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Book Cover
Author Hu, Tung-Hui, 1978-

Title A prehistory of the cloud / Tung-Hui Hu.

Publication Info. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2015]


Location Call No. Status
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 3rd Floor    004.6 HU    Available
Description xxix, 209 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-194) and index.
Summary 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.
Contents The shape of the network. The graft -- "Strange and unusual fits," 1961 -- Truckstop networks (Portola Valley, California) -- Time-sharing and virtualization. Intimacies of the user: from the stolen look to stolen time -- "The Victorians built magnificent drains": waste, privacy, and the cloud -- Cloud cartography -- Interlude: Learning from Santa Clara -- Data centers and data bunkers. "The internet must be defended!" -- Bunker archeology -- The melancholy of new media -- Seeing the cloud of data. War as big data -- "The other night sky": seeing and counterseeing -- Necropolitics.
Subject Computer networks -- History -- Popular works.
Internet -- Social aspects -- Popular works.
ISBN 9780262029513 (hardcover : alk. paper)
0262029510 (hardcover : alk. paper)

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