Our Society is not one of spectacle, but of surveillance; under the surface of images, one invests bodies in depth; behind the great abstraction of exchange, there continues the meticulous, concrete training of useful forces; the circuits of communication are the supports of an accumulation and a centralization of knowledge; the play of signs defines the anchorages of power; it is not that the beautiful totality of the individual is amputated, repressed, altered by our social order, it is rather that the individual is carefully fabricated in it, according to a whole technique of forces and bodies.
Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
In a lecture given at the University of Vermont in 1982 Michel Foucault argued that "...if man -- if we, as living, speaking, working beings -- became an object for several different sciences, the reason has to be sought not in an ideology but in the existence of this political technology which we have formed in our own societies".  In the context of that specific lecture Foucault was examining how the antimony between the law and order, or perhaps more clearly between a juridical and an administrative system of governance effected the development of what he termed the political technology of the individual. This antagonistic relationship between law and order resulted in a shift in the perception of the function of the state from "...an equilibrium between several elements that only a good law could bring and maintain together" to a more dynamic conception in which the state is conceived as "...a set of forces and strengths that could be increased or weakened according to the politics followed by the governments".  This shift in the conception of the role of the state led to a shift in the perception of the individual from a subject of the law to the policed concept of the "individual" -- a unit of measurement that must be observed and counted in order to perfect the techniques of policing, managing and administering populations.  This antimony can also be seen in the contrasting relationship between govenmentality and sovereignty for while sovereignty is predicated on a system of representation and mimeses set in place by a juridical system, govermentality centers on the administration of "...population as datum [and] as a field of intervention".  The development of the social sciences and the modern conception of 'man' or the 'subject' thus begins with the interrogation of the subject as an object to be known -- a unit of analysis -- a nodal point from which an objective form of knowledge can be extracted and then projected out onto the social body as a normalizing force. The social sciences proliferate around the docile body meticulously refining their techniques of observation -- their corpus of methods "...and from such trifles...the man of modern humanism (is) born". 
In the initial stages of the development of the disciplinary technologies the rationalized re-construction of the subject began with the examination of the 'docile body' as a site from which knowledge can be both extracted and rationally projected into society -- the subject was thus reconfigured as the site upon which the 'normalizing gaze' of surveillance can focus, yet this rational discursive network could not totalize the image of the subject because it was directly dependent upon the presence of the observer, examiner, the professional at the site of extraction and thus the data model was always already polluted by its contingency -- its intimacy with the subject. 
During the analogical stages of the proliferation of disciplinary technologies there was still a naked intimacy between the examination and the physical body of the subject -- the examiner was in close proximity to the examined -- the knowledge that was extracted in these carceral examinations served as the basis of the parameters of normalizing judgment, and yet this beautiful totality was incomplete. The analogical methodology of observation produces a similarity between things that are otherwise dissimilar (a similarity between the self and the other that is regulated by the law) and yet due to its dependency upon a procedure that was closely tied to the nodal point of extraction the projective radius of the knowledge that it produced was restrained by the difference (that which extended beyond the rational categories of the examination -- the extraneous -- the proliferation of variables) within the very object that it sought to rationally constitute.  This binding intimacy between observer and observed is loosened by the virtual technological capabilities of the post-industrial era because the presence of the examiner is replaced by the video-infographic seeing machines that can simultaneously compile, sort and edit the information they extract according to a set of rationalized principles and then render the information back to the end user as an objective simulation (an image without difference -- a seamless image) upon which rationally objective decisions can be made. 
