Date of Degree

9-2019

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Christopher Schmidt

Subject Categories

Digital Humanities | Economic History | Epistemology | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Intellectual History | Nature and Society Relations | Science and Technology Studies | Social History | Theory, Knowledge and Science

Keywords

information, utopia, transcendent, internet, structure, game, platform

Abstract

The following white paper provides a critical accompaniment to my capstone project: the GEOMEtyr Design Manual. GEOMEtyr is a virtual reality to be made accessible as a mobile and web platform for the visualization of certain systemic elements of a utopic world that parallels our own planet’s geographies, polities, and climates. As such, the GEOMEtyr virtualization is designed to derive utopian space from the informational structures of our own world. The operations by which this may be accomplished are broadly described within the accompanying GEOMEtyr manual. The white paper, Signals in the Black Stack, elaborates vital world-building characteristics of informational systems while examining historical instances where the reconfiguration of human informational relationships have signaled to participants a profound, vaguely utopic change to their scope of possible actions as agents within a public sphere—before this sphere becomes subsequently disempowered by selective integration with only those power structures admitted by the private interests of a ruling class. The argument proceeds by scrutinizing each facet of this story in turn: first, the concept of information as an entity with structure; next, the development of the public sphere as a realm with distinguished character; then, the advent of our Internet as an operation with globalizing consequence. Each of these are developed distinctly and in parts, piece by piece, until their parallels are unified for final analysis.

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