GALLOWAY x PROTOCOL

This week’s reading was full of jargon relative in understanding technology and the upside down system of the Internet. While the term protocol is not a new word, it’s adaption to computer behaviour has changed it’s conventions by broadening the behaviour of networks and systems. In essence, ‘protocols [now] refer specifically to standards¬†governing the implementation of specific technologies‘ or simply put, a new management style. With this, it is essential to understand the language of Galloway and his discussions. This includes:

  • The diagram is the distributed network, which therefore becomes a structural form without a center. It resembles a web or meshwork.
  • The technology is the digital computer. It is an abstract machine which is able to perform the work of other machines, but only if it described logically and is within it’s ability to perform.
  • The management style is the protocol. It deals with the principle of organisation to which is native to computers in distributed networks.

But how is this all relative to us and the Internet? Well, Galloway believes that the Internet is misunderstood as ‘chaotic rather than highly controlled’, suggesting that protocol is based on a ‘contradiction between two opposing machines; one that controls ‘autonomous locales‘, the other focusing control on ‘rigid defined hierarchies.‘ So basically, the Internet works as a non-hierarchal horizontal system where any machine can talk to any other machine through a peer-to-peer relationship. That being said, if you know how and have the right relationships, the web can and could be controlled.

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