Incomplete determinism: A discourse analysis of cybernetic futurology in early cyberculture
Using Foucauldian discourse analysis, this paper examines five temporal regularities produced in emergent cyberculture discourse in the immediate post-WWII period in the United States. The construction of entropy as social; the understanding of systemic change in evolutionary terms; the embrace of the present as a revolutionary historical discontinuity; the adoption of a machine standard of condensed time; and the shaping of memory as a notion of performative efficiency, work to shape a particular vision of time and the future. The cybernetic futurology which emerges has continued power/knowledge effects within the discursive formation of cyberculture. Time is fast, chaotic, and unpredictable; history is no longer relevant for understanding the present or future; information technology forms an ubiquitous terrain upon which teleological cybernetic futurologies unfold; and the future becomes, not about its prediction, but about the control and management of the risks of the present.
|Journal||Journal of Communication Inquiry|
Hamilton, S. (1998). Incomplete determinism: A discourse analysis of cybernetic futurology in early cyberculture. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 22(2), 177–204. doi:10.1177/0196859998022002005