FaceBook's new custom-built data center, Prineville, Oregon: photo by Tom Raftery, 7 April 2011
The world gradually draws into
a global unit, knitted
together by the networks stitched
into everyone's private
There is increasingly the threat
of an objective penalty
for being excluded
from the game,
from these networked arrangements.
At the same time
seeing these arrangements
clearly and objectively from the inside
Only by being cut adrift,
on the outside,
does one begin
to make out the workings
of the game --
to make out that it is a game
and not a "natural" state of things.
A "natural" state of things
may or may not
ever have obtained.
That no longer matters.
The thought of a "natural"
state of things troubles
The time of nature has passed
like the dinosaurs.
All that is left,
effectively, is the present
drawing toward it
as a magnet attracts
the mechanical regime
of a future
from which the players of the game,
as in bubbles
by their socially enforced subscription
to what is perceived
as an inevitable
would not be able to escape
even if the inchoate impulse to escape
were to become a conscious motive.
Google Glass (detail): photo by Antonio Zugaldia, 27 June 2012
An operation engineer overseeing a Network Operations Control Room of a data center: photo by GSmith1of2, 15 October 2006
Google search cables: photo by Google /EPA (via the Guardian, 22 January 2013)
Google data center, Council Bluffs, Iowa: photo by Google/EPA (via The Guardian, 29 June 2013)
Central cooling plant, Google data center, Douglas County, Georgia: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)
Google data center, Hamina, Finland. Some halls remain vacant -- for now: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)
Server room, Google data center, Council Bluffs, Iowa: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)
Google data center, Council Bluffs, Iowa, exterior view. Radiator-like cooling towers chill water from the server room down to room temperature: photo by Connie Zhou/Google (via Wired, 17 October 2012)
Google data center, The Dalles, Oregon. These colorful pipes are responsible for carrying water in and out of Google's Oregon data center. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return the warm water back to be cooled: photo by Rex Features (via The Telegraph, 19 December 2012)
I had always imagined paradise as a kind of library (Borges): photo by Ryan Dearth, 30 January 2011
Bibliothek ("Paradise as a kind of library"): photo by Andreas Gursky, 1999 (via The Photography Files, 25 July 2011)