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The Net Effect

Romanticism, Capitalism, mld and tl,c the Intcnlct Interuet

Thomas Streeter

\Villiam Blake's 179,/circa 180, Sl;ienrist Isaac isaac WilIi:lm Bl:J.ke's l7!:ls/circa 179s/circa 1805 180s print "Newton," Newton,~ represents the S(:ienriS[ Newton in :I a W:lY way that expresses Blake's view of the limits of the dle calculared calculated scienill, tific ft:J.soning reasoning for which Newton Newton was bmous. famous. The colors and texwre texture of rhe the rock and rhe the body body loom over ovet the brighr bright but small page of measurement in the lower right right hand corner, expressing Blake's belief in the primacy of rhe the creative imagi-. narion. nation. Or :IS as Blake wrore wrote himself in Tlw 11]( Marriagr of Hcalltll Healltll alld and Hdl, "'vVhar ~\Vhat is now proved was once, only imagin'd." . imagina:

III
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS New York and London

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS New York and London www.nyupress.org


2011 by New York University All rights righrs reserved

To my childhood friends The Hacks, with whom [ I discovered the boyish pleasures of technological fiddling long ago and who understood hJcking rerm hJd had been byered layered wirh political connorations. h:lcking before the term I thank them for their rheir dedicated friendship over the decades.

References ro to Internet websites (URLs) were accunuc accur;l.[e at the time of writing. Neither the author nor New York University Press is responsible for URLs that may have expired or changed since the manuscript was prepared. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Cauloging-in-Publication Dara Streeter, Thomas. The net effect: romanticism, capitalism, and the internet interner / Thomas Streeter. p. em. - (Critical cultural communication) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8J47-4115-3 (cl : alk. paper) - ISBN 978-0-8147-4116-0 (pb : alle paper) - ISBN 978-0-8147-4Jl7-7 978-o-8147-4Jl7-7 (ebook) 1. Computers and civilization. eivili:;:;ation. 2. 2. Computers-Social aspects. 3. Information tedlllology-Social technology-Social aspects. aSpects. 4. Internet-Social aspects. l. Tide. QA76.9.C66S884 2010 303.48'33-clcn 2010024294 303.48'33-dc22 New York University Press books are printed on acid-free acidfree paper, and their binding ma,erials materials are chosen for strength and durability. We strive to use environmentally responsible suppliers and materials to the greatest extent possible in publishing our books. Manurncrnred Manufactured in the United States of America c 1098765432 p 109876543 2

Contents

A,kllowl~dglllel!t'

illtroallaiol!

nSelf-Motivating Exhilaration"; On rhe Cultural Sources of Compurer Communication


~

17

Romanticism and the Machine: The Formation of the Compurer Counterculture

44

3 Missing rhe Ner: TIle 19805, Microcomputers, and the Rise ofNeoJiberalism 4 Networks and the Social Imagination

69

.9

93

" "
c

5 TIle Moment of Wired 6 Open Sou tee, the Expressive Programmer, and rhe Problem of Property

119
138

COllclusion: Capita/i'lIl, Passiolll, DWlOrracy Notes


Illd~x

168 189
213

Abolltthe Author

221

vii

:~

Acknowledgments

long in cOnling. coming. as I grappled with a moving rartarget ordin.ary surprises. surprises, Here I em (.an only mention some of get while adjuSting adjusting to life's ordinary ehe the individuals individu.als who helped me along .along the W3Y. way, LiS:! Lisa Henderson gave me excel[ellt parience, and mon of all wondernll wonderful affinnarion affirmation lent critical critical readings, discussions, patience, \Vllile chis Sylvia Schafer for suggesting the while this book finally finally came Clme together. Thanlu Thanks to Sylvia tiele and providing encouragemenr badly needed it. Excellent tide encouragement at a time rime when I b;adly advice, ;advice, criticism, and inrc:lJigent inte~igent discussion came from many. m;any, including Michael Michael Curtin, K;athy j:ox, Fox, Tarleron Tuleton Gillespie, Mary Lou Lou Currin, Chriuina Christina Dunbar-Heuer, Dunbar-Hester, Kaehy Christian Sandvig. S2Jldvig. Ross TIlOmson, Thomson, and and Kete, Beth Beth Mintz,John Mintz, John Durham Peters, Christian Kere, Fred Turner. Turner. TIlanks Thanks to Ben Peters and RumWl Kleis Nielu:n for their enthuFred Bell Rasnlus Nielsen lor siasm and and for inviting me me to some uimulating stimulating seminars. semin2rs. Thanks ro to the principrinep.als of the Key Key Centte Cultural Policy Studies in Brisbane:, Brisb;l;ne, Australia, Austr.ilia, for a Centre for Cultural Policy Srudies pals in the summer stimulating fellowship in summet of 1999. I am grateful gr.ueful to to the Institute for fot rhe &culcy, especially Advanced 1000-1001 3nd ;l;nd to ro the fieulry, especially Adv:anced Study Study for supporr support during 1000-1001 Clifford Gccm: Geeru: and Joan Joan Score, ScOtt, and and all the members of the School of Social Science rhar thar year for smart smarr and 2Jld helpful helpful comlllellrs, commentS, criricism, criticism, conversation, cOlwersation, and encouragement. TIlanlc! SOlirah Baner-Weiser BanWeiu:r and OlInd Kent A. Ono, Thanks to series u:ries editOrs editors Sarah to NYU Press editors, reviewers, 2nd 2Jld staff, st:df, and 2Jld ro to copyediror copyeditor Jay Williams for rheit m)' foibles. I am grateful to ro che the their excellent help, suggestions, 2nd and ro[er3nce: tolerance of my rhe Universiey Universiry of Vermonr, Vermont, United AC3demics, Academics, which soaked up faculty union of the my time bur but also ;also provided provided me a window ontO onto what whar a 0lI mature m;l;ture approach OlIpproOlich to democratic but by no means leasr, least, trade decision making might aCUlally actually look like:. like. And last lUI but thanks to my my son Seth, who m3kes makes life a ;I; constanl constant surprise: surprise and a ;I; joy, no matter his music. music. how dark his
THIS WORK WAS

ix

Introduction
'Communication" is a rtgisrry Communic:nion"'s r~giS[ry or of mootrn mod~rn longings. - John Durham Pertn' Per~n'

IT IS STILI. STILL commOn common in some circles to assume Ihat that rarionaliry, rationality, fundamentally differrechnology, modern are tcdmology. and the modem are somehow opposed to or funcb.ment:lJly rhe imagilUltion. imagination, nature, TIlis book srarrs srans from &om ent from culture, the nature. and and expression. This is not so and that the internet is prima facie evidence of the premise that this so and the rhe thar. h:u been wirh all manner of human that. -nle The internet inurnet ius bun tangled tangled up with human longings, longings. in both obvious ways-for example. example, the internet stock bubble-and more more subtle ways. cert:l.in aspects of ofits design and rrends rrends in in its ways, sueh such as certain its technical design irs regulation. In In hopes orbetter ofberter understanding both technology and longings, longings. this book gives thar that entanglement a dose close look. entanglement in looking at rhe the internet inl'ernct this way is our networked Part of what emerges in the giant desktop desktop computers computers are not so so much direcr direct descendants of the giant computers computers of the 1960s 1960S as they are reactions reactions againsr against those compurers computers and whar what Ihq they represented, 1960S, engisented. a reaction rea.crion thar that was ro to some degree degree cultural. Beginning in the 1960s, neers neers who had different impulses for how ro to build and and use computers began ro to draw on romanticism to construct justifications for their their on what whar is properly called romanticism alternative the 19705 1970S :llld and 19805, 1980s, skilled popular writers like Stewart Stewan alrernative designs. By the Brand, Ted Nelson, and Steven Levy joined them [0 to elaborate these these gestures into a more fully articulate vision. TIle The original giant giant computers were often associated aSso03ted with misguided efforts dlOns to somehow calcul:ue human dilemmas: to control the horror of calculate our way out of human nuclear nuclear warfare, for example. example, or or to win the Vietnam war, or to industrialize industrialiu secsec" retarial ret:lrial work, or to turn rum school school children into studious and obedient users of elece1ec" computers to control tronic encyclopedias. Sensing the folly of these these plans to use computers human complexiry complexity and and to frame it in a predictable grid, increasing numbers of the act of computing as a form of expression, individuals began to reinterpret the exploration, exploration. or art, to sec see themselves u as artist, rebel, or hoth, both, and to find commuthat interpretation. imerpremtion. People nities with similar experiences that would reinforce thM need to express themselves, it was said, people wanr want and need spontaneity, erccreativity, or dragon-slaying dt:lgon-slaying heroism, :md and direer, direct, unplanned illteracrion interaction with com:ltiviry, puters offered a kind of enticing. safely limited unpredictability thar chat would fulfill

those goals. l11at 11,at is why we need small ,ompute:rs computers instead of of mainframes, the argulllenr computers instead of dedicated word proargument WClJ(, went, why we need personal ,omputcrs cessors, why we need the open, endow-end end-to-end distributed networking of the internet inStead instead of proprietary ,0rpOrate cOtpOrate systems, why we: we should invest in 1990S dotcoms, why we need need open source software. These 11,ese discursive habits, I have found, had con5Cquenccs. consequences. For uanlple, eJtample, nc:oliberalism's neoliberalism's quarter century reign as a hegemonic politkal political economic ideology owes much w to the linkage of romantic tropes to netbecome an important colworked computing. At the same rime, the internet has bome lective thought thought objcct object for considering new ways of thinking about democracy. None of this is causc:d caused by romanticism alone. Causes are ;Itt: complicated, compliatcd, and in any case romanticiSm,:IS romanticism,;IS I undersrand undersr:md it, is always a reaction reacrion 10 something; it ir is in trwds, we will see, iliat the specific dynamics of irs its interacrion interaction with other tremis, that romanricism ticism can have consequences. Bur But whar what this book book suggests is that the specific forms of the rhe life-shaping digital machinery we have surrounded ourselves with of sOl11e kind are ut not the produer product of.some kind of rechnologicat technologic:al necessity; necessiry; it is not that we once mistaken idea had a misraken idea about what computers were for fOr and and now have discovered disccwercd is this "the their"true" their-true- uses. Nor is -the matket" marker- at work alone; alone; most of what is described in this this book book t:lkes takes pl:lce place in in situations where whete buying and selling arc are not the operaopen.tive ti\'e forces. fOrces. The poinr point is clur, that, while economic economic and technological forces of course have ha\'e played plared a role, role, the internee's internet's consrruction COnStruction is peppered peppered with profoundly cuiculrural tural forces: the rhe deep deep weighr weight of the remembered pasr and the the related, related. collectively organized pressures pressures of hurnan human passions passions made atticulate. articulate.. 111is with computer This is a book, book, then, about America's America's romance with compUter communication, communiation, a history history of of rhe the dense dense inter:lccion interactiOn of rhe the American social and political imaginarion imagination It is a look ar with the development of with of internet internet technology. technology. It at how how culture cultute has influenced the rhe consrruction construction of the internet and :md how the structure structUre of of the rhe internet has pbyed played :l. a role in culmres cultures of social and politica[ political thought. In rhar that sense, ir it is a case case Nrt Effrel srudy study in ~how -how innimtions instirutions think.~ think.-' TIlt 1I1( Ntt Effrrl explores various ways computer conllllunkation communication has been conceived o~"Cr O\1:r the years of its dc:vdopmem, developmenr, wirh with a focus on conceptions rhar that have have influenced influenced policy. Beginning with the 1950S, when machilles for fOr r:apidly rapidly solving complex computers were primarily imagined as machines mathematical mathematical problems, rhe the book rraces traces the appearance and character characrer of orher other notiOns notions of what connected computers might be for: as means for fighring fighting nuclear wars in the 1950S, for example, as sYStemS for bringing mathematical eX:lmple,:ls m:lthematical certainty to the messy complexity complexity of social soci:ll life in rhe the earl)' early 19605, 1960s, as automated writing and teading reading machines machints for enlightening enlighttning individuals in rhe the bte late 1960s. 1960s, as counterculrural countercultural pbygrollllds playgrounds in the 1970S, as an icon for fOt what's good about free markets in the 19805, 1980S, as a new frontier ftontier to be conquered in the early 19905, 1990S, and, by the late 1990S, 1990S. as the rranscendence utopia. 1he rr:lnscendence of markets markets in an an3rchist an:lrchist open source utopia, 11,e book is not JUSt 3bout rhe truthfulness of these v;lriouS :lbollt the various conceptions-inaccutacies conceptions-inaccuracies arc 2 [lltroduction Introduction

often re\ealing-bur about their rffrets q{e![$ accurate or nOt, llot, their impact both on the often revealing-but conStrUCtion and on 011 its receprion reception in in other parts oflife. consrructioll of the internet and Approach: How the Feel Feel of Modern Life Shapes Modern Living
Instud internet as a h3rbingc:r harbinger of the fumre, future, Tht Thr Nct Nrt Effrel Effullooks InsrC'3d of looking at the imernet looks at it it more mote as an expression of the times. This is nor not a book about the road rQOId ahe:td, OIheOld, inventing rhe next big thing, in\'enting the future, the thing. or the fumre future of ideas, creativity, creOitivity, or the wartling about might happen or economy. Nor is it a warning Wout whar what mighr Or what might be lost if we do nor not ace. aer. Sometimes exploring rhe the complexity of what has hu actually actu.a1ly happened pened offers more useful useful insighr insight [han than rhe the urgent urgenr gropings gtopings of prognostication. So, backwards ratber [;Jlher like Walter 13e,~amin's Benjamin's angel of history, -nIt n~ Net Nrt Effect Effm looks b.tdcwarth on ways that soci.tl and cultunl trenth more than forwards! It focuses as much social and cultur:ll trends mote forwards.' Ir have shaped the interncr and it finds internet as as on on how the internet has shaped shaped trends, trenth, .tnd nnth preinternet past in places where others have seen the imprint of themes from the preintemer rhis by by mixing historical sharp historical breaks. Ir It docs does all this histotical storytelling with discussions of philosophical and theoretical issues.' issues." And it is written with a sense eye towards of inquiry, of inquity, with with 1II0rc more of an eye towards answering answering questions than winning winning arguments. ments. . This book began, then, with several sevenl seu sers of of questions. questions. One One set came out our of 111is my the Air my earlier work. .....ork. [n In ScI/iug &Iling tlx Air I found rhat thar the devc:lopment development of broadcast as mind-blowing in rhe internet interner was in 199",-can technology-easily rechnology-easilyas in 19ao 19:10 as as the 1994-can be seen seen as a 01 kind of social philosophy philosophy in practice, practice, as something something rhat that was W:l..S 3S as much a product of social visions as :IS of technical or economic necessities. necessities, Over Ovet the long long term, ttrm, I found found that thOit broadcast policy was neither neither a blueprint for reality realit')' nor just an ideology that .tn rhal legitimates or emlbles enOibles decisions made elsewhere. Rather, Rathet. policy's contradictions and misrccognitions misrecognicions were themselves a key parr part of the social (onsrruetion COnstruction of the institutions and and tcchnologies technologies of bro3dcaning; broadcasting; the focus was on rhe the productivity of policy discourses, even when they were contradictory.' contradictoty,' As the internet grew in shape shape and and force fOrce in the 1990S, I was struck by rhe the parallels between berween the 19aos 19:10S and rhe the 1990S 3nd and wondered wondered how the the visions associated with the internet mighr might similarly similarly be shaping policymaking. As I watched watched developments with these p3tal1cls pOirallcls inl11ind, in mind, however, I was struck by two tWO rnore nlOre things: first, rhe the rCI11:lrk3ble remarkable revival of the nlarket-enamored market-enamored political cal economic pr:lttiees practices of neoliberalism in the mid-1990S and, second, the often noted but not nor fully explained exrent extent to which $omething something as :IS dry and seemingly technocratic a$ as cornputer computer network policymaking waS was riddled riddled wirh with odd momenrs mOmentS of passion, often in ways that thar seemed to confound the received ideas abour about the natute nature of cotporate corporate capitalism. Beginning with wirh an essay first nrSt published in 1999,' 1999," I 3

Incroducrion Introduction

soughr to develop an explanation of how rebellion, self-expression, and rechnoltechnology and market policies seemed to be harnessed together in a historically unique way, including in places where one would leasr expeer expect it, such as computing systems funded by the military. And, the more 1 thought about all of these concerns, the more they seem~d intertwined. Understanding one of them depended on understanding the others. So, finally, the book expanded into an exploration of how the feel of modern life shapes modem modern living. an inquiry into the imeractions interactions of subjectivities or personal experiences with technological, political, and economic relations. My initial observations about the internet became the basis for a case study that helped understand larger questions aboUT about culmre, culture, society, and modern life.1 How do broadly shared habits of thought change over time~ Some writers work through the history of ideas, as read through the lives and writings of famous authors. We inherit our ideas about rights, liberty, and markets from John Locke and Adam Smith, it is said, or the role of the'sixties counterculmre counterculture in computing in the nineties can be understood by a dose look at the life and work of Stewart Brand, whose influential career spanned both periods. Others look more to culmre and find zeitgeists or worldviews in cultural forms. Jacob Burckhardt saw a Renaissance spirit in the art and architecture architecmre of sixteenth-century Italy, for exanlple, example, and more recendy scholars have seen postmodern celebrations of the malleable self in the cyberpunk-influenced advertisements, novels, and films of the 1980S.' \Vhile I have borrowed from work in both these traditions, my own approach tackles issues on a more sociological level. Traditional intellecrnal intellectual history tends to ro carefully trace ideas over time through the biographies of individuals who rake take up those ideas and assumes rhar that the ideas have meaning and coherence through those biographies. This has the advantage of linking the development of ideas to real individuals and their direct contacts contaers with others; it is an approach thar that eschews overgeneralization or a hand-waving approach to ideologies. Yet locating the coherence of a system of thought in the biographies of individuals also risks a false clarity. John Locke atticulated articulated an individualist theory of property rights, but the analogies between what he wrote and the intellectual habits of "'possessive "possessive individualism" central centtal to Western capitalism do not explain the popularity of the idea or why his theories of rights and property are referenced but his views of religion are as often as not ignored. 9 Stewart Brand's ideas from the 1960S were indeed carried into the cyberculture in the 1980s and 1990S, bur but that does not explain why that importation was successful or why some aspects of his work gOt got :menrion attention in the 1960S (for example, environmentalism, envitonmentalism, a distaste for the singular pursuit of wealth) and orhers others in the 1990S (for example, computer technologies and a libertarian liberrarian inclination cowards towards markets). There are ,ases cases where famous authors in the field of computing someSOnle4 Introduction

times changed their minds or said things that rhat in retrospect seem incoherent or irrelevant. Similarly, drawing broad conclusions about society at large from films, novels, and advertisements risks assuming coo toO mu,h. much. Does Apple's 1984 TV ad for the Macincosh Macintosh computer, broadcast nationally narionally only once, tell us about the culture at large in the 1980s, or just about a small subset of that culturd A CentUry's century's worrb wOHh of scholarship in the sociology of knowledge suggests a few principles for understanding the place of ideas in sodallife. social life. First, ideas do nOt exist as isolated bits that can be picked up and discarded separately. Rather, they live and die inso(,r as they are sustained by their place in broad patterns patrerns of thought, in paradigms, in systems of value and belief that provide general visions of the world. (The main limitation of Richard Dawkin's popular notion of "memes" is precisely that it treats ideas as singular bits, as if they existed aucollomously autonomously from larger systems of thougllL)'" rhoughL)' \Vhen 'When digital pioneer Douglas Engelbart first proposed in the 1960S that computers might be controlled interactively by a keyboard and a mouse through a windowing intcrfa<:e, interface, this was not JUSt the invention of a few devices. Engelban Engelbart was a key figure in a movement that was considering a completely different picture of what computers were about. It was a vision of how computers could be distributed communication cools-that tools-that is, something much like we understand them today-instead of the 1960S notion of computers as centtalized and centralizing calculation and management devices. Engelbart presented ptesented an alternative alternarive worldview of computing. a different system of thought, thoughr, of which the mouse and overlapping windows were simply expressions. If you only look at the mouse or the interme interface in isolation, you miss tbe the underlying vision that made them possible. Second, ideas emerge within wirhin communities. There :lre :tre unique individuals who make important contributions, but those contributions generally grow out of, and are nurtured within, wirhin, communities that share a system of thought or Inquiry. inquiry. Isaac Newton discovered calculus, but it is hardly a coincidence that Leibniz came up with the same ideas at roughly the same time." rime." Engelbart's ideas would have gOlle gone nowhere without a community of the like-minded, or at least the receptive, around him. Hence, the first thing to look for is shifts in the shared broad patterns, rerns, in what is in the air at a given time. And the principal objects of analysis are communities who share ideas, knowledge, methods, and habits of thought and talk. Individuals' acrions are most mOst important impoHant when they express the character of and changes within broader systems of thought. Third, ideas inevitably exist in relations to social structures-complex rclarelations, co to be sure, but nevet never completely autonomously. Ideas need living sustenance, that is, communities of people with resources and institutional relations rclations that enable them co to actively propagate and maintain themselves. A theology needs a church and a community of believers; a new approach co ro computer 5 Inrroduction Inrroducrion

