Networked Media - Week 4

06 Jun 2017

I led a discussion on Foucault's Discipline and Punish, Panopticism: The Birth of the Prison. Below are my notes for the conversation:

examines how discipline and punishment work in modern society

  • plague: need order, boundaries of normal and abnormal are blurred; anyone can get sick (i.e. abnormal), and if sick/abnormal w/ plague, there is a danger to society
  • start to see techniques and institutions for measuring and supervising abnormal beings
  • quarantine sick people (lepers, plague people)
  • create order; a pure, disciplined community

panopticon: prison architectural idea with tower at the center where you can see each prisoner

  • sense of permanent visibility
  • gives power over people's minds through architecture
  • penality is no longer the dismemberment of the convict's body, but rather "indefinite examination"
  • disciplinary society: move toward society functioning by by disciplinary mechanisms
  • the state control of discipline
  • the subordination of bodies that increases the utility of power while dispensing with the need for a prince

liberty and rights vs. control and observation

  • for a society built on libery, prison as a deprivation of liberty is the obvious punishment
  • Schools, factories, hospitals and prisons resemble each other
  • examine and classify people, and make them conform to the "norm"

panopticon in tech

  • online activity is surveilled
  • pirate stuff on nyu network?
  • data collection by social media companies
  • NSA/Snowden: govt tracking our communications
  • ISP advertising: not that you'll get sneaker advertisements, but more sinister companies will use your browsing history against you
  • other examples?


This week's assignment is use MongoDB. Mine is at

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