Matteo Pasquinelli, “The Automaton of the Anthropocene: On Carbosilicon Machines and Cyberfossil Capital”, South Atlantic Quarterly (2017) 116(2): 311-326; doi:10.1215/00382876-3829423 (pdf here).
Abstract. This essay proposes a definition of industrial labor as the composition of energy and information in order to weave the issue of labor back into the fabric of the Anthropocene paradigm. The essay illustrates the industrial machine as the forgotten bifurcation of energy and information and follows such a bifurcation along three stages: the industrial factory, the cybernetic society, and planetary computation. More generally, the essay tries to recombine the energy theory of labor (labor as manual and energetic activity) with the information theory of labor, that is, labor as a source of information and intelligence that gives form to energy. The notions of carbosilicon machine and cyberfossil capital are sketched in order to rethink social autonomy also as autonomy of energy and information.
Keywords: Anthropocene, cybernetics, energy, information, labor theory.