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Science, Culture, and Modern State Formation$
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Patrick Carroll

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247536

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247536.001.0001

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Engineering the Data State

Engineering the Data State

Scopes, Meters, and Graphs

(p.81) 4 Engineering the Data State
Science, Culture, and Modern State Formation

Patrick Carroll

University of California Press

This chapter develops the concept of the “data state”—a condition of being governed by number. It notes that government by number emerges from “political anatomy” and “political arithmetic.” It focuses on the emergence of these political forms as engines for counting and calculating natural and political objects. It examines Samuel Hartlib and William Petty's designs and concludes with the great innovations in censuses and cartography developed in Ireland in the first half of the nineteenth century. It argues that the modern census is a political technology engineered by bringing metering and graphing into a simultaneously practiced and representational relationship.

Keywords:   data state, government, political anatomy, political arithmetic, Samuel Hartlib, William Petty, censuses, cartography, Ireland, political technology

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