use usc re<juires requires a source of funding and an institutional instirutional home. Bur rhese these conne<:connections are arc rarely fonnul.aic. fonnulaic. In the history of the internet, for every visionary like t11ere arc other inlporr:mt important ngures ligures with no explicir explicit gr:md gr.md vision, politiEngelbart there cal or otherwise. Andries Van Dam, for example, example, sometimes credited as one onc of the three pioneers of hypertext, is a modest modcst college professor professor and research.er researcher who approached computer computet programming progtamming with a spirit of cheerful professional crafTsmanship craftsmanship rather rhan than visionary ardor. \A/hile \Vhile others prognosticated, prognrn;tica.ted, he built importantly, taught generations of students studentS about working programs and. most importantly, new possibilities possibilities for using computers, many of whom whom went on to to key places in the industry. Beyond an enthusiasm for for promoting computers as communication devices, devices, his efforts show show few ovett overt signs of inAuence inAuence from cultural cultur.ll trends trends or from politics. So So the faCT fact that some computer scientists sported sporred long hair hair or wore antiwar :lntiwar pins as rhey does not make it inherently counterculrural, they built buill the the internet internet docs not m:akc countercultural, just as as the faa fact thar that rheir their funding was largely largely frOlll from the military does not not by itself itSelf make it a war machine. It Ir is is rare that systems of thought can can be simply linked to to broad brO:ld social srrucTUres strnctures in mechanical, one-to-one one-tO-One fashion." What priests pricsts tell their parishioners about birth control or diVOrce divorce may be olle Olle thing. but what the community actually does may be another. another, TI,e The same may be be said about about an engineer's gr.ant gram proposal that talb talks about about using computers for military research, while his graduate studems students write protocols for email distriburion distribution lists that get used to gr.adu.au: discuss politics and and science nction Iiction novels. To say that institutions support ideas, therefore, is nOt not to :lssume assume the existence of a dean, unbreakable link between offivalence of the machines that get built. cial beliefs bdiefs and the political valence mesSy atea area of connections This messy conneCtiOILS between systems of thought and institutions will See, rraction, nor remains a 2 challenge. As As we will sec, new ideas idns ofren ohen gain goain traction, not just JUSt because beause of an experiences: the coman encounter with a big theory, but with small, sma1l, everyd:lY everyday experiences; pulsive pulsive draw draw that thOlt often ohen comes wirh with computer use, use, for eX:lmple, example, or the repeated wonder of plugging in in :l a new gi:l:lTIO gi:z;mo that a 2 shorr short time ago would would have hOlvc been imposdissibly expensive apcnsive or or just JUSt impossible, impossible, or rhe the cubicle cubicle dweller's dweller's secret SCC.tct pleasure plnsure of of dacovering. on a 2 slow slow day day at work, work, something striking on computer networks that th.ar is unknown unknown to the powers that that be. Systems of of thought often ohen work at the the level of [.acit tacit habits of of talk talk and and action action rather than than explicit belief bdief systems systems and become become visible through the .accumulation accumulation of decisions over over time. Outside Outside the graduate gradu:ate seminar or the hard sciences. sciences, at leasr, least, changes in Systems syStems of thought seem to to be as much about about h.abits habits of the heart hean as as habits of the mind. (The notion of "memes" may remain compelling in popular usage because, with its emphasis on things things bU:Z;2;words :lnd and slogans, it loosely captures captutes the informal dynamic by which which like bu;:;:words new ideas catch on: by slogans, passions, and implicit, culturally specific specilic forms of "common Wcommon sense," sense,~ as much as by rational axioms, evidence, principles, and doc6 Introduction

trines.) Sometimes it ir is more important that an idea idea be be thrilling than than it it be logically c.ally compelling. extent that this book offers a generaliz.able generali%able method, it is to taclcle To the extent tadcle rhis this microstruCUIral microstructural problem of the interplay of ideas and illstitutions institutions by looking at connections among three levels: leveIs: (I) shared felt experiences associated with with technologies; (1) nologics; (2.) culrural cultural traditions thar that people draw on to to make sense of those expe experiences; and (3) articularions OlrticuiatioILS between those linked linked traditions and experiences with with political ideas, ideas, particularly particulady political ideas that shape policymaking around internet structure. srrucrure. book I found People dlink found that thOlt think with with texts and theories, but in working on this book they thC)' :ilso also think think with with objects and and institutions. Whether \Vhethet or nor not computers computers themselves selves think, think. they ate are things things that people people think with, things that that inspire inspire us to think about our selves sel\cs and and our relations to others. Big ide:u, ideas, like like a revived revived belief belief in the enthusiasm for digital democracY_:lre sometimes brought justice of markets or:1ll or an democracy, are brought in (0 to help individuals account :account for and connen connect their evuyday everyday experiences with machines m:achines to life as :IS a whole rather than the other way around. Intellectual Inrellecrual trends thus can can gain g:lin tr:lction traction surting starring at the level of everyday experience and only then drawing frOl1l from more formally structured statements StatementS of principle. This book looks for rhe the philosophy, then, not just in fully articulated :lrti.:ulated theories, but bur a[ :l.t how ideas and and everyd:ay evetydi:ly experiences of life in in general and computers interact. Keeping an eye on how things might have felt from the bottom up, I found, sometimes better explained explained the rhe success Succcss of writers' ideas [han than did the lives or worb works of the writers themselves. themsekes.

Effecrs: Effects: The Net Effect Is in the Making of It


But Bur how. how, when working from from the bottom up, can an one sort SOrt out out the signinc:lnt signilicant from the trivial:' trivial~ Is there any any connection connection at :1( all, for for example, example, between between the internet and the the cold war military visions that underwrore underwrote rhe the internet's early carly development Or between the internet and the uropian and and the technology? tcchnology~ :md utopian democratic demOCr.ltic claims many internet pioneers? pioneers~ made by many Instead of of working &om from texts (0 to zeitgeists, zeitgeisrs. I looked for ocCllsions occasions where cultural trends made a m:lterial matetial difference. The book loob looks at instances inst:mccs where people associated draw on various cultural systems [0 to make sense of common common feelings :U$ociated play roles rolcs in formal form:ll and with computers and then how those acts of making sense play informal policy making. [ I looked for cases, in orher other words, where the the intersecto actually shape shapt policy tions of intellectual frameworks and feelings can be seen ro decisions influencing inRuencing the construction of the internet and its social instantiation, cues cases wnere wnert changes in polieym.ak:ing policymaking occurred rhar that cannot be otherwise entirely accounted for." for."
7

Introduction

As I worked on this book, people would often assume a book called 1J,r 7JJt Nl.'t Ntt Effi'Cf Effect was studying the tffect effect of the inrerntt internet on people-on children. perhaps, or Ot education, families, or nations. That is not exactly exacdy the question here. On the one hand. (0 tell what whar the imernet's incernet's effects are. True social hand, it is simply tOO soon to change is long alld and deep, taking place over ovet decades or centuries. Scholars are sti!l debating. quite thoughtfully, the effect of the printed princed book on humm human civilization civilizadon several centuries after its irs Widespread adoption. The full effect of the century-old telephone remains something of a sociologial sociological mYStery. mystery. Gauging the social effeclS effecu of a brand neW new technology like the rhe internet-as of this writing.. bately barely more than a decade old as a consumer item, still changing almost monthly monchly in its character bound ro and reach-is bound (0 be largely an e"ercise exercise in guesswork and sloganeering. On the other hand, there's rhere's a quesrion question of what one means by by effects. Sociolo500010gists and and histOtbns gisu historians of of technology rechnology are quick to to tell rell us to be wary of overly simple fornlS fOrms of technological technologica.l determinism, in which a technology like television Ot or the sky internet is imagined as if it wete were e"terior exterior ro to society, as if it dropped nom the sky fully and then exerted exened effects effectS on that society from nom the outside. Technolofiilly formed and and shaped are socially constructed."TIley constructed." They are deeply deeply embedded in and sh:lped gies, it is said, arc by soci:ll social processes and choices and so should nor not be thought of of as something parricularly true of outside of or or autonomous from from sociery. society. This is particularly of the internet. incemet. The choices that into computet purely technologica.l; technological; the same mat go into computer design design are :Ire not not purely Ot power microprocessor, for example, power example, can guide guide a missile, run a word processor, or a home game and which of these gets implemented is at least to to a large game console, console, and degrce computers sometimes have ifcomputers have unintended concondtgree a social choice.'l choice." (And even if scquences, e\'Cn if if they surprise us, us, that surptisc surprise may be more about us US than it sequences, even is about anything anything inherent ro to the machines; consider wnsider the unexpected popularity popularity of email in the early days of of computer networking.) Comemporary Contemporary computing.. is in an important therefore, imponant way way the product product of a gradual gradual accumulation of social therefOte. is :tnd and cultural culrural choices, choices. choices among compefing wmpeting visions visions of computers' purposes and social capacities. These These choices, choices. in turn, rum, typically rest on those collections collections of tacit assumptions that power powet social social relations-assumptions about about social social hierarhieratchy, for example, or constructions wnstruetions of self. As Donna Donna Hanway Haraway once pUt put it, techMfrozen moments momencs of the Ruid fluid social intencrions internctions constituting them."" them..... nologies are "frozen nologics To the e"tent extenc that this is rrue, true, then the intere.~ting interesting question is not, nor, what is the effecr incernet on society? but, bur. how has the internet been socially coneffect of the internet srructed of cOnstruction construction played played in society?'? society?'1 'W'hat What sttucted and what role has that thar process of did we learn from nom the way the internet was built, from the rhe unique way that it appc3red brO:ld public consciousness? appeated and C31llC came into broad a than;l Social cOllstructionism, consrructionism, however, howevcr, is more a way of framing the problem than solution to it. To the e"tent extenr that computers are arc simply, as Sherry TurkJe's Turkle's early work suggests, a Rouch:lth Rorschach blot onro onto which we project our dreams and understandings, 8 Introduction Introducrion

one can call safely safely discount the the specifics ofthe oftbe technology andjust focus 011 on how people imagine it." TIle has been im:lgine it.'l The internet, certainly, has been frequently looked at through the rhe lens ofvarious lltopi3S utopias and and described alternately as, say. the embodiment ofthe ofrhe competcomperitivc communiurian cooperation. Such claims itive free m3rket marker or the ernbodiment embodiment of communit:lrian are interesting.. interesting, but bur in the the first hrst instance they generally tell us more mote about abour the political orientation oftheclaimanrs ofthe claimants than they do about the internet. But, on 011 another level, the internet, more obviously obviously than many other technologies, has been and continues to be a gradual. The way gradual, collective work wotk in progress. 111e it ir is built and org.ani:zed organized is inseparable from the way its builders imagine it, even if they do imagine it pntially (and, analytipattially or inaccurately. So the more important {and, cally, COllly, more difficult} difficult) question is, how have various shared visions, even the inacinterner~ How have they shaped its shaped policymaking around around the internet? curate ones. shaped lifer How have culmre construction and, sociallife~ culture and. therefore, i[5 its character, its role in social is~ interacted to ro make the internet interner whar and policy interacted what it is? This is the principal principal methodological question question that drives dri\'es this book. As I TIlis personal approached the massive, massive, spra.wling sprawling tangle of technical information, personal up the hislOry have narratives, and political that make up history of the internet, I have politica.l events lIlat Out instances in which culture pla>'Cd pla.yed :1 role in and in which a key role in broad policy policy and sought OUt internet has figured figured in design chaires. design choices. 111c The intern in many ways in culture-in movies, for example, dating habits, even in religion-bur religion-but I have pursued those example. or novels, or daring even in instances m.:lde a :I difference difference in the cOnstruction construction inst:mces where culmre culture has demonstrably made of internet itself. TIl is book's approach to rhe of rhe the intern This the question of causality, causalif)', then, is is to to process of undetStand understand tht the internet not as a thing thing that has an effect but as itself:l itself:ll process soci:ll is in the making of it." social construction. constTuction. TI1C The Ilet net cffect effect is Culture, Selves. Seh'cs, Power Who arc are }"OU rQU when, on an an ordinary ordinary day, }"Ou you sit dOWll down to use a computer? computer? Arc Are you a citizen? A consumer? consumer~ A manager? A ttchnici:lll? technician? An :trtist? artist~ Arc Are you looking looking for for the familiar, or are you hoping to be surprised? Arc Are you you trying ro to reaffion reaffirm who you are, your sense of self? Ot Or are you perhaps hoping to break out of your rouexperience something something different. different, a better self? tine, to cx~rience 11lis that the different answeu answers to these questions questions offered by This book suggeSts suggests that culture, that is, shifting varieties of learned self-understanding or selfhood, have m.:l.de a difference in the development of the rhe internet and that the ways this has made happened tells rells us something abom about the rhe character of modern life. Multiple forms of seIf-ullderst:lllding self-undetstanding :ue are at play at ar anyone time: time; in the rhe last half-centuty half-century in the United States; for exarnple, example, utilitarian and managerial constructs constructs of the self have [ also look :u played a key role. But 1 at the role of the romantic self, where the self is , :I understood :IS as the source of a dynamic, inner experience that rhat calls on us to ro live 9 Introduction

Ctc~tively beyond the bounds of predictable rationality. We ate creatively are romantics even, even. face of high technologies. and perhaps especially, in rhe :md especially. the From Locke thtough through Butckhardt Burckhardt to Tocqueville to ponmodernism, postmooernism. rhe the quesrheme. In panicular, tion of how societies imagine the self is a recurring rerorring theme. particular. the traditional history of ideas teaches the impon:mce t~e importance and deep complexities of the historic:al evolution of what Ian Wart W:1tt called caJled "th:at ~that vast vaSt complex of interdepenimerd~n historical dent f:actors denoted by the U:t11l 'individualism-'o and what poststructuralists posrstrucruralisu dem factors term 'individualism-" waS the study of the process suggested was ptocess of the I in history. Thc The idea here is not that the not that ~societ{ [hat me self is an illusion, nor ~sociery- mechanic.ally mechanically detetmines determines our identities, nor that mat the ~lf self has h:u suddenly become. in the postmodern postmooem era, infinitely malleable. maJIeable. Rather, Rather. as Christina Dunbar-Hester has argued. ~the "the benefit of using parts of human experience that are moving [the category of identity] is to get at paru yet'real. cOnstructed, and yet'real...... targets, slippery, constructed, To get at the "slippery. subjectivity, r ~slippery. constructed, yet yer real" dlaracter character of subjectivity. I find Frow. who has written writren of"rhe of~the imaginary forms of selfsclfit useful to follow John Frow, experience rhe the world and our Ollr relation to it:'" it." Forms of hood through which we e~perience selfhood, in this sense, arc are forms, fonns, nor not types of individuals. They are discursive pattems institutions and historical hisrorical processes that become available available patterns embedded in insritmions co sense of who they arc are in in given contexts. One to illdividuals individuals as ways of making sense never simply ij a utilirari:1rl utilitarian or Ot rOlllantic romamic or genderI'd gendered self. Rather. Rather, most of us find find ir it necessary neccssary or useful useful to adopr adopt roles, to think think and speak spe:Ut of ourselves in in various established ways, to think of ourways. at various various moments momems in in our lives. We often have to selves, selves. for for example. example, ;\$ as alternately passionate passion2te and as administrators, administrators. one moment moment as as caring caring parents parents or or partners partners and the the next as self-interested self-interested rational rational actors actors in in a marketplace and ~Imaginary and after after that th2t as competent professionals pro&ssionals with resumes. "Imaginary forms forms of selfhood: selfhood.~then. then. are 2re neither neither fixed fixed identities identities nor nor complete or or determinate detuminate in in some kind kind of mechanical mechanicaJ way. They are plural and and RUid, Auid. bur but not not infinitely so; so: there there are typically rypically several several forms forms available available to any any given given individual in in any any given given concontext, is possible, possible, and and probably probabl}' sometimes sometimes necessary. neces.s.ary, to to move among among them." them.J text, and it is the tensions inherent in this situation in our own We all regularly negotiate Vole all regularly negotiate the tensions inherent in sirua.tion in own ways. ways. of course. but the social process and ofcourse. the contingencies contingencies of ofsocial 2nd history history provide provide us us a shif1:ing shifting set of available avail:.tble strategies straregies for for accomplishing accomplishing that th2t negotiation." negotiation.' set of Are there there particular particular forms foons of of selfhood selfhood associated with with computing~ wmputing! There There cercerand Wiml containly has been speculation along those lines. Software engineer tainly has been speculation along those lines. Software engineer Wired contributor tributor Ellen Ellen Ullm:m, Ullman, for fot example, example. has has written written evocatively evocatively about about what what she she calls calls "a "a male male sort sort of of loneliness londiness that th.at adheres .adheres in in programming." programming." Yet Yet she she hints hints at at the the laylay"Fifteen years ers of complexity complexity in in rhe the phenomenon phenomenon when when she she quips, quips."Fifteen years of of programprogr.amers of ming, ming.. and and I've I've finally finally learned le3rned to to rake take my my loneliness londiness like like a 2 man:'" man... One One of of rhe the problems problems with with some some of of the the original origin.al work work on on the the history history of of indiindividualism vidualism was was a a tendency tendency to to imagine im.agine a a sil\gular, singular, European European or or Western Western sel self, as as if if
m "

rear

everyone in a given time and place experiences rhe world in the same way. Rheto<:onric about the spread of the internet .and and computing frequently echoes [his this conccit when it spe:aks terrns- "everyone~ is on [he the internet. using em2i1. email, ceit speaks in universal termsusing Facebook. Facebook, and so on-in a way that systematically ignores cultural and >6 For example, example. the economic barriers to .access access and differences in use. usc." tbe percentage of women entering the fields of computer science has h2s always been small and, and. h:u actually declined in the rhe last l:l$t decade. Because this to some reports. has according ro profe.ssions has has occurred at a time when women's participation in many other professions mill; of cultural. cuirural, institutional. institurional, and been going up. most attribute anribute this pattern parrern to ro a mi~ economic barriers." barriers." we. in inherem in the rradirion tradition of a singular we, In response to the blindness inherent self. there is now an established the assertion of a unified and universal sense of self, sec of critiques. From W. g. E. B. Ou Du Bois's 11,t Thr Souls oj BllICk Black folk Folk. through the set feminist writings of the 1970S through the Iireratures literatures of culrural cultural studies today, today. d!fftmu forms of sdfhood selfhood experienced by difon the differwr the emphasis has been on dominant groups' tendenferem groups. groups, and the problems and pain caused caused by dominanr ferenl the only experiences. (It is own experiences eKperiences of selfhood as rhe cies to imagine their own not always wrong to speak of a we in generab general: :l1ld when 1 nor and when I do so. sometimes it and the reader and and sometimes it speaks of of the shared fmure future of signifies myself and humanity.'" humanity., But, Bur, in the end, end. there is no no everyone on 011 the internet, intetnet,just JUSt as as there thete is no single type of of Western individual. and the the tendency tendency to to speak speak as if if there is, is. the the tendency to speak spe:ak of a we th:lt that encompasses encompa.sses everyone, everyone, is both both inaccur:lte inaccurate and potentially manipulative. manipulative. Yet the response response (;InnOt cannot be be only to to say say that that everyone's everyone's experience is different different or Ot ro to assert assert other other identities against. against. say, say. a white white male male identity. identity. When \hen Ullman Ullman ~rhe male sort sort of of loneliness that mat inheres in progr:lmming.~ progranuning." she is is both both describes "the describes of experience our our culture culture associates with .t a pointing ro to a genet:llizable generalizable pattern parrern of pointing type of masculinity masculinity and and allowing aJIowing how. how. as as a woman, woman, she she c.tn can share in in that that e~peri experitype of of programming. programming. she she can can take t:ake her her loneliness loneliness like.t like a mall. man. ence: .tfter after fifteen fifteen years years of ence; is associated with. but not necessarily bound to. masculinity. and The experience The e~perience is associated with. but not necessarily bound to, masculinity. and the is hal\' how that thar association a.ssooation has has been been historically historically comtructed. constructed. the question qucstion is of giving giving voice voice to ro Culrun.l studies' studies' project was was never ne\'er simply simply the the liberal liberal one one of Culrural or of of assening asserting one one kind kind of of experience mechanically mechanically tied tied to to a a social social the voiceless voiceless or the of how how voices voices are are established established in in the the grouping agJIinSt against another; another; ir it was was a rerhinking rethinking of grouping Ot first place, place, focllsed focused on on how how everyday everyday lived lived experience experience intersects inrersects with with power power or first social struggle. Struggle. The The "male "male SOrt SOrt of of loneliness" loneliness" associated associated with wirh computing computing is is in in the the social of history history and and context, context, 1I0t not biology. biology. Forms Forms of of selfhood selfhood bear bear the the hishisend a a product product of end of their times. On the one hand, this means one needs to carefully torical markers torical markers of their timeS. On the one hand, this rlle:lns one needs to carefully explore the the cultural cultural patterns panerns of of meaning meaning inherited inherited by:a by a given given community. community. Most Most of of explore rhe the people people who who played played key key roles roles in in developing devdoping the the inrerner, internet, for for example, example, inherited inherited
11 11

10

Introduction

Introduction Introduction

a tradition rradition ill in which which technological technological mastery mastery was was imagined imagined as as inherently inherently masculine. masculine. a masTery of of technologies rechnologies has has From railroads railroads TO to radio, radio, from from automobiles automobiles to to VCRs, VCRs, masTery From been treaTed as a sign of male prowess and COntrol. This history weighs on the been treated as a sign of m3le prowess and comro!. This history weighs on the of engineering engineering and policymaking policYlnaking discussed discussed in in this this book book and and will will be disdiscultures of culmres at relevam relevant points. points. cussed at cussed Yet culmral cultural studies studies also also effectively effectively brougln brought to the:: the discussions discussions of of identity identity dod ~nd Yet difference a concern with the reliltional as opposed to essential quality of subjecof subjec difference concern wiTh the rrlado,,"1 opposed essenrial tivities. E. E. P. TIlompson Thompson :l.rgued argued that that social class-the class-the social social idemity identity with with which tivities. cultural studies studies began-needs begall-needs to be understood understood as as ~a "a relationship, not not a a thing.~" thing."' cultural "an active process which owes owes as much much to to agency as as to to conditioning conditionillg ... ... somesome~an which in in f.lCt fact happen!.~JO happens:'JO So So the the focus focus of of this book book is less with with what what catcatthing which egOty people belong to in in the The fixed sense, less less with with thcir their socioeconomic socioeconomic or ethnic ethnic egory and more more with wiTh the the dynamics dynamics of v:l.rious various consrrucrions constructions of sdfhood sclfhood backgrounds, and in specific conrens. COntexts. Cyberpundit Cyberpulldit Esther Dyson Dyson is a woman, bur bUT what mattered mattered in most about her 3ctivities activities in the 1990S was her liberrarianism; libertarianism; she she was was a key figure figure promotillg 3nd and making acceptable the the tendency to imagine society online as in promoting made up of abstract abstraCT individ\l:lls individuals pursuing their their interests in a marketplace, indiindirnade ethllic, gender, or class status did not matter. mattet. That viduals imagined as if their ethnic, libertarian model of selfhood-its sclfhood-its 3IJures allures and its limitations-played a key role trajectory of the internet intemet and its reception in the early 1990S. in the trajectory notion of individuality is proudly abstracted from Of course, the libertarian's nodon differellces, and from bodies; all that is supposed not nor to mathistory, from social differences, ter. Both the utilitarian and romamic individualist forms of seJfhood selfhood rely on rer. romantic creation-from-nowhere :l.Ssumptions, assumptions, from structures of understanding that are cre:uiOllfrom-nowhere conditions underlying new systematically blind to the collective and historical ,onditions ideas, technologies, :and and new wealth. For histori,..! historical and sociological reasons, ide:l.S, new tedlllologies, these bJinkered blinkered structures of undersranding understanding have come mote easily to men than COllle more women, And it is ill in v3rieries vatieties of this gesture, gestute, I have found, that rhat the fonns forms of to women. identity promoted by the cultures culrures of the imernet intemet have most obviously played a idenrity e);periences of computing. computing, U.s. society, society. Various experiences role in the power dynamics of U.S. sutfing the web from a cubicle to investing in the wildly expanding stock from surfing matket, when coupled ro to various politic.. political occasioned a revivi.1 discourses, have oa:asioned market, fication of :In an enthusiasm for the idea abstracted individual in the culture ide:a of the abstn.cted fic:ltion and a concomitant faCt that concomitanr insensitivity to social tclations relarions and inequalities. The facr can seem thrilling, that it aln can feel like an escape and thus like a type of computing ,an States, But it is freedom happens more often to men than women in the United States. process of cO'lstrucring constructing what is experienced e);perienced as seperateness, in the promoin that prOre$$ tion and reinforcemenr sort of 10neliness,H toncliness,H more than the simple reinforcement oC of, say, "a male SOrt statistical dominance in computing, that the flux of identities associfaCt of male dominan'e statistl<:al fact ated with the inrernet internet has mattered.
12 12

