Galloway and Thacker 2007

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Galloway, Alexander R. and Eugene Thacker. The Exploit: A Theory of Networks. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2007.


protocols: "a technology that regulates flow, directs netspace, codes relationships, and connects lifeforms" (30)

3 kinds of networks: centralized (pyramidal, hierarchical), decentralized (backbone with radiating peripheries), distributed (no backbone or center) (32-3)

disciplinary societies (Foucault) vs. control societies (Deleuze) (35)

"Control is not simply manipulation, but rather modulation." (35)
"Networks are, in this sense, the horizon of control." (36)

individuation and networks (37-8) -- "really a problem of establishing the very conditions in which a network can exist at all" (38) -- i.e. a problem of sovereignty

  • "no one controls networks, but networks are controlled" (39)
"In control societies, control 'matters' through information -- and information is never immaterial." (41)
"Protocol is an immanent expression of control." (54)

facility and enmity; "What of a defacement of enmity?" (65)



"The methodology of biopolitics is therefore informatics, but a use of informatics in a way that reconfigures biology as an information resource. In contemporary biopolitics, the body is a database, and informatics is the search engine." (74)

life-resistance: "life is the capacity to resist force" (79); "Resistance-to-life is specifically the capacity to resist the fetishization of life and its reification into 'life itself.'" (80)

the exploit: "Protocological struggles do not center around changing existent technologies but instead involve discovering holes in existent technologies and projecting potential change through those holes. Hackers call these holes exploits." (81)

computer viruses, emerging infectious diseases, bioterrorism

Deleuze, "Intellectuals and Power" [1]

  • "No theory can develop without eventually encountering a wall, and practice is necessary for piercing this wall." (100)


"Pure Metal", on non-human "that traverses the human, that runs through the human" (141) -- see Bennett 2010; Deleuze and Guattari 1988


emphasizing the non-human within networks

"The point here is not that networks are inherently revolutionary but that networks are constituted by this tension between unitary aggregation and anonymous distribution, between the intentionality and agency of individuals and groups on the one hand, and the uncanny, unhuman intentionality of the network as an "abstract" whole." (155)
"Networks, generally speaking, show us the unhuman in the human, that the individuated human subject is not the basic unit of constitution but a myriad of information, affects, and matters." (155)