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Technical Sensoriums: A Speculative Investigation into the Entanglement and Convergence of Surveillance and Technology

MacWillie, John (2015) Technical Sensoriums: A Speculative Investigation into the Entanglement and Convergence of Surveillance and Technology. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Surveillance and technology are among the most prevalent phenomena in the developed world, the proliferation of which is abetted by an ever increasing profusion of products and services extending the competencies of these capabilities into new opportunities and markets worldwide. More significantly, this momentum is leading to a convergence of these disparate competencies towards a common techno-surveillant milieu. Yet much of what is written and theoretically understood about these topics (singularly and collectively) fails to provide for a unified accounting that anticipates either the trajectory or the heterogeneous forms of this converging phenomenon. This projects sets out to excavate why our understanding of techno-surveillance is so myopic. Following the evidence, I assert that this short-sightedness is not simply the result of methodological shortcomings. Rather, most researchers of surveillance and technology are blinded by philosophical presumptions (primarily grounded in epistemology) that exclude the kinds of questions (largely ontological) they must ask to go deeper in their investigations. This study examines the archaeological detritus of an early techno-surveillant system, the characteristics of which are typical of the kinds of systems that have come to challenge researchers about the implications of their analyses. Based on this analysis, this study proposes an ontological model, which I call ontigeny that is consistent with the evidence and helps to explain the heterogeneity of techno-surveillance, as well as its potential trajectories.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Surveillance, Ontology, Philosophy of Technology
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Other academic unit: School of Media and Communication
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.687002
Depositing User: Mr John MacWillie
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2016 10:39
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13092

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