Who knows, who gets to decide, who gets to decide what to ask

1) Right to knowledge about one’s own past 2) Right to be forgotten 3) Europe’s democratic institutions sustained this authority

Epistemic rights -> privacy the effect. privacy is contingent upon individual sovereign right to selfknowledge “knowledge about oneself to the fullest extent”.

Elemental Rights: historically contingent and .. epistemic right, always existed, these are rights that weren’t codified because they were not under attack Brandeis – “Right to Privacy” – the encroachment of rights (elemental rights) requires codification. For ex: right to breathe, right to bodily movement isn’t codified.

2000 25% 1986 1% 2007 97% https://communication.ucdavis.edu/people/hilbert in 2012 writing about enormous transformation of data, so much info we can’t make sense of it. The only way to make sense of it is to fight fire with fire, create AI. Hilbert’s advice becomes damning vision of social pathology. – this creates privatazion of learning in society – epistemic rights can no longer be taken for granted. learning rights are corned, hoarded. These rights must nowbe codified if they will ever to be protected. Feudal pattern – the few who know so much and many who know a lot.

which civilizaiton??? not in AFrica – with expensive data2000 25% 1986 1% 2007 97% https://communication.ucdavis.edu/people/hilbert in 2012 writing about enormous transformation of data

which civilizaiton??? not in AFrica – with expensive data

Zuboff’s 3 laws:

  1. Everything that can be automated will be automated
  2. Everything that can be “informated” will be
  3. All digital systems that can be used for surveillance/control will be use for such,

Information dominance (battle and conquest) similar to the physical conquest that occured in the past. Complex supply chains, AI factories trillions of data points, 6 million predictions per second, are about us not for us, trading exclusivey on human future, commodifying certainty, competition to sell certainty.

Economies of scale – economies of scope. Unequal knowledge – creates unequal power. m: but it seems western govs and companies, western capitalism always sought unequal knowledge, for unequal power. Whether it’s gov knowledge, military knowledge, patents, copyright in the tech industry have been used for unequal power and amongst tech companies… Secrecy in nuclear weapons, scientific discoveries, etc., etc., – what makes it different now, is it it’s now affecting western nations? m: vc’s have always required unequal knowledge m: expensive cost of knowledge also creates unequal knowledge -> unequal power.

capitalistic ingenuity to gain major roadways into private human performance. Incompatible with experiences of a democratic people.

m: surveillance capitalism, surveillance colonialism; miranda frika “epistemic justice” to indoctrinate people. surveillance coloniality. Indoctinate people to the point they become so commodified to be cosnumers and customers of capitalism.



  • business models that work well within the system only perpetuate the system.
  • surveillance capitalism very wel lcould be viewed as surveillance colonialism
    • this could be data colonialism & surveillance capitalism from a postcolonial -African philosophy perspective
  • it seems there’s this optimism that we can sort of rally and through democratic processes turn back the tide of time, but if indeed this is acolonial relatinship then before legislation there must be a revolution, a revolution that takes into account neo-colonialism and quijano/mignolo’s coloniality.
  • Z mentioned that this is now an information economy, and asymmetries of information exist, ash center guy said that differnece now between colonialism and surveillance capitalism is that surveillance capitalism is about individuals, whereas colonialism is about groups. Initially I agreed, due to the personalizatio offered by AI, but then realize surveillance capitalism is still about one group oppressing another group, despite the diversity that may exist within this artificial group. This is the group that ha the assymmetry of knowledge working against the group that doesn’t have the assymmetry of knowlege.


  • While autonomy is an individual activity, human dignity is social. Human dignity is relational, privacy and human dignity are relational. We’re more interconnected in the world of the internet and artificial intelligence. our data is used to form millions of data points, our individual datapoints influence the data points of others..

  • in colonialism, knowledge assymmetry:
    • laws created to forbid education, to forbid learning, direct.
    • in surveillance colonialism these are digital laws created (through code) to create epistemic asymmetries.
    • due to the computational speeds, the scale is greater, exploitation more rampant, and much faster to iterate.
    • in the digital world we are not just individual data points, we are data points aggregrated often into an interconnected ‘neural’ network. We’re connected through social digital spaces created to commodify social engagements.
  • The internet was meant to be a place for the individual. For the individual to exerceise their own autonomy. However this was co-opted by capitalistic business models.

  • Individualism in words attempts to justify human dignity but in practice creates the conditions, through perverse incentives, that undermines human dignity. It is the individual and society together that make human dignity concrete.