1 ‘“Monte Carlo simulation” refers to a category of algorithms that calculate their results using random numbers. First, a domain of possible inputs is determined and a series of random numbers from this domain is generated; a deterministic calculation is then conducted using the random numbers and, finally, the individual results are combined.’ (Reiss 2010: 2458b). See also Edwards (1996) on the role of the computer during the Cold War.

3 ‘Precaution’ and ‘preemption’ are key terms in the discourse around unlikely but fatal events. These terms have been extended in the current debate by a new one, namely, ‘premediation’ (de Goede 2008, Grusin 2010).

4 On controversies between traditional military personnel with experience in warfare and the scenario-oriented military strategists, see Ghamari-Tabrizi (2000).

5 At the same time, however, the issue of social security has largely disappeared (until recently?) from the political agenda.

6 Germany’s BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office) had become aware of sociologist Dr. Andrej Holm when searching the Internet: he had allegedly used similar vocabulary (gentrification, precariousness, reproduction) as that used by the ‘militant group’ they had been investigating. After a year of observation, he was arrested in July 2007. Apart from the keywords he had used, conspiratorial meetings with other purported members of the group as well as not taking his cell phone with him to various meetings were taken to be further indications of his membership in the group. He was released three weeks later as a result of national and international protests – Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen spoke of ‘Guantanamo in Germany’. Court proceedings against Holm were finally dropped in 2010 (see Leistert 2013).


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