Alright. I will open a thread on infrastructure. Generally this one can be used to think about infrastructure, admire its aesthetic potential and beyond this ponder the network existence and its different modalities that we may lead in this world that we inhabit right now.
These introductory words need further elaboration, ideally, it will be done over the course of this thread.
Paul N. Edwards wrote a general article on infrastructure in the early 2000s. In that he cited the U.S. President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection from 1996 that shall be our gateway to what infrastructure is commonly referred to
• oil and gas production and storage energy production in general would be more suitable these days with renewables being a thing
• water supply
• emergency services
• government services
• banking and finance
• electrical power
• information and communications
I like to add
• raw materials, the EU has a list for such critical elements that are used for batteries or chip production as an example.
A key concept for all infrastructure according to Edwards is flow
. Flow also provides the base for its aesthetic potential. That is: seamless operation has an aesthetic quality.
>Not only hardware but organizations, socially communicated background knowledge, general acceptance and reliance, and near-ubiquitous accessibility are required for a system to be an infrastructure in the sense I am using here
says Edwards, he does remark though, that this is a western understanding and that concrete infrastructure of the west cannot be universalized throughout the world in its conception and actual operation.
Edwards has more to say about infrastructure but I will stop now.
The article in question is (the book can be found on libgen):
Paul N. Edwards. Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time, and Social Organization
in the History of Sociotechnical Systems, in: Misa, Brey, Feenberg (ed.), Modernity and Technology, MIT, Cambridge/London, pp. 185-227.