A colloquium at Department of Information Studies, UCLA
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, 3-5 pm
UCLA Department of Information Studies, GSE&IS 121
300 North Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1520
Abstract. In February 2010, The Economist reported that digital information is growing out of measure, out of the storage and computing capacity of the current network infrastructure. The article appears optimistic and comfortable about new business opportunities, but some data provided by the report itself point to a structural contradiction. The question is whether the technological limits of the Turing universe will unveil a political limit: if the excess of social cooperation and communication feeding the mediasphere may turn into a sort of political Singularity. Indeed the current debate on network economy appears to have obliterated any notion of surplus or excess and to be dominated by metaphors of horizontal, linear and symmetrical cooperation. Moving from the critique of the Marxian law of value advanced by Hardt and Negri in Commonwealth, this colloquium discusses the political models that are employed to describe the immaterial surplus. Specifically Google’s PageRank algorithm will be analyzed as a central diagram of cognitive capitalism and the new society of metadata.