Jazz Thoughts —
Technology has always been central to the imperial (hoarding) project. And such technology extends far beyond (object oriented) notions of e.g. electronic gadgets to encompass (rather general) techniques  & even broad automaticity. However, technology use & development is also inherent to humanity, and so isn't something to be condemned in general terms. Rather, the relations entailed in & by particular technological developments must be traced: Who benefits? Who or what is harmed? What new (social) relations appear on its horizon or are (ultimately) inscribed or maintained? In that sense, the topic of this section is impossibly broad , and so this discussion aims (only, or at least mainly) at an analytic for subsequent use in evaluating technological developments.[5,6] Moreover, although such an interrogation involves historical investigation, it's also bound to a prospective perspective: The rhetoric of technology has conceived & projected many aspirations (& perhaps some of its marketing promises have even been fulfilled for some people), such that its future-oriented stance must (also) be disarticulated. (Notions of a better future, especially as indefinitely postponed, have often been themselves a technique for colonization....) So immanence & futurity might clash, but both can be considered (the latter in speculative terms ) around any (contemporary) refiguring of technological relation, such that heralding the future can & should bring further questions of now: If modernity per se came to be defined by (its) technology, then this "postmodern" period only seems to involve greater consciousness of (or at least, emphasis on) technology. Yet (& hence), notions of post- (often) seem only to confirm a variety of prior (imperial, modern) circumstances, such that active "decolonizing" is needed.... There are then, immediately, two valences to the title (i.e. project) of this section: One might speak of developing & using technology in service of a decolonizing project — i.e. "inverting" its use in (prior) colonizing projects  — or of decolonizing the field of "technology" per se. (One might thus speak e.g. of technology as a weapon for use when decolonizing, or of decolonizing "technology" such that it's no longer a weapon of imperialism....) Such a topical doubling further emphasizes the position of technology as mediate , i.e. as something inserted into activity & methods (i.e. as technique in general), in turn yielding (potential) interrogations of technologies of technology (& indeed consequent technological acceleration). Such mediation then crucially intertwines embodiment, such that technology is generally figured as extending the body , perhaps even as replacing the body .... But then, body & mind can be heard as themselves technologies — or rather, the "philosophical" questions forging such a dual can be heard as invoking (technical) mediation, i.e. as the insertion of methods & even "objects," not only within the general domain of human activity, but even into "communicating" with oneself  (& thus into "being" more generally), the resulting internal-external dual itself going on to figure more (mediating) technology.... Of course, the colonization of bodies (& subsequent extraction of wealth, specifically via labor) was at the heart of the modern imperial project, and much technology was developed (also specifically) toward that end: That technology might "extend" the body, i.e. increase its capacities for production etc., is thus doubled by the disciplinary function of (or accompanying) such an orientation, such that general (bodily) potential is (increasingly, doubly) inclined toward colonial (& now neoliberal) purposes  — i.e. yielding a "different" (contemporary, contingent) body. One might then speak of decolonizing the body per se (as itself a sort of technology).... Such notions of controlling bodies suggest, moreover, general notions of control & even ownership , such that questions of ownership & authority (over technology) become central to any contemporary analytic: Who is making these technological decisions? In other words, what relations of authority & control are reflected or inscribed? (And how does subsequent technology go on to mediate such relations more broadly?) "Ownership" is then a particularly liberal (i.e. modern) sort of relation, but the "relativity" of technology remains rather general (i.e. as mediating potential), pace that it tends to function as an object (i.e. as "for" subjective authority): The complexity of the present topic is then a matter of continuous (technological) mediation & entanglement, i.e. of entanglement as a strategy (for maintaining authority & control), such that decolonizing remains an ongoing process, not an end state (e.g. of decoloniality as stable destination). And entanglement continues to proceed at speed  — such that, perhaps counter to (preliminary) notions of mediation , technology is (so often about) making everything (but especially hoarding) go faster: This is basic (neo)imperial strategy, i.e. staying one step ahead, as facilitated by technology — which must in turn be evaluated according to its bodily relations, particularly those of control.
As something people (already) do, creating & using technology was itself mediated by the creation of the concept of technology per se : Technology becomes an art itself, while also occupying a mediate position with respect to art — i.e. as a means  or instrument. And even as art can be an "end," it (also) involves or invokes mediation itself , such that the two notions are not (as) easily separable  (i.e. as their specifically ancient division might suggest ): An "instrument" might be artistic, and indeed technology per se is itself emblematic (or definitional) for humanity , a broad & characteristic "art form" that increasingly occupies & mediates the global environment on a vast scale. Hence, perhaps one should consider broader notions of decolonizing art or in turn (especially) decolonizing selves, but technology per se — at least to the extent that it's differentiable at all — remains the focus of this inquiry, such that one might continue to figure art itself as the "end" of (technical) reification , i.e. as a sort of trace or retention. And so one might go on to refigure an instrumental-useless dual , and interrogate technology again: What relations does it forge or invoke , i.e. beyond those of its direct means or instrumentality? How does that change in (or for) the contemporary era? What values are forged? The basic notion that, as a means, technology is neither good nor bad , also lends itself to considerations of pharmacology: One might go on to consider a pharmacology of art (or in more contemporary terms, uselessness ), but notions of (instrumental) usefulness bring their own (direct, pharmacological) concerns, particularly around bodily discipline, e.g. as arising from technological extension , but also around "unintended consequences" more generally. As a paradigm originating with medicine, then, pharmacology interrogates "side effects," & various side effects of contemporary technology are increasingly evident: Notions of e.g. "convenience"  have brought an (unreflective) emphasis on short-term benefits that's channeled, moreover, through the (insatiable, neoliberal) profit motive, yielding a variety of long-term harm, consideration of which occurs (seemingly only) "too late"  — i.e. subsequent to the rush toward technological imposition & adoption. Perhaps most significant is then the shift (in sum) of perceptual hierarchies per se, as technological change comes to saturate attention & social relation (e.g. via the internet) — largely without preparation or reflection. And such a lag (in reflection) comes to involve many "side effects" indeed, as change continues not simply apace, but at accelerating speeds, i.e. further outrunning social deliberation: Dissatisfaction does escalate, but tangibly expresses itself (only tangentially) in e.g. the rise (again) of global fascism , rather than turning directly against the originating (technical, economic) power.... (And this phenomenon is ultimately a reflection of the basic comfort & therefore cowardice of the postmodern interior....) One might then figure "use" in general as pharmacological , such that humanity per se comes to present (or reflect) a global pharmacology of evolution  & existence  (around even satisfying basic needs). As such, technology is not only increasingly central to contemporary life & change — e.g. via modulation of bodily relations, including those of ownership & control — but still a basic (& highly ramified) fact of humanity & its global development. (Its disarticulation thus requires several more considerations, even so as to pose a narrow analytic....)
Technology is not only emblematic of "scientific" modernity, then, but of the global imperialism that accompanied & intertwined it. One might even observe that — as opposed to traditional narratives of modernity  — thirst for imperialist conquest drove technological development , as notions of systematic control & ongoing guarantees (of wealth, for some) came to be institutionalized as modernity per se. In that sense, for most of the world, modern technology didn't develop organically, but rather was imposed (whether by military or economic conquest) from elsewhere. (And the conceptual difference between imposed & organic — or at least peacefully adopted — technology, particularly as regards preparation & reflection per above, must be emphasized.) Indeed, it was imposed together with & via segmentation & typology — as themselves (characteristic Western) technologies  — such that colonialism (further) entrenched & inflamed a (prior) subject-object divide , and such that its consequent ontological implications came to constrain & define modern (perceptual) hierarchy per se. So technologies of segmentation & typology are (always already) technologies of violence , and the modern era would entail broad internalization of violence along these principles: E.g. race  & gender  have remained powerful segmenting technologies, as now incorporated into neoliberal (self) discipline & (institutional) governmentality. And such "familiar" technologies remain extremely powerful (even explosive, as recent fascist victories have shown), despite ongoing resistance, but technologies of violence have also been much more (historically) overt, particularly around (ongoing technologies of) war : Warfare is (obviously) paradigmatic of imperialism , such that various (defensive) technologies of e.g. resistance, insurgency, etc. become paradigmatic in turn.... And so, (neo)colonization also turns to various counter-counter-technologies, increasingly including various sorts of confusion & even mystification — to which complex (& externally imposed) technologies have long been suited : The (modern) State per se — as its contemporary governmentality increasingly yields to private, neoliberal (i.e. economic) hoarding — remains a (paradigmatically) complex technology, even with its legal system & laws (increasingly) geared toward profit, and such that the "system" of "civilization" does continue to forge a system (mainly) for (hoarding) wealth. Governmental technology thus comes to require more legibility than ever , and so not only various convergences around map & territory , but consequently proliferating concepts of mastery: Mastery of the self & others (hence) continues to express itself not only technologically — i.e. according to (restrictive) notions of instrumentality  & e.g. immunity  — but epistemologically. (And the latter had become triumphant as "Western science" during the modern era, but those concepts are increasingly problematized during the neoliberal era — from within the interior — specifically for becoming inadequate to ever-increasing profits....) Such "mastery" then continues to forge new (global) structures for empire & colony, and so domains for exploitation in general — as traditional (e.g. now including modern) notions of government & law become increasingly marginalized. (Of course, there's always more to be said on general topics of postmodern exploitation , but the present horizon is "technology" in particular....)
And perhaps the most paradigmatic of modern technologies is (still) labor: Labor not only centers the (working) body, but (technological) ownership as well, as work is famously (already) alienated under industrial capitalism. And while — somewhat less famously  — industrial labor was modeled on the slave plantation (itself already a paradigm of modern technology), contemporary technological proliferation (& acceleration) has only required more work by more people. (That technology promises "labor saving" is thus counter to lived realities: Instead, technology delivers more times & places for laboring.) Indeed, "technology" continues to be a weapon against union labor (as a specific counter-technology), and — together with globalization — has consequently functioned to increase general worker precarity. And so, as neoliberal technology comes to demand more work from (most) everyone , it also continues to allow for further specialization , not only so as to increase production (& so profits), but in order to maintain various illusions: In particular, an ongoing "surrogacy effect" is being refigured & reformed, in that the liberal subject had always depended upon the labor of others, not only for its material support, but for its subjective coherence  — with such (material, bodily) labor now being subsumed into various technological objects, in turn maintaining a "magical" aura (as analogized to the object relations of slavery). (And while any comparison of robots to people brings its own dangers , these contemporary parallels working to continue obscuring the material relations of labor must be interrogated....) So, although the postmodern era continues to promise an end to (the need for) labor, or at least an easing, the power of labor continues to be central to contemporary governmentality, not only for its role in production (& so accelerated hoarding), but in individuation : Technologies of labor specialization thus involve segmentation & typology quite broadly , and (leaving aside "law" for the moment) "medicine" (now "healthcare") is still among the (most) iconic domains of "labor specialization" for modern (technological) biopolitics. (The job of medical doctor, however, has been far surpassed by that of corporate executive for general power & prestige under neoliberalism....) One might go on to consider medical pharmacology in various (specific) situations , but more broadly, modern medical "specialization" — as so much else, technological or otherwise — was implemented under the authority of capitalist patriarchy, such that primary responsibility for "healthcare" was not only stripped (often violently) from women worldwide , but refigured according to the concerns of industrial production. Capitalist dreams of leaving the (laboring) body behind  are then expressed via notions of increasing "productivity" etc., in what becomes a generalized assemblage of technological labor (as "owned" by capital itself). Moreover, notions of "health" are becoming increasingly linked to technological biologism (i.e. broad biological inspiration & harnessing) in general , not only via the long-term "colonization" of various macroscopic plants & animals , but now moving (explicitly) into microscopic & molecular realms. The contemporary era thus comes to promise an increasingly burgeoning "biological machine" , encompassing far more than human (or slave, or robot...) labor & in turn both (further) straining & refiguring global (industrial, temporal, ecological) pharmacology.
