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Radical Technologies The Design of Everyday Life in city



In this city, everyone with a mobile phone reveals their location—whether or not the phone is equipped with explicitly locative technology, whether or not the phone is even turned on.
tally of miles logged and calories burned. This is Paris: all of it, all at once. In any previous epoch, all of these events might have transpired unobserved and unmarked. Even the most sensitive
than the tiniest fraction of them, however long they watched the city go by. And analysis, and memory.
But now these flows can be traced, at least in principle, and plotted in space and time. Latent patterns and unexpected correlations can be identified, in turn suggesting points of effective intervention to those with a mind to exert control. All of the living city’s rhythms make themselves plain, more rhythms than anyone would have dared to dream of: anticipations, reversals, slight returns.
Stutters, stops, and lags; doublings and crashes. And all of this is possible because of the vast array of data-collecting devices that have been seeded throughout the quotidian environment, the barely visible network that binds them, and the interface devices just about everyone moving through the city carries on their person.
Which rhythms, precisely? Traffic cameras and roadway sensors log the slowdown on the Périphérique; it shows up as a thick red line splashed across a hundred thousand electronic road signs, dashboard navigation units and smartphone screens, and as a new weighting in the routing algorithms that guide whatever trips are planned at that hour. Here are the rhythms of daily mobility
and, by extension, the broader economy. The ATM’s security camera captures the precise details of who did what to whom in the scuffle, and when; the identities of the participants can be reconstructed later on, if need be, by a state-sanctioned trawl of the transaction records. Those identity files will almost certainly note an individual’s allegiance to a particular football club, that they’ve been photographed at a Nuit Debout assembly, or have social or familial links to suspected jihadists. As with the traffic, here too we can begin to make correlations, mapping outbreaks of aggression against other observed phenomena—the league schedule, perhaps, or the phase of the moon, or the unemployment index. Or even something comparatively unexpected, like the price of discount-airline tickets. Here are the rhythms of collective mood.
The friends who were so embarrassed to run into one another at a superhero movie? They reserved their tickets online using their phones, and in so doing broadcast their choice for all to see, at least in aggregate; they might be surprised to learn that those who purchase tickets in this way in the streets around their campus appear to have a marked fondness for Hollywood action flicks. Here are
correlated geographical patterns of socialization and economic activity, and the rhythms of media consumption. The Avenue Carnot is nowhere to be found in any official record of the bagsnatching incident. In all the relevant entries, the offense is associated with the location where it was reported, a few blocks away in the rue de Tilsitt, and so that is how it shows up in both the city’s official statistics and a citizen-generated online map of risk in Paris; in fact, this kind of slippage between an event that happens in the world and the event’s representation in the networked record is routine. But the arrogant insouciance of the arresting flic’s posture bothers a lycée student passing by, who snaps a picture with her phone and submits it, time- and location-stamped, to the Commission Citoyens Justice Police, a civilian review board. In this constellation of facts, we can see something about
the frequency with which particular kinds of crimes are committed in a given location, the type and density of policing resources deployed to address them, and the frictions between the police and the communities in which they operate.
Here, then, are the contrapuntal rhythms of crime, its control and the response to

that control.

The nature of the streetwalker’s trade could perhaps be inferred from the multiple daily orbits her cellphone describes between her regular patch on the sidewalk and a cheap rented room nearby. If not this, then her frequent purchases of condoms would certainly help to flesh out the picture—even though she pays cash, the pharmacy where she buys them retains a service that uses each phone’s
unique IMEI number to track customers’ trajectories through the store, and this
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