This shift in the means of governance from a corporeal system of analogic (analogical to the extent that there is a resemblance of relations between the observer and the observed) data extraction to a virtual system of digital data extraction (in which the information is collected, compiled and rendered into digits or similar discrete elements) has transformed the relationship between governmentality and sovereignty in that the virtual distanciation between the observer and the observed has allowed the observer to simultaneously constrain and concentrate its field of vision. This intensification of the field of vision limits the number of variables that must be accounted for and thus constrains the difference within the object being observed, which in turn allows the observed to be re-presented as a simulation that may then serve as the basis of the strategic deployment of the tactics of governmentality.  The digitization of data offers the social sciences the insular distanciation that seems to promise an objective conceptualization of the subject that can in turn allow the social sciences to locate a foundational rationality within the observed material existence of the social subject. The search for this unified theory of the subject -- this foundational rational -- aims at fulfilling the promise of a totalized science of social reality in which the totalized knowledge of the particular can serve as a basis for the knowledge of the social matrix in which it exists and that can in turn serve to simulate all possibilities within the assigned criteria for rational assessment.
It is at the point at which the knowledge extracted from the various analogical procedures of the carceral disciplinary apparatus is digitized that the possibility of a virtual surveillance assemblage becomes possible in which the site of data extraction (the intimacy of the situated/territorialized human body) can be completely deterritorialized.  It is this deterritorialization of the assemblage of the situated human body that allows for the hyper-realization of the governance of the subject. Through the introduction of post-industrial video-infographic technologies to the disciplinary regulation of the social the micro-sociological site of observation (the subject) has been abstracted through both the rhizomatic presence of an array of seeing machines and the digital compiling of these discrete data sets according to the rational principals of normalization.  These rational principals have been operationalized through the use of simulations and now through the use of these post-industrial information technologies the hyperreal precedes and governs the 'real'. 
Hyperreality is described as a conceptual point at which reality becomes indistinguishable from simulation.  It is a concept that is heavily influenced by Saussureian linguistics, in which signs are perceived to be an arbitrary psychological union of a signifier (sound image) and the signified (concept) and these signs only convey meaning through their relative position to other signs.  Value and meaning are communicated through language in syntagmatic (two or more consecutive linear units in discourse) and associative (outside of discourse signs are associated in memory on a positive basis of commonality) relations; similarly for Levi-Strauss the concept of myth, which "...operates in men's minds without their being aware of the fact".  The concept of the arbitrary nature of the imaginary representation of the real conditions of existence is also central for Althusser's conception of ideology. For Althusser ideology is an atmosphere of interpellation that is spontaneously generated by social structures in which the subject is reproduced and incorporated into the structure.  In hyperreality the experiential aspect of the subject that exists as an interplay between the temporal reality and the internal world of myth/ideology is distorted by simulations (simulation is defined by Baudrillard as a process that feigns what one does not posses, that is to imply a presence that is non-existent which then threatens the distinction between the real and the imaginary) that alter the relationship between signifier and signified by juxtaposing and multiplying the signified (concepts) which are divorced from any actual experience.  Thus a closed self-referential system is formed in which reality becomes "that which is already reproduced" -- hyperreality thus precedes the real in the post-industrial information age. 
In modern disciplinary structures the state security apparatus has progressively incorporated the use of psychological profiling in order to target suspects and identify criminals. In the system of "coded information (sign-image) anticipates actual events in order to control its outcome".  Thus the hyperreal simulation precedes the actual structures of control that implement and reify them as reality. The shift in population control strategies from corporeal techniques to hyperreal constructs is a product of what Foucault referred to as governmentality in that disciplinary power structures generate a knowledge (through the development of the social sciences) of the corporeal individual that seeks to totalize (and thus necessarily abstracts) its identity in order to construct a set of categories and quantifying tools that are used in the post-disciplinary age to simulate criminogenic patterns and tendencies within a given population data set. These simulations are tactically reified by the punitive state apparatus, which strategically operationalizes simulations in its everyday tactical actions through the use of techniques that were developed from the knowledge gained through corporeal examinations/observations. This rational procedure is now implemented through the force multiplying information tools of the post-industrial age.
In order to reveal the relationship between the discursive practices and rational techniques of governmentality and the construction and operationality of hyperreal constructs, I will examine the relationship between corporeal disciplinary technologies and the development of the social sciences. From that basis, the categories and quantifying tools of the social sciences are projected out of the disciplinary institutions into the social body through the use of information technologies by the punitive state apparatus. Then in the final section I will explore how simulations both generate and reify the normative identity construct by masking the arbitrary nature of the subject and thus differ "...the problem of the foundation of sovereignty" within the modern state. 
