Parsing Network Effects

Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter Organization After Social Media

In the information society passivity rules. Browsing, watching, reading, waiting, thinking, deleting, chatting, skipping, and surfing are the default conditions of online life. Total involvement implies madness to the highest degree. What characterizes networks is a shared sense of a potentiality that does not have to be realized. Millions of replies from all to all would cause every network, no matter what architecture, to implode. Within every network there are prolonged periods of interpassivity, interrupted by outbursts of interactivity. Networks foster and reproduce loose relationships – and it’s better to face this fact straight in the eye. They are hedonistic machines of promiscuous contacts. Networked multitudes create temporary and voluntary forms of collaboration that transcend but do not necessarily disrupt the Age of Disengagement.

Disengagement is associated with aging. Here the “Age of Disengagement” means something else.

Multitude: The multitude is a concept of a population that has not entered into a social contract with a sovereign political body, such that individuals retain the capacity for political self-determination.

Transcend vs disrupt. Involuntary collaboration? Possible in scenes of occupation.

Unoccupied networks… Partial noninvolvement…

default conditions of online life
custom conditions of offline death

Partial noninvolvement…
default conditions of offline life
disruption without transcendence

And so for day 2166

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