Theorizing Drones and Droning Theory
This chapter uses the figure of the drone to explore the logic of emerging forms of surveillance facilitated by distributed, interactive sensors. It argues that drone “logic” can be abstracted away from the device itself. This logic combines automated data collection with automated sensemaking and, eventually, automated response. The chapter considers examples of “droning” in a wide range of spheres of social practice from security to education. It argues that the forms of knowledge and decision-making associated with drone logic displace comprehension with correlation and anticipate the subtraction of both subjectivity and desire from interactions ranging from warfare to consumption. The chapter explores theoretical alternative to the path of “drone decision-making,” arguing for the ongoing significance of the relationship between desire, language, and subjectivity.
KeywordsDrone logic Drone decision-making Desire Subjectivity Automation Interactivity
- Anderson, C. (2008). The end of theory. Wired Magazine, July, 16.7, 33–38.Google Scholar
- Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Bogard, W. (1996). The simulation of surveillance: Hypercontrol in telematic societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Bowden, M. (14 August 2013). The killing machines: How to think about drones. The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/09/the-killing-machineshow-to-think-about-drones/309434/. Accessed 15 May 2014.
- Caruso, D. (17 November 2013). A ‘semi-retired’ batman ‘controlling drones from the batcave’ in ‘batman vs. superman.’ Under the Gun Review. http://www.underthegunreview.net/2013/11/17/a-semi-retired-batman-controlling-drones-from-the-batcave-in-batman-vs-superman/.
- Cisco Systems. (2014). The internet of everything. White Paper, Available online at: http://share.cisco.com/IoESocialWhitepaper/#/.
- Department of Homeland Security. (2013). Cell-all: Super smartphones sniff out suspicious substances. http://www.dhs.gov/cell-all-super-smartphones-sniff-outsuspicious-substances. Accessed 15 May 2014.
- Discover. (October 2011). How to fix our most vexing problems. http://discovermagazine.com/2011/oct/21-how-to-fix-problems-mosquitoes-potholes-corpses.
- Eggers, W. (15 July 2014). Social by the numbers: An interview with Sandy Pentland. Deloitte Review. http://dupress.com/articles/sandy-pentland-mit-interview/.
- Epps, G. (15 March 2013). Did Rand Paul ask the wrong questions in his drone filibuster? The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/did-rand-paul-ask-the-wrong-questions-in-his-drone-filibuster/274033/.
- Foucault, M. (1977). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. LLC: Random House.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M., & Ewald, F. (2003). “Society must be defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–1976 (Vol. 1). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Friedersdorf, C. (21 April 2014). Eyes over Compton: How police spied on a whole city. The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/sheriffs-deputy-compares-drone-surveillance-of-compton-to-big-brother/360954/.
- Greenfield, D. (19 August 2013). The case against drone strikes on people who only ‘act’ like terrorist. The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/the-case-against-drone-strikes-on-people-who-only-act-like-terrorists/278744/.
- Greenwald, G. (2014). No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State. New York: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
- Hill, K. (22 May 2014). Facebook wants to listen in on what you’re doing. Forbes, May 22, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/05/22/facebook-wants-to-listen-in-on-what-youre-doing/.
- Hunt, G. (2012). Big data: Operational excellence ahead in the cloud. Presentation to the Amazon Web Services Government Summit 2011, Washington, DC, October 26. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkIhHnoPpjA. Accessed 15 May 2014.
- Kittler, F. (2010). Optical Media. London: Polity.Google Scholar
- LiKimWa, R. (2012). MoodScope: Building a mood sensor from smartphone usage patterns. Doctoral dissertation, Rice University, Houston, TX.Google Scholar
- Mack, K., & Henry, S. (17 September 2012). The future of direct mail is digital. Campaigns and Elections Magazine, http://www.campaignsandelections.com/magazine/1796/the-future-of-direct-mail-is-digital.
- McCue, C. (2006). Data mining and predictive analysis: Intelligence gathering and crime analysis. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar
- Moglen, E. (27 May 2014). Privacy under attack: The NSA files revealed new threats to democracy. The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/27/-sp-privacy-under-attack-nsa-files-revealed-new-threats-democracy.
- Nakashima, E., & Whitlock, C. (2 January 2011). With Air Force’s Gorgon drone “we can see everything.” Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/01/AR2011010102690.html.
- Packer, J., & Reeves, J. (2013). Romancing the drone: Military desire and anthropophobia from SAGE to swarm. Canadian Journal of Communication, 38(3), 309–331.Google Scholar
- Prigg, M., & Thornhill, T. (7 February 2014). Could google class find your dream date? The Daily Mail, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2554133/First-Google-Glass-facial-recognition-app-launches-match-potential-couples-not-checking-sex-offenders-registry.html#ixzz3Eg3ArLmc.
- Rotella, C. (12 September 2013) No child left untableted. The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/magazine/no-child-left-untableted.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
- RT.com (29 March 2014). DARPA project seeks hive mind for drones. http://rt.com/usa/darpa-drones-swarm-autonomous-985/.
- Rudder, C. (28 July 2014). “We experiment on human beings!” OK Trends: Dating Research from OKCupid (Blog). http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/we-experiment-on-human-beings/.
- Singer, N. (4 January 2014). “Listen to Pandora, and it listens back.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/technology/pandora-mines-users-data-to-better-target-ads.html?_r=1.
- Sosadmin. (2012). Identifying you from your heart rate, from a drone? Privacysos.org. http://privacysos.org/node/694.
- Virilio, P. (1989). War and cinema: The logistics of perception. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Volkova, S., Coppersmith, G., & Van Dume, B. (2014). Inferring user political preferences from streaming communications. Proceedings of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).Google Scholar
- Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Zimmer, B. (26 July 2013). The flight of ‘drone’ from bees to planes. The Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324110404578625803736954968.
- Žižek, S. (2000). The ticklish subject: The absent centre of political ontology. Memphis: Verso.Google Scholar
- Zizek, S. (2011). How to read Lacan. London: Granta Books.Google Scholar