Returning to the issue of human subjectivity, we cannot ignore how dramatic the impact has been of the connecting up of capital- ism and computer technologies on its creation and integrity, a state of affairs Franco Berardi calls semiocapitalism.42 Berardi asks what consequences will ensue from the attempts made by our minds (and the entire sensory nervous system) to adapt to the ever increasing volume of hybrid communication taking place on the man-machine interface, in which complex interper- sonal communication (what Berardi calls conjunction) is being replaced by a simpler variant, i.e. connection. While conjunction includes reciprocity, does not always run smoothly and must take into account the other party’s position (we might even say that to a certain extent conjunction involves becoming the other in order that communication be successful), connection is more algorithmic (machinic) in nature: communication is subject to the criteria of speed and expediency and is accompanied by processes of standardisation. What I have outlined here in technical language as two competing and differently prioritised means of communication have, according to Berardi, far-reach- ing implications for the sensibility43 and psychological alignment of the population. He claims that various neuroses, states of depression and symptoms generally regarded as pathological are visible signs of this shift, though this transformation is in essence being undergone by the human population as a whole.

BERARDI, After the Future