While notions of biological machines might suggest a degree of distance or abstraction, technological instrumentality came (already, deeply) to penetrate everyday (human) reality  under the modern (or colonial) regime, such that one must continue interrogating its (contemporary) nexus of use  & familiarity: Attention (increasingly) comes to be channeled  & synchronized (or desynchronized) via a variety of (orienting, technological) mediations, not only going beyond tangible "control" per se, but reproducing (neoliberal) capitalist relations in even the smallest & most personal of spaces  & relations. (Notions of "capitalist interior" also fade — or become geographically involuted under globalism — as such imposition increasingly tends to occur everywhere.) Technology thus comes not only to trace (a) cultural hegemony, but to forge (everyday, i.e. religious ) inclinations quite broadly , including by invoking new (everyday) outputs for political theology. And as theology per se also comes to be (figured as) output of politics , it becomes (increasingly, instrumentally) technologically inclined as well, such that history — as itself a technology  — comes to be (conceptually) dominated in turn by (a) contemporary religion of technology. One might then trace technological proliferation as a sort of universalism, universality per se not only (being) figured as superior (per Western norms ), but with technology itself (instrumentally) facilitating its proliferation: European universality thus becomes a kind of (historical) allegory , proliferating (nonetheless, or consequently) across hybrid settings.... Technological (becoming religious ) domination of history then only underscores the need to decolonize history more generally , as itself (always) already reified around imperial (i.e. victorious) terms. (An emerging nexus of use & familiarity might thus serve only to draw one more tightly into hegemony.) And reification finally comes to figure & generate a sense of (historical) "stockpile," including of e.g. knowledge & wealth — & indeed of technology per se, i.e. basic transmission of (cultural) value, such transmission itself (always already) becoming technological. (One might then propose a pharmacology around preservation or inertia per se , even beyond concerns of imposition or neoimperial power. In any case, particularly according to modern, liberal norms of ownership, societies can basically be defined around their operative stockpiles....) Notions of a "stockpile" then also figure (historical) technological reification (e.g. object relations ), and of course come to be figured in turn as owned instantiations of wealth: As the ultimate neoliberal "computing" technology , money then comes to figure (technological) instrumentalization of history rather broadly , such that (via finance) one might even begin to posit (e.g. historical ) "ownership" of time. Further, the basic "project" of modernity might be refigured as itself (technological) stockpile of time & temporality, all amid generalized monopolization.... And under the modern & now postmodern regimes, control & accumulation of time is usually conditioned by speed, not only by way of instrumentalizing every moment , but (again) via temporal mediation of various biological necessities. (Notions of temporality are then further instrumentalized, and even harvested as profit, via cyclic concepts of fashion & trends, etc.) That the basic spectacle of contemporary technology has captured attention (in large part) via speed then recapitulates a basic need to decouple everyday life — or at least its technological reflection & decision-making — from various technological tendencies (i.e. imposed, neocolonial inclinations), as part of any decolonizing project. (However, actual decoupling from such mounting entanglements, even momentarily, has become increasingly challenging....)
And while it's relatively easy to focus on "molar" qualities such as history (or religion) or even labor , the materiality of bodies yields (to) their own (non-narrative) tendencies & entanglements: In particular, bodily ecology involves mutuality, and so is increasingly modulated according to notions of "design thinking" around use & environment — & hence attention or even spectacle. Such notions also come to emphasize motion over stability , and so (perhaps) to problematize (e.g. modern) values & priorities. Mutuality also reiterates the body itself as a sort of (environmental) technology , and indeed emphasizes the contingency of "disability" around environment per se: Hence, designed bodily access not only interrogates (design) priorities of the capitalist (e.g. working) environment , but of technological enablement more generally , and while addressing issues of "ability" has been a rallying cry for many contemporary technologists, outcomes — at least around anything that doesn't actually facilitate increased (neoliberal) hoarding  — are (at best) mixed. (And note that design & enablement are not only spatial issues, but temporal issues as well.) Of course, such an interrogation raises further issues of "ownership" of technology & its corresponding decision making process, such that one might even ponder "queering" existing technology (or technological development), or indeed "repurposing" more generally.... (And so one might go on to figure "identity politics" as itself a technology.) Bodily (i.e. biological) entanglements also (canonically) involve reproduction — broadly as social reproduction, but also more specifically as sexual reproduction: One might consequently trace not only a variety of (modern) sexual technologies , but their reconfiguration more broadly  — within which sex (per se) continues to posit & provoke a sort of anti-technology  (or more specifically, an anti-typology ), while remaining broadly irreducible to automation. Not quite beyond sexuality, however (& perhaps not beyond queering either), social reproduction continues to involve a variety of (other) niches, some of which have developed considerable (technical) leverage: In particular, typologies of specialization intertwine with media ubiquity  so as to forge & reify capitalist "design" of everyday life quite broadly, as technology increasingly comes to embed (further) technology. As technologies, e.g. comedy & sports then come not only to ramify sexual selection , but much else via mediating equivocation  or cultivating competition. Moreover, athletics not only figure (& again, mediate) ability  — including as & via attention per se  — but physical movements more generally: Sports movement isn't that of traditional labor, & nor is it dance (or even free of imposed form) , but it does come increasingly to figure human (physical) attention, further refiguring bodily technology in turn. Contemporary (media) technology thus comes to figure new notions of animacy together with new typologies of movement , and indeed new (& more demanding) forms of attention: "Entertainment" itself thus becomes disciplinary , including via e.g. ubiquitous music , or by reconfiguring basic necessities (e.g. food , or already for generations, clothing ) into entertainment themselves.... The materiality of bodies is thus being refigured & synchronized (narratively) via (technological) attention, and in very broad terms, by (quite often intentional) design. Molar narrativity is consequently being reasserted continually & (still) according to universalizing (hierarchical, typological) modes.
Any remediation of the contemporary situation thus comes to involve broad disentanglement from a variety of intricate & intensifying relations, including (typological) recapitulations of universalizing narratives. However, law per se (as deferred from above) already traces similar relations , i.e. based on its own (characteristic) versions of (narrative) universalization & history. But as opposed to (contemporary) technological development, which is increasingly built around speed , law is basically slow & generally (re)acts only in the negative (i.e. as prohibition). And not only is there (always already) public inertia (including around maintaining hegemony ), but (neoliberal) technologists increasingly seek to weaponize speed specifically against law , i.e. as a sort of "nonequilibrium" optimization: Law itself thus comes to be an opponent (for profit extraction) — i.e. a broad domain subjected to both "ecological" refiguring  & logistical optimization  — & in turn becomes "too stiff" to react effectively or at speed. Of course, that law is supposed to be about protecting the weaker from the stronger — by invoking the power of society as a whole — as a basic function of (at least many worthwhile forms of) government, means that today's bullies increasingly rely on (e.g. logistic or speed-based) trickery in order to be free of (any) restriction. How is contemporary law to adapt, then? (What of e.g. some sort of automated or data-driven law along logistic contours?) Any new "legal design" ideas will also need to confront (impinging) postcolonial epistemologies: In particular, law has required a relation to language  & indeed legibility , such that simply by yielding new language , technology always (already) comes to outpace law. And given the basic reification of text (legal or otherwise) , prospective legal technology  must also continue to consider differential legibility (& indeed narrative imperialism in general). Moreover, whereas this discussion has (just now) figured neoimperial hoarders as seeking to obfuscate or outrun laws, in many situations, trickery isn't actually needed, as (various) imperial (legal) remedies do remain operative: In particular, "property" (including as being an outgrowth of typology ) continues (specifically) to be protected (if not actually created) by modern (& now postmodern) law, itself a very basic colonizing technology.... (Indeed, hierarchical concepts of ownership continue to figure e.g. media hegemony as well.) And global property law not only embeds (simple, hierarchical) concepts of "ecology" , but (liberal) notions of ontology  as well, such that preservation & (hierarchical) allocation of wealth (i.e. stockpiling) continues (by design) to be its primary role. The technology of (neoimperial) law thus continues to ensure e.g. that profitable consequences of technological development & adoption are (privately) owned, while any problems (including those simply arising from the outmoding of various laws, some of which weren't even specifically targeted for profit) fall (hierarchically & typologically, of course) to various others. Consequently, (liberal) notions of "privacy" continue to intertwine concepts of ownership hierarchically  — such that the body per se continues to be figured as a kind of property (if even, at least for fortunate subjects, one's own). Various notions of (economic) privacy are then (further) weaponized as screens for forging private (i.e. secret) strategies, in turn to be used to outrun or simply to marginalize law yet again.... And so, although such an intricate level of (technological & political) entanglement is daunting, there's little choice but to confront it (including with — or against — "legal" remedies), especially as regards relations of property: Globally (& imperially) imposed (& universalizing) property laws must therefore be completely reworked, including around technology per se, as a critical aspect of any (actual) decolonizing.
And notions of a new legal regime do tend to accompany decolonizing projects, perhaps quite prominently (particularly where operative laws have been imposed externally anyway), but one must also continue beyond hierarchical narration : In particular, logistical warfare & concomitant speed  aren't only directed against the public, but against various other (technological) actors as well — amid a generalized project to outpace law. The contemporary "industry" of technology is thus not only colonized, but at war with itself [190,191]: Its sense of "anarchy" is then driven by its sense of opportunity , i.e. by machinic positivity beyond (or counter to) law. Decolonizing is not (generally) machinic, however, especially as it suggests a broad slowing of implementation (& so profit) in favor of reflection & preparation : A future-oriented stance thus does bring "further questions of now" per the present opening.... And those questions go on to raise issues of appropriation (e.g. "hacking") around present technological forms & ownership, including around e.g. regimes of care , but also around (broad, epistemological) issues of e.g. transparency  & even mystification more generally. Further, an emphasis on appropriation per se tends to support hegemonic narratives of ownership, i.e. that technology is (always) already owned, when the situation is actually more partial or hybrid : Centering the body (& so art-as-work)  — counter to (neoliberal) fractality  or security  — then comes to trace or enact bodily limitations to colonization (& in turn to decolonization). Indeed, the body itself continues to figure technological hybridity, and so not only limits per se to (neo)imperial colonization & appropriation, but in turn (its own material) values & aspirations. As such, writing of this sort — as itself one paradigm for technology — reaches its own limits, not only analytically, but in terms of expression : That technology might be interrogated according to a double valence of technological application & (internal) institutionalization, as well as according to the body & "ownership," and even around speed, is straightforward enough — but (its) increasingly intricate articulation  also comes to herald its own (logical, practical) conclusion. Within all this interrogation & tracing, then, does any decolonizing actually occur? The valences of that term do encompass thought per se, and so an entire range of activity, suggesting that rethinkings of this sort are real decolonizing moves in at least some sense.... However, e.g. questions of theoretical insertion as itself technological remain : Is anything clarified here, or is it simply a matter of (phenomenological) proliferation of basic (& uncontainable) postmodern figures? (Does clarity even matter?) In some sense, it seems that a broad postimperial fight simply continues into this writing — but it certainly cannot remain (only) here. Of course, it's much easier to say these things than it is to do anything more substantial (and it hasn't been all that easy to do either). Nonetheless, amid an often disheartening global buzz of measures & countermeasures, it seems that some decolonizing (including of & by technology) does indeed occur. Yet, whether the imperial & now neoimperial global yoke can ever truly be shed remains an open question, particularly as one exploitative technology (or circumstance) is simply replaced with another (& at least as quickly as the present — rather modest — response was compiled).
In particular, techniques of listening & their relation to self-formation have been an emphasis for the present series. (At the moment, it also feels as though this section will conclude this Practical listening series.)
Perhaps some of these notes will then become "abstracts" for potential future elaboration in a different context.... (But the present context does seem to have run its course.)
As traced in Basic Mechanics, harnessing biology per se, together with its broadly conceptual ramifications (i.e. biologism), has been a primary driver of the imperial machine — such that revolutionary potential has also (per Western tradition) been figured in machinic terms (as traced in Section 8 of this series).
The reader might recall that Practical listening already arose as a second reframing of Technologies of the Self, such that I've already undertaken multiple "slices" through the topic of technology — including in the mode of use per se — during this project. Although (per Hierarchy as rupture) such articulations involve arbitrary cuts, and the starting point is different in this section, the danger of consistency remains — meaning that I might simply end up repeating myself, a danger I hope to avoid....
One might thus consider this entire section to be another reframing, this time of (the opening paragraph to) Technological mediation, and especially from another perspective (per Section 6), i.e. that of action versus perception: Decolonizing is (being) active. And the increasingly novel situation of the internet does continue to provide new perspectives & concerns, including e.g. around Perceptual hierarchies....
