Michael Degani, Columbia University
Modality and Stupidity in Dar es Salaam's Power Distribution Network
'In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, residents, electricians, and national power utility employees tolerate some forms of theft, bribery, and general illegal activity but judge as stupid those that have exceeded tacit limits. This talk analyzes the limits of three activities-unofficial repairs, surreptitious reconnections, and the expediting of new Service Lines-that both prop up and undermine the city's ailing power network. Limits illustrate a modal reasoning at work in the interconnected relations between infrastructural systems, everyday urban ethics, and informal economic arrangements. In each domain, modal reasoning is the art of simultaneously altering and preserving an emergent future. '