Questions for “What are Networks?: Matter”

Today in class, for the first time we will be using the “circles” technique for discussion. This entails splitting the class in half—half sitting in an inside circle, half sitting in an outside one—and conducting two different discussions. In each discussion, the inside circle addresses itself to a set of questions, and the outside circle listens to the discussion attentively. Halfway through the exercise, the groups switch.

To get us started today, I want to propose a few questions that the first inside circle might take up; it is up to them to determine. In the context of the reading:

• How are networks infrastructure? For whom are they infrastructure?
• How do networks transform relationships of space, time, and power?
• What is a network? What is the material basis of that network?
• What happens to cities when the networks they rely on, and often simply are, transform technologically? (We might begin by thinking with Noah about bus trackers.)