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Tear, tear [1] . Each tear could be seen as a digit in a sea of others who were once born devoted to very different scenarios, when "[s]omething can very well be ‘digital’ without being electronic, and without involving binary zeroes and ones[,] [when] [i]t does not even have to be related in any way to electronic computers or any other kind of computational device." [2]. Perhaps it is just the process of calling the tear a tear that turns the tear into a digit, or it is the language of men that shouts on the back of our necks, that every tear represents a weakness, or whatever other fear it is that would have to be removed from their ‘aesthetics‘ immediately, or both. Digitality is tearing apart, isn't it? Stephen Merrit puts it bluntly when he sings "Having forgotten how to cry, I die" [3]. Emotion drives us all. Radical, we are most likely in moments in which we are not working to express the extend of our radicality. The next time we cry, we can remember that it is dinosaurs blood that is running down our cheeks as we live in a closed hydrological system [4]. Tear is a medium. That's all. They don't care who's crying [5] , they just care about the crying itself because it calls them into existence.

Since the post-broadcast era is in full force and attention isn't just held but also recorded [6], analyzed and speculated with, permanent observation has become a fundamental hidden part of 3.2 billion [7] smartphone users‘ daily life experiences. And of course for everyone else as well, since 41% of 2019‘s estimated world population make a powerful polyrhythmic mass, affecting those who are still without a device. „If you are getting media for free, this usually means that you are the product.“ [7], is what McKenzie Wark writes and she's right, when we remind ourselves of more obvious examples like bonus cards or personalized discount cards as tools of market research for instance. Rhythm, performance and taste are fed into the learning machine and are reported back to us or someone else belatedly in order to carry out the production of new dreams to be achieved, dreams that are all well suited for the future sales outlets of vectoralists' [8] product portfolios. Dream itself is driven by emotions, and emotions depend on personal experience. It doesn't take much to imagine the clusters being put together in the background to group similar trauma qualities in order to manage the balancing act between economic efficiency and delivering 3.2 billion ‘personalized‘ streams of information that the individual would consider the truth without even questioning them because they feel so familiar. Shoshana Zuboff puts it right when she states that "[s]urveillance capitalists understood that their future wealth would depend upon new supply routes that extend to real life on the roads, among the trees, throughout the cities.", that "[e]xtension wants [our] bloodstream and [our] bed, [our] breakfast conversation, [our] commute, [our] run, [our] refrigerator, [our] parking space, [our] living room." [9] and further that – alongside the embedding of the internet into the ‘real world‘ by turning it into a neighborhood place instead of a destination place – as a following step, surveillance capitalism will be going for depth, for the substance, the most intimate parts of human existence, as "[t]hese supply operations are aimed at [our] personality, moods, and emotions, [our] lies and vulnerabilities" [9]. In short, we are already part of collectives we know nothing about. "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." [10] It is more than inappropriate not to worry too much about personal data theft, as the sum of these will define the environment through which the eyes of the future must navigate, and we better shouldn't "[…] give away the rights of others because they're not useful to [us]" [10].
If we allowed ourselves to ponder a post-platform scenario for a moment (and to acknowledge that we cannot spend more time on things like social media), we might realize that the amount of tears that were shed over the lamented conditions of the past define the body of a resource, which is fueling evaluation mechanisms within our individual standards of sadness, with the transition into seas of objective vibration, in relation to its initial individualistic devotion on the surface level. In other words, emotionality and vulnerability are being commodified or were made currencies decades ago. It's the logic of the digital platform, which enables us to see that the binary in the example of the tear is based on the range between the individual tear and all tears cried so far, the subjective gesture in relation to its objectification within mass. Since objectification or the definition process could be viewed as an important skill in autonomous idea generation processes – as it takes us away from the subjective perspective and serves as a transitional space towards the place of change – it is frightening to see that creative economy relies on monopoly platforms to give a media outlet to their "critical discussion" and that the introduction of the toxicity of these platforms into the analogue finds collective acceptance without ever being discussed on really.

It seems difficult to think about decentralization as long as we don't manage to decentralize ourselves and as long as we consider our thinking to be the be-all and end-all, as long as the capital still makes sense to the state and the city still makes sense for the people, as long as centralized communication proves human existence and therefore drives collective process forward. A global pandemic made us understand that we are less vulnerable when we're not in the place of our job. How long will it take us to realize that the good street isn't the one with all the shops? What if we equated server performance or webspace with soil for a moment. Do we then have to agree on the fact that we are reenacting the principles of feudalism [10] through the silent acceptance of all the disclaimers of the world, and that we all know what comes next? When do we get our shares for the labour done on network effects?
Obviously never. The train left. The ticket is non-refundable. Thank you for choosing Deutsche Bahn.
Of course, it is difficult to imagine access to web space or at least to the WWW as a free basic right in times of the privatization of other fundamental human rights such as water, communication, or transport; slow progress in futurist projects such as universal basic income; the fight on global hunger, even after 75 years of anthropocentrism, and many more. I think what the web allegory can offer us is really what it was from the start, a simulation. But instead of simply migrating or mirroring an outdated system of dualisms to a new space, we could have simulated much more challenging and important content than buying and selling, the construction of a new tower of babel, the inevitable problem of narcicism, and a general reproduction of tradition in social injustice and positions of power. How to make a way back to common soil when new asymmetries like vectoralism [8] defend the binary tradition by driving us into a freshly painted class model of vectoralists and simulationists [8] to doom society to simulation. How do we ensure to remain free in our choice when choice itself has been watched and studied by surveillance capitalists for decades? How do we even respond when the idea of the ‘ultimate answer‘ has been promoted as the truth for so long?

Let a tear speak.




[2]
 Cramer, Florian. “What is Post-Digital?“ APRJA, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2014, ISSN 2245-7755
[3]
 The Magnetic Fields. "I Die." I, Nonesuch, 2004, https://www.discogs.com/master/299126
[4]
 Barlow, Maude. "Blue Gold: Water as a Human Right." Bioneers National Conference, 2003, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1gPCwErTr4 – Accessed 8 January 2021.
[6]
 Wark, McKenzie. Capital is Dead. Verso. 2019.
[7]
 Newzoo global mobile market report, Newzoo, 2019, https://newzoo.com/insights/trend-reports/newzoo-global-mobile-market-report-2019-light-version/
[8]
 Wark, McKenzie. A Hacker Manifesto. Harvard University Press. 2004.
[9]
 Zuboff, Shoshana. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. Public Affairs. 2019.
[10]
 Snowden, Edward. Just days left to kill mass surveillance under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. We are Edward Snowden and the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer. AUA. reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/36ru89/just_days_left_to_kill_mass_surveillance_under/crglgh2/ – Accessed January 31st 2021.



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