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Philosophy

Surveillance and Control: I’m looking through you…

As an observer of media and communications systems in regards to oversight, constraint and psychological, cultural or ideological aspirations to control and manipulate, there is a curious enigma and blind-spot in all attempts to surveillance as a method of control. That is, specifically, that asserting prohibition and censorship is only ever superficially able to provide the closure and control sought after. Every new set and system of limits, controls, constraints and interdictions inversely creates more complexity, more components to manage and more inevitable downstream and mid-to-longer-term drift into disordered states through entropy.

Entropy is a measure of the degrees of freedom available to a system of information or energy-processing. Each additional control inadvertently creates more degrees of freedom, unacknowledged as they may be, which leaves the overall system state(s) more fragile, less resilient. There is also in this the expression of a recursively self-propagating organisational pathology which autonomously generates the kinds of artefacts, insecurities and disorder that it requires to self-validate and to maintain contextual relevance and tenure. Locking down these information systems merely displaces the complexity and entropy elsewhere. It is irreducible.

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