By Tung-Hui Hu
We may perhaps think the electronic cloud as placeless, mute, airy, and unmediated. but the truth of the cloud is embodied in millions of big information facilities, anybody of that could 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 monitors is a complete universe of applied sciences and cultural norms, all operating to maintain us from noticing their lifestyles. during this publication, Tung-Hui Hu examines the space among the genuine 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 traces, and tv circuits. He describes key moments within the prehistory of the cloud, from the sport “Spacewar” as exemplar of time-sharing pcs to chilly warfare bunkers that have been later reused as information facilities. Countering the preferred conception of a brand new “cloudlike” political energy 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 defense 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 deals a suite of latest instruments for rethinking the modern electronic atmosphere.
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The protest never occurred. 54 BART deployed the network in the name of public safety and then disabled the network in the face of the protest, again in the name of public safety. The BART case may be the first in a series of autoimmune responses to network fever. Rather than reading this shutdown as a one-time exception or an overreaction, I am suggesting that it reveals something systemic about the way that paranoid imagination of networks manifests itself, when the network of Internet-enabled protesters is again conflated with the communications network.
It places the digital cloud in dialogue with objects and spaces on the other side of the analog/digital divide. Both interacting with and stepping back from the current moment, it explores the limits and potentialities of a slower form of writing that takes seriously the temporal disjunctions and dislocations within the idea of the cloud. In doing so, I hope to shed light on the hybrid construction I have called the sovereignty of data, a construction that joins war and security, users and use value, participation and opposition.
22 It is because of Baran’s 1960 paper that one of the most widely held beliefs about the Internet began to propagate. Yet by now, this claim has been well debunked; it comes out of a series of confusions, between Baran ’s 1960 paper and a paper written two years later, and between the Internet and its earlier incarnation, ARPAnet. (ARPAnet scientists cited, but did not implement, Baran’s 1962 paper, and even in that 1962 paper, Baran had moved away from the nuclear rhetoric of his previous paper.
A Prehistory of the Cloud by Tung-Hui Hu