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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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(p.3) Introduction
The Stack

Benjamin H. Bratton

The MIT Press

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.

Keywords:   Design, Design Theory, Architectural Theory, Computer Science, International Relations, Geopolitics, Internet, Software Studies, Digital Media

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