This is already an ambitious undertaking, in that any concise heuristic is certain to have weaknesses, etc. To what extent can a — rather distilled — exercise of this sort even be useful? (To some extent, that is among the basic questions — implicitly — being addressed here.)
The notion of a better future arriving, not imminently, but at some later time (& perhaps place) has been widely criticized as one of the basic manipulations invoked by e.g. Christianity (so as to blunt resistance). (One could then counter that notions of "hope" are essential in the bleakest moments, in turn suggesting a sort of pharmacology around eschatology....)
The extent that futural perspectives are discussed as if they represent concrete outcomes warrants this (otherwise obvious) disclaimer: The future does remain unknown. (And as discussed in Concepts of contemporary history, in the contemporary era, "the future" comes increasingly to impinge upon the present — particularly via modes of calculation & related disciplines.)
E.g. Mignolo & Walsh do use the term decoloniality — which sounds passive to me — but emphasize its practical elements, i.e. as ongoing praxis & pedagogy. Their suggestion that "de-" projects a valence different from post- is worth noting, however. (And perhaps one might also ponder de-modernism...?)
And it should be emphasized that decolonizing is not simply an inversion of colonizing: In other words, it involves dismantling hierarchies, not simply swapping the positions. (The maintenance of hierarchical nodes of accumulation, i.e. the purpose of so much modern technology, is thus not useful to a decolonizing project — other than to be studied as a danger.)
When people say that e.g. more women & racialized others should be hired by technology companies, they are advocating exactly this sort of "decolonizing technology" (albeit in a rather safe way, i.e. by keeping broad goals & hierarchical power structures intact).
Indeed, "technology" is infinitely insertable into any chain of method, i.e. "between" (mediate to) previous technological steps or insertions: For instance, as opposed to simply discarding unwanted rubbish, it might be placed into a bin. The bin might then be carried elsewhere. The means of carrying might add an engine, the engine might add environmental filters; the elsewhere might simply be a dump, then might add specific means of breaking down or reusing rubbish, or even moving it around, etc. etc. (And let's not forget that the rubbish itself was probably already mediate to some other use, etc.)
E.g. Stiegler interrogates technology as basic exosomatization (i.e. "use" moving outside the body, e.g. as one function of fingers is replaced by a plow), including (per Husserl) as "retention" (i.e. sensations inscribed inside & then outside the body as supplements to memory): Much technology can thus be figured as biotechnology, perhaps even per evolutionary terms (& e.g. per general notions of transhumanism , etc.).
E.g. modern notions of "embodiment as prison" seem to be especially fraught in feminist discussions (particularly as having a female body had been figured as a direct constraint on social choice). Yet, that various post- or transhuman concerns should be figured mainly as women's issues seems to be only accidental (i.e. according to the contingency of patriarchal relations): Whence (& to where) ability per se? What will it mean for gender (& reproduction in general)?
Capitalist priorities have long figured the (laboring) body as unreliable or even intransigent, such that replacing those bodies offers the allure of increasing profits. (And such priorities have only accelerated with the renewed, neoliberal assault on modern labor....) Hypothetically absent the urge to hoard, one might more simply ask whether technological change replaces bodily pleasure or bodily pain....
Notions of capitalist production already raise notions of alienation (i.e. from work), such that "removing" the body further accomplishes the split of art-as-relation into art-as-work & work-as-relation. In other words, technology is inserted so as to widen the "work" gap, thus refiguring usefulness per se (including as irrelevant to the working body).
Notions of "communicating with oneself" (minimally a concept of nerves, for instance, in modern scientific terms) then suggest not only a sort of internal (bodily) mediation, and not only relations of consciousness per se , but indeed a kind of proliferation (of entities ), such that one might consequently speak e.g. of being blocked in one's actions by oneself. (One then becomes self-mediating — perhaps as figured according to maturity per se).
For instance, Amazonian perspectivism suggests that it's the body itself that mediates consciousness, i.e. that "the same consciousness" is a prisoner of many particular bodies, and so comes to perceive & think according to that bodily form. (Under such circumstances, one might declare that a body "owns" consciousness, and not the other way around, i.e reframing "embodiment as prison" per .)
"Communicating with oneself" further suggests a subject-object relation, itself arising from (philosophical) mediation, i.e. subject-object dual as (conceptual) technology. (In response, e.g. Esposito has suggested centering the body as neither person nor a thing. Such an approach then requires a refiguring of agency — at least according to Western norms.)
Section 1 had already figured "listening as technology" (of self), i.e. such that it "performs human with object" & "enacts a technological assemblage." Basic "inclination" was thus already posited (as elaborated in Section 9), while also invoking a "sound studies" perspective. (Now, rather than observing an — already technical — inclination, the impetus is to move instead toward decolonizing per se....)
Under the liberal (& now neoliberal) regime, concepts of "ownership" (including of technology) are especially evocative, as not only is (increasingly) everything considered to be some sort of personal property, but the body is (pace ) property of the mind. One might then ask not only regarding other sorts of authority or control — beyond liberal, private (or perhaps public) ownership — but regarding bodily enjoyment (pace concerns of ) more generally: Who or what is enjoying any particular body (technological mediation or no)?
So one might move beyond broad notions of public or private (pace ), and ask regarding stakeholders in general: Who or what is affected by technological use & development? In other words, what relations are modified or forged? (A broad regime of stakeholders is one way to problematize strict ownership, including of the self, such that collective affirmation becomes one ingredient of technological adoption.)
Although I've frequently noted the importance of "speed" as a contemporary concept, there's no real "center" to my discussion of the notion thus far: What is speed? If everything is always already in motion, it must involve relative motion, but toward or for what? In the imperial & now neoimperial era, it's (obviously) private accumulation that's being prioritized, and that's to occur as fast as possible: So speed consequently becomes quantifiable via hoarded wealth. (It becomes one task of the present analytic, then, to disarticulate "speed" from technology....)
It might seem counter-intuitive that increasing mediation can increase speed, but this is exactly what happens via capitalist & now neoliberal technology: One might consider additional mediate objects ("steps" in a process, say) as limiting potential to move otherwise, i.e. as concentrating or constraining motion down a particular path (like a nozzle, for instance, where constricting flow can lead to acceleration). (Such constriction leads, moreover, to constraining time & temporality — or rather, spectralizing temporalities outside of the technological process).
The creation of concepts is itself a sort of mediation, i.e. the insertion of a new "object" within a prior chain of action. One might even figure conceptual mediation as a kind of rationalizing — the latter producing a particular (conceptual) object. (Concepts, whether as rationalizations or otherwise, then involve further technical insertion, per , as well as proliferation of entities — for which rationalizing is or should be known — per .) And of course, conceptual innovation is prioritized mainly when conducive to increasing speed of (subsequent) development & deployment (i.e. as aligning with the technological priorities of our era).
In today's technological feeding frenzy — particularly in the financial markets — it does begin to seem as though "technology" is itself an end.... (In the sense of the dual valences of the title here, then, the "field" of technology has not remained neatly secondary to instrumentalization of technology elsewhere.)
The notion that art is an "end" is somewhat fanciful, in that "classical" art was (already) about making a personal or cultural statement: It thus invokes & mediates other relations in turn. In short, it becomes e.g. about status.
Indeed, as tangentially explored already in Concepts of contemporary religion, archeological evidence suggests that artistic activity (itself deriving from cult activity) went on to forge both "labor" & "agriculture" (at least in neolithic Turkey, where the origin of the latter is often located).
Postmodern aesthetics had already articulated relations between art & technology, and in particular, Technological mediation (per ) is followed by Intersections of art & control, such that the present inquiry serves — in some sense — to reverse their sequence (e.g. via work-as-relation), while approaching both art & technology as mediate (with all that implies for alienation, etc.). In other words, in the sense of using technology to decolonize, this interrogation begins from control....
E.g. Agamben notes not only that the Ancients were concerned with ability (i.e. potential, etc.), but that Christians were then more concerned with will (or intent). The latter tends to relativize technological instrumentality, whereas our era — which involves a transformed Christianity (via the imperial "Renaissance" of modernity) — reverts more to the prior (i.e. value independent) sense of ability.
Per processes of exosomatization (e.g. per ), tool use not only suggests externalization but (again per Stiegler) individuation per se. In other words, specific tool use might (still) be toward some other end, but its very instrumentality becomes both characteristically human & a further means toward (definitional) self-mediation.
That the global environment is increasingly mediated by human activity yet again invokes the basic gap between intent & outcome that defines so much of modern philosophy, and indeed technology often occupies just such a (Kantian) gap. Moreover, one might suggest that segmenting technology (e.g. as concept, per ) as "means" actually forges or widens the gap, as objects are differentiated by intent or use (without regard to outcome).
That art becomes a "product" of technology has served to segment & reify it as an object per se (i.e. as tangibly produced by a technical process), and this in turn yields the late modern glorification of "uselessness" (contra ) as non-technical paradigm for art. (One might then ponder the notion that "final products" are useless — i.e. aren't instrumentalized, by definition: "Art" becomes the free subject?)
If art is figured as the trace of a broader (technical) process, i.e. as artifact per se, one might further figure it according to the fetish (i.e. object, e.g. per More on subject-object): The resulting "mystery" (deriving from obscuring process & hence relation) then figures another mediation (of activity) or e.g. crossing (of art & technology, as retention per se). (This is the artistic "monad....")
As uselessness has become paradigmatic for (at least late modern) art — & especially as that's a false paradigm — one might seek to close the intent-outcome gap (as forged, in part, conceptually by technology, per ) via the figure of art-as-relation, i.e. without the (rationalizing) interpellation of work & use.... (Instrumentality then vanishes within "artistic" relation per se.)
Technological relations go on to suggest or forge religious inclinations (per Section 9 again), i.e. suggest (a) religion — or values — as outcome of technical instrumentalization & world building. (At that point, one might ask what is really technology? Do we even know it when we see or hear  it?) Of course, the relations forged & maintained by technology today tend to be exactly those of wealth & power, so how might its operation be inclined differently?
Per sound studies, one might go on to figure a micropolitics of listening, itself a critical performance (per Eidsheim). And such a political performance (per Bonnet) might disarm authoritarian listening via inaudible sound, i.e. by leaving behind certainties & even anticipation.... Onto what might technology (broadly speaking) then open?
Even as accelerating technological development was already instrumentalized by modern imperialism (e.g. per ), it appears to be even more crucial to (neoliberal) neoimperialism (as it also "swaps" some hierarchical positions, contra ): In particular, the novelty (& speed, pace ) of the internet as historical phenomenon has short-circuited various (liberal, rights-based) protections, leading to renewed centralization, accumulation, hierarchy, etc. — not to mention the reformatting of public discourse per se. (Of course, one might also figure the accumulation of wealth itself as broadly — socially — useless or worse, such that an instrumental-useless dual does still maintain....)
Wealth-oriented inclinations (as noted in ) are obviously one sort of value activated & instrumentalized by contemporary technology (particularly as neoliberal hoarding intensifies globally), but various (global) relations do continue to be forged, such that one might listen (e.g. per ) for other (emergent or otherwise) networks of value (as already suggested in Concepts of contemporary religion)....
And I should probably address the (banal) "ends justify the means" trope: It arises, basically, from insufficient consideration of ends — as e.g. collateral damage (or whatever rationalizing term is substituted) is also an end, i.e. something that happened, i.e. something that affects (in turn). So while pharmacology is indeed a paradigm for technology, it need not rely on an ends-means dual: In those terms, the pharmacological is all about "ends," i.e. outcomes.
The notion that uselessness is itself a value — perhaps evoking the free subject (or "free man" as it was traditionally written), parenthetically per  — is an idea forged & maintained via art & attempts to distance the latter from industrial production. In that sense, uselessness becomes an expression of status (again per ), i.e. a cultural statement, or simply vanity. Yet, if one is to attempt a more specific trace (or pharmacological interrogation), it's still the relationality of art that figures its (social) value, with "uselessness" per se merely offering its own (conceptual) pharmacology (of value), i.e. as another relation.