Corporeal Discipline and the Formation of the Social Sciences
The Carceral network constituted one of the armatures of this power-knowledge that has made the human sciences historically possible. Knowable man (soul, individuality, consciousness, conduct, whatever it is called) is the object effect of this analytical investment, of this domination-observation.
Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
The disciplinary apparatus isolates and dissects the particular in order to establish the parameters of normality and maintain the 'health' of the social body. By extracting the deviant individual from the social mass, examining it in isolation and subjecting it to "an indefinite discourse that observes, describes and establishes the 'facts'..." the disciplinary institution begins to compile the totalized case files that are characterized, classified and hierarchized by specialized forms of knowledge.  The social sciences proliferate on the corpus of the institutionalized individual in an effort to compile and construct a simulation of the deviant individual that is then projected into the social corpus in order "to bring the effects of this social power to their maximum intensity".  This contingent knowledge of the 'deviant individual' is formed into an analytical framework that can be used to 'empirically' quantify the normality of each individual within the carceral network; this analytical framework (constructed from the fractious knowledge of the 'deviant' and is individualized in and through its subjugation to a corporeal disciplinary structure) is a simulation. 
This compiled and correlated knowledge of the individual constitutes a simulation in that it claims to possess a complete and objective knowledge of the parameters of normality, when in actuality its knowledge is contingent and constructed through the use of the examination that is "...still caught up in disciplinary technology".  This 'disciplinary technology' is historically rooted in the procedural methods of the inquisition and thus it imbues a purportedly 'value-free' empirical model of the individual with meaning and value.  The knowledge extracted from the examination is used by the 'carceral network' to project normative parameters onto the social body of individuals in order to render "...the group of men docile and useful".  The normative projection that Foucault terms "knowable man" is a simulation of normality that can be utilized to amplify the corporeal control of society by exercising power in the most efficient manner possible. This model can in a sense be considered a hyperreal construct in that it is used to predetermine the actions of the disciplinary apparatus. Yet due to its dependence on a situated corporeal examination/observation the model is always already contingent. It cannot account for all variables observed (also the eye of the observer is not a constant despite the various third person omniscient writing techniques that are deployed and refined in the social sciences in an effort to expunge the contaminating presence of the observer).
The construction and operationalization of hyperreal constructs is endemic to the capitalist mode of production and its political symbiant the liberal state, as both rely on the totalization of the individual as the primary unit of measurement. It is through the knowledge of the individual as a quantifiable/knowable category that the state is able to assess its strength and determine the most efficient methods of administration possible to increase the state's strength in order to ensure the 'health' and continued propagation of the social whole.  Both the Fordist mode of production and the liberal state demand the creation of the totalized subject through the disciplinary "techniques that made possible the accumulation of capital..." by interpellating the subject into a matrix of power/knowldge.  It is the operationalization of hyperreal constructs "that made the cumulative multiplicity of men useful [and] accelerated the accumulation of capital". 
The criteria of normality is the self-reflective discourse of abstraction that violates the reality of the individual due to its deceptive character: "it feigns what it does not possess" and obscures the boundaries between reality and myth.  This boundary is obliterated when the disciplinary tactics of the punitive structures of the state shift from directly dominating the body to managing hyperreal constructs. This jump is made possible by a combination of the accumulated knowledge of the carceral (compiled through the study of the governance of the body) that is then constructed into a totalized simulation of normality by the medico-scientific disciplines. The computer allows a further extension of the punitive state apparatus. Through this shift in the political technologies of surveillance, the state's methods and capacity "to obtain the exercise of power at the lowest possible cost" has been changed as now the administrative/policing structures armatures of the disciplinary apparatus anticipate "actual event[s] in order to control [their] outcome" through the use of 'expert' programs. 