Ullman's Ullman's depiction depiction of of a a male male loneliness loneliness associ:l.ted associated with with programming programming councounters of the the uperien,e experience of of computing. computing. not not by by denundenunters rhe the individualist individualist rendition rendition of ci:ltion, ciation, but but by by asrute aSfUte observation. observation. Her Her writings writings are are full full of of people people alone alone at at their their compurers who feverishly feverishly reach reach out out over over rile the wires wires for for upression, expression, connection, connection, computers who :affirmatiOn affirmation while ignoring ignoring the the people people around around them-in them-in the the nexr ne);t room, room, across across the the srreet, street, in in their their city. city, Ullman's Ullman's work work in in general, general, fictional fictional and and non-, non-, uses uses a a novelist's novelist's attention attention to to hum:l.n human detail detail ro to tease our our the the inner f:lbric! fabrics of of the the experience experience of of comcomputing. puting, those those patternS paTterns of of grandiosity, grandiosity, obsession, obsession, and and discovery discovery intertwined intertwined with with momentS of missed hurl,an human conllcction connection characteristic characteristic of of the the last three three decades decades of moments of the computing culture in in the the United United States." States." the TI,:lt That male male sort SOrt of loneliness, loneliness, theil, then, is of of a piece with with the the f:lcr fact th:.\[ that our our culture culrure has has imagined perroll:ll personal autonomy autonomy to to various degrees degree.~ in terms terms of of the the model of of the historic power of of men over over women, in in terms of the power powet to command, command, to walk out our the rhe door, door, to to deny deny the work work of nurturing nurturing and the the material material f:lct faCt of of interdependence. It is this habit of understanding freedom negatively, negatively; blindly, as freedom from goverlllllent, government, freedom from from dependency, freedom from others, that helps Set set the the conditions for the popularity populariry of the rights-based free m3rket. market. But, Blit, this book suggests, the same s[tuct\ltes structures of self-understanding also set the conditions for for the rOIll:lntic longing for wnstructed consrructed senSe sense of 3 a l:lck, lack, a felt absence, that can turn into tomantic some unknown or unachiev:lble unachievable otl1er.ln other. In that longing may lie seeds to change.

The Chapters
Many of the rile collective technological decisions that have h:lVe constructed the internet h;lVe been gradual and are still underway. TIle have The discussion of them, therefore, is in various ways woven throughout the book. But each chapter centers on a particumoices and associated visions. Shared visions tend to evolve gradually lar set of choices between communities, without sharp boundaries in either time or space, so while arc organized toughly chtonologically, there is some overlap, and the chapters are roughly chronologically, some simultaneous evems events appear in different chapters, I sets the stage for Chapter 1 fot the rest of the book by introducing se\'eral several key concepts while exploring the eatly COntextS that set in culmnl and institutional conrexts Concepts early cultural motion research and institutional support morion the reseatch suPPOrt leading to the creation of the rhe interoriginet. Starting around 1960, it looks at the beginnings of the shift from the origi nal vision of compurers computers as c:l.lculatillg calculating machines, in a category with slide rules, towards the idea thar that they might he be communication devices, in a category with books, writing. and the telegraph, lllis conceptual change was crucial nucial to the shift telegraph. This from centralized, batch-processed computers to the interactive, de'entralized decentralized Computers computers of today. At st3ke stake in these differences are competing visions of the ,haracter character of human ruson, reason, particularly the problem of relating means to ends.
13 Inrroduction Introduction

Introducrion Introduction

cre:uing sofrware srructures of reward and induscreating software and using computers and :md the structures sofrware; rhe the same romantirotnantitrial organization that emerged from commodified software; the decade was now marshaled .:ism that had fueled free marker visions earlier in rhe dsm against them. 111( sumtnari"es rhe the larger point ro to be learned from the previous The conclusion summarizes our embrace, use, and continued development beil\ chapters: use.:md de\"dopment of the internet has bein. chaprers: imernet is a shaped by our experience of how it emerged. The openness of the inrernet it developed. developed, nor not something inherent in me the product of the peculiar way in which ir the inrernet's internet's history, as a result. result, is inscribed in its pracrical practical charactet character technology; me tedmology; served as a socially evoeati\'e evocative object for millions and crecre and use_ use. The internet has seryed :tted a context in which an ongoing exploration of the (he mnning meaning of core principles ared pro perry. freedom. freedom, capitalism. capitalism, and the me social have been made vivid and like rights, property. that go well beyond the usual elite modes of discussion. It It has hu debated in ways rhat the certainties of bath market policies and played a key role in casting into doubt rhe democraric debate corporate liberal ones and widened the range of possibility for democratic and action, bringing to the surface sur&ce polirical political issues that have been donuant dorm:\1lt since States. Bur this effiorescence of openness is nor not Progrcssive Era in the dle United Srates. the Progressive [(uths about technology (or about abour progress or humanity) the result of underlying truths breaking through the crusts of tradition and inequality. It is the result of pecuTIle role of romanticism romanricism in particular reveals, not and culture. The liarities of history :md universal truth, but bur rhe the historical historiul contingencies at work wOtk in rhe the creation crearion of bath a unh'ersal technology and democracy. democt:lcy. As a practical matter, maner, a new politics of internet policy making in the United Srares States would be wise to take that history into account and Start from the widely felr felt tensions between romantic and utilitarian individualsun towards a richer. richer, more mature approach towards democratic clemoet:ltie deciism and move mwatds sion making.

"Self-Motivating "SelfMotivating Exhilaration"


Cui rural Sources or CompUter Communication On the Culrural of Computer

'n,ere is i. a feeling of fCMWrd renewed !>opt: hope in me the air duf that rh.r the public infen$\" interest will find a way ThUt rhe dision decision processes proces~s dur rim sh:ape shape lhe du,' furore. future.... Ir is a feeling one of dominating lhe ... It 'nle infomurion information revol.ution rel'<,llUlion is bringing with it a key at me rhe con5Ok. collllole. The experiences al dIat nuy may open rhe the dOOl" door to a new era of invo!.\nnmr inl''Oh~ment and p.1.map.nion. participation. The key is dur effective: inrcnrnon interaction wim self motivating uhilaration exhilaralion lhar u:companies truly mzly dfrcrive me sdf-moriv:lting rtur accompmi~ good. coruolc nlllsole rotInecled connected rhl'Ollgh through a goocI good infonnarion Ihrough a goocI inlOrnurion and knowledge through neN'ork to.:l. to.a goocI good computer. ner",ork tomputer. -imerner pioneer Joseph Liclc.lider Licklider' -interner

Introduction
the internet. inrernet, when ARPA In a now-legendary mOment moment in the history of rhe ProjeCtS Agency) Director Jack P. Ruina was searching for (Advanced Research ProjectS oversee the Department of Defense's research efforts someone to o\ersee cffons in comput196z, he turned to J. Ruina said Licklider ~used "used to rell tell me R. Licklider. Ruiru ing in 1961, to spend a lot of time at ar a computer console. console.... how he liked ro ... He said he would it and become son sort of or addicted.~ addicted:' Today. Today, in rhe the e.nly early lWenry-first rwemy-first get hung up on ir that peculiar feeling of interacting wim with compurers COmputerS is familiar &miliar [Q to milCentury, mar century, compUter garnes, games, web surfing. or acrua.I acrual programming. lions; whether whethet through computer have experienced versions of the compulsive absorption, people across the globe havc ~addiction; thar (hat can sometimes come wim with computing. Hit some keys, the ~addicrion; keys. gee get a me :.Igaill, again, again. The -rhe litde little responses the response, hit again, another response, again. offers~some numbers, an error message. m~sage, an image, :l a sound-do 5Ound~do nor not COmputer offers-some COmpurer tesolve things. Rarhet, Rather, they are arc just jusr enough to invite rhe the user to ro try :Again, again, ever in resolve ir right, of finding whar's what's next. hope, in :mticipation anticipation ofgetting of getting it hope. acruIn the early 1960s, however, only a handful of people in the world had actuintetacting with a computer; few, and computer: computers were few. ally had the experience of inreracting interactioll through a kcyboatd keyboard and only a small fraction of them allowed direct interacrion Much of Licklider's uniqueness C:.lme from the f.tcr r11:.lt, among screen. Screen. came faCt that, amollg the very few who had directly experienced an interactive computer, he saw this ~holding "holding power"1 as a potentially positive force; he eventually called it "the "rill:: self-moth'atsdf-motivat. power"l

c.

16

Introduction

'7

c:xhil:l.r.ltion rhat thar accompanies effective interaction inter.lcrion with inform;uion ing exhilaration accomp:mies truly effectivc infotmation through a :l. good console and and:l. good network computer~' and f.tmously proposed a compuu:r"' f.unously proposcd th:u it would e\entually eventually lead to more effective and n.tional rational human behaviors. As that ARPA's computing projeCt project for most of the 1960s, to 1960s. Licklider went on to head of ARPAS laid the foundation for the interneL internet. fund much of the research that I:lid generated by the interaction of embodied pheFelt e:qx-rience. experience, as a rule, is gener.ned conte1l'ts. Ingesting peyote buttons. buttons, for example, can be culmral COntexts. nomena with rulrunJ entertainment :rnd and by collcge students as a form of entenainment experienced by American college N ...tive AmeriGln American shamans as a connection with the ancestors. :Illcestors. A Southwestern Native m:l.Y experience the physical exhaustion of Of:lll mountain climber may an arduous and lifethreatening climb as supremely exhilarating; a war w:lr refugee fleeing her homeland darkest despair. similar stress as a feeling of the datkest might experience physiologically simil:u The same is true of the compulsive experience of interacting with a computer. contexts, in the equivalents of sham:lnistic shamaniStiC rituals ritu:lls or Computers exist in cultural COntexts, Compurers college dorm rooms, and people give meaning to the technology accordingly. thar computers compurers do not have material m:lterial effects apart from what wlut l1lis is not to say that This ...bout them. In fact. fuct, it is probably prob:lbly the case that, economically the culture believes about that hum and socially, the computers with the most impact on our lives are rhe the ones rhat outofsight l:ltge institutions, calculating calcul:uingour away quietly out ofsight in large our bank statements, concalls, maintaining OUt our payrolls, and :lnd the like. If those computers necting our phone calls. suddenly disappeared. disappeared, our economic world would collapse. Bur But if the computers interacr with and talk so much abom, on our desks. desks, the ones we directly inter:l.ct about, suddenly of us it arguably would be little more than an inconvenience disappeared, for many ofus to using telephones. telephones, typewriters, typewrirers, file cabinets, and photocopiers.' photocopiers. f to go back to however, (sptd'llIy For a technology to be integrated into society, howel'er. Nptrial/y when much activity is invisible, it has to be. be given meanings that can relate it to to domiof irs acti\'iry v:llues, to everyday life, and to to bodily experience. experience.~ Those lllOse often ofren intricate nanr social values. nant meanings, in tum, turn, shape over ovet time what the eechnology technology becomes. Technology, Technology. in munings, wotds, is necessarily mediated by culturally embedded human experience. other words, the interactive interaCtive computer are meanings associated with the str.rnge strange draw of ehe The munings rhat some see it is as :Ill an addiction addicrion while others see it ir as a potential fluid. The faCt that liberation, we shall see. see, is JUSt jusr the rip tip of the iceberg in terms tetms of source of human Iiber:l.tion. interaCtivity. But the fluidity of these meanings the various readings of the feel of interactivity. tandom. They TIley emerge out of particular hisrorical historical and social soci:ll contexts. is not random. e1l'ploring some key moments in the e:lrly history of comThis chapeer, chapter. while exploring Uniled StateS, States, introduces a number of ways of making sense of puting in the United contexts OUT out of which ti,e communicatioll have those coneexrs the meanings of computer communication liberal" context of technological develbrO:ld "corporate liberar emerged. It looks at the broad :l pateern partern of quiet cooperation between opment in the United States, involving a :lround rechnological technological issues, issues. and traces the habit corporations and government :Iround

insrrumemal rationality ration:llity as a tool for org:lnizing of insrrumental organi:?:ing that cooperation. It then sur\.eys me emerging tensiOll between thar rhe thenveys the tension that instrumental rationality and the ple:lsures of inreracrive computing. in which interactive computing, new experience of the compulsive pleasures tension between the ends and means collapsed-which became expressed as a rension computers were for addressing strictly defined problems consistent notion that compurers with est:lblished established institutional institurional gO:l1s goals and the dawning realization that they might mealls was WI!J the end, end. be approached playfully, in a way in which the means TTiumph of Personal PCTsonal Freedom or OT Strangelovian StT3ngclovian NightmaTc? Tightmare? A Triumph PTObJems in the Histodography (nteTnet Problems Historiography of the Early Internet

m:muru;

me

me

stories, without wirhout One cannot say much about the past intelligibly without telling seories, to :Ill :U1 orherwise othetwise inchoate mass of putting the past pasr into narrati\'es narratives that give form co purring moreover,:lre details. The stories told by historians, mOteQ\er, ate rarely ifever incontrovertible; Revolurion best firs fits the facts. faces. atgumentS continue over which Story story of the French Revolution arguments histoty, the storics stories told so far are m:lrked marked by a peculiar Yet, in the case of internet history, Rosenzweig has remarked, remarked. the stories aboUT tension; as historian Roy Rosen:weig seories people tell abOUT me history of the inrernet its militaristic the internet seem torn rorn between those that focus on itS origins in cold war institutions institurions :lnd and funding and the influences of the 1960s coune1l'ample, the stOry terculture.' Take, for example, story of Licklider. Science writer M. Mitchell biogl'3phy, describes Licklider in warmhearted w:ltlnhe:uted tcrms. terms. ~Lick: Lick,~ Waldrop, in a 2001 biography, as Waldrop is fond of calling him, is presented as an amiable humanist and forethe internet who "provided ~provided rhe the road map" father of rhe sighted engineer and leader,:l leader. a f.ather made computing personal.... personal."' As director of ARPAS ARPA's comfor ~the "the revolurion revolution that m:lde Hessenrially I:lid laid our rhe the vision and the puring effortS, efforts, Licklider was the man who ~essentially puting quarter agenda that would animate U.S. computer research for most of the next quaner Century, and arguably down to the present day,"' day.~1 century, take the version of Licklider in science historian Paul Edwards's 1997 The Now me Cloud World. According to Edwards, Liddider Licklider was signifiGlnt significant principally because, CIoKd :IS a key player in the military use and funding of computer research, rese.1rch, he crys_ erysas thoughr born of the cold war that thar melded talli;:ed ~cyborg "cyborg disoourse.~ discourse," a mode of thought talli:?:ed ideologies~ of computer e:lrly computer compllter technologies with "fictions, fantasies, :lnd and ideologies" early Edwnrds's telling, telling. Licklider is not WaIWalnerworks and artificial intelligence.... intelligence.'o In Edwards's networks drop's amiable visionnry dtop's visionary that humanized computers but a cold war warrior comcentrali;:ed sysrem devoted to a dangerous dehumani:?:ing dehumanizing dre:lm mitted to a system dream of centr:lli:?:ed :lnd complexity via vin computeri:?:ed cOlllpuleri;:ed control systemsmilitary control of people and fighl'ing and winning a nuclear war. Edwards poines points principally for the purpose of fighting sp:lwlled the internet-multitasking. OUt that most of the key innovations that spawned time-sharing. interconnection of compUlers networks. and accessible, time-sharing, computers through networks, organi%ed user interfaces through screens-came into intera.crive, graphically organized interactive,
19

J8 18

"Self-Motiv:ldng Exhihr.lcion Exhibration" Self-Motivating

"Self.MQovating Exhibrarion" "Sclf.MoriVOlring Exhilar:lrion"

II

because they lent themseh'es themselves to to a milit:lry vision of command being only bec.auSt; 01. miliury commOl.nd and =d control. Ed.... Edwards quores a speech by General Westmorebnd in the aftermath '2rds quotes 01. Westmore.land iliennath of ~I S,~ see,~ Wenmoreland ~an Anny Army built into and around around:ln Viet Nam. I Westmoreland proclaimed, OI.n an are:l control system that exploits the advanced technology of commuintegrated area autom:ltic dOl.ta data processing-a and the required auromatic nications, sensors, fire direction, ;and system thar rh:lt is sensitive to to the dynamics of the ever-changing battlefield-a syssysrem auisu the tactical taerical commander in makillg making sound and timely tem that materially assists decisions." Edwards continues, This is ,he language of vision and tuhnological uropia, nOT not practical pr.lclial necessity. 111i5 the bnguage technological utopia, nc<:cssity. It that is IS bloodless for rhe the vicror, remote represents a dream of victory rhat victOr, ofbattle of banIe by temore control. of lipecd speed appr=ching appro.lching the inttanrancou5. instant2neOUI, and. and ofcC'l"Qinry of ccrt~inry in decision mal.:makoomrol, ing and oomrrnlnd. comm~nd. It is a a vis.ion vision of a a cloud c10led world, world, 2 a chaoric ch~otk and dangerous d~ngeroul spxc space iog and rendered orderly and. and controllable the poWCT$ poweT$ of t:lrioruliry rationality and. and tuhnology." oontrolhble by me technology.war urgencies, Edwards This kind of Srrangelovian Srr.mgdovian vision energized by cold wu free-flowing sums of money that paid for emphasizes, produced the vast and me-Howing as communication devices in the S communiCOltion much of the important research into computers OI. important impetus for rhe early 1970S and has remained an impon::mt United States until the reenergized by Presiresearch funding ro rese:ltch to the present day, particularly after it was reenergi<:ed dent Ronald Reagan's "Star Vl.1rs" Wars" project. peculiarities sllttounding hisrory of Here we have one of the major peculiaricies surrounding the early history Hen: the internet. One way of telling the story Story makes it seem to to be about the gradual graduOl.I decenrralized personal computing O\'Cr over centraliud, centralized, impersonal comtriutnph of decenttali<:ed triumph is a story Story .about about the triumph ofpersonal freedom, individual control, and puting; it is.a puting: about visions of nuclear EdwOl.rds's version finds the opposite: a Story .about uniqueness. Edwards's war and efforts to erase individuality through centralized command and control. wu effons 1I0t about facts; f.'IctS; both boch authors do a solid job of getting bere is not The difference here facts ur2ight. straight. Licklider Licklidet did ;anticipate OI.nticipate some features of present-day comtheir f;lcts momenu of his professional career mOSt important momencs puting. :Ind and he also lived the mon ne;ar the center of efforts to build compurer systems inrended intended to unapologetically computer un;lpologetically ne:l.r W3rs. TIle difference is in how the Story is told, in how the factS are fight nuclear wars. intO a nalT:ltive. narrative. This tension or discrep=ey discrepancy pervades narr2rives narratives woven together into reflection. about the internet; it calls for some serious reAection. ofTechnologicaI Innovation The Puzzle ofTechnological
Continuous technological innovation seems to be a key feature of the industrial innovations come about in general is world. The question of how technological innov:lr1onS no small one, nor is it purdy inrellectual. intellectual. Technological innovation is a key mea110 sure: of moderniZ:ltion, achievement is an ambition of practically moderni<::l.tion, :md and as OI.S such its :l.chievement sure every nation21 national government governmenr and most major political theories, from Marxism to
20

