ACTOR SHADES OF RED: On Kim Stanley Robinson’s RED MOON

Kim Stanley Robinson’s latest novel, RED MOON, is constructed around a thoroughly Latourian ontology, as substrate for a global revolution.

It is pervaded by a reflection on networks, on their incompleteness, and on their non-totalisable functioning by dis-functioning.

Near the end of the book, the fast developing AI ponders in Latourian terms on whether and how to intervene:

« An oracle answers questions. A genie obeys commands to the best of its abilities, and makes suggestions. An agent acts in the world. An AI can act only within electrical systems. Electrical systems control many aspects of the infrastructure. The Internet is a permeable speech space. The infrastructure is permeable. Every actor is part of an actor network. Allies are needed for effective action. » (383).

Another concern of the book is political revolution, repeatedly formulated as « dynastic succession », seen as a radical event that goes beyond the mere struggle between multiple competing factions.

Unlike some recent commentators, Robinson sees no opposition between networks and event, but views the very non-totalisability of networks (including those of espionage, of policing, and of political control) as a pre-condition for the possibility of radical events.

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Un commentaire pour ACTOR SHADES OF RED: On Kim Stanley Robinson’s RED MOON

  1. landzek dit :

    That is a good formulation of network and event. 👍🏾


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