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An idea that is often discussed with respect to the Internet is the mass of ideas, the chaos inherent in the “disorganization” that results from the billions of people that can access this network. While I used to subscribe to this theory, reading Galloway changed my thoughts on this matter – he infers that “protocol is how technological control exists after decentralization” (8). The currently and widely adopted protocol for the Internet to function the way with which we are familiar resolves around TCP/IP and DNS. Galloway points to a lawsuit that involved a disagreeable website, which resulted in action against the ISP that hosted the site, which in turn, was at the mercy of the telecommunications company responsible for the bottom layer of the networks of the ISP. In this sense, the protocols that we use create a “hierarchical system of control,” and hence, everything on the Internet can be different, but the same, at once (10). In class we touched upon the fingerprint, which is often a symbol of individualism, yet can double as a common protocol, one that was historically used in colonial India to tell people apart (analogous to a MAC address or IP address).

Deleuze and Foucault identify a shift in adherence within a culture from a “disobedience society” to a “control society,” the former focused on enclosure, factories, production, and thermodynamical machines, while the latter focuses on freedom, businesses with soul, and cybernetics. New forces responsible for how we interact in a business setting, in school, with criminals, and in our personal motivations have changed. Galloway points to the discovery of DNA in 1953 and the adoption of TCP/IP in 1983 as markers for this shift, but notes that “two moments may happily coexist for decades or longer” (27). This brings into question – are we in the process of transitioning to a new phase after control society? Is this even possible with current technology?