This introductory chapter discusses a new model of geopolitics that is better suited to understanding, designing and governing planetary-scale computation, here understood as both as a calculative process and as global infrastructure. It argues that contemporary computing technologies can be understood not as separate and autonomous but rather as forming into a coherent whole, an accidental megastructure called “The Stack.” Modelling these technologies as a whole allows for both a more comprehensive perspective and the ability to re-design them as an integrated platform. To formulate the “design brief” for that project, as this book does, requires a perspective that blends philosophical, geopolitical and technological understandings and methods.
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