Reaganism. If one dismisses the simplistic extremes-for example, pure liberurlibert:nRe.aganism. ian m:l.rkers markets or pure centrali<:ed centr:llized planning-the field of potential models of techdil'erse, complex, and interlaced with the pasnology development is still quite di\'C.tse, sions of political visions. And in the history of technological change, the internet cwdal case study, smdy, not the least because it has called into question many of is a crucial the earlier received models of innovation. Like the unanticipated collapse of the Soviet Union, the surprising success of the internet has forced us to rethink what we thought we knew about how big changes happen. inventions by It remains popular, certainly in the press, to recount hisrories histories of invenrions of heroic individuals who, through sheer force of detertelling the Story in tetms cc:lling terms mination and genius, were right when everyone else gOt it wrong. School children arc: regularly tteated rn~ated to ro the story of the Wtight hrst air;l,(e Wright brothers developing the first Marconi the r2dio. radio. This plane in a bike shop, Edison inventing the light bulb, or Marroni p1:ane indin:l.tion ilia also sometimes leads to a listing of"firsts; of"firsu": Westinghouse's Westillghouse's KDKA inclin2cion ~first" broadcast radio sution, st:l.tion, Paul Baran invented packet switching was the "first" posrnudear communications in the early 1960s, [960S, and Marc Andreessen crectefor posmuclear ated the first graphic:l.1 graphical web browser, Mosaic, in 1993 at the University of Illinois. ared internet hisrory history is full of appealing stories of clever underdogs struggling Indeed, incernet against and eventually out-sm:lrting out-smarting various hulking bureaucratic military and tight, but there is corporate monoliths. Licklider is intriguing enough in his own right, corpotate sincete politiCOlI political ide.alism idealiSIll of Douglas Engelbart, also the sincere EngdbOl.rt, credited with the mouse, the interfaces, and other oeller now-f:uniliar now-familiar features of computers. There's rhe windowing interfOl.ces, e;Irly ARPANET pioneers, who created remarkable colbborative colhborative spirit of the early mnukab(e n;amed RFCs-Request for Comments-which set an tradition of the gently named the tr2dition developing interner internet rechnical technical snndards. sund.ards. enduring. casually democratic tone for de\'e1oping ofTed joyful sm:l.n-aleck srnarr-aleck COUnterculruralism cOl1ntereulruralism of There's the joyfUl Ted Nelson, who coined the hypertext and who played a key role in populOl.ri<:ing popularizing concepts that are now tetm hypertat term lnicrocomputers and the world wide web. embedded everywhere in microcomputers Yet, historians of science and technology have taught us that this way of limiutions, There are geniuses, no recounting technological history has severe limitOl.tions. rnore compliCOlted. complicated. As Roben Robert Merton Mercon pointed doubt, but the Story is generally more. to O((:ur occur to OUt in his essay on "singletons and multiples," many innovations seem [0 It:veral different people in the same period. period." Marconi was just one of numerous ~I Ii Muconi individuals who were developing radios at at me [he rum of the twentieth century, and ~vidual.s Btian Davies independently published 2 a proposal for packer packet switching switching:u 8mn at roughly brothets may well h:l.ve ha.ve created the first hrst same time as Baran. The Wright brothers the 5.ame bur if they hOl.dn't, hadn't, someone else evenmally eventually would have." There Working airplane, but OUt, other radios before befote Marconi's, were other light bulbs before Edison's, it turns our, Other btoadc;Isr stOl.tions stations before KDKA, orher other proposals for packer packet switching. and other broadcast other web browsers that predated Mosaic." Mosaic.' A typical surch search for the first instance Other
21

Self-Motivating Exhilar.uion Exhilaration" "Sdf-Motivating

Self-Motiv:tfing Exhilar.ition" Exhil:tradon"Sdf-MoriV2ting

III
of a particular technology tends to uncovet uncover a gradual evolution instead instud of a sudden sh:lrp appear:ulce and groups of individuals working sinlulu.neously simultaneously rather sharp appearance than unique individuals working entirely alone. alone_ Individuals do make unique and bur they generally do so only in the rhe context of groups, of crucial contributions, but comtllunides of intencting inter;tcring individuals working on similar problems with similar communities [0 account process. Seeking (0 background knowledge. Innovation, then, is a social process_ ro what they for these patterns, historians of science and technology have pointed (0 innovatorS sharing knowledge "invisible colleges,colleges," dispersed communities of innovators call Minvisible contact.'1 through journals, professional associations, a.ssociations, and other forms of contact." TIlt invention is social, however, raises as many questions The observation that iliat in"ention as it answers. Knowledge and new ideas Row both up and down the chain of f:unous leader or key public.trion, publication, there are always many command. For every famous bardy known individuals who an: are quiedy quietly working away in the backunknown or barely consuucring machines and explorillg ground, often actually COnstructing exploring new uses in ways that fact. The 'The degree to to which Licklider leadership comes to understand only after the bet. metely a conduit for the ideas of others is was a brilliant creator of new ideas or merely determine wirh with absolute certainty. Furthermore, Furthermore. difficult, perhaps impossible, to derermine "societ( is no more a full explanation of invention rhan than is individual genius. The :md computer networking may have originated in a militaty military context, for internet and but that docs does not example, bur nOt mean those original intentions are embedded in their chancu:r or social function. chancter 'TIlere is a danger, furthermore, furr!lermore, in interpreting things teleologically, teleologically. that is, in There details of the past for e"ents events th.:lt that seem to point to the way looking tbrough through the det.:lils arc in our own time, as if our current situation was foreordained. One things are whar can find in Licklider's early works mentions of things that remind us of what has h:lppened happened since. By filtering the details of the past through the lenses of the Stare of affairs, however, an overly dean clean picture is painted of a linear trapresent state sec, Licklider jectory leading inevitably towards our current condition. As we will su, ideas th:lt that were prescient, but bur others that sum seem odd, :lnd and his predichad some ide.:lS h.:ld ;lnd in .:lny any c.tse case his principal imp.:let impact c.tme came tions we wete cert.:.tinly certainly far short of exact, and rhrough teaching :lnd and the gn.nring granting of funds, nor the rhe actual building of equipequip through assume away aW;ly the possibility that thar things ace are the way ment. Teleological accountS .:lSSUme to some degtee degree bec.:luse because of an accumulation of :lccidents, accidents, that thar current arc to they are conditions need not be the product of some inelucuble ineluctable law of history, that they to look arc contingent and could be different. For this reaSOll, reason, it is impOrtallt important also (0 are momcnts that in retrospect retrospeCt appear prescient, prescienr, to roads /lot IlOt traveled tr~vcled beyond the moments and to collective mistakes.'& mistakes.'6 History needs to look, nOt just at what people got got wrong or merely difterenrly. differently. TIlere 'TIlere are numerous stories right, but what they gOt anOlher: of technologies developed for one purpose that ended up being used for another: tdegr~ph and the airplane were expected ro to end strife berween between nations, the telegraph narions, Alex22

ander Graham BeU imagined im~gined the telephone would be used for a kind of wirebased broadcasting. and early developers of radio transmission of sound imagrhe same rime, such ch:.l.nges changes in ined they were creating a wireless wirtless telephone. (At the t~hnologies need not be proofof proof of technological autonomy; autonomy, as the imagined use of technologies though technological development occurred somehow outside social process and purposes.) inreractions between social COntext conrext and So the task is to specify the complex inten.cDons and developmenu, developments, the Layering byering of social vision with technological potentials :lnd suggests, cerrain certain disrechnological processes over time. Somehow, the evidence suggesu, technological innovations sum seem to be in the.:.tir the air at specific times and places, ready coveries and innovarions efforts of properly skilled and situated individuals. The to emerge through the effortS effort whar's in the .:.tir, air, men, then, is an invitation to explore complexity, not efforr to look at what's back to to to reduce things to a singular social cause. And this requires taking a step bade look at broad historical patterns of technological development.

Building Big Systems the American Way: Corporate Liberalism and the Military-Industrial-University Military"lndustrial-University Complex
inrernet's origin is that it was invented as Part of the standard folklore about the internet's invented:ls communiution that could withstand a massive nuclear strike because a form of communication system would keep functioning even if individual nodes were randomly elimithe syStem nated. This is too simple. As some of the key individuals involved have pointed rhe internet's heart were actually developed OUt," the concepts and technologies at the posmuclear survivability in mind. Yet this with much broader applications than posrnuclear wim explain thedistributed~ the"distributed" folklore persists, in part, because it is a convenient way to expl.:.tin of the internet's structure and, in part, because there's a partial truth to character cha.racter me parr, to it: one of several sources ofthe of the concept conccpt of computer-based packet-switched comit; P~ul Baran on Mdistrib_ "distribnetworks was a. a series of articles published by Paul munication neno.oorks M were morivated motiv:l.ted by a uted networks" networks for the RAND corporation, which indeed wete communication networks that thar could survive:l survive a nuclear arrack." attack." perceived need for communic3rion level, the persistent myth of postnuclear surviv:lbiliry survivability as a Bur, on another le\e1, But, SOurce of the internet resonates with a deeper truth: the internet intemet was to a large &Duree dtgree cteated created by people within or funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's Projects Agency (ARPA, with a D for DifW5t Advanced Research ProjectS DifWSt for a time 1950S specifically specil1caUy added to make it DARPA), a cold war institution created in the 1950S to COUnter COunter the Soviet Union's perceived technological superiority in the wake of w~sn't invented only with postlluclear postnuclear applications in mind, Sputnik. Even if it wasn't post-WWll era went interesr in advanced technological research in the post-WWII military interest br beyond specific spccil1c applications. applicarions. Rather, Rathcr, ir a piece with a :I sociopolitical sociopolitiul fat it was of :l belief System th:lr had nuclear weaponry at its irs heart. system that 23 23 Sdf-Morivaring Exhilar.ltion" Self-Motivating

"Sdf-Motivaring Exhilantion" "Sdf-Motivating Exhilar.ltion"

OIl

.-

;-, g.:. ~ "" ;0" ;-,

o ~~ -

II,
universities, high.tech high-tech corporations, corporations. the National Science Foundation, and the fat the military-industrial complex, and Pentagon. Yet it is the main radonale for tetm remains an epithet across the political spectrum. Bush's :lpproach (0 that term approach to development flies core American values. technology devdopment Aies in the face of some cort Basically, [hI': the Bush appro2ch approach willfully blurs boundaries between public and firms and alld priv3te sectors md and rums rurns decision making over to small dubs of insider finns private intetvals,:ls fronl institutions. At odd bur inevitable intervals. instirurionll. as a result, it comes under fire from both the Left and the Right. Republican President Dwight Eisenhower's 1959 speech in which he coinC'd coined the rum term ~milinry-indU$trialcompla:~ ~militar}'-industri:ll complex" as :IS a warning spdt juSt one early moment. In the 1;1.[( late 19605, 1960s, the new Left made criticisms of the was just military-industrial complex complex:l regular part ofits 1980s rightmilitary.industrb.1 a regulupart oEiIS repertoire. And by the 1980S Reagan ;ldministration administration led to to raluCDOns reductions in wing:ultigovernment proclivities in the Rea~ wing:uuigovemment calls to rely on the priv;lte private sector alone. :llone. federal funding for b:lSic b;lsic research rese:trch coupled to c;ills In recent years, Thomas Hughes has been a somewhat lonely voice speaking "military_industrial_university complex,~ complex; beh:llf of what he calls the ~mi1itary-industrialuniversity explicitly on behalf corporations. university research programs, and the nexus of high-technology corporations, h:lVe shepherded in many m:'!ny of the great gre:'!t tech techgovernment agencies that together have half-century." And he has spoken with some achievements of the last halfcentury." nological achievementS post-Vietnam generation's alarm and dismay at the postVietnam generatioll's general disparagement of rwo-decadcs-Iong decline in federally feder:llly funded this complex :md and at the resulting rwodecadeslong :ugues that much of the animus SUtes. He persuasively persu;lsively argues research in the United St:ltcs. a misunderstanding of the against government funding for research is based on ;l narnre asmnishing advances in microchip design nature of technological innovation. 1he The astonishing and manufacture as well ;IS as telecommunications of the last lur thirty years, he points poinrs :.md case, key advances were were: arc not products of the market acting alone; in each cue, out, are incubated by government funding. incub;lted Council, chartered to to OIdvise advise the Under the auspices of the National Research Counal. government on martel'S maLTers of scientific sciemilic and ta:hnological technological resc:trch, research, Hughes chaired a goo.-ernment that prep:ared prepared a 1999 report Funding a Revo/ufioll: Govermlltllt Support SlIpJlOrl ]kl'o!utwn; GO\lff7lml'!lt committee ch:u ComJlUlillg Rest'arrh.'" Rtuarch. JO In an effort to refute refUte the neoliberal distrust of go'o<emgovem~ for Computing neoliber.U disrrust associated belkf belief th;lt that the market is the cause of a1I. all innovation, innov3tion, me the ment and the <IS.SOCiated derails the fundamental fUndamental role role: of federal funding and institutions report exhaustively details computer revolution, revolutiOn, from networking technology to VLSI microin creating the compUter irs general conoonto computer COmputer graphics. The report is inconttovertible incontrovertible in its processors to most major developmentS devdopment5 clusions that initial government money was essential to mOSt the point of view of certain m;lnagers managers and engineers, in computing. In sum, from dle of boundaries between public and private inherent inherent' the argument goes, goes. the blurring ofboumuries be experienced as a strength. The TIle very ambigui ambiguiin the Vannevar Bush approach can be that create cre:lte so much trouble for the American political imagination, in sum, also ties thar moderately"open~ space for scientific and technological inquiry. to create a moderatelyuopen" seem to z6 26 "Self-Motivating ~Sdf-Morivaring ExhilarationExhilaration' efforr to find wisdom in the military-industrial But Hughes' effort militaryindustrial complex pits him against a trend that cuts deep into the American psyche: a profound American 2gainst organi:t:ttions in general. Consider the ambivalence about government and big organiu.tions OIrnbivaience fact that, although Edwards 2nd and Waldrop provide polar opposite ;lCCOuntS accounts of 12ct th2t, narratives are anim;lted animated by an aversion to big government.funded, government-funded, Licklider, both nalT:l.Dves stOty, Licklider and his fdfelbureaucl"3tic org:mizarional struCtures. In [n Waldrop's W:ddrop's story, bureaucratic organiu.rional StruCtures. enthusiasts of~penonar of "personal" computing arc: are =ti\'e creative individuals who triumphed low enthusi2sts 3nd a rc:sist:1nce resistance ro to blinkerc:d blinkered hUre:luCT:.lric bureaucr3tic formalifonnalithrough pluck, brilliance, ;lnd ties and political concerns; in Edwards's story, Licklider embodies that blink-

ered bUre;lucracy. bureaucracy. But neither wtitet writet shows signs of wanting wanring to co st:1nd stand alongside emf
more or less approving ofm;lt of"th:u bUre:lucracy. bureaucracy. Hughes in the position of morc: corporate liberal pOltternS patterns need not be disAmerican ambivalence towards corpor:ne corporate tibcralism liberalism good or bad~ b3d~ is a :I good question; it missed as simplistic. simplisric. Is cotporate i' not irrelevant that technologic3l accomplishments that thar Hughes is thar many of the technological celebrares did nor work (for example, SAGE) or might have ended human life celebrates as we know it if it did (the incercontinental intercontinental ballistic missile), missile). But Bur it is a compli. compli;IS and the beginning of all allswer is only going to be found by going cared question, an answer cated lookcOlll'cntiollal wisdoms on the matter maHer and look beyond the various competing conventional irs operations in detail. In some sense, this hook book views the intercarefUlly at its ing carefully action. Something was ncr preasely precisely as a case stlldy scudy of corporate liberalism in acrion. net done right in the early days of the internet's development; the internet is a case of ~good governmem,n effective use of certain aspects aspecrs of government power to government,W of rhe the dftive (or of humankind. But what happened does nOt follow the vision of improve the lot reRection is required to co undecst1lnd understand what exactly Vannevar Bush exactly; a bit of refltion

was done right. wu


The Culture of the Interface: Batch Processing versus Interaction

Edwards's ClOSl'd Closed World WorM still stillstands emphasizing, not JUSt me the role Edw;uds's st;lnds almost alone in emphasizing. fUnding, but the role of military milirary designs :.md and inrentions, intentions, in setting the of military funding. luge for the rise of modern computing. &hvards Edwards points to the darkest side of uage me military-industrial complex, a side thOlt that most discussions of early computing the ovet Iigluly, lightly, if they menrion mention it at all. But Edwards's book are too quick to pass over a~ inrernet be(3me docs not became what it is today, so he does was latgely largely written before the imernet "closed world~ world" directly address what is now an obviolls obvious question: How could the ~closed h:lve led to the crearion of the "anarchistic" internet? P:lt[ of what's missing from h;lve creation internet~ Part students of culture account is a sense of what smdems culmre call the lived experience Edwards's accoum computers and the of people working on computing: the feel of working with comPUtetS thar various communities attached ro to them. rhem. meanings that 27 Self-Moriv01ring Exhilaration" Exhibrarion" Self.Morivating

il

SYS/tlllS "SritlIC( ~ (Illd Dot" Pnx~S5jllg Systems "Stiellu~ aud Datil Processing
l1lt w~y of using computers in the 19505 19605 was batch processThe common way 1950S and 1960s ing. Typically, a user would prep.ue prepare a stack of punch cards, each containing a chose to a computer operator, and hours separate instruction or field of data, give those che results. TItis reAected the r111~ This practice partly reflected or days later pick up a printout with the fact that computers compmcrs were hugely expensi\'e, expensive, delicate, and limited, so that allowing anyone besides specially trained operators direct access to the machines would accesS. Variet Varierwas a way of rationing access. have been unacceptable. Batch processing W3S 19705, even as interactive tenninm terminals ies of batch processing persisted well into the 1910S,

surted al':lil:able. (Users of MSDOS may rh3c statted to become available. mal' remember .bat files liles that could contain a series of instructions [0 be executed in sequence; the .bat stood to bard,.) But batch barch processing. intentionally or not, nor, also lent iudf ccrnin for batd,.) itself to certain were for computers wete habits of thought. It fit nearly with the original notion that computeu doing elaborate e1abotate calculations, in the way a scientist or Ot statistician would develop dellelop a calculation itself. formula or field of data before running the ca.lculation w:!s the period in which computing spread into the corporate The 1960s was corpor-He world, largely in the form of eKpensive expensille mainfr.ames. otber large entermainframes. Banks and other prises diSCOllered computers were useful for maintaining ;Illd and manipulating manipul.:ning discovered that COmputers infonnarion, such as mailing lists of cUStOmers CUSlOme(S and records of financial forms of infotmation, rranuetions. In the 1960s these rhese were the rhe fastest fastCllt growing areas of the industry. transactions. Spearheaded by IBM, computing became a part of big business and also became Spurheaded
a big business itself. The model of batch processing held sway during this era, partly for the because it fit the instibur also beause insti~ practical reason that it rationed computer use but brge corporations. The tasks the computers compurers wen: were being used tutional ethos of I.uge rutional for-coordination and rarionalization rationalization of giant vertically integrated corporate a.nd predictability across large organizations org;tnizarions enterprises-called for uniformity :I.lld tightly delineated, prespecified rasks tasks and fonnars. formats. The separation of and thus rightly Habermas and others halle means and ends is a hallmark of what Habennas have described thar h:ls h~s been associated with bureau~ butuuas ~instrumental "inStrumental rationality,~ rationality, the logic that hiernrchical organizarions; organizations; goals and procedures are worked out cracy :md and large hierarchical beforehand. el'eryone :md and everything juSt accordillg beforehand, and then e\'eryone just implements them according to narrow rules. Large machines in the basements basemenu of corporare corporate headquarters our routine rasks tasks that seemed to embody this logic. 1hey They predictably carried OUt rightly specified beforehand from on high; this fit corpor:lte model were tighrly fir the corporate nor celebrated as fun; they were imagined :IS as to a T. 111ese These computers were not irs fullest poprhe time reached its powerful. 111e The general sense of computing at the cultural eKpression expression in HAL, the murderously intelligent culrural imelligenr computer in St:\Illey Stanley
Kubrick's film 2001. 1001. 18 2.8 Sclr.Motivating "Self-Motivating Exhilaration" Exhibr.arion

One of the ironies during this period, however, w.as was th;lt.:l.s that as computers became rhey were doing doillg less acmal actual computing, less mathematical m:lthematical calculamore common they Insread they were sorting, org.:l.nizing. organizing, :lnd and comparing-doing comp.aring-doing those things tion. Instead we noW associate with databases. Increasingly, the underlying logical structure srrucrure machematics but sequences of letters and words, particularly the arbiwas not mathematics alphabet. By about aboul 1970, the majority of computers were trary sequence of the alphabet_ th:1ll they were used llsed for complex calculaused more for manipulating symbols than used. tlnn for what was coming to ro be called dara data protions,less for number crunching than to make cessing. Licklider and his associates would occasionally use this trend to c;ue for thinking of computing in t:Idically ndic:ally new ways, more as communication the case not fit most people's devices than as fancy calculating machines." machines!' But this did nOt fundamenpreconceptions. People still tended to assume that computers were n.llldamentally mathematical tools. Computer Conlputer science professor and pioneer Andries AndriCll Van D.:I.m once approached his university's vice president in charge of computing in Dam computers the 1960S with a request for computer time for experiments in using eomputers for rhe the humanities. TIle bec:luse "that ~that would subvert The administrator was reluctanr reluctant because the true purpose of computers, which was to produce numbers for engineers and scientists.""If you want to to screw :lround text," the administrator continued, around with teKt," scientists:""If rypewriter.HJ> "use a typewriter:'" What that, instead of asserting th3t thar compUterS computers were \Vhat sustained this vision was that. rellerse; computers, it was not Strictly strictly mathematical, the logic tended to work in reverse; ccrrainry inro assumed, were bringing an aun aur.a of mathematical certainty into nonmarhematinonmathematical ComputerS would allow us to "mathemati2 "m:lthematiu human hum.:l.n affairs. afF.lirs. cal. problem areas. Computers dara proSo the nonnumerical use of computers fell under the stilted rubrics of data cessing and infonnation information processing. Data processing. it was often implied, would bring math mathlike like scientific precision, efficiency, and control to e\'er ever more areas in life. Uk. TIlis dream was ncar grandest and :lnd Ill0St influential intellecThis near the heart of the gr.rndcsr moSt inAuenrial

tual. fOt making sense of all this at the time, syStemS systems science, or cyber. cybertual framework for conceit of systems nerics, b.te 196oS. 19605. The core COnceit netics, which reached its apogee in the late
corpor.:l.te hierarchies hier.archies science was that thar nearly everything, from ballistic balliStic missiles to corporate sdence pWCCllses, could be conceived :lnd qU:lnritativcly ;tnalyud md quantirati\'e!y analyzed in tenns to political processes, TIle use of computers for of functionally organized systems of feedback loops. The managerial and military command-and-control command-:lnd-COlltrol :llld and their use for more mundane maintaining an inventory inllentory were understood, in sum,:l.S simply V3riations variations tasks like maint3.ining thtill of systems science came, C:l.me, not JUSt from on the same theme. Much of the thrill ~n complexity. but from its promise of control of that rhat its ItS promise of understanding compleKity, complexity. The conceits ofsystems science allowed communic:ltions communications at at.:l. COmple:city. a distance affairs ro be understood ;IS as comp:lrible. compatible, almost integral. and connol control over human aff.tirs rhink tanks ranks ;tnd and foundations like Popular both in academia and in the world of think 29 2.9 -Self-Motivating Exhi[.ar.lrion Exhibrarion" Sdf.Moriv.aring

systems science was offered as the solution, solurion, not just to the RAND corporation, sysrems complexity, but also problems like inner-ciry inner-city senfe. problems of military complexiry, S[rife, poverty, and inequaliry." inequality." overarching fntmework framework like systemS systems gntndiosiry of an o"entrching But even without the grandiosity intO many science the dream of mathematizing mundane aspects of life filtered into hut telling illustntrion illustration of how the vision embodied in infor inforareas of life. A small but practice can be seen in the early efforts around mation processing operated in pntctice marion dedine of autOmation, a trend that appeared during the decline what was called ca.l.led office aUtOmation, b:m:h pt"OCCMing processing bur that pursued a similar undedying underlying logic_ logic. In the \au late 1960s 1960S and batch 1970S, the computer industry. with IBM at the lead. introduced the concept early eady compUter industry, lead, centraliu::d word processing centers, where traditional secretaries were supof centr.tlized repb.ced by teams of~correspondencesecretaries~ of"correspondence secretarie,,;" working at rows of posed to be replaced terminals attached to larger computers in the name of efficiency and cost reducfurure, and other hightion'" l1tis tion.'" This vision became referred to as the office of the future, enter this apparently apparemly burgeoning market. Comtech firms eventually sought to emer tht theory wem, went, would automate amomate the fronr front office the same way machines machine~ puttrs, the puters, automared the fuctory. Forbes enthusiastically enthusiaseically predicted, predicted. and engineering had automated factory. Fvrbes "with autOmatic typewrirers tattling it Nwith automatic typewriters ratding off error-free letters at incredible speeds, ir willjusr to do the rhe job:'" job."" In 1973, Xerox Chairman C. Peter will juS[ take fewer secretaries to way:"ln McColough de,,;cribed described the company's strategy this way: ~In the next decade, if we genente real efficiencies in the office. are to gener-Ite office, we're going to have ro to alter traditional lbe idea of one secretary for one executive is no longer effidem efficient or Structures. srructurtl. The w economical. have to reduce and teposirion reposition the role of paper. paper."" " economicaL And we h:l\"e Within a dec.ade, dec;tde, McColough's vision would become.a become a popular business school Within.a case nlanageri;tl short.sightedness. short-sightedness. C2S(" study in manageri.al

t;try control conrrol across :across distances with With ever more detail and in ever quicker response tary toW:lrds center and :and reducing the :autonomy thOM: on tjmes, bringing power times, TOwards the cemer autonomy of mose experimental computer built at Lincoln LabontTOries Laboratories at the front lines. An early experiment:l.l MIT ailed called. Whirlwind \~hirlwind eventually grew into project SAGE, SAGE. the first put part of the MlT nudear early w:l.rning warning system." nOt a success in its own terms-m:any terms-many nuclear system!' SAGE was not now say th.at that the system never would h:l.ve have worked in the case of an acmal actual nudar nuclear noW a ntdar radarexchange>l-but me the mode of using these computers uniquely involved :I. exchange'"-but call intel'2crive. interactive. Thus cathode ray tube or CRT. SAGE was what people now ca.l.l like athode firsr people to experienceplaying experience ~playing" with a compUter computer did so in the it was that the first manage the unmanageable unm:anageable possibility of nude:ar heart of the cold war effort to man.age nuclear
W