That technology extends bodily ability is obvious enough, but it's equally obvious that technology increases bodily discipline as well, indeed trains the body simultaneous to increasing capacity. (Speed then becomes a means of intensifying entrainment, i.e. going faster & faster, without reflection.) Per , one might then interrogate an extending-disciplining dual e.g. according to notions of pleasure & pain, but entrainment also modifies relations of pleasure & pain (including via repression). Usefulness "for the body" is thus, increasingly (but already since the industrial era), not felt in the body (including broadly per ).
E.g. Heidegger had already figured convenience as being at hand, and (in pharmacological relation with the human individuation figured by ) posited violence as a basic meaning of technology, itself (or at least its ongoing elaboration) as rupture of the everyday (per Section 5). One might then observe that the contemporary era has further raised the stakes of such a rupture (or disruption) of familiarity (via increasing speed)....
That it's already too late to remediate something deemed harmful is a basic function of increasing speed (via technology, e.g. per ), itself increasingly inclined toward convenience in the (useless, pace ) service of hoarding wealth.... (The latter figures, again, questions of useful or harmful for whom or for what?) So then, what sort of weapons can function within the limit of such a narrow(ing) window of action? (And weapons do generally bring their own pharmacology....)
One might, of course, posit (or insert, per ) technologies of preparation or reflection.... And then, who is to control those? (Further, in Agamben's terms, every use is already polarized between the habit of appropriation & the loss of expropriation — as he goes on to figure habitation & "landscape" as exemplary of the inappropriable: Yet, changing perceptions changes not only habits & habitations, but landscapes per se.)
General drives toward death & destruction only seem to be ascending — largely on account of an increased (global) yearning for new worlds & new relations. And the latter are not only blocked by neoliberal (economic) usurpation of the political, but the resulting enmity is urged on by neoimperial forces of destruction — so as to install & maintain a further neo-Hobbesian competitive (i.e. specifically anti-cooperative) order. (General brutality then drives further hierarchy, not to mention exhausts resistance....)
As Stiegler paraphrases Bataille, ultimately "there is nothing that permits one to define what is useful (to man)." (So the analytic being considered here is actually impossible?) Use itself then becomes not only pharmacological (perhaps even at the level of the individual liberal subject), but a matter of perspective (e.g. as a using-being used subject-object dual) — & not only spatially, but temporally (including per ) as well.
E.g. Moynihan reminds that e.g. bipedal stance & early birth involve their own pharmacologies — the former contrasting technological orientation (not to mention the pharmacology of ocularcentrism, etc.) to increased risk of falling & skeletal torment, the latter flexibility & apprenticeship to vulnerability. (He further suggests that human evolution may have reached pharmacological limits, and that's not even — explicitly — considering the pharmacology of exosomatic technology per se.)
It's also been (rather widely) suggested that the basic pharmacology of hominization is about surpassing all limits (in a sort of quasi-Hegelian dialectic of progress, I suppose...). Yet, pace  & , is any of it actually useful? (Pace , that's perhaps the most fundamental interrogation of the supposed instrumentality of technology against basic human uselessness. After all, what is really the point of any of this?) It's simply something that happens (but then, so is critique).
It's sometimes posited e.g. that Western imperialism was simply the outcome of technological development, basically that technological "superiority" made conquest inevitable — but such an assertion does nothing to address disinhibition per se, i.e. the basic willingness (& desire) to go out & conquer the world.... Moreover, such an assertion neglects the prior history of technological development specifically for warfare, and its further incentives within the colonial project — leading into biologism & eventually the unprecedented speed of the neoliberal internet (& its commensuration or centralization project per ).
That's not to say that there weren't "opportunistic" aspects to the Western Discovery saga, such that it might (also) be incorrect to suggest that desire for conquest was the dominant driver of technological development. However, the basic urge to outrun, outflank & capture (i.e. to hoard via speed, per , or even to channel via mediation, per ) drove much development — & continues to do so both in the for-profit & military realms (the latter now merely an adjunct to the former)....
That modernity, in spite of much rhetoric around risk (e.g. as itself meriting profit), was about "guaranteeing" ongoing wealth for the wealthy — i.e. removing the element of chance — was already the theme of Remède de Fortune. Such hierarchical systemization, e.g. so as to preserve or extend private wealth & status, then increases tension on the world ecology, further increasing entropy  (as already discussed more extensively in Ecology & embeddedness).
Of course, modern biologism had already prioritized population growth (as primary route to wealth, i.e. via labor), but particularly as notions of "The Anthropocene" circulate, it's important to note that profit maximization combined with (highly inefficient) risk aversion continue to figure the wealthy (& their priorities) as its primary (entropic) drivers.
Technological innovation was not incompatible with a medieval worldview, and indeed (pace ) various (proto-imperial) technology was developed prior to the colonial mission — not only in Europe, but around the world. (And regarding mediation per se, one might interrogate whether a technology is subsequent or simultaneous to what it mediates, i.e. does it respond to a "problem," or forge an entire pharmacological scenario at once?)
I've already discussed typology & segmentation in various detail throughout this more extended project, but it's important to note (again, here) that these are indeed (conceptual) technologies — especially as governmental or industrial principles that remain quite active.
The subject-object dual presumably arose from Western (& other) languages per se, but is not ubiquitous in those terms. (Indeed, one might ponder how language development reflected prior conceptual divisions....) However, mind-body dualism (e.g. per ) was not only further entrenched by modernity (e.g. by Descartes), but reflected in an ongoing culture-nature dual (not to mention complementary notions of artistic uselessness, per ) that figured Western profit seekers & colonialists as "more human" not only than the "natural world," but than the people they exploited. (Again, such a dual is now well understood, at least in the critical space.)
Further to a subject-object divide as prior, one might even interrogate the Christian narrative as positing that God forged both segmentation & typology — & indeed language (in that image). It should be emphasized, then, that segmentation both underlies & reflects ontology, such that it can be figured as creation per se, i.e. division from an undifferentiated whole (i.e. "void"). (Life per se not only generates entropy in general, then, i.e. per , but is always involved in segmentation, i.e. epistemic sorting operations, e.g. of what is edible, etc.)
Section 8 had already noted not only that ontological violence defines imperialism, but that epistemology — as based on segmentation & intervention — is itself inherently violent....
For some authors (e.g. Santos or R. Benjamin), race per se is a colonizing technology, i.e. is secondary to the colonial project. (In that sense, per , "race" functions as a sort of conceptual mediation for colonizing activities.)
Gender has been especially weaponized around "the family" as structural technology (e.g. per Section 7), i.e. as a basic setting for internalizing violence, discipline & governmentality....
War as a technology — & again, one might regard biologism via the conceptual mediation of "evolution" as itself a sort of war — suggests another nexus of speed & violence (& of course continues to figure competition, even around death drives per ...), itself cultivated & internalized increasingly generally as a broad competitive paradigm (to which e.g. notions of "race" per , also relate).
Alliez & Lazzarato figure liberalism itself as "philosophy of total war," such that capitalism presents a perpetual war economy — especially as the war machine is further captured & appropriated by capital in the neoliberal era. (Such a war is then further internalized by debt relations, and now generalized "military" logistics....)
One might even suggest that e.g. the present discussion involves a technology of resistance: Clearly, much more is needed, but conceptual clarity can be essential (at least as noted, at times, via its absence).
That technology — especially externally imposed technology — can seem magical is not a new idea, but the speed of its contemporary development (pace whether internal-external retains a meaning in the era of postmodern globality) brings many more possibilities for mystification — through which control might be reasserted. (It becomes a matter of staying "one step ahead," particularly of increasingly hybrid relations , but also of neocolonial resistance in general....)
Nail notes e.g. that the contemporary era is increasingly dominated by hybridity (i.e. of prior forms), such that one might (now) speak of image-objects (as duals of the prior "thing," now figuring quality-quantity). And given this "unity in differentiation" one can begin to perceive an entirely new regime of scapegoating around hybridity per se: There is always another perspective from which to cast blame.
In response, e.g. Federici reasserts the body (pace ) as center of contemporary politics against the body as capitalist work machine — the latter a civilizational matter of system (e.g. as inspired by various other machines, biological & otherwise) & to be overflowed performatively....
Again per Section 8 (& pace ), legibility has generally both posited & required segmentation & typology — in opposition to the (intentional) obfuscation of  (which thus becomes pharmacological, including as generating the spectral). And I suppose that this would also be a place to note the explosive proliferation of surveillance technology on so many contemporary fronts....
E.g. Mignolo & Walsh (pace ) suggest that it was naming per se (& so mapping in general) that drove disinhibition (in part per , but thus also via "discovery" per ). In that sense, not only is cognition a basic aspect of biological life (pace parenthetical remarks of ...), but a basic input for technological legibility — which in turn projects machinic attraction, as well as the sense that what it "perceives" is all there is.
Hui has noted the origin of the Greek (& so Western) techne in carpentry, and therefore the way that it privileges instrumental mastery, i.e. via geometry & order: One might go on to generalize such concepts of mastery entailed (historically) by technology as applying not only to the self, but to governmentality in general (including under colonialism).
Sloterdijk notes that a spatial immune system is what makes being "outside" bearable, and so applies the immunological concept to nation-states, globality, etc. (There's also the notion of language itself as fortress. In each case, it's a matter of excluding others.) Immunology thus comes to figure security (pace ) broadly, such that Sloterdijk further notes insurance as "first immune technology" — which becomes increasingly complex in general....
Santos notes of Western epistemology not only e.g. that it prioritizes the universal & global as superior (which it posits for itself), but that it demands (its own, particular forms of) valid knowledge (i.e. perspective), linear time, social classification & productivity.... (Via universality, epistemology thus also comes to figure text as monument, i.e. as reified.)
Is "the law" even what "the law" says it is today? Or has the de facto application of law diverged markedly from its principles? (Such a situation would "merely" involve the reflection & proliferation of colonial realities back onto the Western interior....) How are state-based laws to apply to international corporations, NGOs, & other supra-state entities anyway? (Of course, "traditional notions" of law have been marginalized before, including specifically by imperial modern imposition....)
Again per Concepts of contemporary history, one might alternately ask, "What does technology become, if not the driver of imperialism?" But such an interrogation certainly doesn't exhaust the latter topic....
Alienated labor as the "gap" between art-as-work & work-as-relation was already noted via "removal of the body" (in ), but can also be figured as mediation via external "ownership" per se (i.e. as capturing the latter — relational outcomes). Of course, alienating work is a longstanding critical topic....
In particular, Marx himself didn't note the history of slavery in relation to industrial labor — but it's been noted frequently in critical race writing since the twentieth century. (And it's become such a commonplace that I'm not even sure where I first saw it discussed.)
The basic driver of increased worker production has been notions of "competition" (against other workers globally, or against technological workers, i.e. robots) such that most people are asked to work harder in order to retain their jobs: This is essentially a fear-based (& broadly Hobbesian, e.g. per remarks of ) strategy, and also applies to (industrial) technological adoption per se (e.g. so as to "work faster"). So in this sense, notions that technology drives increases in productivity can be refigured around "forced" adoption.
E.g. as a futurist work paradigm, Federici notes that work in "outer space" is figured as requiring perfect worker performance & obedience, such that fear (pace ) can once again increase productivity as paradigm. (Federici goes on to note how such a scenario also seems to suggest a cult, thus figuring a new intersection of religion & capitalist technology of labor....) The strategy is more basic, though, i.e. simply about making working conditions more dangerous so as to increase focus.
Intersections of art & control had already figured "labor" per se (i.e. as molar domain) as another intersection, and suggested negotiating (the resulting nexus) accordingly. (Such negotiations have long included ploys by capital, however, and the contemporary situation only multiplies those possibilities....) So in response to precarity, workers must (still, ultimately) establish ownership of their labor (& body) — pace broad concerns of all stakeholders per .
That "labor" remains necessary is, of course, denied in various labor negotiations (including those increasingly figured instead as political contests), and involves an entire range of obfuscation: E.g. slavery is consequently returning (spectacularly), including in the guise of prison labor, and even "consumers" are increasingly required to perform tasks (such as self-checkout, assembly, maintenance, etc.) that would previously have been provided for in an end product. In short, "work" reaches into many more settings (within what also becomes a twenty-four hour a day working environment, perhaps even anticipating modes suggested by ).
