a precursor to network theory. The theory of cybernetics began with the simple idea of feedback. Feedback means that certain processes, having both a beginning and ending point, should be able to receive new input about their surroundings throughout their duration. The process is then able to change itself according to data received from its surroundings . (59)
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17 Galloway here describes the very basic premise of cybernetics as well as networks in general, which are relevant for the functioning of, for instance, both Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Galloway argues that the way control exists in a decentralized network, like the Internet, is through protocol. In comparing centralized societies with decentralized networks, protocol is to control societies what Foucault’s panopticon is to disciplinary societies: ‘While protocol may be more democratic than the panopticon in the sovereign state with centralized power, in that it strives to eliminate hierarchy, it is still very much structured around command and control’ (Galloway, Protocol 13, emphasis in original). Galloway stresses that protocols are not necessarily good or bad in themselves. He is interest in the information networks that undergird the Internet function. The
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