Power Analysis Tool
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Power Pyramid

This chart is meant to function as a tool for developing a power analysis to understand relative strength within a world of material forces. This is not directed toward creating an all-encompassing analysis of every kind of power, rather, it is a rough way to help orient around power within a complex world.

At the center are the concepts of Power, Control, and Capacity. Freedom is in brackets beside Power because, for present purposes, Power is a necessary condition (or capacity) for Freedom. How we measure our Power is by evaluating our access to and our ability to control each of the three main components: TIME, SPACE, and INFORMATION. The three main components are the major dimensions of our physical world and are therefore the starting point for any accounting.

TIME is the constantly expiring resource that defines our existence. We only have so much in our life and it always seems as if we either have too much or too little. Time, when it’s “free” is many people’s concept of freedom, but it is also the means of meeting our retribution in our mass incarcerating society (freedom is relative to context). When we attempt to quantify our access to time we should consider our free time, but also our capacities in the subcategories of Time, Labor and Computation. These two concepts are very similar in that they represent a physical transformative process over time, but Labor is cheated toward the side of SPACE and Computation toward INFORMATION for a reason.

SPACE what we move through and the structures and infrastructures we build. Different kinds of spaces are governed by their own laws of motion and are littered with different kinds of objects forming distinct terrains and modes of movement across those terrains. The distinction of SPACE between Physical Space and Possibility Space is meant to help us understand how we might be able to move through any particular terrain. Think about a prison. Movement in the prison is controlled by a conjunction of physical barriers as well as rules and categorizations (see Interpretation below) that limit the Possibility Space available to any particular person.

INFORMATION is probably the trickiest concept to understand, but it is the realm where a lot of today’s political struggle takes place. INFORMATION is the opposite of randomness, it is what distinguishes order from chaos. For practical purposes, information is how we store and retrieve meaning. If we think of a book or a computer program, they both are made of a series of physical units (letters and binary digits) that need to be read using a particular interpretive scheme (language or computer operating system). This split is roughly the split between Data and Interpretation that form the two concepts below: