Truth in the Age of digital reproduction:
On Codes, Bias, Bank speak, Conspiracy and the Iconography of Power
Dr. phil. Regula Staempfli
“Reality is something that still exists when the codes stop.” (laStaempfli with inspiration of Philip K. Dick) Humans serve industries that produce rather totalitarian information awareness. Every day we are flooded with impressive data that – as Hannah Arendt Explanations of the works by Hannah Arendt can be found at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. would put it bluntly, consists of “Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct, which have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality.”
“The life of algorithms” as a “concept of narratives, ideologies and images in codes” is not yet widely understood. Most media still refer to coding in terms of mathematical and logic analogies: the “hidden” is much more powerful than the “visible”.
In coding, the realm between fiction and materiality is lost and therefore TRUTH is lost as well. Because truth can only be established in public, on common ground among humans in their form of zoon politikon as Hannah Arendt again would add: “Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being.”
laStaempfli would say: “Wherever the relevance of codes is at stake, matters become political by definition, for codes are what make humans political beings nowadays.” The Platforms or the “Big Nines” as Amy Webb would put it, deprive us of alternatives. In our daily lives we all have to undergo old feudal practices of entry codes: Instead of customs at the bridge, we pay data into privately owned machines. The state is filled with the same channels that feed the supply chains of “surveillance capitalism” (Shoshana Zuboff). Article published by The Guardian on 04.10.19: Shoshana Zuboff: ‘Surveillance capitalism is an assault on human autonomy’
What images, judgments are built into codes and conquer the world through repetition? How do conspiracy theories fit into “autocomplete”? How can we code to sustain public spheres rather than closing down to the “tyranny of intimacy”, a term which Richard Sennett The concept of “tyranny of intimacy” is discussed in the book “The Fall of Public Man” by sociologist Richard Sennett in 1977. Read the book review published by The New York Times on 23.01.77. drew from Hannah Arendt? How can we disrupt ruling algorithms which constitute a global grammar to replace the existing world? How to defeat Trends, Hashtags, Hyperlinks, Autocompletes, Black Boxes and their fictitious logic? What does “reporting” in the digital age mean?
Regula Staempfli invites you on a rather extraordinary tour on ambivalence, diversity and Truth in the age of digital reproduction. Join the political philosopher in webbing the data texture differently while she draws on an update of Hannah Arendt and her own work (“Die Vermessung der Frau” 2013, “Trumpism. Ein Phänomen verändert die Welt” 2018. See descriptions).