The fetishization of content underwrites the fantasy that it is somehow detachable from the infrastructure that supports it. The thrust of Smythe's argument is to dismantle this fantasy, a task which remains a pressing one on the digital era in which, we are told, everyone (or at least a lot more people than before) can create their own content--but not, significantly the structures for organizing, sorting, and retrieving it. We can make our own Web page, but not our own Google; we can craft our own Tweets, but not our own Twitter (at least not without a fair amount of expertise and venture capital). By focusing on practices seemingly associated with the superstructural realm of cultural consumption, Smythe nonetheless reminds us of the importance of control and ownership over productive resources, including the means of information sharing, organization, and retrieval. Even in the digital era, matter still matters--especially the expensive kind, such as network infrastructure, data storage facilities and processing power.
connects with Jason's thing about why open source can build git but not github