Technology per se becomes increasingly specialized, i.e. as it proliferates into more (& smaller) arenas of everyday life, but labor specialization does continue to involve a pharmacology (for capital): Simply put, generic labor is easily replaceable, whereas specialized labor increases the possibility for worker leverage (which is to be resisted at all costs, especially via denial & obfuscation pace ).
The present discussion of surrogacy is derived from Atanasoski & Vora, who note that the liberal subject is itself an effect of long-term surrogate relations, i.e. of a racialized grammar (that continues to suture contemporary subjects to imperial fascism). The surrogacy relation within the global labor hierarchy, at least as it impinges upon interior subjects, then involves the delegation (& denial) of accountability (& so continues to be cultivated by neoliberal capital).
In particular (& pace ), the surrogacy effect obscures the underlying origins & construction of the social relations of work, i.e. provides for hiding labor that results in continuing projection of agency onto the liberal subject (versus onto technology, or the subhuman, or more generally, objects). Atanasoski & Vora thus note the surrogacy effect as broadly characteristic of enchantment (& so as an aspect of the prior aura of slavery).
One might even note a pharmacology around instigating such a comparison of surrogacies: Insight (particularly into postmodern continuity) is possible on the one hand, while the equation of people with machines (especially people who had long been figured as subhuman anyway, pace ) brings dangers on the other: Although the precarity of workers already figured as subhuman is easily grasped, there's also the matter of (potentially) granting "rights" (including per ) to robots, a dystopian outcome for which so much science fiction has apparently been preparing us. (The fully owned rights-bearing, e.g. voting, subject-object thus remains an active capitalist fantasy.)
I'd have been reluctant to broach a "surrogacy" comparison myself, had Atanasoski & Vora not already done so — albeit without explicitly noting the pharmacology of  — but their broad, stated goal was to reenvision human-other relations around both postcoloniality & technology (& so, also, to expose the fiction of technological liberalism moving beyond race, etc.). In particular, one must continue to interrogate the global situation, and in turn the dehumanizing of non-interior peoples, including around just such a human-other dual (as figured historically per ).
Per , (liberal) individuation had long been obscured by (global, racialized) exploitation of labor anyway, and pace fear cultivated via "competition" (per ), such that various paradigms of (bodily) colonization & control have mediated & continue to mediate (contemporary) individuation (including e.g. naming one's "job" per se — through which many people continue to define themselves).
Pace a pharmacology of specialization (per ), various segmented, professional paradigms effectively become (conceptual, pace ) tools of capitalist governmentality. E.g. Harney & Moten have also noted not only that "negligence defines professionalism" (i.e. per notions of "minimum standards" that tend to maintain), but that new forms of e.g. immaterial & affective labor can actually serve — i.e. pharmacologically — to accentuate corporeality (likewise pace notions of "subhuman" globality, per ). Various broad typologies of labor consequently emerge.
Concepts of contemporary history had already noted medical practice as one "social pillar of technological modernity," and its growing political emphasis should be noted here as well: Indeed, one begins to speak of necropolitics over biopolitics in the contemporary era in (large) part because of differential access to healthcare.... (Complementary notions also arise from e.g. delusions of immortality, and other — technological — attempts to ensure "salvation" for a chosen few.)
Of course, "pharmacology" is itself a medically-derived (& Greek) concept, and applies to various specific situations of individual treatment: There are thus a variety of common (pharmacological) outcomes in contemporary medicine, from the "side effects" of various medications, to e.g. resistant bacteria contracted in hospitals....
Per Federici, "witch hunts" thus not only served to appropriate wealth, but to refigure bodily care, not simply around the priorities of capitalist production per se, but so as (further) to marginalize women & secure worldwide patriarchy. (Following industrialization, "care of the home" then figured broadly again as a feminine responsibility — as conducted in isolation & so ultimately under the authority of the masculine medical hierarchy....)
The priority for capitalist-derived healthcare has always been keeping people healthy enough to work — & without concerns beyond (or in opposition to) that priority. Indeed, e.g. Federici (once again) notes the "profession" (pace ) of industrial psychology as itself the "hand maiden of Taylorism," i.e. as institutionalizing denials of worker alienation per se, figured in turn as medical practice.
Federici further notes that remaking medicine (per ) as itself (modern & now postmodern) intersection of body & technology has specifically served to advance capitalist dreams of leaving the (laboring) body behind (i.e. pace  & contrary to the centering proposed by ). One might also go on consider e.g. anesthetics (per Sutter & in my terms, as the opposite of aesthetics) as a particularly contemporary means of escaping the body. (Hence religious "opiates" are superfluous now that chemical versions are readily available?)
Issues of public health policy (that still goes little beyond the industrial concerns of , and that could certainly benefit from e.g. explicit discussion of goals, etc.) come increasingly to involve not only medical practice, but ecology & the environment more generally — in terms of both extinctions & contaminants, etc. "Public health" can consequently be figured quite broadly, and indeed according to various publics (or stakeholders, per ).
That plants & animals have long been "colonized" by humanity is obvious enough — such that their exploitation might even be figured as paradigmatic of civilization per se — but modern industry had already (brutally) refigured those relations around maximizing production (pace e.g. ), and issues of "care" become only that much more one-sided in the contemporary era: Agricultural production is increasingly permeated by (neoliberal, optimizing) biotechnology — such that one might even interrogate plants & animals as themselves becoming (technologically) mechanized via genetic engineering, etc. (Non-human domains thus remain fully exploitable, even as human exploitation — usually figured at least implicitly as subhuman — also increases once again.) E.g. notions of "husbandry" are thus often left far behind by such assemblages, which tend to present as (technical) object relations.
Explicit notions of a "microbiome" as itself technology are relatively recent, but continue to involve intense reconfiguration of relations of symbiosis & biology per se. (And that neoliberal exploitation of this "frontier" proceeds with little social preparation or reflection is simply the contemporary norm....)
Technological mediation & insertion (e.g. per  — or even conceptually & at speed, pace ) thus come to colonize & occupy (formerly) biological "niches" as well, whether as new assemblages of biotechnology, or (more simply) without a biological component (e.g. robotic bees). One might consequently begin to ponder not only biological machines more generally, but "biowork" per se — the latter displacing (already colonized, pace , or not) living creatures for neocolonial purposes.
Also pace , the (ecological) pharmacology of agriculture & food processing has long been problematized, and (modern) growth-oriented politics have only exacerbated the situation, straining not only systems of "civilization" per se, but (global) immunology (pace ) more broadly. Moreover, financialization has proceeded along these same contours, such that markets are being created for e.g. pollution & "diversity," etc. — thus forging new sorts of biological arbitrage (& thus new & unprepared incentives for technological adoption).
Notions of "everyday reality" (the latter term encompassing intrusions beyond the constructed, psychological "world" per Lacan) can, of course, be rather contingent. In particular, as already noted in Section 2, practical morality is itself a technology for self-formation & hence world-building.
Departing from Agamben's neo-Franciscan interpretation, Ahmed notes e.g. that "use" can imply duty, and interrogates instrumentality via utilitarianism — for which (including pace ) usefulness becomes a moral duty. (One might thus reprise the pharmacology noted in ....) Ahmed also interrogates temporalities of (e.g. technological) use, and challenges instrumental rationality via notions of queer use....
Per , mediation already functions as a sort of channel, and so obviously as a form of synchronization. One might then go on to figure a sort of temporal pharmacology around the increased speed forged by mediating channels....
Alliez & Lazzarato suggest a sort of contemporary capitalist "fractality," as relations come to be reproduced in even the smallest spaces (e.g. via smartphones & the internet). And it's not entirely about proliferating opportunities for exploitation & profit, as the basic message that capitalism is everywhere  continues (crucially) to sound "hegemony" in various private moments, demonstrating that there's no alternative or escape.
And not only do fractal relations continue to focus on proliferating neoliberal forms of competition (as in ), but constantly (per ) call for more labor in more situations (including, increasingly biologically per ) — all contributing toward a basic pharmacological drive toward destruction (pace ).
E.g. the increasing ubiquity of the internet (as a particularly spectacular form of contemporary technological mediation, pace ) not only involves capitalist messages appearing (& demanding a response!) at any time of day, but pace concerns of Remède de Fortune, further proliferates possibilities for harvesting differences into every event (i.e. as generalized arbitrage).
Per Section 9, "inclinations concern the nature of connectedness," & so (technological) mediation is well suited to modifying relations & so connectedness per se — itself becoming another sort of narcotic (pace parenthetical remarks of ). Technology thus might even come to modulate notions of (e.g. biological) growth & sequence, such that (pace ) one can construct a broad pharmacology around its relations & inclinations.
In parallel with the "labor" remarks of , Intersections of art & control had also figured "religion" as another such intersection: That it was (at least partly) replaced by "science" under modernity did serve toward reconfiguring art-as-work, but the neoimperial era seems ultimately to be turning elsewhere (pace the previous paragraph), i.e. toward greater (direct) technological control per se (& so away from open investigation).
Perhaps political theology is to be the new comparative religion? In any case, to understand someone's religion is (increasingly) to understand their politics (and vice versa), and this observation certainly applies to the various religious currents of neoliberalism. (The latter do figure & require competition, but also succeed in large part due to easy application of a quantity-based analytic....)
And (pace ), theology indeed becomes an output of politics in the contemporary era, often going well beyond (mere) figuration: Neoliberalism itself comes to posit not only a religion of wealth, but of ends — in which "transcendent" political principles (i.e. of civilization & system) are forcibly merged with real politics (as hoarded wealth per se). In that sense, theology of (rather than "as") political output might, in turn, be figured as diagnosis of weakness....
And that history in general is increasingly figured as history of technology per se not only marks the "technology of history" as increasingly incestuous & self-serving, but serves (further) to naturalize exploitation as "mere" historical outcome (i.e. via obfuscation, pace ).
Glorification of history is hardly new, but the specific contemporary glorification of technological history does seem notable, particularly as it posits its own sorts of values, i.e. those of speed & novelty — or "innovation" & "disruption." (And who actually values these things — at least as ongoing processes — other than imperial capitalism itself, e.g. per ?)
That universality is figured as superior follows the epistemological orientation of , but one might also describe imperial proliferation itself as (presumptive) universalization of superiority, especially through concepts of mastery (again per the traditional orientation of ). (And what then is the actual domain of universality versus what it presumptively masters?)
Jameson suggests that "nature" is itself already allegorical, and I'd go on to suggest that allegory is itself allegorical (as motivated by Western delusions of representation), such that texts come to allegorize themselves: As such, one might then figure both history & universality as themselves allegorical (i.e. as actually being inadequate to mastery, pace ). That (universalizing) history itself becomes allegorical is, then, in supplement to notions of historical allegory per se....
That universality becomes (or rather, always was) allegorical can be figured e.g. according to individual readings of mass printed texts (i.e. against the presumed universal knowledge noted by ), i.e. as a field of tension (e.g. per Nail). (One might also note the Laruellian generic of man-in-person as problematizing universality, i.e. as another sort of "protestantism" in his terms.)
As technology comes to dominate contemporary history (e.g. counter to the central question of ), it might indeed be figured according to religion, particularly per glorification (pace ). If technology brings a new religion, then, what sort of new (pastoral) power emerges within such a (social) binding? (And increasing technological surveillance does already come to refigure notions of religious omniscience....)
Hui notes of the contemporary era quite simply that historical consciousness demands technological consciousness: In other words, historical forms (e.g. of disruption, et al.) require a unidirectional temporal unfolding as developing context, i.e. versus traditional notions of cyclical or seasonal time, as technology continues to accumulate & build on itself. (Presumably such a consciousness can then be made useful for decolonizing....)
That history is written by the winners is cliché, but e.g. Mbembe goes on to note that colonial law was unconditionally subject to (external) political imperatives (i.e. those of hoarding), such that (subsequent) independence & democracy (always already) embed a colony. (Law itself is thus basically a trace of history.)
That forms of accumulation — & here I've decided to coin the casual term stockpile, although I'm not sure that it's necessary — amount to a sort of technology themselves is obvious enough (including pace ), as are technical aspects of their (general) transmission. (Beyond accumulation or hoarding per se, one might ponder instead a cultural collection, a reserve, a patrimony — even the familiar, or hegemony per se.... The term also conjures notions of financial instruments....) One might then interrogate the technology of hoarding quite broadly, including per the present project, but also religious binding itself as a sort of (social) stockpile.
