Reading Galloway

Galloway, Page 16-17

I couldn’t really identify a key phrase in this section, besides maybe configuration, and I thought that was too vague, so I have included the direct quote:

“Acts of configuration are the rendering of life; the transformation into an information economy in the United States since the birth of videogames as a mass medium in the 1970’s has precipitated mass upheavals in the lives of individuals submitted to a process of retraining and redeployment into a new economy mediated by machines and other informatic artifacts… the same quantitative modulations and numerical valuations required by the new information worker and thus observed in a dazzling array of new cultural phenomena, from the cut-up sampling culture of hip-hop to the calculus curves of computer aided architectural design.”

I’m a little confused about what Galloway is trying to say in this section. It seems that he is saying that the new technology, of videogames specifically, basically forced people into learning new configurations- configurations that were confusing and entirely new to them (forcing them into upheaval? really?). Later on in the passage, Galloway says, “To live today is to know how to use menus.” I think I understand his basic concept but am missing the significance of his argument.

As far as the second sentence I’ve included, I can’t even dissect it into something I can remotely understand. How can numerical valuations be observed as cultural phenomena? That seems completely unrelated and irrelevant. I have no idea what Galloway is trying to say here!