How Control Exists After Decentralization
By (author) Alexander R. Galloway
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Protocol by Alexander R. Galloway
Book DescriptionIs the Internet a vast arena of unrestricted communication and freely exchanged information or a regulated, highly structured virtual bureaucracy? In Protocol, Alexander Galloway argues that the founding principle of the Net is control, not freedom, and that the controlling power lies in the technical protocols that make network connections (and disconnections) possible. He does this by treating the computer as a textual medium that is based on a technological language, code. Code, he argues, can be subject to the same kind of cultural and literary analysis as any natural language; computer languages have their own syntax, grammar, communities, and cultures. Instead of relying on established theoretical approaches, Galloway finds a new way to write about digital media, drawing on his backgrounds in computer programming and critical theory. "Discipline-hopping is a necessity when it comes to complicated socio-technical topics like protocol," he writes in the preface. Galloway begins by examining the types of protocols that exist, including TCP/IP, DNS, and HTML. He then looks at examples of resistance and subversion -- hackers, viruses, cyberfeminism, Internet art -- which he views as emblematic of the larger transformations now taking place within digital culture. Written for a nontechnical audience, Protocol serves as a necessary counterpoint to the wildly utopian visions of the Net that were so widespread in earlier days.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262572330
(229mm x 178mm x 17mm)
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 17-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Alexander R. Galloway
Excommunication, Paperback (January 2014)
Always connect - that is the imperative of today's media. In this book, the author turns our usual understanding of media on its head by arguing that these moments reveal the ways the impossibility of communication is integral to communication itself - instances they call excommunication.
Interface Effect, Paperback (September 2012)
Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the Phaedrus, of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other, has returned to center stage in today's discussions of culture and media.
Introduction to Civil War, Paperback (June 2010)View all books by Alexander R. Galloway
Activists explore the possibility that a new practice of communism may emerge from the end of society as we know it.
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Author Biography - Alexander R. Galloway
Alexander R. Galloway is Assistant Professor of Media Ecology at New York University.
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