“Hej!” from Göteborg – AoIR 11

I'm in lovely (and cold and rainy) Göteborg, Sweden for the annual AoIR conference, 11.0 (and tweeted about as #ir11).  I plan to participate in a pre-conference workshop, then I'll be presenting on Thursday on an historical revisit to Minitel - its roots, the policy dimensions surrounding it, the political context for its creation and implementation,… Continue reading “Hej!” from Göteborg – AoIR 11

Digital Labor, Cold-War Roots

Doing some reading over the past week, I was prompted to think about, then comment on, a chapter by Friedrich Kittler on Cold War computing technology and the implicit (and explicit) ways in which an examination of so-called "defense technology" comes into direct contact with, and within the purview of, media studies, information studies and labor studies. Specifically, I am interested in uncovering the history of these technologies and their development, particularly when the when many defense technologies have been considered value-neutral or even as beneficial (and perhaps were, particularly when they moved from the province of military applications to consumer or mass-market ones). Additionally, the process of uncovering the hidden labor embedded in digital and computing technologies and processes, is inextricalbly tied to the critically important task of uncovering their hidden agendas, applications and roots within the military-academic-industrial complex.

Darnton, Robert. “Google and the New Digital Future.” New York Review of Books December 17, 2009.

Robert Darnton is an historian and the Director of the Library at Harvard University whose work has focused on the history of the book, primarily in 18th century France, about which he is an expert. As such, he takes a long view, therefore, of books and book history as they pertain to the culture. His… Continue reading Darnton, Robert. “Google and the New Digital Future.” New York Review of Books December 17, 2009.