chapter  11
18 Pages

‘The BPI Nexus’: a philosophical echo to Stefano Rodotà’s ‘Of Machines and Men’

ByPAUL MATHIAS

Computers and communication devices – mobile phones, personal digital assistants and lately iPods as well as other portable and geek-oriented paraphernalia – are not merely instruments for connecting people for work and pleasure. This is why they shouldn’t be thought of on just a technical level, and their use is not all about skilfulness and appropriateness. Indeed, not only do they allow us to interconnect for business and leisure purposes, but they are also connected among themselves to form a sort of information nebula in ways we rarely think about and are even difficult to imagine. Digital artefacts form a ‘universe’ of their own. This is not to say they constitute a technical body animated by a ‘digital intelligence’. But it is quite obvious that they are able to calculate data and produce results beyond their users’ scope and consciousness. Individuals or groups, institutions and corporations praise their efficiency but have little or no consideration for the type of reality machines have ended up building and composing for us to live in and with.