A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press) by Tung-Hui Hu

By Tung-Hui Hu

We might think the electronic cloud as placeless, mute, airy, and unmediated. but the truth of the cloud is embodied in hundreds of thousands of huge information facilities, anyone of that can use as a lot electrical energy as a midsized city. Even a lot of these facts 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 publication, Tung-Hui Hu examines the distance among the true and the digital in our realizing 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 pcs to chilly warfare bunkers that have been later reused as info facilities. Countering the preferred belief 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 energy 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 collection of latest instruments for rethinking the modern electronic environment.

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