Indeed, Stiegler proposes a general pharmacology of knowledge, noting that it eventually becomes toxic (or at least stale, I might suggest in turn). And inertia & familiarity do present their own (well understood) "pharmacologies" against more dynamic situations, and (pace increasingly allegorical history per ) can even figure notions of having "no alternative" etc. (It does appear that preserving prior, social "stockpiles" can come to be prioritized beyond all reason....)
And technology has already been figured as a fetish object, e.g. as mysterious (per ) or as potentially mystifying (per ) — i.e. as "cargo" (with all that's implied for cults). That technology might vanish into the everyday (e.g. pace Heidegger) is then contrasted with e.g. the conspicuousness & reification of art (per ) & consequent fetishization of uselessness. (Might one then figure a pharmacology of conspicuousness against an internal development-external imposition dual for technology? Or perhaps via alienation, pace ?)
That contemporary wealth is increasingly quantifiable & computable marks it as advanced (neoliberal) technology, such that (per Technological mediation), calculation not only involves (new) processes of semiosis in general, but comes to forge its own (religious) ecosystem. (Being computable is thus its main attribute, such that wealth automatically naturalizes historical fait accompli per , i.e. hoarding.) However, e.g. Mbembe goes on to caution against regarding human cultures as incommensurable, i.e. by way of (opposing) response, and so notes the role of human reason in identifying the incalculable per se (amid different modes of measurement, and hence different aesthetics).
So money instantiates perhaps the most important technological development of the modern era (particularly as fused with the stockpile), and especially such that its ubiquity & ease of application (i.e. per basic neoliberal analytic, pace ) come to involve all manner of (technical, relational) transactions & even virtuality: Attention economy now comes to figure currency as itself a kind of attention....
E.g. Hui also notes that history requires technology, i.e. tertiary retention, as well as forges a temporal unconscious. (And tertiary retention does go on to forge & capture a sort of time....) So there's always a nexus of history (per se) & technology, even as (their) temporal forms (pace ) might develop or change.
Monopolization does continue apace in the contemporary era (after temporary safeguards enacted by prior generations — for the interior — were removed), and of course encompasses knowledge, wealth, technology etc. (And the resulting monopolized stockpiles do tend to forge ill-fitting "pyramids" of object wealth, e.g. per Ecology & embeddedness.) The monopolization of time then consists not only in historical capture (per ), but in monopolization of attention (e.g. per , or monetarily per ) & of policy (via speed, pace ).
Ownership of time is articulated via mediation (e.g. per the constraints of ), but instrumentalizing the moment has also involved putting "time" directly to work, e.g. in the form of usury (which had been previously prohibited, as transgressing divine temporal ownership), i.e. so as to increase stockpiles automatically (i.e. technologically). One might also consider enjoyment of the moment per se (as e.g. bodily, per ), and so consider music (& musical capture) as temporal art....
Pace , monopolization already figures a sort of universality, but synchronization (per ) is particularly forceful around necessities (e.g. food & agriculture, per ), thus forging a set of traditional "commodities" (that are far more specific than generalized stockpiles): Production itself thus tends to synchronize, at least within limited ranges, around "optimal" points & processes, etc.
Trends (including as fashion per se) tend to come & go, but temporal manipulation of cycles fosters various opportunities for harvesting differences (e.g. directly per , or as mediated by financialization, pace ). It's basically the power of ownership as itself inertial (pace ) that comes to be set against change per se. (And whereas current intersections of fashion & technology might have been difficult to anticipate, technology has been marketed on fashion trends for quite some time, perhaps most spectacularly by the automotive industry of a prior generation... & already canonically around clothing, of course.)
Bodily materiality is often in tension with a variety of narrative forms: History, religion & "labor" evoke overarching (i.e. molar) principles that are used in turn for (molecular) bodily discipline (pace  & historically e.g. per ).
Bodily attention (including e.g. to fashion, per ) then becomes a basis for tendency, which trains attention (including via spectacle) in turn. (And governmentality generally tends toward synchronizing collective attention, but it can also be desynchronizing — e.g. if collective attention settles onto something unprofitable.)
Stability was already figured (in part) via "stockpiles" (which do continue to increase, pace  — or even ...). One might also interrogate formal stability via de- or post- constructions (per ), such that post- might be said to reify (former) relations, rather than invoke the (perhaps cyclical?) movement of de-....
Postmodern values have already come to include e.g. disruption (per ) & the "fetish" (per ), so notions of (prior) modern "importance" (outside of profit, of course) are already being greatly attenuated. One might then reflect on perception more generally, along with the nature of conservation (e.g. per  & landscape), and so foreground versus background....
And what does figure foreground against background, i.e. as & amid an ontology of ecological relations (e.g. per Ecology & embeddedness)? What is to be conserved depends on what exists & how it relates — & indeed is problematized by equivocation between entity & relation per se. (Even from a completely different perspective, neoliberal hoarders cannot escape questions of what to hoard.)
The body did (mutually) evolve within a particular environment, and so is tuned to those circumstances (& so might be said e.g. to mediate consciousness, i.e. as its physical technology, per ). The body also inspires technology, not only in terms of biological machines or biologism (per above), but in terms of semblance & direct mechanical copying. (E.g. bilateral symmetry had already been figured as prompting dualism in Hierarchy as rupture....) And one might further interrogate the ideals & reals of (material) bodily technology (including far beyond the human — as currently being pursued).
That technology might render a body as "normal" (including specifically so as to work, per ) can be contrasted with extending its strengths (differentially) & so figures a different aesthetic. (And what of home environments versus working environments? Or "consumer" environments?) Section 1 had already asked of forging bodies via technology, "How might (bodily) ability be assembled differently?" (I.e., how might the familiar be refigured?) This remains an open question (including e.g. per Spinoza).
Pace , whether technology aims at "normality" or extension (i.e. going beyond the current ability of other bodies) becomes a rather broad aesthetic issue then, such that a disciplinary pharmacology (per ) merges into questions of ambition: Might technology render (formerly) "disabled" bodies as superior, and in what ways? Where does (potential) harm lie & for whom?
And note that (neoliberal) capitalist design issues go beyond direct profit per se, as even a profitable technology in the service of bodily enablement might not (actually) serve hierarchy: So what is technology to be used for? Is it "only" good for particular people? What of people who might not affirm the global order? (And people with disabilities do also tend to be poor, largely because they don't "fit" capitalism very well.)
Pace the temporal pharmacology posited by , or the temporal instrumentalization (e.g. usury) suggested by , synchronization of attention (pace ) involves synchronization of bodily motion more generally — which might not (actually) be possible. (One might then go on to figure a sort of temporal politics around enablement.)
Even a specific body might itself become (or always already be) desynchronized temporally, perhaps in differential layers. (Channeling Ballard, Moynihan even suggests that individual bodies instantiate "evolutionary time travel" via differential development — adding another temporal layer, including at least potentially of disability, to the pharmacological concerns articulated in .) More simply, various processes simply happen at different speeds, varying both between & within bodies.
One might even suggest queer repurposing of technology (or indeed art) as one principle of decoloniality in general, such that concepts of "ownership" or enjoyment (pace  again) can be reframed & refigured around rejection of prior limits. (That the queer is figured in opposition to patriarchy figures it in turn as in opposition to at least modern colonialism & its biologism.)
As having moved past e.g. race & gender continues to be a contemporary fiction (including pace ), identity politics continues to forge its own pharmacology — including, as Harney & Moten note, because "we're more than politics" as mere "radiation of critique" — around e.g. notions of queer failure (which is sometimes figured as having motivated queering per ).
Sexual technologies have mostly been concerned with either increasing fertility or preventing pregnancy — as part of basic (modern) colonization of reproduction (i.e. biologism). (And ongoing reproductive authority was already interrogated rather broadly in Concepts of contemporary authority....) That sex becomes a machine for the reproduction of laboring bodies has thus already been a commonplace, although various notions of mandatory sex (as itself technology of control) & consequent biological efficiency do continue to appear....
And transhuman concerns (especially around female embodiment, pace ) do continue to evoke various reconfigurations of reproductive power, including around authority or glory per se (or even queer negativity ).
E.g. Wiegman not only affirms (a) queer commitment to sex as object of study, but continues to ask the (seemingly obvious) question regarding what "sex" actually is. (Wiegman also derives queer theory from a pro-sex feminism, and asserts it as inherently posthumanist.) One might even speak (then) of queer non-identity & anti-realism... themselves as technologies (pace identity per ).
Biological reproduction is anti-technology in the straightforward sense that it comes to occupy similar niches (per ), but also because its basic "messiness" (e.g. pace ) tends to obscure legibility. (One might then position sex against biowork — with reproduction, as itself a labor technology, occupying a mediate position.)
Promiscuity, sexual or otherwise, is basically (canonically) counter to typology: Queering in general, transgender, transhumanism... all tend to thwart typological systems (& so tend to generate outrage directly on that basis). The immediacy of (molecular) human relations likewise tends to thwart (at least the dialectical tendencies of) biologism (& its transcendental or generally hierarchical molarity).
Federici specifically notes that "reproductive work is irreducible to automation" (or in turn to the discursive, or typological body). Recentering the body (per ) then allows for asking the basic question of extending ability: Toward what? (Of course, patriarchal control of colonizing technology has usually worked against any sense of egalitarian mutuality, such that per  & counter , we're much more likely to have surrogate sex-bots in the contemporary era than an affirmation of direct human connection....)
Pace the professional negligence of specialization (per ), media ubiquity (including per ) continues to posit & enforce a hierarchy around "broadcasting" (versus "users"), such that interaction (& so mutuality, pace ) is increasingly channeled (i.e. mediated) through banality, trolling & general obstruction of public communication (including per concerns articulated in ). And e.g. Han goes on to suggest that one consequently never really encounters "the other" online, such that its dynamic enforces — via technological mediation — narcissism & xenophobia. (The latter have indeed been its political outcomes, at least in USA.)
And technology within technology does come to involve (fractal, per ) mediation "all the way down" (pace ), including e.g. into sexual relations (& so figuring repression, including via the entrainment of  & the more basic technologies of ). Sexual relations thus come, broadly, to reflect capitalist priorities of competition & exploitation (as interrogated previously in Investments & Relations).
Section 6 (already) discussed the (contemporary) comedy-sex-sports nexus more extensively. (I've also made a variety of other observations elsewhere, including around spectacle & spectatorship, and including subsequently....) One traces motion across the nexus — as itself technological — e.g. as (general, social) reproduction.
The basic equivocation (i.e. analogous to that evoked in ) embodied by comedic motion (including laughter per se) has been noted elsewhere (e.g. pace ): Hence, control of comedy (i.e. so as to mock the less powerful) becomes a basic function of neoimperial governmentality. (Comedy might thus be figured as an ancient technology & even in anti-typological relation to queering, per .)
And generalized competition is cultivated via straightforward mediation (i.e. as constriction, per ), itself forging another nexus of speed & violence (per , or pace the induced fear of ): Competition is then figured as legacy of civilization per se. And we're increasingly "designed" to accept its outcomes as fait accompli (per ).
One might also interrogate (dis)ability & athletics together as a sort of dual — particularly around notions of extension (per ): What sort of (mediated) ability is commensurate with athletic competition? (This is actually a contemporary question of some urgency for many people!) Again, this is ultimately an aesthetic question about bodily extension & training: What do people want to experience or watch? (And profits, & so spectators, are still a primary focus for professional athletic competitions, bravado aside....) Why?
Beyond monetary attention per se (as noted in  & reiterated in e.g. ), Attention economy goes on to figure an entire range of contemporary mediation — including according to "attention deficit" & so in turn, enforced compensation or even extension. (Physical competition encompasses mental competition, and so intensifies these demands & comparisons, including via spectatorship. The result is increasingly a generalized crucible of attention....)
The movements demanded of industrial labor have often led (via entrainment, or discipline pace ) to a variety of repetitive stress injuries, with the situation proliferating via e.g. the dominance of personal computer technology & keyboarding (although perhaps that's fading to a degree?). Analogously, athletic training itself involves a sort of pharmacology, a notion of "pushing oneself" that sometimes results in injury or long-term stress issues.... And while, in contrast, "dance" might be figured as spontaneous enjoyment, in practice, it's also a professional discipline (if only to be mimicked) that involves its own characteristic injuries. (So what of basically noninjurious dance, or at least minus injuries of "forced" repetition? How might it modulate attention differently? Isn't athletic activity supposed to be joyful & healthy for the body?)
