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culture technology

The Constancy and Enduring Paranoia of Digital Security Updates

Cyber security is now just a part of everyday life. Update, update, update… all this requires is a sufficiently entertaining marketing campaign to elaborate and celebrate the fulfilment of a life spent in the gamified Panopticon of endless technical paranoia and system updates; sitcoms and lifestyle gurus explaining the invaluable personal experience of incessant technical engagement with a rapidly evolving and dramatically hyper-inflating state space of security vulnerability and transient prophylaxis.

We may be closer to this plausibly dystopian vision than is immediately obvious. The game of culture, of identity and of a life deeply-infused with technological and cognitive hyper-extension is already well and truly upon us. We could quite easily find ourselves entrained to accept the inevitability of Cyber paranoia as normative (and what ultimate choice can we have in this?).

The next, (socio-)logical iteration of this kind of system is the autonomous emergence of value systems and cultural idioms associated with digital hygiene. Foucault identified the role of power in self-surveillance, subjective identity definition and self-control; we shouldn’t be surprised that these (cybernetic and digital) information systems seek and successfully obtain their own effective self-propagation, through us.

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