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The StackOn Software and Sovereignty$
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Benjamin H. Bratton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029575

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029575.001.0001

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The Stack to Come

The Stack to Come

(p.293) The Stack to Come
The Stack

Benjamin H. Bratton

The MIT Press

Stack architectures are designed to be remade. Each modular layer can contain any technology able to communicate with the layer above and below it. This chapter examines not the Stack-we-have but the Stack-to-come. It considers possible futures for each of the six layers, recognizing both the potential and the risks that each may bring. As each layer is considered in relation to its own potential accidents, as The Stack as a whole is a composite accident. Some scenarios suggest further ecological calamity, Cloud Feudalism, and revitalized political theological fundamentalisms. Others may suggest instead robust ecological polities, rationalized algorithmic governance, and a vibrant proliferation of human and non-human agents. Whether the latter wins out over the former depends on how well we cope with the Copernican traumas of planetary-scale computation.

Keywords:   Speculative Design, Scenario Planning, Stack Architectures, Cloud Feudalism, Automation, Climate Modelling, Geopolitics, Computer Science, Infrastructure, Exit and Voice, Macroeconomics

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