jhopkins on Tue, 30 Nov 2010 09:50:52 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> the fluidity of leaking

a short meditation on leaking...


and following:

the fluidity of leaking

What could better illustrate the instability of protocol-driven social
control systems than the phenomenon of a leak? Springing a leak is an
irruption through a human-constructed wall (hull) holding back the
chaotic flows of the sea. Wikileaks is a reversal of that, where the
leak is from the inside of the ship-of-State to the outside. Where
inside there are protocol-defined pathways of State-driven communication
flow filling a space of partially-stabilized human endeavor. Every so
often, one of the nodes of State communication goes rogue, mad, AWOL,
counter, and defies the standing protocols by whatever means possible.
Opening the mouth and speaking, telling the secrets of State, a yawning
vomit of bilge over the sides: merely seasick.

The hull of the ship of State exists across a multi-dimensional space of
refined/defined energy flow. Defined energy flow resists change and
promotes continuance. Regarding the State, protocol controls individual
behavior through internalized patterns of embodied thought. The State
seeks any possible way to apply these internal protocols, and is
successful if those ways promote the existence of the necessary flow
pathways that insure the continuance of the structure of the State. The
more rigid the expectations of the State, the more necessary the
adherence to prescribed protocols (and vice versa). The State also
applies controls to patterns of energy flow external to the body. These
two (internal and external) sets of controls are not separate but rather
are united in the space of flow to effect more-or-less total control on
the participant and the crew of the ship of State.

A protocol irruption necessarily introduces instability into the
situation. Any rigid ship of State can only manage a certain level of
leakage. If the inefficiency of protocol is such that the energy
necessary to insure control of energy sources (that the State depends
upon to sustain itself) is not available, the State will gradually
collapse, shrink (in areal or numeric) extent, increase its level of
disorder, dissolve into an indeterminate constellation of sub-systems,
or simply sink. These sub-systems, life-rafts may temporarily increase
in number to the actual number of individual humans in the system, but
will quickly re-configure, moving through the familial, tribal, clan,
and perhaps higher protocollary allegiance levels based on historical
precedence and the need to survive and procreate. The non-elite, the
stowage: the old and infirm (past breeding age), the poor, the young,
the sick, the weak are always dreck in such precarious transitions.

With a rotting hold, leaks are profuse, but the bailing pumps are large
and they can direct great flows of bilge water back over the sides or
into the gaping mouths of the passengers. But what happens to the pumps
when the power fails?


John Hopkins, Researcher
University of Technology Sydney
FASS - Centre for Media Arts Innovation
AU Mobile - +61 (0)40 696 4610
US cell - +1 928 308 6466

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