The Application of the Hyperreal
The real is produced from miniaturized cells, matrices, and memory blanks, models of control -- and it can be reproduced an infinite number of times from these. It no longer needs to be rational, because it no longer measures itself against either an ideal or negative instance. It is no longer anything but operational. In fact, it is no longer really the real, because no imaginary envelops it anymore. It is hyperreal, produced from a radiating synthesis of combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere.
Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra and Simulation
The separation of disciplinary techniques and technologies from their dependency on the body of the examiner and their subsequent amplification and intensification through the use of post-industrial information technologies has led to the construction of hyperreal constructs (data doubles).  It is this digital shadow that is projected upon the screen of communication which effectively "...smashed the mirror of representation".  This transformation of classical conceptions of representation to a digital or virtual para-being  has effectively shifted the relationship between perception and time. The use of optoelectronics has allowed the observer to see in real-time, a time that is not constrained by the geometry of real space "...the transparent horizon of the live telecast screen escapes gravitation by basing itself on the very speed of light." It is in this sense that the digitization of the disciplinary means of governmentality has transcended the real space of the body as a medium for shaping the soul.  The knowledge that human sciences have gained through the subjugation of the flesh has resulted in the accumulation of information that is unmanageable without current digital information technology. Resources are no longer expended on the physical examination of each individual as the normative parameters (constructed through the physical examination of the individual by the 'expert') can now be applied to the individual through the use of 'expert' profiling programs that can examine the individual in 'real-time' without the need for the presence of the corporeal 'expert'. The objective of this shift from the corporeal examination to the management of hyperreal constructs is the absolute maximization of disciplinary intensity through the transcendence of the present; it is the possibility of the foreknowledge of the event -- the possibility of a knowledge constrained only by the speed of light.  This discursive jump follows the three criteria of disciplinary tactics that Foucault set out in Discipline and Punish: A) It obtains the exercise of power at the lowest possible cost, B) It maximizes the reach and intensity of this social power, C) It increases both the utility and docility of all elements of the system.  Through the use of profiling and advanced demographic cartography the 'deviant' factors (developed within and through the real-space knowledge of the corporeal) can be virtually mapped on a conventional desktop computer. From this information patterns of criminality can be predicted and the security apparatus of the state can apply this strategic knowledge to its tactical deployment in real-space and real-time. The virtualization of criminal knowledge allows urban engineers to construct physical environments that reduce the incidence of crime by altering the built environment according the simulation of criminal environments. The simulation now establishes reality; it precedes reality and is projected into the future to shape the events that will become reality.
In Foucault's system of corporeal discipline the individual was examined in order to determine the origin of its deviance, it was a totalized object of knowledge existing as both past and present, in short it existed as a substance. The knowledge derived from the corporeal examination is compiled and virtualized into a complete normative simulation and as a result the physical examination is no longer necessary. Hyperreal constructs can be used to reveal the future by fusing time (past, present and future) into a 'real-time' simulation. Through the tactical use of this simulation in profiling, it (the simulation) becomes a reality and the boundary between the experience of real-space and the screened communication of real-time is obliterated.
The Hyperreal and the Dromology of Abstraction
Perhaps, the ontological difference between the virtual and the actual is best captured by the shift in the way quantum physics conceives of the relationship between particles and their interactions: in an initial moment, it appears as if first (ontologically, at least) there are particles interacting in the mode of waves, oscillations, and so forth; then, in a second moment, we are forced to enact a radical shift of perspective -- the primordial ontological fact that the waves themselves (trajectories, oscillations), and particles are nothing but the nodal points in which different waves intersect.
