Download Critique of Information by Scott Lash PDF

By Scott Lash

This penetrating booklet increases questions about how strength operates in modern society. It explains how the rate of data flows has eroded the separate house wanted for serious mirrored image. It argues that there's not an ‘outside’ to the worldwide flows of conversation and that the critique of data needs to happen in the info itself.

The operative unit of the knowledge society is the belief. With the death of intensity mirrored image, reflexivity during the concept now operates exterior to the topic in its flow via networks of people and clever machines. it truly is those principles that make the critique of data attainable. This ebook is a tremendous testomony to the customers of tradition, politics and concept within the international info society.

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Flows are of many things, prominent among them is information. But all flows are also flows of communications. Marx’s manufacturing society was based on the machines that transformed nature. Today’s machines are less about the transformation of nature, or even the transformation of culture (information), but about the transmission of culture (communications). The society of flows, the network society, is less an information society than a communications society. National communities are linear and continuous.

A certain pace of movement of time is conducive to such narratives and metanarratives. Just about the right pace for reflection. Technological forms of life are too fast for reflection and too fast for linearity. They not only compress linearity; they outpace it. In speed-up culture becomes increasingly ephemeral. The monument lasts for centuries, if not millennia; the novel for generations; a scholarly book a decade. The newspaper article has value for just a day. The pyramids took centuries to build; the scholarly discourse of a treatise – entailing reflection – takes say, four years.

This entails a transformation of reflexivity. Reflexivity was always a question of going beyond classification and epistemology, in order to gain some kind of, however opaque, knowledge of ontological structures. Thus Kant spoke of ‘reflective judgement’, which – unlike determinate judgement – was aimed at deep, ontological meaning: Hegel similarly spoke of ‘reflection’ and Husserl of the ‘reflective attitude’. In each of these cases there is a distancing of the ‘reflector’ from the everyday, a move into a separate space for reflection.

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