FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: carbon fear and the quantified self

Ubiquitous sensors record and monitor, neural networked algorithms measure and calculate, integrated databases collate and classify. Smart rhetoric of a pre-given near future acts as normalising and facilitates the uncritical, the city becomes a passive canvas for individual needs; no room for conflict or debate to counter vested institutional interests. (deLANGE, 2013). No room for affect, emotion or irrational desire for citizens are objectified as scrutinised data subjects, citizen becomes consumer identified by the narcosis of accumulating brands and experiences. A disembodied cogito; predictable, fragmentised and dependent, upon complex systems of collective coordination and smart technological expertise, augmented by materiality and machine. (ELLIOT, A., & URRY, J., 2010).

A fear of scarcity and terror add to the always on, globally networked ‘liquid life’, miniaturised technologies act as containment for associated rising levels of anxiety and create a dependency on an immersive and virtual mediated reality to compensate for a disenfranchised and distanced life. (ibid. 2010)

The participatory bio-citizen is an early adopter of new forms of openness and disclosure, socially sharing calorific self-loathing, normalising the accumulation of gamified data trails for the quantified self. Agency is left to technology; no room for reflective learning, e-learning is analytical for the social tyranny of others. (O’DELL, T & FORS, V., 2014). Policed by peers and exploited by insurers, government and advertisers as immaterial labour. (EVANS, L. 2013)

ELLIOT, A., & URRY, J., (2010), discuss a ‘mobilities paradigm’ and networked capital in their predictions of a dystopian future based upon an energy and resources scarcity that ranges from a MadMax local warlord scenario to one of social inequity based upon mobility. deLANGE (2013), argues an emotional cartography is essential to engage the citizen around shared issues of concern, this is the form of networked capital that will engender a sense of ownership and grant agency and self-determination. For example citizens able to track their own carbon emissions may encourage economies in mobility and ownership of the local; political agency to challenge technocracy.






de LANGE, Michiel. (2013). The smart city you love to hate: Exploring the role of affect in hybrid urbanism. In The Hybrid City II: Subtle rEvolutions, edited by D. Charitos, I. Theona, D. Dragona and H. Rizopoulos. 23-25 May 2013. Athens, Greece <Available at:> [Accessed 05may2014]

ELLIOT, A., & URRY, J. (2010). Mobile Lives. Oxford: Routledge.

EVANS, Leighton (2013) How to build a map for nothing: immaterial labour and location based social networking in: Govint, L. and Rasch, M. (ed.s) Unlike Us Reader: Social Media Monopolies and their alternatives. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. <Available at:> [Accessed 05may2014]

O’DELL, T & FORS, V (2014) Body monitoring: on the need to put culture into the quantifying equation. Submitted to Culture  Unbound. <Available at:> [Accessed 05may2014]




A precursor to googleGlass, Steve Mann pioneered cyborg logging wearable technology called Eyetap in 1980.

Golden Shield, or the Great Firewall of China is a censorship and surveillance project operated by the government of China, operational since Nov2003.

The Ghost in the Machine by Arthur Koestler (1967). Used as a metaphor in Elliot and Urry (2010) as a metaphor to describe the accumulation and integration of data trails. Interestingly Koestler discusses latent self-destruction.

An eMail to join an example of community ownership gamified. Reimagine South Central on Community PlanIt is LIVE! (05may2014).


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