The Gas Lamp Brought Networked Collective Life

Wolfgang Schivelbusch (1995) argues that one of the most important transformations of networked urban life came with the rise of the gas lamp. The introduction of gas ended the autonomy of oil lamps and candles whereby each household effectively supplied its own energy needs. Gas represented the industrialization of light, transforming households into nodes of a centralized power source, linking the domestic and intimate to larger structures of capital and the state. In this way, Schivelbusch argues, it was fundamentally modern. The rise of the electric grid deepened this process, representing the intrusion of capital and then government into everyday life, tying citizens into a new sort of collectivity.


Before people became dependent on the grid, they were independent and autonomous.

Folksonomies: collectivity communalism

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/home and garden/appliances (0.565718)
/business and industrial/energy/natural gas (0.563700)

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Wolfgang Schivelbusch:Person (0.870408 (neutral:0.000000))

Individualism (0.925956): dbpedia | freebase
Lamps (0.922825): dbpedia
Autonomy (0.840662): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
The Grid (0.815850): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago | musicBrainz
Self-determination (0.814973): dbpedia | freebase
Lighting (0.774030): website | dbpedia | freebase

 Pirate Infrastructures
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Larkin, Brian (2007), Pirate Infrastructures, Retrieved on 2013-06-29
Folksonomies: culture piracy