This book unfolds, like a Chinese landscape painting through which the viewer’s gaze wanders slowly.
I describe a panorama. It is not made of mountains in the mist or bushes swept by the wind, but of data centers, automated warehouses, social networks feeds...
I explore the hypothesis that the Internet is part of a general process that reduces society and materials to small-scale components, which allow its mechanisms to become more fluid. A chemist’s idea – the decomposition of matter into powder, before to proceed to its recomposition – is also applied to social relations, memory and humans in general.
Just as the reduction of matter accelerates chemical reactions, the reduction of society to powder allows for an accelerated decomposition and recomposition of all from which humans are made. It allows to multiply the reactions within society, to accelerate the productions of humanity and the social chemistry : combination of human passions (Charles Fourier), hyperfragmentation of work (Mechanical Turk), decomposition of knowledge (Paul Otlet), Internet of neurons (Michael Chorost), agregation of affects (Facebook).
This is what I call the « society as cloud ».