Alright so, admittedly, the end to my last post may have been a bit over the top. Blame it on the word limit. It’s finally time, however, to start to map our algorithmically inferred world to the Hegelian master/slave dialectic.
At the end of Post 8 “Master/Slave: Synthesis”, I noted that Eric Steinhart, whose commentary and translation I was using to help break down the dialectic, wrote “Political domination turns into economic cooperation” as the master realizes he needs the slave as much as vice versa. Another way to consider this, however, is that the slave achieves something — in particular, revolution. After all, once the master depends on the slave, shouldn’t the slave be able to overtake the master?
But this requires the slave to be an obvious producer of the master’s goods. In the algorithmic identity example, the slave is under the impression that he is producing the output — that his actions online are directly affecting what his overall online experience is. It’s a myth perpetuated by the master who is actually taking full control of how the slave sees himself and how he experiences life. In this sense, algorithmic soft-biopower provides a false hope that keeps the slave at bay.
And this is the real danger. Does a slave seek true revolution if that slave believes revolution is already on its way? More importantly, can the slave be empowered through elucidation? That is, is there a way to open the doors to true revolution?