Matteo Pasquinelli - Machinic Capitalism and Network Surplus Value: Towards a Political Economy of the Turing Machine

Gilbert Simondon once noticed that the industrial machine was already an information relay, as it was bifurcating for the first time the source of energy (nature) from the source of information (the worker). In 1963 Romano Alquati was using the notion of valorising information as a conceptual bridge between the notions of information in cybernetics and value in Marxism in order to describe the new industrial labour conditions. In 1972 Deleuze and Guattari introduced the notion of machinic as soon as the regime of cybernetics started to exit the factory and expanding to the whole society. In this text I focus again on the Turing machine as the most empirical model available to study the guts of cognitive capitalism. Specifically, the algorithm of the Turing machine is proposed as engine of the new forms of valorisation and 'measure' of the so-called network surplus value. Information machines are not just 'linguistic machines' but indeed a relay between information and metadata that makes possible the passage to a further technological composition and new forms of biopolitical control: a society of metadata is outlined as the current evolution of the 'society of control' pictured by Deleuze.

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