The philosopher Bernard Stiegler argues that the ever-increasing technologization of memory is complicit with the shift in the nature of power toward a society of control. Stiegler borrows this term from Gilles Deleuze but, rather than rely on the definition of the term set out in the “Postscript,” Stiegler argues that the society of control is characterized by the total automation of consumption. Rather than just the means of production, in the control society consumption and the network of desires and affective intensities that drive consumption have become automated. Stiegler argues that the fundamental interdependence of memory and technology is the crucial battleground on which the transition toward the nightmarish vision of the control society is negotiated and contested. He starts from the premise that the externalization of memory in technological tools is constitutive of humanity. As Stiegler explains in his essay “Memory,” which introduces ideas explored in greater detail in his three-volume Technics and Time, he uses the term “hypomnesis” to describe the technical exteriorization of memory, which he opposes to the act of embodied memory “anamnesis.” “Mnemotechniques” are the systems of artificial storage of individual memories, such as writing systems, that characterize this process of hypomnesis.
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