MIHI-Computrr Symbiosis" arld and -Marl-Computer t/,r Limits of Imtrumerl/al IllstruIIl('lltal Reason Reasoll the
H

Licklider was p.art p:m of .a :a minority with other ideas. The principle exception to buch processing .at at first c.ame came directly from the rhe cold war W:lr milif;lry milit;try drorts efforts of the b:uch 19SOS. The milit.ary military emphasis on jets, jeu, ntdars,:and radars, and eventually ballistic missiles cre cre19505. early 1950S, 1950S. an effort began to to develop computers ated a need for speed. By the e.ady p1:lnes that could be used to calculate trajectories and flight paths of missiles and planes ch:lt operators operatorS could use the computers in much the almost instantaneously so that same way radar technology was used in World War II, but across greater dis~nd with greatet greater accuracy. The disciplinary term rerm for this field of endeavor endeavol' ranees tances and cOllullAnd, and COl/lm/; Licklider's official title at ARPA bec:une commullicaliolls, became commuuicatious, commAud, And control; tide TIle he:ld of the Behavioral Sciences and Command and Comrol was head Control programs. The UM: computers compurers and telecommunications rechnology to extend mili~ ntili goal was to use
Jo 30

war. :addictive This was the technology with which Licklider first experienced the .addictive direer computer incel'2ction. interaction. Some who noticed the holding power of quality qualiry of direct direct interaction with the computer no doubt treated it as odd but insignificant, yOIl might notice nocice but then dismiss with :I. a shrug while you go one of those things you lll:ay h:l.ve h;tve lain l:lin in his effort on to other matters. Licklider's intdlectllaluniqueness intellectual uniqueness may mr<1lJi,lg to the experience, eKperience, to put it in a specific, legitimating to attribute positive ItttllUIIIg intellectual framework. There were others of his generation who made specific rlt;tt contributed to the new way of conceptualizing technological innovations that visualization, for example, was computers; Ivan Sutherland's work on computer visuali:tation, antral. But Licklider seems to have been the one who provided a framework that central. helped others to look at innovations like Sutherland's and see something other Licklidt'r was a leader in taking his fascination with the than a curious gizmo. Licklider interactive experience and seeking to turn it in new, more generalized directions. Joseph Licklider was W:lS trained as a psychologist in the 1930S and 1940S, with a patticular interest in how people process information. inforrn:lriOIl. One of the key moments particular ide:l of systems science or cybernetics was .a a series of in the development of the idea meetings called the MaC)! Macy conferences held immedi.ately immediately after World \Var War II in Cambridge, Massachu.sern. Massachusetts. Norbert \Viener, Wiener, Licklider, and other foun founCambridge. :and many omer dational figures attended these invitation-only meetings that gave birth to a darional rerms and concepts that, that. :u as Edw:ards pues it, "redefined influential set of terms Edwards pUts highly inHuential psychological and philosophical notions in the tenninology of communications psychologic~ take the notions that emerged in these engineering:" Licklider and his ilk would rake OUtputS, and :lnd so on-into the input! and outpUtS, meetings-negative feedback loops, inputs "Closed World" intellectual universe that metaphorically melded humans with Closed World~ machines for military purposes. The idea that thinking was like information thac computers could become processing laid the foundariOll foundation for bOlh both the idea that ;trtificial intelligence, but also, reciprocally, minds, the cornerstone of the field of artificial that people could be understood :and and org:anized organized into centrally controlled commucommu sciellCc. nication systems, the cornerstone cornerStOne of the field of systems scienee. 31

"Self-Modvaring Exhib.ntion" Exhilaration" Self-Motivating

"Self-Motivating Exhilaration' Exhilaration" ScIfMorivating

II

Licklider's principal influence :n inRuence came from his role as head of compudng computing at ARPA in the 1960s, Ig60$, where he gave OUt a lot of money to people who would de e1op many of the pracrices pr.tCtices and protocols that became the internet, e...entually eventually develop internet. en...ironment of the time, rime, indicati e of his thinking. and of the rhetorical environment But indicative was a 1960 essay called ~Man-Computer h:lVe "Man-Computer Symbiosis.Symbiosis." This essay is said to have ~n been a g;a1vanixing galvani:dng synthesis of curring-edge thinking abollt about ("omputer computer intera("tiv_ interactiv_ ity.... iry."" Most read ess:lY today rod:lY in classic teleological fashion, .scanning scanning me the :l.rtide ~ad this CSS2y article predict our present-day situation. situation, such as LickLider's Licklider's for elements that seem to prediCt Comror-something some have ha...e seen as a call for -Desk-Surface "Desk-Surface Display and Connor-something to forerunner to desktop computers-or his proposals for graphics and icons i("ons (0 &equendy cited as a key text facilitate computer use. On this basis, the me article is frequently in inspiring the modem modern compurer revolution." re...olution.' While it is certainly true that alternati...es to batch processing earlier earliet than most in the Licklider was looking for alternatives rhe 19Sos and early 1960s, Ig60s, one needs to look closely at why. 1950s "ManComputer piece. It is certainly not a direct con"Man-Computer Symbiosis" is a strange pie.:e.lr contains only the most casual references tribution to science or engineering; it conrains de...elopments and capacities, and his primary empirical to actual technological developments thar is linle evidence is a so-called time and motion analysis that litTle more than Licklider's description of how he spends his day. And the conceit of the tide-that tirle-that humans Ii... :lIld rdationship, as if they were both ljvand computers could interact in a symbiotic relationship, ing beings-has rarely been taken seriously since. Paul Edwards offers one of the only critical discussiollS diKussions of this essay, focusrdation ing on its irs cold war institutional context and its cyborglike vision of the relation between humans and computers, with its implied reduction of human n:lrure nature nOteS, systems." The title's metaphor, Edwards notcs, to predictable and controllable systems." is basically a twist on a very science-fiction-like notion of artificial artincial intelligence. casually cites a prediction that compurers computers will surpass Surpass the power of the Licklider ca.sually IgSo-one in a long line of wildly o...eroptimistic human brain by 198o-one overoptimistic predictions fOt the interim in the field-and suggests man-computer-symbiosis as a strategy for compurers reach teach that point. period before computers Part of what makes the article work is Licklider's suggestion that thar direct interaction with computets computers could automate auromare dtudgery; drudgery; instead of spending time plotting gtaphs graphs by hand, for example, scientists and managers could let computers draw the graphs (or for them and spend their energies on interpreting results. Bur di~tinguish symbiosis from the notiOIl Licklider takes care to distinguish notion of computers as merely extensions of human capacity. His idea is largely th:lt that computers COtll?uters will work sla...es, taking care of all the tedious routine work that as happy, conversational slaves, can focus on actual norm:llly normally fills nils the life of a knowledge worker so that people (;tn learning and decision making.
3Z 32

One of Licklider's twO principal justifications for his scheme is drawn from 1T0m cold ~to [d war military designs that were paying his bills. "Imagine trying." he writes, ~tO direct ~ a battle banle with the aid of:l. of a computer" using b:ltch batch processing. ~Obviously, "Obviously, the direct a . ld be o...er over before befote the second step in irs its planning pbnning W:!.S was begun. To thmk think bartleW would ou e I batt . . that you thmk think With with a colleague . . -ccion with a computer in the same way rhat in interaction In mte... whose competence supplements your own will require much tighter coupling berw hy the example and than is possible bt'tWccn suggestw. by een man and machine than is suggeMed
t

ada -,J today."" But Licklider's Licklider'sotherjustification, B~t otherjusrifica.tion, which he lists prior to the military one, is this: Man)' problems [hat rhougln throUgll are ''a')' \'Cry diffirolt difficult to M2n1' probIem$ mat can be thought mrough in advance ad'';lnc:e ;au ro Think mink Through advance. They would be usia easier to faSTer, mrough in advana. The)" ,,-ould ro 5OIve, ~ and [hey they could be wived ~Ved. &stet, Through intuinw.ly guided trial-anderror procedure in which the computer through an inruiriwly rriaJandcrror proced.ure rhe computet cooperated., wming up ltaw$ in the reasoning or revealing unexpected cooper:ned., rurning lbwJ rhe renoning Unl:lrpeeted. turns rums in rolunon. Other problems $imply cannot be formu[:ned. formulued. wirhout witham computingthe solution. problcnlJ Jimply Ihe frusrrarion frulilrarion ofan of an important impoTtall! group of wouldmachine aid. Poincare anticipated anticipated. the wauld compurer UKr$ users when whcn he uid.lbe said, ~11\( qurion quuriOtl II nOl, '\\!hn 'What is the answer!" Thc be compUter is nor. rhe answer?"The question ;s, is, '\lIhat alll1$ of man-computer '\\!hac is the qucstionr question!'" One of the main aims n.an-computer formulative partS parTS symbiosis is to ro bring the rhe computing machine effectively into the formubrive
of tedmical technical problems." This is a significant passage with :ll\ an interesting imeresting philosophical twist. Licklider is trying to argue, in language :lnlenable :l.menable to (he the "Closed World" logics of his time im'olves, and place, that unscripted pillyillg with a computer might be useful. Pia)' Play involves, s:lke instead of for a and mighr might be defined as, an activity engaged in for its own sake th:lc are arc interactive interacti...e because prespecilied end. Licklider wants wallts computer systems syStemS that fiddling.. systems where whete you can pl:l.Y play with With they lend themsel\'es themselves to to tinkering. to to nddling. tiglnly specined specified plan pl:lll or goal, goal. Such :I computing.' a view of computing. them without having a tightly abollt it, would offer Licklider Licklider:l mermillg in his expewhatever else one could say about a meaning compulsion. It would justify rience of computer ("ompulsion. tience justifY his pleasure in the machine... machine." In tetrospect. we could reason:lbly argue that much of"Man-Computer rettospe, reasonably of-Man-Computer Symbiosis~ odd. wrong. wrong.. or thinly supported. The :lrticle's biosis- is odd, article's inRuence, though, was not articula(e a justification due to its teclmological arguments. argumems. His effort to articulate irs specific tcrhnological justifica.rion [0 for his plea.'iure pleasure in the machine brings him, and the reader along with him, to en...ironmenr. Licklider is no the edges of the dominant logic of his intdkoctual intellectual environment. philosopher, but by suggesring suggesting that questionformation questionforrnation might be brought into que~tion is, what is i~ the question!-he the computing process-the question quesrioll!-he is expressing frusttation with the technocratic ideal of instrumental rationality a Certain certain wise frusrration ofthe characteristic of the institutional world he inhabited. Batch processing as a practice enforced a strict separation of means and ends; for any given problem, the questions and methods for answering them had b:ld to [0 be worked out ou[ entirdy entirely before compmer. Licklider is looking [0 the stack ofcards of cards could be submitted to to the computer. to jus33

"Self-Morivaring "Sclf-Modvating Exhilaration"

'Self-Motivating Exhilantion" Exhilaration" "Sdf-Motivating

tify a compming practice that is not about achieving pregiven, strictly delineated ends; he is looking for.an .alternative to the natrow, instrumental rationality that was reinforced by traditional batch processing. Licklider's desire to justify unscripted play with rhe computer took him to the edge of rhe dominant logic of his time, but nor beyond ir. The maner-ofb.ct references to fighting WltfS, to commanding and controlling distant events, are srill there alongside the brief hims of alrernative logics; it says something of Licklider's time and place that he an sec rhese different modes as congment (and something about ours that we annot)_ By 1965, the concern for winning barnes began w be sidelined in Licklider's writings, bur there W:l$ still a general emphasis on an abstracted individual asserting control at a distance. He argued, for example, that a computeri'Zed information system would bring~rhe user of the fund of knowledge imo something more nearly like :an execmive's or commander's position.... He will say what operations he wants performed upon wh:ar parts of the body of knowledge, he will see whether the results make sense, and then he will decide what ro have done next.~ The user, even in engaging in personal or political exploration, would be commanding that operations be performed and will have things done. The reasoning was instrumental, even if the applications were no longer so blatantly nightmarish. By the mid-1960S, though, Licklider also began to add Rights of utopianism to his descriptions of the possibilities of networked computing. He argued that, if a massive computer network involving ~home computer consoles~ and tcle\'ision sets were constructed, citizens would be ~infonned abour :.Ind interested in, and involved in, the process of gO\ernment.... The political process would essentially be a giant rdeconference, and :.I campaign would be a months-long series of communic:.ltions among candidates, propagandists, commentators, and \oters.~n What's significant is not JUSt that Licklider anticipated the blogosphere forry years in :.IdV<lllce-that would be simple teleological analysis-but that this brief skerch emerged a.s part of an effort ro justify unscripted interaction with compUters, an effort w overcome the separation of means from ends characteristic of inSTrUmental reasoning.

E"gelhart, Bus'" and tl'e Encyrlopedic Dream


Here Licklider m:.lY h:.lve been echoing the thoughts of one of his proteges, Douglas Engelb:.lrt, who by th:.lt time was working from a lab ar the Stanford Rese:.lrch Institute in P:.Ilo Alto, Engelbart is known today:.ls the inventor of the windowing interface, the mouse, and the idea thar networked computers could be used as collaboration devices. There is no question that his work W:.lS important and influentiaL But we should nOt fall prey to reading events thrOUgh the lens of the

current structure of things or conclude that his visions or specific inventions had impact simply through their brilliance or foresight. Engelbart and his [earn were certainly not the only ones working on compUters as communication m:.lchines. Fot eX":.Imple, while Engelbart continued working on his project in [he 19705, computer scientists at rhe Uni\'ersiry of lIIinois were ~,,'eloping the PLATO system, which was focused on educational uses and that used touch screens to navigate graphical interfaces; i[ may be merely accidents of timing. funding. and geography that we all use computer mice ro(f:.ay instead of touch screens.... Yet Engdb:.lrt's research is indicative of the way that dominant logics and lived experience of technologies interact. Engelbart's efforts, though working with ARPA fimding funneled his way by Licklider. show lirde or no direct evidence of the cold war command and conrrol vision evident in Licklider's writings. (Edwards does not discuss Engelbart.) Instead, Engelbart insisted that his work on a ~Program on Human Effectiveness" was necessary ro social improvement. Taking Licklider's interest in improving human problem-solving abilities ro a grander level, Engelbart introduced his program in rhis way: Human beings face evtr more complex and urgent problems, and their effectiveness in dealing with dlese problems is a marter that is critical to the srabiliry and continued progress of sociery. A human is effective nor just because he ~pplies to a problem a high degree of native intelligence or physical mength ... bur aJso !Kause he makes U$e of efficient tools, metho<L<, and str.lregies. These: latter may !K direcdy modified for inerc.ued effectiveness. A plan to systematically evolve such modifications has been developed at Stanford Resareh Institure.". The ~ibilities we are pursuing involve an integrared tn<lnnuchine working relationship, where dose. continuous interaction with a computer a\':l.ils the human of ~icallr changed information.handling and .porrra)'a! skiDs, and where clever un1i:z.ation of mae skills provides radicaJ. changes in the war the human arrach probknu. Our aim is ro bong significant improvement to the re~-Iifc problemsolving eIftivmess of individlUis. Jt is kit that such a prognm comperes in soci:ll significance with resarch row:l.rd harnessing rhermonuclur power. apIoring ourer space. or conquering canctt, and tIw the pcKenri.al p.1yoFh warr:lllt a ronceRed arradr on the prineip.al probkm areas." While still making the case for a "dose, continuous interaction with a computer,~ there was only a mild echo of Licklider's ~symbiosis~-~m:.ln.m:.lchine working telationship.~ Engelbart eventually described his efforts grandly as a system for the "Augmentation of Human Intellect: More dearly than Licklider's vision, Engelbart's project is ar le:.lsc in part an heir to rhe Enlightenment fascination thar found irs classic expression in DiderOt's Ellcydopedie. The eighteenth-century French plJilosoplJes who colUribuced to the EIJ(ydopedie hoped that rationally organizing and making accessible all the
35

34

Self-Motivating Exhilaration"

