Foucault: Power-Knowledge structure (and Excluded Histories)

Wanted to continue on the topic of Power Structures, but will stop with one last add here. From an old truncated post on Foucault’s Power-Knowledge structure:


Probable Futures & Excluded Histories

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita feat Michel Foucault.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, the New (probabilistic) Nostradamus.

His models and algorithms are based on the premise of Rational Choice Theory. Which is predicated upon by Power.

But has Mesquita read his Foucault ?

Foucault’s Power-Knowledge structure.
Especially through an examination of the,

method of control that combines hierarchical observation with normalizing judgment. It is a prime example of what Foucault calls power/knowledge, since it combines into a unified whole “the deployment of force and the establishment of truth”


On Foucault’s account, the relation of power and knowledge is far closer than in the familiar Baconian engineering model, for which “knowledge is power” means that knowledge is an instrument of power, although the two exist quite independently. Foucault’s point is rather than, at least for the study of human beings, the goals of power and the goals of knowledge cannot be separated: in knowing we control and in controlling we know.


via the genealogy of the Panopticon/prison (enforced coercion).

[Terry Gilliam’s Brazil again! (the Panopticon dentist chair scene)]:


Foucault’s épisteme is thus:
Systems of possible discourses which come to dominate each historical/political era. The existing dominant Power-Knowledge structure dictates what counts as knowledge and truth and what doesn’t. Rather than a linear chronology of inevitable facts that tells a coherent story, History is actually made up of layers of interweaving discourses kept suppressed and unconscious — and entire excluded histories.

Mesquita’s high positive ‘forecasting’ rate is dependent on his interviewing and data collection of his selected panel of experts.
Selection bias ?



Stanford prison experiment:

Das Experiment, the movie:

Das Experiment [The Experiment] Trailer in English:

Das Experiment (2001) – US Trailer 3:


An example of suppressed Excluded Histories:


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