(Among the most straightforward & ubiquitous of contemporary bodily technologies arising from sports are basketball shoes....) More generally, bodily technology also evokes an evolutionary (pace the mutuality invoked by ) pharmacology (e.g. per ), such that one might ponder the needs & consequences of basic human frailty (per ): Bipedal stance puts stress on the spine, but freeing the hands (e.g. for technology) also frees the hands e.g. for massage, i.e. for social relation to ameliorate individual weakness.
Animacy & animation (& animality) are figures of movement. And they also project a hierarchy of (potential) movement (pace Chen), which is in turn used to figure productivity or sensitivity (e.g. as itself technical) — or even debility. Typologies of movement then go on to figure not only labor, but the (generally) weird or wrong — i.e. the unclassifiable or hybrid (& so perhaps the scapegoat, pace ). Such weirdness or hybridity might then figure the queer or repurposed (per ), and of course various regimes of comedy (pace ). In other words, the hybrid also comes to fascinate (specifically by being anti-typological).
Notions of "entertainment" as discipline had already been figured gesturally (& rather extensively) by Irruptions of the Familiar & the Unfamiliar, ultimately as (liberal) governmental technology. However, new demands on attention continue to arise, including from broad technological synchronization via broadcast & more generally the internet (which allows for looser temporal synchronization, but still channels the same spectacles): Synchronization, then (per ), not only involves ownership, but an ensuing rigidity that's ultimately entropic (pace ), particularly as it reduces (especially temporal) diversity (as well as continues to figure e.g. a dual of sexual stimulation & repression per ).
Cultural (e.g. musical) ubiquity is, of course, all about historical display (e.g. per concerns of ) & so hegemony. Constant background music then asserts another kind of ownership of time (pace ), specifically as also "performative togetherness" (or liturgy, per Section 9), and so as broad collective modulation of attention per se. (And far more could be said about this sort of technology  — which does come to be a highly refined expression of hegemony.)
Contemporary music technology has been figured via various specific (e.g. ambient) products, for instance, but goes far deeper: Western tonality is already a music technology & also figured musical ritual throughout the modern period, including liturgically. (Ritual itself should also be noted as an ancient technology....) So what e.g. of queering musical ambience? (And to what degree has "popular music" already queered imperial musical hierarchy — even while being bound to contemporary broadcast technology?)
Contemporary technology does greatly reduce the time & effort required to find & eat food — but ubiquitous marketing nonetheless focuses continuing attention on food, perhaps even as "fetish" (per ). And contemporary attention is sometimes directed toward the colonization involved (per ) too, but usually in the mode of increasing confusion & entanglement. Both circumstances then yield a variety of trends (pace , and tracing back at least to the spice trade), yielding (in turn) a sort of culinary entertainment (or spectacle) via such (mediating) attention....
I'd already characterized food, clothing & shelter as "essential technologies" in Technologies of the Self, although I've since attended (far) more to food: Of course, clothing in general was absolutely central to empire & industrialization (including to notions of repetitive stress per ) & so now broadly to decolonizing (including e.g. contemporary sports technology, per parenthetical opening to ). "Fashion trends" (pace ) are also (historically) clothing trends per se, including as intertwining food trends (going back to the spice trade, as just noted in ).... And although my thinking & approach there feel dated now, I'd already attempted to address the question of why Europeans were perceived (around the world) as changing their attire so often in Crusading fashion: The point of note (here) then is that regularly changing clothing styles was considered to be a strange practice by others during the early modern (i.e. imperial) period....
Universality is, of course, figured as a (positive) pillar of law, although one might (then) interrogate whether generalized applicability is actually imposed from above, i.e. hierarchically & otherwise without regard to molecular relations.... (Any notion of deferring a discussion of law, i.e. as modern profession, must also note the presumptive negligence figured in .)
One might thus figure any (relevant) technology policy as entailing a politics of speed per se (especially if technology is "a kind of materialized speed" anyway, pace Concepts of contemporary history). One might then figure a disarticulation of speed from technology (pace ), i.e. as counter to the competition cultivated by mediation (per ) — law not at speed, then, but of speed.
The negativity of law is basically bound to its reactive aspect: It responds to complaints & problems. (And a prescription for positive action is usually more effective, in terms of basic human motivation & leadership....) But while waiting to react imposes a delay, so does cultivating knowledge of law.
And hegemony, while becoming reified, comes to concern not only the "stockpile" (per ), with its own inertial incentives, but media ubiquity (per ) as well. (Hegemony thus comes to pose its own inertial, background narrative — which, in principle, also aligns with law.)
One simple strategy is to have the public accept a technological change, and then to change the terms unilaterally after the fact. (E.g. web companies do this constantly.) Changing targets as a form of anti-law strategy (& what laws, pace , even apply in many contemporary situations?) also works to undermine "ritual" acceptance of law: E.g. per Amborn, law (including in the West) often invokes elements around display & memory of consensus, and such ritual (or liturgical) consensus becomes stronger with time (unless it's undermined by chaotic changes, that is).
Pace , an ecology of law concerns not only its reactive stance, but its relations. And Section 8 had already figured an ecological machine according to notions of legibility, around which law (once again) raises the spectral, such that (pace ) one might interrogate its ecology around foreground-background equivocation, including via attention to multiple temporalities (especially beyond attention phenomena per , or as otherwise mediated pace  or ) & non-human (especially biological) systems. In other words, law might come to hear its own embedded relations differently... for better or worse.
In some sense, logistics only serves to instantiate & maintain the perpetual capitalist war economy (pace ), but (again) per Section 8, its "tentacular" optimizations also come to present a rather "open" domain for machinic (& so technological) action, i.e. through the "cracks" of molar impositions such as law. ("Predatory" logistics then comes to penetrate & rearrange a variety of global niches, increasingly encompassing the biological, pace ....)
And as opposed to (the traditional capacities of) law, contemporary technology continues to prioritize flexibility , particularly around software & the internet, such that e.g. new uses don't even need to be planned in advance, but can simply be deployed & replicated after technology is distributed. (So, per , e.g. the function of devices can simply be changed after they've already been adopted by the public....)
Other optimizations continue apace, including around "gig" labor (i.e. as a sort of flexible automation for workers), etc. Pace , (economic & other) relations are constantly being changed, in a continuing "war" (per ) against anything limiting profits. And that war includes ongoing efforts to optimize law itself — i.e. for profit " as well.
So one might also note the (same as for the present title) two valences of decolonizing law, i.e. using law to decolonize & decolonizing the "interior" of law per se: The latter seems (once again, pace ) to warrant basic (& so slow) rituals of memory, including so as to feel the collective regime of law bodily. (And the former largely depends upon the latter.)
Of course, no further "trickery" (e.g. per ) is needed once law itself is optimized for profit (pace ), or when it's designed to favor the strong anyway. And monopolization (per ) also continues apace in order to extricate (automatic) profit from (presumptive, liberal era) economic competition.... (At some point, one might even inquire as to who owns the law in any given situation, or to interrogate its concepts of authority more broadly, pace Concepts of contemporary authority....)
In some sense, notions of data-driven law or following logistics (in some fashion) only suggest new modes for legal capture (pace ), and so further disruption of collective authority. However (pace ), there may be a way to derive a positive concept of law, i.e. affirmative direction in the moment, or (perhaps) at least detection & halting of antisocial processes looking to outflank existing regulation — including at speed, pace . (One might thus figure e.g. a sort of "molecular" legal regime, i.e. one that becomes more attentive to everyday details than traditional molar hierarchy, e.g. pace ....)
First (including pace ), it's unclear if traditional language is required for functional law, but that's been its orientation. (And so I'll note, per Burroughs, the notion of language itself as a virus....) And it's language, i.e. via the command, that also figures law in the negative (per ) — versus e.g. gossip or song (that might figure a more affirmative sense of ritual, pace  & ).
Again pace Section 8, that law requires some sense of legibility is obvious enough: Law can only act on what law can register within its domain, and according to whatever "facts" it can perceive. Given its generally molar (narrative) position, such legibility has also meant a sort of mapping (likewise driving disinhibition, pace ...), such that language — as technology (or virus, pace ) — proceeds to figure legal alienation (from reality, i.e. as facts).
Technological mediation had already noted that technology yields new languages & so new territories, thus figuring a kind of linguistic pharmacology around technological adoption. Such a scenario then immediately problematizes the legal realm, as e.g. notions of disinhibition & discovery (pace ) lead quickly into illegible (pace ) legal situations. (Nail, via Leroi-Gouhan, also notes that tool use & language are neurologically linked, figuring a kind of mental materiality to technological relation....)
Text itself is, of course, a technology (e.g. again per Postmodern aesthetics), and involves not only reification (e.g. of legal language, pace ), but monument (including per ) & so hierarchy per se (& so even ontology, pace ) — perhaps even (pharmacologically) becoming the center of ritual itself (pace ). (And legibility is not always so straightforward in such a setting: For instance, the various tracings undertaken in the present section lead to an intricacy & even a convolution that works against not only simple narrative, but legibility per se. Perhaps such a strain on textual relationality even comes to be queer...?)
And generalizing remarks of , technology always invokes or involves legibility (& so likely some sense of segmentation, or even measure): Notions of  thus come (potentially) to interrogate new domains for legibility, i.e. toward positivity, and away from broad molarity. (And perhaps it should also be noted that while Western medical terms are generally Greek, pace , traditional legal terms are generally Latin. So what of some new terms then?)
Section 8 had asked, "What is legible & for whom?" & e.g. Concepts of contemporary history had just elaborated on (prior) notions of Narrative imperialism (pace the molarity of ): So what relations (pace Hui, per ) might the postcolony forge or prioritize beyond (historical) narration? What can it rediscover or reinvent (beyond Western imperial hegemony & its presumptive universality)?
That property figures a sort of typology has become a commonplace of this project, including via ownership (pace ). And so one might go on to suggest that "property" per se originates with imperial theft (particularly as an imposed technology), and in that sense, is outside law or even originates law. (Under the colonial regime, such a typology of property then immediately ramifies e.g. typologies of race & gender, as noted by [59,60] — & vice versa.)
One might even posit that law is the most basic of colonizing technologies, at least after violence.... More specifically regarding land (to be figured as property), note also how e.g. homesteading functioned as a technology (at least in US North America), not only so as to disappropriate land from indigenous peoples, but so as to place the (material) risk on the body of the new settler (i.e. not on the actual rulers of the new empire), such that (the promise of) private property (& the European-derived law behind it) functioned as a weapon of invasion (including so as to refigure "open" land as a private & fungible commodity — eventually pace ). Combined with immigration, homesteading thus also become a "conspiratorial technology," i.e. served to increase the size & power of US administration without even needing to involve people who were (already) citizens....
That technology tends to be "owned" — even beyond the ownership of objects per se — also traces intellectual property in general (as itself a more recent colonizing technology, pace ), such that relations of hegemony (e.g. via attention & entertainment, pace ) are both instituted & occupied by technology. (Hence the doubled valence of decolonizing technology, pace , continues to apply, especially in situations of cultural ubiquity, pace ....)
Ecology & embeddedness had already suggested "regimes of care" around non-hierarchical notions of autonomy (or even indigenous sovereignty), and so intersecting (cultural) relations. (E.g. Nash also suggests, beyond jettisoning contractual property logics, expanding "property rights" to include notions of care, and even refusing neutrality as a component of justice per se....) Moreover, such a kaleidoscopic scenario can & must resist temporal synchronization via diversifying attention (pace ), and perhaps even serves broadly to reconfigure the spectral (i.e. per ).
Pace epistemological concerns (also articulated in ), liberal notions of property rely on particular (modern, colonial) ontologies, including subjectively: E.g. Bhandar thus suggests that decolonizing property law involves decolonizing the subject (i.e. beyond the Lockean "self-possessive individual"). Such a reconfiguration would then have profound effects on social typology (pace ) as well....