'Self-Motivating ElChilararion

sciemific and technological knowledge of the day would overthrow scienrific overthtOw superstition and irrational passion, empower individuals, and :ltId advance advance: human progress, progress. Bring_ Bring. allmodcrIl together effecrively, dfcaiveJy. the theory went, willle3d will lead to ro more mOTC ing all modern knowledge TOgether ration:!.1 :md and effective behavior beh:lVior by individuals and thus a better society. Diderot's Didc:roc's ration31 Ellryc/(I/1Mir, moreover, W3S was nor nOt the "linear," "linear;' single-author book stepioneering EntydopMit, reotyped by tod3Y'S tod:lY's postmodern posTl11odcrn fans ftns of~nonlinear" of"nonlinear" new lIew technology; it had over a hundred authors, copious ,hans charts and illustrations (the multimedia of the day), 3 was intended to be cross-referenced and consulted. not read rcad cover to cover. coyer. and W3S Engelhart was an inheriTOr inheritor of this tradition and shared its faith that that:l a rationally Engelbart organi:1:cd, accessible system of knowledge will tame the bewildering complexity organi::ed, :Illd thereby overcome human folly. folly, of the world and encyclopedic dream has been an ongoing feature feamre of Western thought The encydopedic philoJoplJCJ. In the 1910S. 19:105, some librarians had been touting the powers of since the philosop~s. microllim for infonnation information stor.age stot:lge along encyclopedic the then-new technology of micro6.lm information widely accessible and easily microllim would make hordes of infonnation lines; microfilm retrievable, thereby spreading enlightenment. Perhaps picking up on this theme, 19305 Vannevar Bush had begun speculating specularing about abom the advantages advant:lges of in the 1930S lIlicrolllm, which would allowthe allow~the contents coments of a thousand thous:md volumes (TO {to be] microfilm, be) located feet of desk. so that by depressing a few keys one could have in a couple of cubic fut instantly projected before him.... him,"" Bush, the technocratic manager a given page insrantl)' massive engineering projecrs, projecrs. had observed the difficulty of making one's way of massi\'e amounts of technical infonnation.1he information, the investigator is staggeted suggered by through vast amounrs conclusions of thousands of other workers; workers;' Bush wrote, wrote. butthe but "the the findings and condusions maze to the momenrarily momentarily means we use for threading through the consequent ma<:e important item is the same as was used llsed in ill the days of square-rigged ships."J> ships.HI And imporram :md published in Tht 17u ArI4/l/j, AI/ul/tie Momhly Mouthly in then, in ill a piece first drafted in 1939 and Out a famasy fimrasy office machine called the "memex" "Illcmex" that would 1945, Bush sketched OUt information, peruse indexes, take automate whar what one does in a libr;try-look library~look up infonnarion, automare embcdded in a desk. on~al1 at the push of a few buttons embedded notes, and so on-all The memex, memex. as Bush described dcscribed it, was nor Ilot digital, nor not networked, networked. and not hs resemblance to the modern personal computer is in mosr most ways wotkable, Its even workable. F.!.ct. has h;ts called c.:.llled into question the idea rhar that it Ihrdini, in fact, ir was superficial. Thierry Bardini, .:.In F.!.ctor in the development of modem modern personal computing. computing.1> Bush an important factor gCt credit, that a machine like the should perhaps get credir, however, for advancing the idea rhar memex could have the capacity to construct"trails" construct''rrails between documents and other lnemex bits of information. information, 111is TIlis was likely the first firsr melltioll hyperlinks. mentiOll of something like hypcrlinks, bit's The originality originaliry of the idea of a hyperlink should not be exaggerared, enggerated. 111e 'Ole idea ide:l of 111e a trail or hyperlink is jUst a variation on the idea of the cross-reference. perform.:l JUSt rhe cross-reference, ing:l to the foomote, footnote, the file card, c:lrd, or the index. It is not nor the ing a similar function (0 c:lSe that thaI before hypertexr hypertext.:.lll re;td linearly, lineuly, from front cover to back, b:lck, all books were read case
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anenlion lO without any attention TO interconnections, No one has ever read books contain. h ""ny II1llt 0 lr:ga.l leg:ll information has long ing I . =.1 documents from cover to cover, for example; legal Ing~ .. trails lllto into other docu docubeen organized in a way that allows one to follow a web of traIls rdevant precedents, argumentS, arguments, and ;tnd so forth. fotth. Bush simply added 3dded ments find relevant ments to 6.nd 3UlOll1ate the process of cross'referencing cross-referencing and the thought that a machine might aUtOmate that such a machine might put that power in ill the hands of readers as 3S suggested thar ....ell as 3S writers and editors. So to an important degree, Bush and Engelbart Engelbarr were well the traditions of the Enlighrenment Enliglltenment encyclopedic ideal, continuing 3nd extending rhe r;onrinuing and not departing from it. W'hat Engelbart and Bush's memex proposal clearly share, however, is a belief What the key problem was not the murk of medieval superstition and traditions, that me the philosophes. plJilo50pht$, R:IIther, R;tther. the problem problelll was roo too much IIluch inforinfotthe chief bugaboo of me dream, macion, poorly organized. organi:z;ed. This was their new twist on the encyclopedic drt2m. m:lltion, footnotes, libraries. indexes, and :lIld file cards, cuds, in other The traditional :IIppararus appat:ltus of footnotl:$, won.is, h:lld had not produced the world of enlightened clarity the philo$(/p~s philo$opJ1($ had words, ti,e original encyclopedic project had h:ld been re:l!ized, reaJi:z;ed, but it imagined. In a sense. the the modem world was chod:.-full chock-full of. not JUSt just encyclopedias, encydopedi:l.S, but not work; rhe did nOt entire libraries bursting with indexed knowledge, knowledge. and yet human folly was as With the memex :lind and irs its trails, Bush was offering the tantalizt:lnulizpervasive as ever. \Vith m.:.lt a m:llchine machine could allow individuals ro to cut through the ha<:e ha:z;e of ing possibility that bunons, building their own trail of associ:lltions associations complexity at a lOuch TOuch of a few buttons, :IS Bush's short essay on the merna memcx suggested suggested:l technological fix, and as they went. Bushs :II rechnological Engelbart's life work has been brgely largely framed in [enns terms of implementing that fix, in Engdban's tarne uncertainty :lind and terms of using technology to enable knowledge workers to [:lime complexity. subficld of Engelbart's work was more radical radic;tl than work in the computing sub6.eld ;tlso an heir to to the encyellcywhat was then called information retrieval and that was also:lln clopedic vision. (Engelbart himself took pains to infordopedic ro distinguish his work from infor' many differences, difl-erences, Bardini goes so far as TO to argue mation retrieval.) rerrieval.) Noting the ffi:llny m:lltion that Engelb:llrt Engelbart was a descendant of ofVvhorfian ofl:lnguage, true. \Vhorfian theories of language, which, if rrue, .:.I non-C:IIrtesian non-CarteSi:lll episremological epistemologic;tl uniwould suggest that Engelbart belongs in a that Engelbart was indeed aware of rhe the writings of verse." Bardini does show thar Whorf and that, th.:.lt, JUSt as Wharf fotms of langu:llge l:lIlguage Sapir and \horf Whorf thought that the forms d,at the forms and means of s)'m symEngelhart believed hclieved Ihat could shape consciousness, Engelbart imerbolic communication could hinder or help understanding; Engelbart was inter balic ested, not just in getting information more quickly or effectively, but in how new communic.:.ltion powered by computerS computers might ;tnd betmighr enable new and Structures of communication rer conceptualizations. concepruali:z;ations, ter illltlltct. It remained, in Yet Engelbart's project remained one Olle of augmenting imrllect. gO.:.lls, in irs funding, funding. 3nd and in its irs driving assumptions a project of mind. its stated goals, 37 Self-Motivating Exhilaration" Sclf.Moriv,uing

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\har, by arguing uguing that different languages engender different conceptualiza\\'horf, conceprualiZ3tion itself contingent. At lust tions of life, rendered concepru:diution itsdf contingent, lellSt to a degree in Wharf, there dtere are no longer, say, Kantian Kandan universal cncgories c,ltcgories of mind bur rather Whorf, longer. u.y, cOllringcm fonns forms of undersu.nding undusranding rooted in history and everyday life; rninking thinking contingenT is of of;1 piece with using language, a language that is inextricably cJllhedclcd time a language. ch;u embedded in rime and place. pb.ce. As a theorise, Engelhart was nor fully Whorfi:m. Whorfian. His starting assump;md tion w;,u was that [ilM the rhe problems of the world were ones thar chat called for fOr simply more rion say. differenr different social rdarions relations or an embrace of the better intelligence, nor, .say. and bener contingencies of history hisrory and tradition. Like the .....ork work of many nineteenth-century ninereenth-cenrury utopians, there's something almost poignant about :lbout the sincere sincere. idealism in Engelhart's Engdban's writings. wrirings, us..ing using his turgid. turgid, poign:;mr sociery. mechanistic engineer's style sryle to describe systems for the rhe bettennent berrernlent of society, mechanisric foresighredness and modest demeanot, demeanor, it seems almost chudish churlish Coupled to his foresightedness cau a crirical critic:tl eye on his project. poinring our rhat the very idealto cast project, Yet it is worch worth pointing Out that stubborn attachment aHachment to his vision, that makes him so appealing tends ism, the srubborn to lead the discussion away from certain hard questions, queStions, On the one hand, the to Engelbarti:tn vision contains a deep imparience techEngelbartian impatience with conventional scholarly rechknowledge. Are the tradiniques and institutions, wirh with the rhe existing worlds of knowledge, organizing information really all that badf bad~ 1he tional ways of organi=ing TIle sense of utopian JUSt, hope in Engelbart restS rests on the argument that computers can provide, not JUSt. say, convenient access to library catalogs and indexes, but a radical r:ldical improvement say. the early Engelbart one them, aile on them. one that will augment the intellect. To believe rhe not only thar that computers mighr might accomplish the r:lsk task of t:lsy, easy, intuitive has to agree, nor information, bur rhat they can do so in a way dr.ldramanipulation of informarion, access to and Tn.;Inipularion institutions and technologies thar that have been matically better than the elaborate institurions laSt five centuries. developed for that task over the l3.$t hand, whar what about Engelbans Engelban's version of the encyclopedic dream dteam On the other hmd, itself~ Is poor access to and control O\'er over infonnarion informarion really such a cenrral central cause Clmse of itself? today~ Is lad; lack of knowledge really the problem, the rhe key impediment our problems today? ro progressf progrcss~ A key Enlightenment conceit was thar once enough infonnarion information to rhe means to to make about the world was made available and people were given the Kales would f:J1I fall from our eyes. eyes, and human society sociery as a whole Unse of it the scales sense While there's no denying that [hat the rhe scientific Kientific revolution would be greatly improved. \oVhile h:u changed human existence drOimatically, has dr.lmatically. we also have a century or so of expeCastS into doubt the belief that more more. knowledge leads automaticall.y automatically Tience that casts :tnd more reasonable behavior, behavior. As exiled el:iled German critics Max to more humane and Horkhcinler and Theodor 11leodor Adorno wrote in 1944. 1944, in the Horkheimer rhe full glare of the many "rhe Enlightenment has always scientifically powered horrors of World War II, "the liber:lting men Illen from fear and establishing their sovereignty, sovereignty. Yet the fully aimed at liberating enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant."" triumphant,H... Is ir it berter bener access to informa-

rion via computers compurers or by other means really going to get at the source of our OUT woes~ Arc the problems of rhe the world really ones of inadequate inadequare imeUect, woes? Are rhe intellect. or are structure, or values, vOilues, or access to tesources? tesources~ rhey more about, abom, say, social structure. they merely that These are large and difficult questions. 11,e The key point here is metely Engelbart and his fol1owers did nor ask them. Engelbart's vision rests on an unrefollowers not flective conceir about the need for more 8ective acceptance of both an Enlightenment conceit thar computers can enact enacr th:tt knowledge and a sincere belief that that conceit where trasurface, it is a rather dry vision, in the ditional means have failed. And, on the surface. &arne double-entry bookkeeping; it is same category as the Dewey decimal system or double-entty importance of these practices pracrices possible to wax enthusi:utic enthusiastic about the profound imponance nor a vision that on its irs own terms is likely to to ir is not (and people have done so), but it gcner:lte much passion. gener.ue IntelleCt; Beyond the Intellect: Inreracrivity The 1968 Demo and the Desire for Interactiviry But. amongst a small smal1 but hugely inAuential influential group, Engelbarts Engelbart's work did indeed Bur, certain way remains. generate passion. Engelbart's work was, and in a cerrain remains, somehow not, Engelbart's r.ltiOnaJism uuilling thrilling in a way that similar work was not. ratiOnalism was perhaps nor the mOSt aspecr of his project, projecr. 111is mosr compelling aspect This deserves explanation. me more incisive criticisms made of tationalism rationalism by early euly nineteenthOne of the cenrory romantic philosophers was thar the rationalists r:ltionalisu assumed tOO cenrury too much. By universal, and :Iud mathematically m:lthematically specifiable specifiOible trying to hitch their analyses to grand, universaJ., &...meworks of Newtonian physics. the Enlightelllnent rationalisrs assumed a lTameworks physics, Enlighrenmenr rationalists even in world of mathematical certainties driven by billiard-ball-like causaliry causality ew:n to a:ist, exist, such as the world of human whete such sllch cenainties certainties were not known to areas where fixed grid of causes, di.u:emable discernable if affairs, E\'erything. Everything. they thought. thoughr, is part of a fU::ed affairs. one could only shine the light Iighr of science, of rational intelligence, brighdy brightly enough that is the case, then the solution to to CUt through the murk of history. And if thar rhem down in tenns terms of events' places in a problems can be found by breaking them an conclude that rh:lt it is both possible thar one c:an discoverable causal chain, And from that and useful to to separate means from ends; if causality follows univeru.1 universal principles, insrmmentally conbreaking down the specifics into predictable-and therefore instrumentally trollable-processes makes sense. areas of life that grid is nowhere to be But, the romantics countered, in some ateas G. Herdet Herder through his found. The romamical1y influenced philosophers, from J. G, found, romantically inAuenced from). many followers such as Coleridge and Matthew Arnold, tended to focus precisely on phenomena driven by internal, nonuniverul, nonuniversal. immanent logics; Herder's argurhar poerty, poetr)', language, or cultural mores, for example, were ment with Kant was rhat e;uily shoehorned into:l driven by unique peculiatities peculiarities that could not be easily into a univer39

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"Self-Motivating Exhibntion" Exhilar.lrlon" 'Self-Motivating

"Sdf-Motiv:lting Exhilaration" Self-Motivating

sal rationality, rarionality, into a mathlike grid. gtid. Partly the rhe argumenr argument was empirical; the differences berween between French and English wete were accidentS accidents ofhisrory ferc:nces of his(Ory and could not be universals, for example. But the critiques also took the form explained in term of uni\'ersals, causality: Ftench French was Frc:nch French and Engfish English was of alternative underst':lndings undersr.lndings of caus.aliry: immanent processes, patterns internal (0 to themselves, patterns English because of immanenr onto chains ch;ains of cause and effect that could not be understood by mapping them OntO thar followed universal rules. Language or poetry could only be undersrood understood from that From within, as self-driven phenomena. Engelhart's jusdficarions jUSlifications were on the surface doggedly rationalisr, rationaliSl, but what he Engelbart's actually tried {O to build was sdf-drivrll, Jelfdriveu, a compuring computing environment driven by proacrually bootstrap. inelf. 111is cesses internal to itself. This is mosr most explicit in Engelbart's concept of bootst~p 011 Engelbart with elegantly analyzed in Thierry Bardini's wonderful book on ping. elegandy Boowmpping, B:udini Bardini shows how Engelb.art, Engelbart, in contrast thar term as in its ride. In Bootstrapping, that conrrast compuring field, h.ad had .a a much richer sense of the importance of to others in the computing relarions in technology de\'C':lopment. development. Engelbart Engelb:art viewed his project as nor not social relations JUSt one of compurer computer design bur .as as essentially .a a project of social expetimentaexperimentajusr rion involving computcrs, compurers, where those developing his system would be learning tion samc time rime thu to inter.lcr inreracr with one onc another over it at che the same that they worked on the systheory would occasion a feedback loop that would steadily improve tem; rhis in rheory rem; practical. (Van Dam has credited Engelbart wirh with the system, making it ever more pracric:d. software tools, rools, where instead of writing comthe now common idea of shared softwate plere progr.lms programs designed for specinc specific tasks, numerous connectable bin bits of codeplete rools-are created cre;aced SO so that e\'enrually eventually a progr.lmming programming environment is cultivated cukivarea tools-are that allows large numbers nunlbers of programmers ro to build on and rake take advantage advamage of ochers' work; the noDon notion of soft\vare software rools tools es.senrially essenrially brings social relations each others' explicidy inside the process of engineering.)" Bardini also shows how for Engelexplicitly ban users were imagined, nOt peo bart not just as disembodied minds, but as embodied peofirst insnnce pie who experienced the world in the fitsr ple instance through the senses, visually bur even more importantly through physical touch; expb.in Engelbart's Engclban's but rouch; this helps explain invention and nscination fascination with things like the computcr computer mouse and the chord im'ention e1eg:lntly traces rhe the inAux influx of 1960S counterculrural counterculcural inHuinflukeyboard. And Bardini elegantly keyboard, developed (and evenrually eventually deg~ner degenerences in Engelbart's project, particularly as it d~veloped ated) ared) in the 1970s. 1910S, Enlightenmenc erected his efforts effons on a base of dusic So while Engelbart erecred clas.s.ic Enlightenment pro terms, encounters encouncers with his project offeted offered the experitnu exptrirllcr of immanent prorhe context of computing. This 111is is perhaps best illustn.ted illusrrated by looking at cesses in the 1968 mother of all demos."l11 demos."l' By all accounts, accounrs, Engelban at his most influential, the 1968~mother Engelbart momenc in the effurt a breakrhrough moment effort to move beyond batch processing came in Engelbart for the first rime publicly demonstrated December 1968, when Engelhart Dec~mbet fitst time demonstrared his sysinllOlving 11etworked compurers using gn.phical. graphical, windowed inrerfaces interfaces and tcm involving tem nerworked computers
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computer mice to collaborate coJiabor:lte temotely remotely across a computer nerwork. network. Many thenco re\'olutioni:<:e revolurionize the W2y way people young computer scientists who would later go on to :lS Alan Kay and Andries Van Dam, Dam. They were present, such as used computers wer~ both eite cite Engelbart's presentation preSentation as a galvanizing moment. Srewart SreWart Br.lnd, Brand. creere atOr of the Wholt EllT/h Catlliog and the man who in the rhe 1910S 1970S and 1980S 1980s would ator Earth Ultalog playa counterculture into organized exisplay ;l key role in shepherding the computer compur~r countercultur~ camera." tence, manned a camera." nature of celebrated.ll Yet The demo has been widely discussed and celebrated." Yer the exact natute descrves consideration. To a room full of inhabitants of the thrill of the demo deserves the frustrating world of batch ptoc~ssing, processing. the me demo was lVas a window onto longedpossibilities. The TIle demo began by displaying, displaying. in a full screen, a fictional for new possibilities, rime when whell even interactive tenninals terminals grocery shopping list. At a time ~\'en the relatively rare inte~crive full-screen display one line at a time, rime, the rhe simple nct fact of seeing a fuII-scteen generally worked on~ text, all acces.sible accessible at once, must musr have bttn been exciting enough. Bur Engelbart then chen of tut, enough, But procecded ro to use the che mouse, keyboard, manipulatc proc~~d~d keybo:lr<1, and chord chotd handset to Ruently Hu~ndy manipulate lisc, breaking rhe the list into caregories, categories. displaying it as indented secthe shopping list, oudine form, and then-with what must have been jaw-dropping ease case tions in outline scate of computing at ac the time-showed th~ the list items linked to points given the state on a graphically displayed simplified map. To an audience already bitten by the bug. by the desire to interact with computers, the effect of Engelbart computer bug, have gracefully maneuvering through this online world from his console must ha~'~ been riveting. It was a world of text and ideas in graceful athletic athl~tic motion, suggestive of any number of possibilities. Yet was merely suggesD\'C. suggestive. Engelbart and his colleagues did not nor acrually aCTUally Yer it w.as demonstrate any progress on the base claims of his proj~ct; project; beyond work on the che demonstrat~ srillvery there was system itself (which was in any case still very much a work in progress), th~re evidcnce of real-world realworld ptoblems problems being solved, solvcd, of real complexities being manno evidence aged or overcome. Even if developed to rhe praccicality, an automated overcome, to the poillt point of practicality, Ellgclbatl would be at best rhose shopping list as described by Engelbart besr a convenience. To those with spednc institutional tasks in mind, like Pentagon officials interested specific insritutional intetested in conltoHing milit:ary efforts, or Xerox chairman McColough McColollgh with his intertrolling far-Aung military value of Engelbart's work was invisible. invisible. \Vhere, 'vVhere, est in Taylorizing the office, the valu~ Engelhart's exactly. was the intellect intellecr thar that was being augmented:' real-world complexieucdy, w.as augm~nted~ \Vhat reai-world discerncd and overcome? ll1is was thrilling only if you were susties were being discerned O\'ercome~ This rhac wotking working with wirh computers might be a compelling activity ceptible to the idea that activiry for its Oll'll sake, jllkc, without a predetermined prcdetcrmined goal in mind, mind. jor ilJ OW" bcgan his presentation prescntation with the following, following. now legcndary, legendary, words: Engelbart began ~If in ill your office, you as an intellectual worker were supplied with a computer "If instandy that was alive for you all day and was instantly display backed up by a computer thar that:'" The appealing vision responsive, how much value could you derive from that?"
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"Sdf.Moriva.ting Exhilaration" -~lf-MOTivating

"Sdf.Motiva.ting Exhil:n:uion" Exhilararion" Self-Motivating

of "a computer that was alive for you all day and was instantly responsive~ must have seemed extremely tantali:<;ing to this group, most of whom were struggling with barch-ptocessing systems and thus had had only small tastes of ditect, "playful" interaction with a computet. Viewets of the demo were treated, not to the absttact principle of solving complex social problems, but to a lively enactment of what it could feel like ro intetact with an "alive~ and "instantly responsive" computer system in an unscripted way, in a way where the interaction was driven by its own internal logics and processes. The thrill of the demo, in sum, was not about achieving a prespecified goal. The thrill was all about the means, The lack of any specific ends was part of the appeal. It was deep play, an event that exceeded rational justification, that in its celebratory intensity became a kind of community metacommentary, a story not for outsiders, but one that people "tell themselves about themselves."" As with Licklider, the desire for interaction with the computer, for that feeling of "selfmotivating exhilaration," was seeking and finding a justificarion, a shared meaning. The demo succeeded, particularly insofar as it offered its attendees not JUSt ideas, but, in the audience's enthusiastic reception, confirmation and encouragement of the connection of the desire for interactivity with a sense of direction for computing. After the Engelbart demo, individuals with an interest in computing had a new, grand way to make sense of and justify their own desire to interact with the computer. And in the standing ovation that concluded the presentation, they could know, they couldfeel, that there was a community of others who shared their convictions. When they returned back to their university and corporate laboratories to labor away at rhe limited machines of the day, they had a new sense of who they wete as they worked, a new meaning for the act of working with and programming a computer. Conclusion Among the stiU small community of computer professionals in the 1960S, computers attached to screens and keyboards were working as thought objects; the compulsive fiddling they occasioned elicited, not only a desire for more, bur a seatch for intellectual frameworks to justify that interaction and extend it. Interactive computing was occasioning practices that pushed againsr the boundaries of the instrumental reasoning that put the computers there in the first place. From within a world in which computers were assumed to be tools with which leaders have things done, such as directing remote battles, Licklider and his ilk were developing a fascination with interactive computing's "self-motivating"' qualities, and that fascination pushed them coward other logics, toward the idea of using com-

puters to formulate questions rather than answer them, toward understanding computerS as tools for exploration through symbolic manipulation rather than for conquering known territories or organizing human affairs into a predictable grid. Licklider and Engelbart's efforts are symptomatic of how a felt experience-computer holding power-became the occasion for the search for new frameworks of meaning for making sense of that experience, frameworks that would eventually come to shape the development of the machines themselves. Noninstrumental visions of computing. where activity was "self-motivated" tather than strictly goaldirected, were emerging from within an institutional framework heavily dominated by forms of instrumental reasoning thar separated means and ends, The significant point here is that personal experiences with interactive computing were shaping the development of new ideas as much as new ideas were driving new uses of computers. Neither Licklider's nor Engelbart's writings fully add up as empirical or philosophical statements; Licklider oddly mixes cold war instrumentalism with gestures towards other logi<:s, and Engelbart's demo offered its audience a way of making sense of computing that exceeded Engelbart's theorization of it. Engclbart painted a picture of a pure mind-world, a neat, hierarchically organi:<;ed domain inside the compurer screen, yet what his audience walked away with was a strong sense of possibility about what interactive, non-goaldirected computing could be like, whether or not the end point of augmented intellect was ever reached. And the demo may have worked for his audience buause most of them alteady had had at least small tasces of interacting with a <:amputer. (It may have been the physical presence of others in the audience with a shared experience-che compulsive desire for computer interaction, and the knowledge rhac one was in the physical presence of others who shared that desire-that made the demonstration so compelling; after the demo, the compulsion to interact with the machine no longer needed to be seen as a random oddity or weakness; being present at the demo gave one a new set of publicly :l\lllilable meanings to atradl that experience to.) In sum, what one sees in the 1960s is the <:omplex interaction of big ideascold war and managerial forms of instrumental reasoning-with actual face-roface experiences with technologies, te<:hnologies thar the big ideas paid for and informed, in ways that sometimes reinforced each other but also sometimes created tensions between experience and formal plans, tensions that hinted at alternate directions. In the next decade, as other habits of thought fueled both by social ferment and longstanding traditions swirled through the culture, those llCw habits of thought would also in their own way interact with the developing COmputer world and leave their imprint on the ways in which computers were irnagined and built,

