Optimization precludes and narrows the capacity for citizenship that uses technology to bring forward diverse knowledges in diverse ways and submits civic decision-making to narrow corporate interest
Viewed alongside the longer history of co-optation of changes in the communication environment by powerful commercial actors, the drive toward optimization of service delivery through data analytics is part of a trajectory toward private interests in the public sphere
1 Elsewhere in the garden
Notes that link to this note (AKA backlinks).
And so this tension, and particularly the idea of "Optimization" of a city is a key theme, and as the title suggests, something Powell wants to undo. Optimization in the smart city is kind of that idea of constantly improving services - more efficiency, more performance, more speed, etc. Which maybe superficially sounds fine - but Powell does a great job of surfacing the pitfalls of this constant optimization. Who decides what to optimize? Who gets excluded from the process?