Slavoj Zizek. Organs Without Bodies
The Foucaultian corporeal examination has been effectively transcended through the application of the virtual technologies of the post-industrial age in the disciplinary armatures of the state. The information and knowledge obtained from the physical examination can now be compiled, categorized and classified in a database in order to construct a complete simulation that can determine and enforce the boundaries of normality without directly examining the body. Simulating the possibility of the future determines the strategies of crime control and prevention and thus determines the reality of the present. Thus, as Baudrillard claimed the simulation precedes reality in that crime control agencies act on simulations and by acting on them they reify it.  The transcendence of the examination of the body is implicit in Foucault's conceptualization of "normalizing observation" and the alteration of the built environment in an effort to amplify observational power.  These techniques generate a type of hyperreal knowledge in that through observation within a controlled environment the rational parameters of normality are statistically calculated and now the simulation of normality that was constructed through of the political technologies of the body can be assessed and regulated by the digital gaze of video-infographic eyes -- eyes without bodies.
The knowledge of the body obtained through constant examination and observation generates a corpus of knowledge that allows disciplinary institutions to generate a foundational rationality predicated upon a statistically calculated norm. Thanks to the development of the computer and its ability to synthesize copious amounts of information into manageable virtual structures the disciplinary apparatus has been able to realize the power of the statistical sciences by replacing the real-space observer with the real-time televisual gaze. Real-space and real-time can now be fused into a virtual form of surveillance that gazes through the body in order to assess the position of that body within a rational statistical framework, thus making possible the administration of large populations and copious amounts of information. The totalized projection of normality that was established through the knowledge obtained in the physical examination can now be synthesized into a virtual system, which can apply the normative criteria in its virtual gaze and prescribe actions in 'real-time'.
Foucault's analysis of disciplinary structures and the effects of the corporeal examination remain valid as the corporeal knowledge has allowed for the creation of hyperreal constructs that can be applied through the use of virtual technologies to generate a gaze that, figuratively, sees through the flesh to the soul. It is a technological shift that has allowed for disciplinary knowledge to be implemented in this manner and it has been deployed in an effort to attain a cost effective and efficient system of control. This new political technology of discipline -- the tele-vigilant intersection of video-infographic gazes, the digital panoptic assemblage -- has rendered "...both the eagle and the sun" useless as the indirect light of video surveillance sees the subject as a base unit of its target population -- a simple set of vectors and trajectories within a rational set of parameters -- it sees the subject without substance.  This rationalized data double -- the norm or center of a distribution on any given data set -- then becomes the basis of the rational which serves to govern it, thus the hyperreal becomes the eagle (the symbol of power and authority) in a system of virtual governmentality. 
The capabilities of post-industrial digital technologies have enhanced the ability of the various administrative bureaucracies (that form the assemblage that is the modern liberal state) to observe and govern large populations. This enhancement of the power of governmentality has been accomplished through the introduction of video infographic technologies which has altered the political technology of the state and thus altered the conceptualization of the individual within the state apparatus. The ability to use real-time statistical simulations and artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance programs has greatly increased the ability of any given administrative apparatus to assess large amounts of information quickly and efficiently. The consequence of distancing the observer from the observed is that the various unknown variables that prevented the observer from presenting value-free, uncontaminated data is now eliminated as the data uptake channels are increasingly video-infographic and thus all information is assessed on the basis of a pre-established rationalized criteria. Information is filtered and thus it appears complete -- non-rational variables are constrained and data is presented as uncontaminated. Due to this shift in political technology the question of the foundational rationale of the modern state has shifted from a model predicated upon the juridical rule of sovereignty (which focuses on the legal substance or status of actors within a given area) to a model of governmentality in which the individual is nothing but a base unit of analysis in the rational assessment and governance of the state -- as Herbert Marcuse would claim the subject is now one-dimensional. The foundational rationality of the state is now predicated on the statistical patterns of normality that the administrative apparatus of the state both calculates and enforces. This shift has induced a type of dromological vertigo as the potential speed of the digital imaging technologies that the administrative assemblage employs is in theory limited only by the speed of light and thus the limitation preventing 'real-time' data analysis becomes the human factor.  This dromologic (logic predicated on speed or the race) has led to an ever increasing dependency on video-infographic technologies and thus the simulations that the digital technologies generate on the basis of the information that is extracted from the population set are the basis of policy decisions. In Baudrillard's terms the hyperreal precedes the real -- it is the real.  Through the introduction of digital technologies governmentality becomes a closed circuit in which the speed of the circulation of data and the administrative procedures that act upon it generate a hyperreality "...sheltered from the imaginary, and from any distinction between the real and the imaginary, leaving room only for the orbital recurrence of models and for the simulated generation of difference". 
