What is bot logic?
Infrapunctural bots are not at all different from political bots or bots of conviction, but by introducing this term, the aim is to highlight the sociality of the process. They may not solve any problems, but they can be ways to probe and understand where the possibilities are to create new imaginaries or deflate existing hegemonic structures.
The potential of bot logic
Platform logic is accumulative and centralised. It absorbs and subsumes, it obliges the participant to adapt to its way of operating.
Informed by the potential of a digital interpretation of infrapuncture, it could be possible to suggest bot logic as a response to platform logic.
- where platform logic accumulates, bot logic disperses
- where platform logic centralises, bot logic fragments
- where platform logic creates distance between user and infrastructure, bot logic develops an intimate knowledge of the platform -where platform logic reinforces habitual behaviour, bot logic encourages new habit formation
Just as James Scott talks of “seeing like a state” by reducing “an infinite array of detail to a set of categories that will facilitate summary descriptions, comparisons, and aggregation” (1999, 77)1, so we may consider how the performative and world-making capacities of data projects are conventionalised into familiar forms such as seeing like a bot.
While deconstructing infrastructures in order to find the points of pressure, the undoing is as important as the doing. Deconstruction can happen simultaneously to construction and in fact this is the strength of acupuncture: it does not work on its own.
For bots to be able to deconstruct, we must understand how they connect to the protocols of the server. The API is an important method of communication that we should examine critically.
Human microphone Another example of bot logic could be the human microphone: in 2011 the protesters of Occupy experimented with something they called 'soft technologies'. Each sentence was replicated and multiplied
Scott, James. 1999. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ↩