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11

Romanticism and the Machine


11,e The Formation of the Computer Counterculture

research. resarch. Rather, Rathet, Brand was linking the experience of~self'motivating of~self-motivating exhilara exhilararioII~ to a creative kind of pleasure. If Engelhart was for rhe most part rrying to rion~ ple3sure. the trying use UiC computers to enact enacr an electronic version of Dideror's Diderot's encyclopedia, Brand, like much of the counrerculture, counterculture, was building an association with something rradirionally romaN!;' romantic sense of pleasure that that might best be called Byronic-a traditionally mixed rebellion with a sense of individual creativity and expression. mixed. Romanticism and Modernity dul! weight of a highly specialized, Faced with the dull specialized. technologinlly technologically and bureauorgani:<:ed world, ar at various momenrs, search of cntically organi~d moments, many of us go off in M:arch aarical1y alit lives, to bring the magic back, ways to bring clarion to our back. to recover what Max energy, careers, Weber described as enchantment; and on this quesr quest we expend energy. lives. f:lbric of industrialized 1Wes. Sometimes this impulse simply peppers the social fabric insrances of individuals suddenly turning to, societies and comes out in random instances say; mounrain mountain climbing or abrupt abrupr changes of careers or spouses. Bur ar times rimes the say. But at impulse impulse: becomes organi:<:cd organi~d and can lead to paroxysms of social change, change. such as me diverse religious movements the mm'emenrs rhat currently currendy convulse our world. If religion is one form the search 1 se2rch for reenchantment reenchanrment can take, rake. another is "Self-Reliance" concept. Ralph Waldo Emerson's ~Sc:lf-ReIiance~ romantic individualism. individtulism. As a concept, "Whoso would be a man must musr be be a nonconformprovides a concise summation. ~\Vhoso isr,~ thyist.~ Emerson argued. Resist conformity and consistency and instead, instad, "Trusr ~Trust thradf,' where the self "th:l.t science-baffling science-baRling star, withour parallax, scIf,' sdf is understood as ~that without parallax. beaury even into trivial and without calculable e!cmenrs, shoots a ray of beauty withOUt dements, which shoou :It once the rhe essence of genius. genius, of virtue. virtue, and of impure actions ... that source, at life, which we call Spontaneity or Instinct."l Descanes's rational sdf self Iifc,. Instinct'-' This is not nOt Descartes's and certainly not the classical economist's calculating shopkeeper self: self; it is a self predictability, Emerson proclaimed the rhe defined de-6ned exactly against calculation and ptedictability. thar calls on us to live crearively creatively beyond centrality of a dynamic, dynamic. inner experience that the rationality, to apress ro our own ~ bounds of predictable r.l.tionality, express ourselves according to ttllth.' unique uruque personal perception of truth.' But rOmanticism romanticism is more than jusr a concept. The literary scholars who use the teon most systematically tend to classify romanricism romanticism in terms of specific great authors rexts; in this sense, romanricisnl romanticism is understood as a aUthors and associated texts; collection of great works or as a period in European history usually placed in rhe CIOUection the tile last two centuries or so. people who have cenrury.' Yet for the early nineteenth century.' other romantic era hallmarks, have nevet newr read Emerson. Emerson, Wordsworth, Byron, or orher and consumed (ales of revelation based on inner experitqJcatedly produced tales repeatedly ence, celebrations of art as what Wordsworth called ~the "the sponraneous spontaneous overRow overAow romanricism: stories of of powerful POwerful feelings," and other characteristic fearures features of romanticism:
45

\Vh05O Whoso would ....ould be he ~ a m~n nlMl mw;[ Ill\lsr be a nonconformist.... nonoonformin, ... Trust T nut thrsdf thyself ... {hal thai

sciellce.baflling Kiencc.~ng 5lar. star. without withoul paullax, p.1ra1bx, w,mour without calculable alcuhblc elements, dements, which shoots a ~y of ofbeauly e,'ell into source, at once the any beauty C"'cn inro trivial ttivi:al and impure actions acnons ... that dur 5OUtU.:l.1

csitnce: genius, of virtlK.:md. virtue, and of life, which we call Spontaneity or Dr Instinct.' essence of ofgenius. oflik 0111 Sponnndty
-R4lph -Ralph Waldo W:aldo Emerson Emtt$(ln

Introduction: Reench:mtmcllt Reenchantmenr


Engelb3.rt demo, In 1971, 1972, four years rean after the Engelhart dano, Stewart Brand penned an article RollilJg Sl01le Stoue entided entitled ~Spacewar: for Rolling ~Spaccwar: F3.n:l.tic Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among Bums,"' Visiting Xerox PARe JUSt JUSt as its itS engineers were the Computer Bums.* we further Engelbart's conctpts, concepts, Brand h2d had decided, nor not JUSt just that comdeveloping some of Engclb:m's sandals rather than the puter programmers now sometimes sported 10llg long hair and sand21s associated with IBM engineers. engineers, but crisp white whitt shirts, shirrs, crew cuts, CUts. and black tics ties 3SSoo:ncd that some of them were exploring an appro;lch computing that th:u was something approach to compuring "11\( general bent benr of rese:lrch at Xerox (PARC research ar [PARe is] soft," sofr.~ Brand quite different. Ihe sm:lll and the personal. personal, wrote, wrote. "away from hugeness and centrality, toward the small individual who toward putting maximum computer power in the 11:Inds hands of every individu31 W:l.ntS it:' Brand's predicted, for example. example, the W:lntS it.Br.l.nd's :lrticle article now looks quite prescient; it ir predicted. decline of record stores in the face of computer-networkdelivered computer-nerwork-ddivered music and rile now-legendary nowlegendary heroes of the early stages suges of computer re\'oluquoted many of the computet rel'olumoS( significantly. significanrl}', it ir pointed towards a differClll set of cultural association. But, mosr rion. But. differenr M:t computer programmers. tions for compurers computers and compurer ill his Brand announced this radical revision of the 11le:l.ning meaning of computers in tide, towards Jack Kerouac's title, with both the name of a compurer game and a nod tow:l.rds Dlmrma BUlliS. putTing a game at ar the rhe novel and alternative lifestyle manifesto, Dlmrm Bmm. By purting cenrer computers, nOt just:loS rhe arricle, article, Brand presented compurers, nor JUSt as liberating. liberaring. but bur as fun, fun. cemer of the :lI1d and perhaps liberaring bwwse bewuse they were fun, fun. ll1is This was nor Engelbart's Enlighten Enlightenmenr vision of personal computer use for the serious purpose of solving complex ment complc:x educarional applicarions, applications, or business or educational social problems. Brand did not discuss husiness project projecr visions of libraries of the rhe fmure, future, or potential potenrial new dliciencies efficiencies in scientific scientifiC

44

rhe Machine Romanticism and the

outcast wanderers on desper.lte desperate quests, a fondness for iconoclastic ideas heroic OUlaSt presented authentic-sounding plain language, enthusiasm for the apparently presented. in aurhenric-liOunding overchrow of the dead weight of history hisTory and tradition. So $0 an alterimpulsive overthrow mice undersunding of romanticism has been de....e1oping developing with a 111 more sociologi.sociologinare understanding cal slant. Friedrich Kittler sugguu that romanticism is best understood as a set alslant. suggeses discursive available (0 widely through the culture of discursi.... 1!: practices practicu availabll!: to and disrributed distributl!:d widdy Coli!) Campbdl's Campbell's nl!:o-Wl!:berian neo-Weberi:m theory of thl!: the "romantic ethic's" role in at large. Colin modem consumerism is also useful in this regard, though he approaches the question from a different dilferent angle than Kittler. Kin!er. TIle The poim point is that the great grc:I[ romantic rom,mti, romanticism in the culture at large, authors may have been responding to the romamicism not in texts, texts texes, but in society; tats rather than creating it. llle The object of analysis is nor w3y of getting access a<:<:ess to to ir. it. Though it emetged in the are simply one way ir probably first emerged late eighteenth century (at least ;l<:<:ording to Campbdl's Campbell's and Kittler's Kittlet's accounts), according (0 <by romanticism has become a kind of cultural toolkit, a grab bag of culin our day tural habits. habits, available for use in a variety of comexts, oontexu, from candle-lit dinners to thetapy sessions to the 1960s antiwar counterculture.' therapy It was in this sense thar, that, in late-twentieth ceorury century America, romantic individIr ualism became attached to, and came to have an impacr impact on, computer networks and rheir theit p1:lce place in our world.

practical bridges allowing collaboration between di...erse diverse communirhetorical and ptactical militaty-industrial-complex and artistic communities. ties of thought, such as the military-industrial-complex Third, Turner shows how the New Communalisu, Cornmunalists, for all :.Ill their egaliurianism. egalitarianism, lhird, ;l contradictory tendency tow2rdS tow:.lrds a :.I kind of elitism ch;lrismatic also embodied 2 ditism of ch2rismatic insiders,:.I product of their setTing of a boundary between those in the know and setting insiders, 2 produn those fallen souls of the old W2ys. ways. ~Like "Like the rhe commun:l.rds communards of the 1960S; 1960S," he writes, mose "the techno-utopians of the 1990S 19\105 denied rheir their dependence on anr any but them~the sel... es.~~ "Ives."9 Once it is, is. established thu several decades, rhe that a pattern repeats itself across se...eral the it~ Why Vlhy did the me New Communalist rhetoric and ;lnd question raised is, what sustains it? endure~ \har Wh:tt is its appeal ap~al :tcrosstime and comens? contexts~ Here I focus on rhe the across-rime practice endure? migrated specifically romantic individualist character of the counterculture as it migrated. into the world of computing. how it stands out against 2 a backdrop of various intO disaffection. and how it provided ways to mae make Sl!:nse sense of and legitikinds of social dis.afF"ection. ofcompulsive computet use. compulsive computer mate the embodied experience of Social Disaffection and Shifting Visions of 19605 Computing in the 1960s moment of Cultural culmral and political turmoil gener:l.lly generally referred to as thl!: the sixThat mOment

Understanding the 1960s 19605 Counterculrure Its Legacies Counterculture and Irs
-rbe decisive hisrory 19605 counterculture and the The history of the relation between the 1960s developmem of a computer counterculture is Fred Turner's From Counttrclllturr Colmtercullurr devdopmem ta Cyberculture." Turner points OUt chat there was never a single, unified counterfO C1~rclllturr" that nevCf thought and culture. It was something composed of several different strains of thoughr practice. While politic:!1 \hile the New Left strain carried with it a call to engage the politic:l.1 :!ppararus apparatus in a broad way, Turner focuses on another distinct strain that he calls the ~New "New Communalisu" Communalists~ who instead of engaging the political system sought to autOnomous communities communiries escape it by transforming consciousness and cteating creating autonomous Ir is this rhis New Communalist strain, Turner arguu, argues, devoid of hierarchy or rules. It the Whok WlJOle birth Ellrth Catalog, ell/lllag, that embraced a centered around Stewart Brand and rhe parricular evemually provide the intdla:rual intellectual particular vision of technology and that would eventually cybetutopian movements of the 1990S. underpinnings of the cyberutopian sever:ll key points. points, First, the 1990S cyberTurner has elegantly demonstrated se\'eral culture had very strong contilluities continuities with the 1960s New Communalist mo...emovecultu~ ment, both in rerms terms of individual participants patticipants like Stewart Brand and in terms Se<:ond, in an important contribution to of intellectual frameworks and practices. Second, the sociology of knowledge, Turner Tumer shows how Ill0St most of this rested on a pranice practice creating~network forums~ in media, think tanks, and conferencu conferences that thar build of creating ~network forums~

ties (which :l.ccually actually occurred occurted roughly berwn between 1964 2nd and 1971.) 1972.) had the disaster dis.aster its center. Paul Edw:l.rds Edwards offers Operation Operarioll Igloo \hite White of the Vietnam War at in II the archetypal example of the horrifying hotrifying collision of 1960s systems-scienceas inAuenced computing compuring with the compla complex realities and passions Qf the time. Operainfluenced tion Igloo VJ'hite was a giant computer-based command-and-control system \hite :l. gi.mt computer-based. rion based in Thailand during the Vietnam Wu War that gathered data dara from electronic rhat data to direer direct .ensors hiddl!:n hidden along the Ho Chi Minh trail and then used that sensors near-insranr:meous were rhe jungle. Soldiers on the ground wete near-inst:l.nta.neous bombing strikes in the supplanted by men in far fu away closed buildings bUildings sta.ring staring at ar computer tetminals. terminals. It W;lJ a case study in hubristic folly; while causing large numbers of usualties casualTies on was rhe effort did nor nOt Stop lhe effecti...e effective military use of the (r.lil, trail, and many milit3ry usc both sides, the stop the now argue irs its main function was to help blind overconfident nlilitary leaders overconfidem U.S. military teality of the situation on On the ground.... ground.'Q to the reality ir was wirhout withour councleu countless small srrugstrugBut the 1960s would not have been what it gles and shifts shins throughour throughom thl!: the social fabric, f.1bric, shifts shins that occurred in work places gIes manifesred rhemselves and homes lasting well into the 1970S. Those struggles manifested themselves in the worlds of computing on se...eral several [evels. levels. For example, the rhe centra.li~ed cenrr:lli:l:ed informamanagement began tion processing championed by both IBM and Xerox's up~r upper ffi:l.nagement to run aground on the shining social expectations ex~ctations about work and genshifting sands of sod:l.l der. By the mid-1970S, mid-I970S, IBM's earliest push for centrali~ed centralized ~word "word processing cendet. 47 Romanticism and the Machine RolTUJlticism

46

Romanticism and the Machine Romanticum

was accused of having c:lUsed caused some ~disasters~ "disasters" 2nd and to have h2ve produced condi_ tions that th2t some executives recogni:l:ed 2s"dehum:mi%ing: recognized as "dehumanizing: The feminist movement comes up surprisingly frequently in the business press of the time; 21\ an executive BI4~i,teJj Week th2t that part of the problem with sequestering secretaries in word told Business One used to worry abom about the career path of secprocessing centers was that "no one now:' Another executive observed retaries.... , , Women's lib is affecting thillgs things now." reuries.. filce of the team concept a.nd and women's lib,"" lib."" Upper that IBM's plnn pla.n "Aies "flies in the nce tha.t a docile, fa.ctory-like factory-like efficiency in the office wu was backfirmanagement's ma.na.gement'S dream drea.m of a. ba.ckfir_ generating fricnon and resentment inMead ing. genera.ring friction a.nd instead of cost-savings a.nd and profitS, profitS. As a result, up a.nd and down the corpora.te corporate hiera.rchy, hierarchy, as digital computers continued to to sptod, a.nd more individuals wete thert spread, more 2nd were having experiences that suggested there was something wrong with the dominant wa.s domina.nt ways of thinking. In other .:Irenas, arenas, compUter-related computet-related visions that in the mid-1960s seemed to rtalities. Systems hold much promise were similarly colliding with tecalcitrant recalcitrant r=lities. Systenu science, for example. began beg:m to loose its high-tech sheen by 1910." 1970." After several yeus of city governmenrs pouring money into consultants 2nd and computer sysyears tems, urban crime and strife were increasing. not decreasing. and the idea that temS, urba.n nOt Ihat computer systems might be the way to tame me the unruly complexity of urban life naive.'J At roughly the same time in academia, criria critics was looking increasingly naive." MIIJ~ Communicatio'l Commlw;cariolllllld Amer;mu Empirr) Empire) (such:lS (such u Herben HerbeTt Schiller in his 1969 Man and Amtrican modern beg.m to point sharply to a gap between the goals of democracy and modem began Cuey theorized theori%ed the issues in rhe eady 1910S. communication sysu:ms." systems,'" James W. Carey the ony 19705. In Ihe ''The Mythos of the Electronic Re,~lution" Revolution" (197:1), (1972). he .:Itt:l.ckcd attacked systems-science-inAutnced appr02ches approaches to communication, making the case that, for 211 all their eneeinfluenced scientific pretensions, the argul1lenrs were actually pseudoreJigious. His seminal scientihc ptetensions. arguments pseudoreligious. 1975 essay "A Cultural Approach to Communication" made explicit the distinc~s comrol on the tlte olle tion between communication as control one hand and communication as something more hori2:ontal -nle essay's core distinction-between a sonlething horizontal on the other. The control-:l.[-a-distance (and "transmission" view of communication with a focus on control-,u-a-distance which Carey bb.med culture") 2nd a.nd a a"rituar "rituar view wim with irs its blamed for the ~chaos "chaos of modern culture-) m~intenance of sh;lred tlle;lnillgs-has been a. a Sta.ple st;lple shared meanings-hu focus on the generation genera.tion and maintenance of academic a.ca.demic discussions of communication ever since." The common sense of the culture was not JUSt jUst growing more skeptiC3.1 skeptical of the mOte ba.sic terms through which they were more grand gr:l!ld expectations of computers; the buic easily lump rogelher understood were shifting. shifting, In 1961, Licklider could ea.sily TOgether the use of computing for winning battles baltles wilh with the use ofcomputers of computers for achieving enlightenBy 1969, Ihat easy or friction-free, friction-free. The use of ment. ment.lly that juxuposition juxtaposition wu was no longer ea.sy computers for control and the use usc for communication communica.tion and expression no longet longer seemed so obviously compatible and were coming to be experienced as in tension with one anorher. another. 48
Rom:lllrici~m Roma.ntidsm

ters~ ters"

We are f;lmously aW;lte a.re now fa.mously a.wa.re th;lt that when Xerox chairman chairma.n McColough was enthusiastically imagining the office of the future in terms of efficient effident celllralizacentralizaAlro Reseatch . n a handful of his employees were busy at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center tion, , in California creating some of the first effectively functioning computers with nerwork capabilities. windowing graphical interfaces, capabilities, McColough and interfaces. mice, and neTWork the rest of Xerox's upper management failed to understand the value of these innovations and thus la.rgely largely ignored them and allowed thelll to be copied first a.llowed them fitst by and Macintosh systemS systems a.nd and eventually by Microsoft's Windows. Ir It is Apple's Lisa a.nd now known as one of the bigger business blunders of all time and has been much thar the difference between discussed elsewhere." Blit But what's significant here is that management's view of things and the PARC PARe engineers' view was Xerox upper mana.gement's to a large degree. and control. The degree about the rdation relation between communication a.nd problem was not thar th;lt Xerox's upper management was unintelligent but bur th;lt m:u they mey understood computing and data processing through the dominant 1960S lens; da.ta 1960s like the early military funders COlllh.mdtrs of ARPA's computing efforts, rhey they imagined computer purer communication as a means of control conrrol over people and a.nd events at a dist:ance, dista.nce, certainty into illlo the pink.collar the mat would bring mathematical ma.mema.rical ccrta.inty pink-collar world of mt as toOls tools that front liont office, as a form fonn of efficient tfficient control concrol across a.cross space. The PARC engineers, tnginttrs, by contrasl, were carrying on Engelba.rt's Engelbart's and rowards an all alternawnmst. a.nd Licklider's move towards tive view, viewing computers as less calcula.tors calcularors than rivr: man symbolic manipulators, and computet compUter communication as something that should give mOre more control to users point of management more control conttol over them. 111e rather than giving mana.gemenc The dominant poim view was not that of a manager oveneeing a vast enterprise; ma.nager or miliury military officer ovcrsing gonls with an imera.crivc interactive computer it was that of literate Iitera.te individuals achitving a.chieving goals undet under their own COntrol. control. But failute of Xerox's upper mana.gemem manngemetlt to foresee the direction of comBur the failure broader socia.l social comext. context. The 111e cultural and politiputing in the 1970S occurred in a a. broa.der cal precipit:ued by tht the Viernanl effeces on the c:a.I crisis ptecipitated Vietnam War had its effects tht community of COmputer visionaries, juST 011 so ma.ny many other upecrs aspects of computer engineers and visionarits, just as it did on the late 19605, the the society. socieq'. By me tht unquestioned enthusinsm enthusiasm for cold war wa.r militarism that (hat h2d culmnl glue binding together had previously provided much of the culmral inrellectuals with the cht military-industrial complex compltx began to weaken; like many intellectuals scien university associations, a.nd scienassocia.rions, substantial numbers of computer engineers and associated with the countists bega.n began to be inAutnctd influenced by the political current~ cutrents assodattd terCUlture. Most histories historits of computing make ma.ke some reference 10 to the symptoms of this: Ihis: the programmers working on ARPANET who wore sneakers and ami"'at appearance of a. a very early tht Pentagon in 1969: the appea.rance war pins to briefings at the em:l.il message in 1972 197:1 on ARPANET-which was then understood a~ ~mail as primari1ya impeachment of Presidem President Ilya military communication communica.tion system-calling for the impeachmenr Richard Nixon."

""

and a.nd the rhe Macliine M~cliine

49

Romanticism Roma.nricism and rht rhe Machine

1,

PARC engineers and scientists Did it make a difference that Ihe the pioneering PARe roonlS relaxed. counrercultural countercull'ural style, that they had meetings in rooms had a famously relaxed, be:l.n bag chairs instead insread of conference tables, that they dressed informal1y~ informaJ1y~ full of bean bur those small stylistic differences differcnees were sympsymp_ By themselves, probably not; but broad culmr.l.l cultural shifts in the society at large, shifts that taken uken together tomatic of bro:ld gtavity in the dominant visions of what computers helped change the center of gravity rot and how they might be built and used. By the early 1970S, it had become were for easiet to think of computing in ways that were not congruent with the demands easier of the cold war era.

