a prehistory of the cloud

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A Prehistory Of The Cloud

Author : Tung-Hui Hu
ISBN : 0262529963
Genre : Computers
File Size : 39. 51 MB
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We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence. In this book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual in our understanding of the cloud. Hu shows that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer lines, and television circuits. He describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game "Spacewar" as exemplar of time-sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers. Countering the popular perception of a new "cloudlike" political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population. But because we invest the cloud with cultural fantasies about security and participation, we fail to recognize its militarized origins and ideology. Moving between the materiality of the technology itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu's account offers a set of new tools for rethinking the contemporary digital environment.

A Prehistory Of The Cloud

Author : Tung-Hui Hu
ISBN : 9780262330107
Genre : Computers
File Size : 25. 32 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 145
Read : 1199

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We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence. In this book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual in our understanding of the cloud. Hu shows that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer lines, and television circuits. He describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game "Spacewar" as exemplar of time-sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers. Countering the popular perception of a new "cloudlike" political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population. But because we invest the cloud with cultural fantasies about security and participation, we fail to recognize its militarized origins and ideology. Moving between the materiality of the technology itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu's account offers a set of new tools for rethinking the contemporary digital environment.

A Prehistory Of The Cloud

Author : Tung-Hui Hu
ISBN : 9780262029513
Genre : Computers
File Size : 59. 22 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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The militarized legacy of the digital cloud: how the cloud grew out of older network technologies and politics.

The Marvelous Clouds

Author : John Durham Peters
ISBN : 9780226253978
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 37. 31 MB
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When we speak of clouds these days, it is as likely that we mean data clouds or network clouds as cumulus or stratus. In their sharing of the term, both kinds of clouds reveal an essential truth: that the natural world and the technological world are not so distinct. In The Marvelous Clouds, John Durham Peters argues that though we often think of media as environments, the reverse is just as true—environments are media. Peters defines media expansively as elements that compose the human world. Drawing from ideas implicit in media philosophy, Peters argues that media are more than carriers of messages: they are the very infrastructures combining nature and culture that allow human life to thrive. Through an encyclopedic array of examples from the oceans to the skies, The Marvelous Clouds reveals the long prehistory of so-called new media. Digital media, Peters argues, are an extension of early practices tied to the establishment of civilization such as mastering fire, building calendars, reading the stars, creating language, and establishing religions. New media do not take us into uncharted waters, but rather confront us with the deepest and oldest questions of society and ecology: how to manage the relations people have with themselves, others, and the natural world. A wide-ranging meditation on the many means we have employed to cope with the struggles of existence—from navigation to farming, meteorology to Google—The Marvelous Clouds shows how media lie at the very heart of our interactions with the world around us. Peters’s book will not only change how we think about media but provide a new appreciation for the day-to-day foundations of life on earth that we so often take for granted.

The Prehistory Of Home

Author : Jerry D. Moore
ISBN : 9780520952133
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52. 73 MB
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Many animals build shelters, but only humans build homes. No other species creates such a variety of dwellings. Drawing examples from across the archaeological record and around the world, archaeologist Jerry D. Moore recounts the cultural development of the uniquely human imperative to maintain domestic dwellings. He shows how our houses allow us to physically adapt to the environment and conceptually order the cosmos, and explains how we fabricate dwellings and, in the process, construct our lives. The Prehistory of Home points out how houses function as symbols of equality or proclaim the social divides between people, and how they shield us not only from the elements, but increasingly from inchoate fear.

A Prehistory Of Ordinary People

Author : Monica L. Smith
ISBN : 0816526958
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52. 67 MB
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For the past million years, individuals have engaged in multitasking as they interact with the surrounding environment and with each other for the acquisition of daily necessities such as food and goods. Although culture is often perceived as a collective process, it is individual people who use language, experience illness, expend energy, perceive landscapes, and create memories. These processes were sustained at the individual and household level from the time of the earliest social groups to the beginnings of settled agricultural communities and the eventual development of complex societies in the form of chiefdoms, states, and empires. Even after the advent of ÒcivilizationÓ about 6,000 years ago, human culture has for the most part been created and maintained not by the actions of elitesÑas is commonly proclaimed by many archaeological theoristsÑbut by the many thousands of daily actions carried out by average citizens. With this book, Monica L. Smith examines how the archaeological record of ordinary objectsÑused by ordinary peopleÑconstitutes a manifestation of humankindÕs cognitive and social development. A Prehistory of Ordinary People offers an impressive synthesis and accessible style that will appeal to archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, and others interested in the long history of human decision-making.

Signal Traffic

Author : Lisa Parks
ISBN : 9780252097416
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 41. 18 MB
Format : PDF
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The contributors to Signal Traffic investigate how the material artifacts of media infrastructure--transoceanic cables, mobile telephone towers, Internet data centers, and the like--intersect with everyday life. Essayists confront the multiple and hybrid forms networks take, the different ways networks are imagined and engaged with by publics around the world, their local effects, and what human beings experience when a network fails. Some contributors explore the physical objects and industrial relations that make up an infrastructure. Others venture into the marginalized communities orphaned from the knowledge economies, technological literacies, and epistemological questions linked to infrastructural formation and use. The wide-ranging insights delineate the oft-ignored contrasts between industrialized and developing regions, rich and poor areas, and urban and rural settings, bringing technological differences into focus. Contributors include Charles R. Acland, Paul Dourish, Sarah Harris, Jennifer Holt and Patrick Vonderau, Shannon Mattern, Toby Miller, Lisa Parks, Christian Sandvig, Nicole Starosielski, Jonathan Sterne, and Helga Tawil-Souri.

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