One might divide the law into two basic halves, one to protect bodies & one to protect property: That the two operate within the same space is already a problem (figuring colonialism in general), but in terms of everyday protections, those aspects do become sutured around notions of private stockpiles (pace , or even  more broadly), largely as enacted through Locke. Property then comes to define the legal person (perhaps even intellectually, pace ).
That the least powerful should bear any burden is one of the most entrenched principles of (imperial) capitalism — one might say, the very purpose of modernity — but global protection of "property" (even against humanity & biology, pace ) basically facilitated the creation of (private) wealth in the first place: And then any responsibility (e.g. per ) for technological consequences (even around e.g. broad issues of public health, pace ) falls to "users" (as the public is derisively known in technology circles), via a hierarchy of blame that only serves to retrench (neoliberal) hierarchy more generally....
Among the most basic principles of contemporary liberal privacy is not to tell others what one is paid: That this benefits "ownership" (versus e.g. unionized labor) is obvious. Beyond that particular sort of privacy, though, or even its direct relation to (further) privatizing wealth, "privacy" also requires its own sorts of legibility (including via ownership, pace ) & its own concepts of typology (pace  & ). Moreover, technology per se increasingly intertwines those concerns, and so erects its own pharmacology around technological intrusion & exclusion (again, pace "ownership").
Pace variations of internalizing bodily ownership (per , etc.), or even (generalized) regimes of care (per ), since the early modern era, bodily ownership tends to be figured (at least economically) around "labor" (per ) — which continues to be (increasingly & perhaps subtly) demanded & alienated (per ) — and even manipulated by notions of "privacy" (pace ). What would it really mean, then, to problematize all supposed "ownership" of bodies (& biology in general)?
And the drive to outrun & outflank existing law & protections has included e.g. notions of discovery (per ) — such that, including via basic obfuscation (& now renewed rhetoric around "privacy" per se), such notions have been generalized (via secrecy & e.g. intellectual property, pace ) into regimes of "information asymmetry" (as derived & interrogated in Morality as aporia): Such asymmetry then facilitates a logistical war of position (pace ) & must be recovered by public policy (e.g. per ), i.e. as a basic matter of legal legibility (per ).
Pace the molecularity reinvoked by , a molar overview — as any broad refiguring of law will be — involves an inherently hierarchical perspective, and thus also elides the various cracks & fissures forming the (hybrid) backdrop to everyday life & its ecologies....
That neoliberal logistics comes to outrun law (pace speculative adjustments of ...) actually reasserts molecularity (& so, at least potentially, different values). Of course, when it comes to a basic contemporary pharmacology of "speed," the methamphetamine epidemic should be noted as well: Pace parallel developments in narcotics (as noted in ), such a pharmacology of attention (per ) also continues to figure increasing synchronization (e.g. by "entertainment" per ).
Indeed, the rush to hoard involves a wide variety of "collateral damage" (e.g. per ), as impulses toward desperation & escalation occupy the corporate world as well, including by weaponizing fear per se (& even beyond the broad situation noted in , i.e. into a generalized regime of uncertainty & doubt). Monopolization (per ) thus also continues into other (including legal per se, pace ) regimes of ownership (per ), putting broad hegemony (i.e. per ) at stake.
"Disruption" is also directed at the corporate world itself, and so (as already noted above) not only against the public: Generalized (economic) war & its accompanying risks thus turn increasingly to "high variance" strategies, i.e. to more gambling (seemingly counter to modern concerns, again as articulated in Remède de Fortune), around all-or-nothing attempts to achieve monopoly positions. (In that sense, variance can itself be figured as the basic terrain of pharmacology.)
Stiegler goes on to suggest that contemporary urges toward speed outcompete even memory (i.e. prior regimes of retention) & moreover that such aspirations render will itself as obsolete (perhaps ironically, but further to a history noted by Agamben per ): Optimism & pessimism per se (again per Stiegler) then become irrelevant expressions of cowardice, as madness itself (e.g. via exosomatization) comes to be "true" — in turn rendering truth (also, basically, pace Santos) irrelevant too. (Of course, Hierarchy as rupture had already figured philosophical questions, including these, as themselves arbitrary "cuts" in a more general circulation of ideas & relations....)
How anarchic actually is the technology industry? After all, it's all ultimately driven today by financialization — & generally, fascination as distraction (rendered as hegemony) — with its "universal" hierarchy of computation & hoarded wealth (& now speed, pace ).... (It does fancy itself as achieving some sort of exosomatic evolution, often figured via war per ....)
Per  (& possibly ), I must ask again regarding positive (or affirmative) law: Is negativity "merely" an artifact of (e.g. Western, or Old World) civilization & history thus far? What of new technologies of law, i.e. not around enforcement, but legality? (Ritual, including pace remarks of , does generate positivity, i.e. through glory — & neoliberalism does seem to understand this.)
Section 8 had indeed proposed a "fourth retention of dis-automation, i.e. machinic undoing," but notions of machinic countermeasures might ultimately be too optimistic (pace  & even ).... And other than contradicting (neoimperial) speed, does slowness actually help? To what degree (i.e. beyond reflection & perhaps analytic disarticulation per )? That there must be a broad unharnessing (including of biology) doesn't necessarily figure tactics , but the increasing capitalist occupation of biological niches (per ) does require thwarting (& perhaps queerly, pace , or counter legibility per se...).
E.g. Hui notes that e.g. accelerationism is inherently universalizing, to pick one trendy tactic: How might one then decouple technology & colonialism (pace ), i.e. refigure global intersection (including pace )? (Commensurability does also continue to be a global issue, pace the caution of .)
Pace , "care" refigures ownership (including bodily, per ), and might even encompass "hacking" (or repurposing, per ) as method of appropriation (especially of technology). Moreover, Atanasoski & Vora suggest refiguring technology (& so subjectivity, pace ) not via feminist "artificial intelligence," but more basically via "feminist disruption of intelligence" — i.e. as realignment of authority (pace Concepts of contemporary authority), e.g. around care....
E.g. Han suggests that — counter to concerns around liberal privacy being articulated here (e.g. in , or perhaps even ) — politics actually (or also) requires secrecy, such that "transparency" works against strategy (& even becomes universalizing, not unlike accelerationism per ): Han then figures a general contemporary "pornography" (pace Nash) as spectacle — that (I would argue) actually serves to obscure the information asymmetries (per ) increasingly being constructed as broad neoimperial strategy. In other words, one must figure distraction & spectacle as forms of obfuscation (pace e.g.  & — again asymmetric — surveillance...).
Pace , mystification then appears to serve particular (i.e. neoimperial) epistemologies (per , or especially ), however — in opposition to technocracy — "magic" also comes to figure its own (pharmacological) paradox (e.g. per Campagna) around hierarchy & control. (And fictions can indeed be useful in many situations, pace , including as speculative....) So in what world does one live & on whose authority? And how might such a question be further problematized?
For instance, Atanasoski & Vora appear to construct the digital commons as (always) already appropriated — when in fact, the situation on the internet was much more hybrid prior to more recent monopolization by for-profit giants: Instead, one might observe e.g. an undercommons , & various sorts of borders, hybrid weirdness (pace Bhabha & concerns of ), cracks (pace Anzaldúa via Mignolo & Walsh, and indeed ), or even bleeding as figuration of instability.... (An undercommons might also figure regimes of care, per .)
Of course, Harney & Moten had already figured an undercommons extensively, and also go on to problematize — what I take to be molar — politics as basically imposed by the State, even to the point of criminalizing the disinterested.... In other words, state politics often comes to impose a particular sort of legibility, e.g. pace . (Notions of undercommons also enact different sorts of — molecular — secrecy & information asymmetry, pace .)
Postmodern aesthetics had already come to figure art-as-work further via work-as-relation (including around a nexus of control, pace ): In particular, "splitting" the figure of art-as-relation around the body (per ), generates a (spectral) uselessness dual (per ), and in turn (bodily) alienation from work (per ). Such rhetoric basically comes to "spin" a kind of rationalization (for alienated labor) outward from the body (while also being internalized by the modern subject), thus serving to obscure material (bodily & biological) relations in the process.
And fractality (per ) invokes general arbitrage (per ) & so a particular (neoliberal) ecology around "privacy" & exploitation (including, pace , to open further niches to neoliberal profit): Pace  however, such molecular relations can also go on to figure (new) regimes of care, and indeed carry the potential for a general queering (e.g. per  or even perhaps paradoxically, ) — or simply proliferation of hybrid weirdness (pace ). (For capital, emphasis on logistic molecularity — even as counter-countermeasure — thus brings its own pharmacology.)
And the modern quest for security (per ) — or even immunity (pace ) from ongoing global impingement (e.g. per ) — continues to figure global (environmental) destruction (including via reckless variance strategies per ): One must thus continue to seek a sort of de-modernity (pace ), particularly counter to its hierarchical approach to harm (per ), but also around e.g. pharmacological concerns of surveillance-spectacle (pace ).
And beyond bodily limits (e.g. as figured by  & ), human evolution itself may prove (pharmacologically) intransigent as well: E.g. Moynihan (pace Ballard per ) suggests not only that the human body may have already gone beyond its "healthy" animal limits (although raising further pharmacological concerns of ), but that intelligence itself may be self-limiting, in that it basically unwinds its own evolutionary context by replacing situations of need with comfort. And so one might go on to suggest the same of some hypothetical technological paradise... as progress & regression (& the whiplash of acceleration & deceleration) continue to figure an unstable bodily dual.
So if "values" are to be relative to the (material, biological) body & its enjoyment, e.g. hoarding (pace ) & glorification of technological history (per ) would seem to be misguided, including (or especially) as refigured around molecular logistics (pace ) or of course the modern security project (per  again). Rather, perhaps simple enjoyment of time (e.g. per ) should be reemphasized (not to mention care per se, pace ), both requiring respect for (& so perception of) multiple simultaneous temporalities....
I've been figuring notions of "the end of writing" for most of my career now, and as a paradigm of technology, writing per se does appear ripe for obsolescence — or at least sublimation through other concepts (of communication, pace ). But then, philosophical questions are always already mediations or cuts (per parenthetical remarks of ), and so establish their own pathways (e.g. per ), beyond explicit questioning: I suppose they're less straightforward than neoliberal computation per se (e.g. pace  — or even ) in that regard, but their expression is not merely neutral either. So such analysis always encounters its own limits (perhaps even involving concerns of ) — & even if I embrace little of (imperial) "philosophy."
Regarding this three- or four-part analytic, then, there are already questions of coherence (e.g. per ) & indeed applicability: But exactly what sort of rubric is needed? A simple evaluative checklist (or e.g. straightforward manifesto around the body) would be outflanked by neoliberal capital in short order. Yet, complexity is not useful in itself — instead, as always, there are questions of molecularity & tracing in order to figure (a variety of) applications....
And this conclusion — per  — would appear to be the end of the Practical listening series as well: Perhaps — per  — there will be some more granular followups, i.e. shorter & in a different format, especially around concrete questions of e.g. "consumer protection" & active communications policy. (I almost feel as though a project of that sort warrants a dialog & so am unsure, at least at the moment, how it might proceed.... I do already make many such arguments in casual, or not so casual, conversations — and those tend to be contextualized by more specific relevance.)
So what is decolonizing? (And again pace , to what degree does "de-" versus "post-" matter?) How might one then "let the new be born" as "the old dies?" (And is such proliferating medicalization, pace e.g. , the right foil for practical legalities, e.g. pace  or ? What about relative to disinhibition, i.e. pace : What should be mapped?) Is decolonizing all about "ownership" of "stockpiles" per se, pace ? Or appropriation around unstable hybridity (pace ) & even (queer) repurposing (broadly, pace )? And indeed, how does (presumptive) decolonizing avoid forging yet another (global) hierarchy? These are questions for various stakeholders (pace ), to be answered in different ways at different times & places....
The present analytic (per ) does then become a sort of technology itself... to be applied to a variety of circumstances (including artistic production more broadly): Does such development & deployment itself imply mediation & mystification via (implied) theoretical insertion, (e.g. per , or even into issues of )? (It must, although I've attempted simultaneous decolonization....) And what does it do for attention, particularly pace ongoing fractal ubiquity (per )? In other words, is theory only more noise at this point? These questions, once again, figure a need for continuous decolonizing (including of & by technology) & indeed within the smallest & most personal of spaces.
Todd M. McComb 2 March 2020