 Foucault, Michel. "The Political Technology of Individuals," In James Faubio, Ed. Power: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984 Vol.III. New York: The New Press, 2000. p. 417
 Ibid. p. 408
 Ibid. p. 414-16
 Michel Foucault. "Governmentality," In James Faubio, Ed. Power: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984 Vol.III. New York: The New Press, 2000. p. 219
 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, Trans. New York: Random House, 1995. p. 141
 Ibid. p. 195-6
 Ibid. p. 184+194
 Virilio, Paul. Open Sky. Julie Rose, Trans. New York: Verso, 2000. p. 90
 Foucault, Michel. "Governmentality," In James Faubio, Ed. Power: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984 Vol.III. New York: The New Press, 2000. p. 210-1+219-20
 Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Brian Massumi, Trans. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. p. 333
 Ibid. p. 10-11
 Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Sheila Faria Glaser, Trans. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994. p. 2-3
 Bogard, William. The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. p.4
 Saussure, Ferdinand. A Course in General Linguistics. Wade Baskins, Trans. New York: The Philosophical Library, 1959. p.652
 Levi-Strauss, Claude. The Raw and the Cooked. John and Doreen Weightman, Trans. London: Cape, 1970. p. 12 and Saussure, Ferdinand. A Course in General Linguistics. Wade Baskins, Trans. New York: The Philosophical Library, 1959. p. 654-655
 Althusser, Louis. "Ideology and the Ideological State Apparatus" In Adams and Searl, Eds. Critical Theory Since 1965. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1989. p. 86-87
 Bogard, William. The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. p.4
 Ibid, p. 4
 Ibid, p. 20
 Foucault, Michel. "Governmentality," In James Faubio, Ed. Power: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984 Vol.III. New York: The New Press, 2000. p. 219
 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, Trans. New York: Random House, 1995. p.226
 Ibid. p. 226-228
 Ibid. p. 305
 Ibid. p. 227
 Ibid. p. 226
 Ibid. p. 305
 Foucault, Michel. "Governmentality," In James Faubio, Ed. Power: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984 Vol.III. New York: The New Press, 2000. p. 408
 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, Trans. New York: Random House, 1995. p. 220
 Ibid. p. 219-220
 Bogard, William. The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. p. 4
 Ibid. p. 20
 Virilio, Paul. Open Sky. Julie Rose, Trans. New York: Verso, 2000.. p. 40
 Baudrillard, Jean. Impossible Exchange. Chris Turner, Trans. New York: Verso, 2001. p. 106
 Lacan, Jacques. On Feminine Sexuality: The Limits of Love and Knowledge 1972-1973. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book XX. Jacques-Alain Miller, Ed. Bruce Fink, Trans. New York: Norton, 1998. p. 45
 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, Trans. New York: Random House, 1995. p. 305 and Virilio, Paul. Open Sky. Julie Rose, Trans. New York: Verso, 2000. p. 33+36-37
 Virilio, Paul. Open Sky. Julie Rose, Trans. New York: Verso, 2000. p. 27+32
 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, Trans. New York: Random House, 1995. p. 218
 Bogard, William. The Simulation of Surveillance: Hypercontrol in Telematic Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. p. 20
 Ibid. p. 61
 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, Trans. New York: Random House, 1995. p. 217
 Ibid. p. 217
 Virilio, Paul. Open Sky. Julie Rose, Trans. New York: Verso, 2000. p. 15
 Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Sheila Faria Glaser, Trans. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; Ann Arbor, 1994. p. 2-3
 Ibid. p.3
Joshua Nichols is a graduate student at the University of Alberta in the Department of Sociology. His general interests include the sociology of technology, semiotics, phenomenology, and disciplinary and post-disciplinary methods of governance.