The Digital Environment: Taking the Long View

2. Histories: Computers, Networks, & Business Models

History of Computers

WWII and Post-war research (code breaking and fusion/nuclear explosion calculations)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGk9W65vXNA

1951-1968 Early Computer Magnetic Tape Units- History IBM, Univac, RCA, Ampex

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEYyZSlQEdg

Computer History, Part 2: From IBM to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQocN_c2uLI

Big Data Tools and Technologies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyo4RWtxsQM


PC

GUI interface (Apple/Microsoft)

-Engelbart’s mother of all demos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJDv-zdhzMY

http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/

History of the Internet

Why was the Internet invented?


-Command and control/defense issues: Cold War, nukes, serial/centralized US phone system, multiple (un-connected) networks.

-Knowledge generation issues: scientific work generating large data sets at multiple (global) sites.

How and where and by whom?

-Independent labs doing government work.

-US government funding for a broad range of loosely connected projects that did not have immediate payouts.

-Some important work overseas as well (especially UK).

-Lots of post-nuclear scientists redeployed into the private sector, especially universities.

-Private enterprise could not have done this alone: As demonstrated by AT&Ts lack of interest, there didn't really appear to be any money in it and the basic R&D and roll out was HUGELY expensive.

Plus, contrary to computer and nuclear weapon development, Internet projects were not secret and info was shared across geographic boundaries.

-The initial importance of the BBNs/IMPs: admins were only willing to attach by proxy, but they were willing to do that.

-The immediate need to "connect" a widely diverse set of devices and networks. UNDERLYING AND COMMON STANDARDS were required to solve.

-TCP/IP: Established a standard.

-The defeat of x.25, AT&T’s attempt to pull back from their initial mistake of rejecting the internet by establishing a proprietary standard for data transmission over their lines.

-LAN (local area networks) and evenually Ethernet

- Packet Switching

-email

-Online bulletin boards, "communities," and gaming

-Porn

-AOL (intranets and internet)

-HTML/WWW

TBL's proposal for "the web"

http://info.cern.ch/Proposal.html

Early sample of TBL's screen, illustrating the web

http://info.cern.ch/NextBrowser1.html

One of TBLs early web pages (no image of the first exists), circa 1992

http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn18158/dn18158-1_708.jpg

The first graphic/image posted to the web

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Les_Horribles_Cernettes_in_1992.jpg

Internet growth charts (.ppt)

http://interactivemedia.bradley.edu/ell/nmt/03/concept3av/3internetgrowth.ppt

- Blogs/Vlogs and Social Media

-Internet history timeline: http://www.internethalloffame.org/internet-history/timeline

-History of the Business Models: From East Coast Banks to West Coast Venture Capitalists

These three links connect to NPR audio about Silicon Valley Origins. Text of the stories are provided for reading instead of/along with listening.

-A Rare Mix Created Silicon Valley's Startup Culture

external link: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/04/149870751/a-rare-mix-created-silicon-valleys-startup-culture

-America's Magnet For Innovation, And Investments

external link: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/05/149992521/americas-magnet-for-innovation-and-investments

-Intel Legends Moore And Grove: Making It Last

external link: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/06/150057676/intel-legends-moore-and-grove-making-it-last

-Apple v. Microsoft Models

-Web 1.0 to Web 2.0: From static to "interactive" Web

From the "vision" to the "reality": if it's going to self-support, targeted marketing rules.(O'Reilly working group)

But note the near total inversion of entire enterprise: the majority of the strong positive potentials of Web 1.0 were non-commercial, egalitarian, and participatory. The majority of the outcomes/realities of 2.0 and beyond are commercial and consumerist. Make no mistake: Web 2.0 was/is a strategy with wide implications. From information for all to information about all.

Concept application article:

A Brief History of How Your Privacy Was Stolen
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/opinion/google-facebook-data-privacy.html

Want to learn more?

Clive Thompson. Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, Penguin Press, 2019.
Yuval Noah Harari. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Harper-Collins, 2017.
 
Jonathan Taplin. Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Ken Auletta. Googled: The End of the World As We Know It. Penguin, 2009/2010.
Timothy Wu. The Master Switch. Knopf, 2010. 
Nicholas Carr, The Big Switch. Norton, 2008.
David Kirkpatrick. The Facebook Effect. Simon & Schuster, 2009.