By Tung-Hui Hu
We may well think the electronic cloud as placeless, mute, airy, and unmediated. but the truth of the cloud is embodied in millions of big facts facilities, anyone of that can use as a lot electrical energy as a midsized city. Even these kind of information facilities are just one small a part of the cloud. at the back of that cloud-shaped icon on our displays is a complete universe of applied sciences and cultural norms, all operating to maintain us from noticing their lifestyles. during this e-book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the distance among the true and the digital in our figuring out of the cloud.
Hu indicates that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer strains, and tv circuits. He describes key moments within the prehistory of the cloud, from the sport “Spacewar” as exemplar of time-sharing desktops to chilly struggle bunkers that have been later reused as facts facilities. Countering the preferred notion of a brand new “cloudlike” political strength that's dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts electronic applied sciences onto older methods of exerting strength over a inhabitants. yet simply because we make investments the cloud with cultural fantasies approximately protection and participation, we fail to acknowledge its militarized origins and beliefs. relocating among the materiality of the expertise itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu’s account bargains a suite of recent instruments for rethinking the modern electronic surroundings.
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Extra resources for A Prehistory of the Cloud
4). The camera shows Gene Hackman tearing his own apartment apart looking for the bug, an autoimmune response to the paranoid gaze (or the paranoid ear, in this case). Hackman has hit the breaking point and crossed over to madness. Commentators have often focused on the madness and on the camera that pans back and forth, like a surveillance camera, as some sort of morality tale: the coldness of technology, or the emotional deadness of the main character. But I’m most drawn to a minor detail, to the question of why Hackman plays a saxophone solo for the surveillance camera.
In cases such as the Chinese Internet, described as the Party-controlled “Great Firewall of China,” it should be clear that there is nothing inherently decentralizing about Internet technology. ) What we realize is that the structure of the US Internet is bifurcated. 15 And so the introduction of interoperable protocols such as Internet Protocol, or IP, is like the situation of railroad barons: when they began to widely adopt standard gauge after 1863, interoperability between their networks only increased their concentration of power.
To see what I mean, let us turn to the halls of the Senate. On June 7, about a month later, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) took up a bill to safeguard defense communications, which had almost certainly been rushed to the docket because of the attack. Bill 1990’s sponsor, Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut (who would later be indicted for corruption by the same committee), was absent, but submitted a written statement opening with an ominous description of “a person or persons unknown” who had sabotaged “3,000 interstate communications ” circuits in Utah and Nevada, many of which, Dodd continued, were essential to military and civilian defense.