Humanist Romanticism
There was more than one alternative :lltern:ltive to to cold war militarism. One response to ro the compllfer scientistJosq>h scientisrJoseph Wei.:enb;rum's Wei2:enbaum's tensions ofthe time is evidenced in MIT computer 1976 book, umpult,. Compurrr PoU.'tr POwrr and lllla Humllll HIIlIlan Rtason, RrllSou, a sweeping critique of the use usc of American sociery." society." Like his coUe.ague collugue Norben Norbert "'"einer Weiner before him, computers in Americm c.areer, h.ad grown concerned over Wei2:enbaum, midw.ay midway in.a in a suo:essful successful sciemilic scientific ClrCer, \Vei.:enb.aum, Ihe scientific scielltinc community to to the destructive desrructive uses of their disthe indifference of the coveries .and and inventions. If Weiner's :lrclletypal scienrinc sin was the rhe :ltom atom bomb, 2CCherypal scientific shadow of the Viernam War. And, in rhe case howe\'er, Wei.:enb.aum Wei2:enbaum wrote wrOte in the sludow however. Vietnam \V.ar. the cue of Viemam, Vietnam, the problem was less .about about horrifically horrincally effective weapons and more about .a a kind of structured blindness or indifference that enabled horrors to be .about Wei2:enbaum cites, for aample, example, the usc committed using conventional weapons. \Vei.;:enb.aunl ~operated by officers who h.ad had not the slightest idea of wh.at what of computer systems, oper.ued zond' within which "pilots had wcnt on inside their machines," to select "free-lire well( m.achines,free-fire .:onespilors h.ad evcry living thing.thing." And he cites the notorious notoriou,~ ase case of Pent:lgon Pcnragon 'right' to ro kill cvt:ry the 'rigll(' computcrs th.at that listed bombing strikes inside C:lmbodia computers Cambodia as occurring in Vietnam, compmer to ro mislead members of Congress about thus using the mystique of the compUter abom acrion." this arguably illegal action." compurer scientist, Wei.:enbaum Weizenbaum was nO! not critical of computers themAs a computer but of what he saw as a general weltanschauung weltansch:lUung that had become becomc :assoassoselves, bur Wcizenbaum's criticism critici~m was broad and targeted at ar ciated with computers. Yet Wei.:enbaum's of his MIT colleague~ had devoted their C.:l.reers. concepts towards which some concepn colleagues Cl.reers. He saw the notion that human beings could be understood along the model of compurers-the core conceit of the field of artificial intelligence-as of a piece computers-the of:l narrowncs.~ of mind, the rhe instrumental reasoning tC:lsoning that th:ar separated means with the narrowness associated with the from ends, and the inhuman grandiosity grandiosiry that seemed to be associ:lted computing weltanschauung. not. Yet Yer Wei2:enbaum's critics sometimes dismiss him as a Luddite.'o Luddite." He is noe. Wei.:enbaum's readers might get this impression, not JUSt doubr abollt about just from his expression of doubt 50 SO Romanticism and rhe the Machine

I;

certain aspects aspterS of computing. bur bec:l.use because of his loosely romantic romalllic understand(fl'fain p.:l.rt associing of human hum.an creativity, which through the 1970S was for the most part nature set against :lgainst technology. Wei.:enbaum Wtizenb:lutll began his book ared with a vision of n:l.ture ated ~obviolls idea" that "science is creative, creativt, that the creative act with what he calls the "obvious equivalent to ro the creative Creatlve act in an, art, [hat th:l.t creation springs only from in science is equiv.alem artis.utonomous individuals:'" The assumption assumprion that the archetype ofcreation autonomous individua1s.~" of creation is anisric crurion creation and that such cre:l.tion creation -springs "springs only from autonomous :lutonomous individuals individu:lls" is tic nor.a but it is an orthodox element of romantic individualism. And, not a Luddite one, bur on-en than not, romanticism is thought of:l.S of:IS :l.ntit:hnological antirechnological beC:l.USC because of its more often of a vision of narure nature comr.asted contrasted with a demeaning. t:l.tionalizing privileging ofa rarionali.:ing indusIhe oiali2:ation. From \Vorclsworth Wordsworth finding truth ttllth in the natural simplicities of the tri;rlization. Thoreau in his C:l.bin cabin at Walden W.alden to [0 1960S 1960s hippies Ilippies building English countryside to Thorea.u Eng!ish movel11cnrs often define themselves themselvcs Vermanr, rom.antic romantic movemems communes on farms in Vermont, against whar they perceive as the blinkered t:hnica.l technic.al ration:l.!ity rationality of the indusrri:ll 3g&inst industrial on-en COntrast contrast with agrieultur.l.l agricultutal forms of life. By the first hill half world. which they often world, rwenrierh century, cenrury, chis this strain of thought developed in the rhe of the twentieth thought had been fully de\oe1oped work of humanist humanisr critics like Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford (the uttet latter cited an important influence) inRuence) who :l.nributed :lttributed many ofthe of rhe ills of the by Weizenbaum Wei.:enbaum as m wilh technology. modern world wotld to ro the forms of consciousness associated with modem aJld HUmlln Hllmalt RrllsoN Reaso'l indeed belongs in the Ellul/Mumford Computer POlWr POwtr lllld of its romanric understanding of the human as in ill mdirion, principally because tradition, principilly bce:ausc roffi:l.lltic cre.aDve md and beausc because of its Hegelian an.alytiCllI an:llytical merhod method of identifying a essence crC<l;rive _nce ~spirit" in culture th2t that is apressed expressed throughout throughour the society. Yet Yer central essence or -spirit~ antral accusation of Luddite Luddire is both barh on On its face inaccurale-Wei2:enbaum his critics' :l.ccus;rtion inaccur.ate-Wei:l:Cnbaum wa.~ not criticizing computers per se, JUSt particular made clear c!C<I;r he was pa.rricubr uses of them l'ellingly defensi\"e. defcnsive. For the most and specific actions taken in their name-and tellingly of the book are in Wei.:enbaums Wcizcnbaum's specific specinc discussions compeUing and unique pans ofthe compelling and the activities activiries of those who make and use them. of the workings of computers md Programmer~ was Wei2:enbaum's chapter called Science "Science and the rhe Compulsive Programmer Weizenbaum's "hackers~ :l.nd and the felt experione of the first published works to directly address -hackers" Weizenbaum labels ence of a certain kind of computer programming. Basically, BasiC:l.lly, Wei.:cnbaum exhilaration~ as an addiction akin to ro ga.mbling. g:lJllbling. As if in Licklider's "self-motivating "serf-motivating exhilarationmon ro Stew;rrt Stewart Br:md's ~Spa(ewars" essay, Wei.:enbaum Wei2:enb.aum observed, retort to Br.l.nd's Spacewarsh:l.ve bom" become "srabJish"d, est:lblished, ... .. ,bright or \Vhmever computer amen \Vhenever c"nteu have brighr young men of dishe""led app"arancc, ~Ppe;lr:mce. onen often with sunken glowing "yes, e)'Cs, can c~n be seen sining al comcom sitting at dishevd"d pura- consoles, their theit arllls anns tensed ~nd waiting linger., already alrudy poised poiled puter rensed ;rnd wairing to ro lire fi~ their fingers, ro srrike, mike,. at ~t th" the burtons buttons and keys on which their ~ttenrions SUmS ltemllO CO rheir atrenrions to be riveled rivet..d as" gamblers on th" Ihe rolling dice. When \Vhen not so eransJix"d. translixed, ther oflen sit a[ ~t rabIes tablel as a gambler's they often srrewn with computer prinrours primouts over O\'Cr which they poee pore like Iikr possess..d poueued students Studentl of or strewn text. They work until uneil they drop. twelley, rwemy. thirty at a ~ Clb:llisric cabalistic rext. rh"y nurlr nurly drop, rhirry houri hours ~r ~ time.
H

51 5.1

Romanricism and the Machine Romanticism Machin"

TIlei. fOOd, food, if they arnnge ~rr.lnge iI, it, is broughr bra lIght to mem: rhem: cofftt, coffee, Cohs. Cokes, und... undwichr~. Their oiches. If possible.lhey lleep on con cotS nur the rhe computu. ~ If:w few hours-then possible, they skcp computer. But only for a back ro to rhe console or rhe the prinrouts. printouts. Their "Their rumpled dothes. clothes, rheir their unwashed unwJshed and b:lCk unshaven f;lces, fuu, and their uncombed hair h~ir all testify rurify rhar rlm they arc oblivious to their are 10 bodies and 10 co rhe world in which Ihey rhey move. They Thq e~isr. cxin. at leur lcut wll"n when so cn~gro. engaged, through and for the compulers. These 'nlCIC a~ al"C' oompu~r computer buml, only mrough rhe compuron. bums, compulsive

enslavement. Brands Brand's ~computer wcomputer bums~ bums" were nOI not porrrayed as Weizenb:.aum's Weizenhaum's our ensla~mem. portrayed :.as addicts but as vision:.ary visionary computer be:.atniks. beatniks. lonely addiCts This move was w3S not without ilS its intdlectu:.al imellectual deep b:.ackground. background. Not all of the Licklider attendees at the 1940S Macy conferences followed Norbert Wiener and LickHder Bateson and M:.arMardle world of computer science; amhropologists Gregory Bueson into the garet Me:.ad Mead were ~~ also in :.arrendmce. attendance." pret os Bateson in particular would continue using cyben'etirJ Inro into rne the 1970S in ways that would come COme ro to seem Seem quite quire at odds the term cybernnlcs w "Closed World~ World l:.ater Iarer describe:d described by Edwards. Bueson, Bateson, who with the Strangelovian ~Closed to ro my knowledge never c:.ared cared much about computers, compurers, went on ro develop both of holisric holistic ideas :.about about systems theory, theory. ecology, and the hurn:.an human mind and a set ~f pop writing style for presenting rhose ide:lS. a particularly effective, aphoristic :.a partlC~brly :.aphoristic those ideas. coumercultural period, petiod, the most f.amous famous of which Bateson's tr.l.de trade books from the countercultural lbtesons StcpJ to 10 'UI an Ecology. Ecology o~ ofMind, written in a highly :.accessible, accessible, engaging way was Sups Mind. were wtitten mat eschewed :.academICJargon academic jatgon :.and and reference; Ihe the sryle style was th:.at that of:.a of a kind of h hip, that ch" . lp, of the voice of the British gentleman amateur. Highly abstracr charming version . :.armmg versIon VOlce abstraci about sYStems sysrems theory, for example, are put in the lhe mouth of:.a of a six-ye:.ar-old six-year-old ideas abo.1it ~eas charring wilh with her father." Hence, Hence. college srudenlS students and literate Hterate hippies :.across across girl ch:.arnng and even some precocious high school students, srudents, could curl up in :.a the bnd.. land, :.ln~ me a bean bag chair with one of Bateson's books and make some sense of it wirhout rhe ~ cha.lr With Batesons without the guidance of professors; B:lteson was an anti-Derrida. Bateson gwdance 11lis was the intellectual style that bec:.ame became mosr most powerfully associ:.ated :Issociated with This Communalisr wing: accessible, Smarr smart but the counrerculture, particularly its New Communalist me.counterculture. plain-spoken, dismissive of tradition. Someone like Weizenbaum would make

programme,.." programmers.... The difference between the compulsive programmer :.lnd and ~:.l "; merely dedicated, dedicned,

11

~
I

programmer," Weizenbaum writes, is thar that the prohard-working. professional progranlmer,~ fession:!.1 "addresses himself to the problem to [0 be solved, soh'ed, whereas the wmpulsive wmpulsil'c fessional mainlY:lS;1Il opporruniry to interact inreraet with the Comcomprogrammer sees the problem mainly as an opportunity -nle professional profession:tl regards programming as a means towatds towards an end, nOI not puter.... The w iuelf. " as an end in itself.''' 'Nhereas Licklider tried to [0 justify his pleasure in pl:lying playing with computers by \hereas Wei7;enhaum-who later bter associating it wid, with goals of efficiently solving problems, Weizenbaum-who programtllers was based in his own personal expeth:.lt his depiction of programmers hinted that computers"-saw it as symptomatic of much that was wrong with rience wilh with computerS"-saw withom concern for the final ends exemplified exelnplified the indifsociety. Programming without lhat lead to ro destnIcti...e destructive folly like masference to long-term human consequences th:.lt Vietnam. Prcfiguring Prefiguring Edwards's argument about d,C the sive bombing campaigns in Vielllam. World:' Weizenbaum argues that the appeal of computers is precisely "Closed World; w abstract, solipsized "worlds~ "wodds shut shU! off from the messy me.s.sy that they offer a fantasy of abseracr, complexit}' thar can be made 10 to operate according to any rules complexity of reality, worlds th:.lt gains a kind ofgodlike camrol over rhat the programmer wishes; the programmer gains:.l COntrol O\'er Ihat rhe larger. latger, hum:.ln human one. rhis world, but only insofar as he or she disconnects from the this enabled the rhe Weizellbaum. the rhe compulsive desire to interact intenct with computers eml.bled For Wcizenbaum, tinkering-rhe technological innovation without regard for human conmindless tinkering-the sequence-thar W:.lS was the object of his concern. Hacking was W:lS the rhe opposIte oppoSIte of arc.. art. sequence-th:.at
"Soft" Computing: The Emergence of the Computer COll1puter Counterculture For Stewart Brand, however, however. computing potentially \VilS ["'IS art. \Vhile While Weizenbaurn Weizenbaum was formulating his critique of conventional computer science, a computer counest:lba parallel critique of the computer estabterculture was developing which offered :.a thar took rook an opposite opposire t:.ack rack pre.:isely precisely on the issue of~compulsive of"compulsive Hsbmenl, but one mat lishment, aforementioned essay in Ro/fing Rollillg Stone Stoue w:.as was both programmers.wStewart Brand's :.aforementioned progr:l.mmers.~ indic:uive and probably inRuential. Brand took the same raw material as WeizenWeiZCIV indicative ptobably inAuential. baum-computing conducted compulsively for ilS its own s:ake-and sake-and aniculalcd articulated it completely differently, dilTercnrly, as something that might free us insre:.ad instead of perpetu:.ate perpetuate 52
Rom;llitiei.'n :and and the Machine Muhine Romanticism

Dostoyevsky and project :.l a sense of frequent references to classic literature like Dostoye'l$ky frequ~nt warning a~ut about a f.a.llen, fallen, ddude~ deluded world. Bateson, COntr3St, would boil things =~ng B:.lteson, by COntrast, easily repc:.at:.able repeatable aphoTlsms aphorisms :.and and provide :.a down to eaSily a sense or of revelatory simplicity. texr for the 1960s COUnterStewart Brand's Wholt W/,ole EilTth Ellrt/, Catalog, the defining text Ste~art [960s Countetculture's approach to to technology. technology, adopted much of Bateson's style and eventually cultures "pproach to the St:uus StatuS ofguru. In the Catll/og. Call/log, Brand :.added added to Batesons Bateson's :.accesacceselevated him 10 .mle but thoughdUI 1 01> ''I ' f thoughtful style a nonlinear, playful form of presentation that mixed lible desc' . sry e a no mear, p.....yru ronn 0 present;arion that mixed toilets with politiC:.l1 political tracts, novel. :.lnd and iconocl:.astic iconoclastic descriptions T1ptlOns of nonRush toilelS traclS. a novel, journalism: it was in the CllIalog ::,malism; Cilla/og that most of the United States finally learned how astronauts to t~e the bathroom. b:lthroom. On the olle one h:.and, hand, the style expressed the .~ aSt~"~utS wenr went~1O -everything related" holism of Batesonian BateSOnian syslems systems theory. But Bur the Cilia/og Catalog was also rythlllg is IS rdared alao made for browsing. Ceminly, Certainly, the accessible, accessihle, cluttered style sryle of the Cali/log ~ade CDtillog abared consumer culture; re:.ading reading the Who something with the general style of the COnSumer Whole Earth CilIll/og Calalog in the early l1luch the S;lme same way th It Ellrt.h e:.arly 1970S was probably fun in much char browsmg browsing the Sears Se:lrs catalog was rhe 1890s. Bur But when it if first appeared appeared, ~t w:.as in the Whole Earll, Cnlalog stood aparr from the resr of the consUl1let culture in the Un Wi,Die Eilrth Catalog :.apart rest consumer i~ images, it w:.as was infonnainforl1l:lUnPOrtant f!Onant ways; printed in black and white with wirh grainy im:.ages,

53

Romanticism and the rhe Machine

I ,

tion ddiber.ately lacked nOt about consuming products for don rich, rich. deliberately I~c:ked glitz, glin:, and was nor leisure time dnu: 2criviries aCtivides but-in its own mind at leau-about least-about understanding undersnnding and building things for everyd:lY everyday life. To a whole generation generacioll of readers, and still to [0 frankness and some extent today, today. this kind of writing is a breath of fresh air; its fnmkness condescending, amiandw:u an antidote to thoughtfulness was co the breezy, breezy. sUg:lrcoated, sugarcoated, condescending. intellectual tone mne of much of the pop media, whereas its irs accessibility contrasted with the jargon-ridden, mystified styles that thar pc.rmeatt: permeate our academic, :academic. government, and corporate bureaucracies. probably the that disseminated It was probilily me Whole EMIl, Earth C<lla/og Catalog mat disseminau:d many of the rhe tropes countercultural writing. A studied usc use now emblematic of New Communalist coumercultur:tl of plain, conversadonallanguage conversarionallanguage was common, signaled by the artful occasional use of obscenities, obsccnities, more for humor than to [0 shock or express anger. The Catll/og'S Catalog's statement of purpose begins, "We ate geT used to it." statemenr are as gods and might as well get it.~ usc of conversational plain language-"might language~"might as well get used to it~ itO-often The use -often functioned to humanize what whar would otherwise come across as a.s almost biblical as gods." In this way, undeniably grand statements statementS about abom grandiosity: "We "\Ve are a.s abstractions, about mind, society, the ~whole "whole earth" earm" could be presented in a disarmingly appealing way.

Ted NelS011 Nt/wlI and Computer Lib/Dream Machines


CaM/og brought a new rake take on technology to me the counterIf the Whole Whok Earrh Earth ullalog counter culture generation, Ted Nelson's Computer Lib did the ume same for computers, with lasting impact. Among computer enthusiasts, Nelson was the central figure in building an association inter.aCfive computing and coumerculrural associarion between interactive counrercultural style. hypulcxl in the early 1960s and in 1967 coamhored He coined rhe the term lJyp~rtext coauthored a ptOproposal for a computer com purer editing system with Brown professor Andries Van Dam, a friend from Nelson's undergradu:lte undergr.Jduate days (and one of the attendees who would be so deeply imprc.sw:l impressed by Engelban's Engelbart's 1968 demo). Nelson has never been particularly panicularly successful either technically or in business; to software or business with which he has been [0 my knowledge, no functioning sofTware directly associated has ever endured. Arguably, his key role in the ellolution evolution of compuring-and this computing-and mis is nOt not for a second to downplay his influence-is in his role as a writer. Nelson is a m:lgnificent magnificent and disrinctive distinctive prose stylist, and in a sense his powtr of the literary to change the world. Although Nelson career is proof of rhe the power Engelbart and Licklider, by rhe the was elearly dearly awate :lw;ue of and influenced by the likes of Engdbart enrhusiastic:llly counrerculwraJ. early 1970S his tone and style became bec2me enthusiastically counrercultural. Licklider and Engelbart. Engelbart, though they were somewhat interested in using computers play~ playfully, generally used a language inflected by the turgid technocratic talk charac; charac~ bureaucracies. In sharp conrrast, COntrast, Nelson created an teristic of military-industrial bureauct:lcies. teriscic
54 Rom:mticism M~chine Romanticism and the Mac:hine

a Hip, flip. ioonocla.s_ iconoclasebullient and srunllingly Stunningly effective elfecrive rewriting of the technical into 2 tic, amusing, and sometimes poignam style. Oc. amusing..and poign:mt As :l a student :lnd and drifting young aspiring professional in the mid-19 60S, 0s, Nelson published :l a few pieces and gave sOlne advocated an some public talks t.a1k.s that advoc:lted Engelbartian emphasis on using computers to to create and manipulate linked t(:Xes. texts. These early pieces :Ire are largely of a piece with the Licklider/Engelbart strain of comains the first published use usc of the Term hY}lulat, thought. A 1965 article thar that conuins term J'yptrtul, for a &irly engineering piece, or example, ex.ample, looks at first glance very much like 2 fairly typical enginuring assembly.~" In keeping proposing 2 a system for ~personal "person.al filing and :lnd manuscript a.ssembly.~17 coins a technical term for his proposed syswith classic engineering form, Nelson coins:l rem (or eleerronic documenrs, documents, which is easily turned into :In an acronym: for handling electronic Evolurionary List File structure Licklidet and Engelbart, Engelbart. Nelthe Evolutionary srructure or ELF. Like Licklider son distinguishes his appr02cll approach from the mainstream of the day d:ly by emphasizing "Rarely," Nelson writes, ~does Hdoes the the unpredictable quality of mental ment.al processu. processes. ~R.arely; oudine [of a project} projectJ predict well what headings and sequence will create original outline desired... If writer is really to be helped by an automated system, the effeces effecu desired.... [f a :l wrirer than retype and transpose; it ought to to do more th2n rranspose; it should stand by him during the early urly periods of muddled confusion. scr.aps, fragments, confusion, when his ideas are arc scraps, fTagrnents, designs.~" phrues, phrases, and contradictory overall designs. 'While th:.t echo Licklider and Engelbart,like Engelbart, [ike \Vhile Nelson mentions potential uses th:lt lCientific a bit farcher, farther, suggesting dut that this sysscientific or legal research, he pushes things things:l tem historians or students of Shakespeare." He hinu at a fondIan could be used by histori:lns ofShakespeare." hints at:l ncaa for the playful non-Latinare a system he calls ~zip "zipDeSS non-utin:lte language langu:lge by proposing 2 is focused on the lIision pered" lists. More than Licklider or Engelbart, Nelson peud~ Licklidet vision of just managing dara, writing. "To an individual who is, not JUSt data, but wri/iug. ~To design and evaluate &)'Items asserts, "we ~we need nud to know what the process of writsystems for writing.~ writing." Nelson aSSerts, ins is:')O And writing. writing, aceording to Nelson, is nOt simply typing words into a systog U.~ro according ro tem, nor is it a predictable ptocess of, s.ay, Wriring ~, :l process of. S:ly. following a pregiven outline. Writing iI ~ a process of gradual discovery that invoilles involves ~b:llancc "b.alance of emphuis, emphasis, sequence of interrelating poims, points, rexture eontinues, ~terrelaring texture of insight, rhythm, etc," etc.~ In a foornote, he continues, .J understand that this acwum account is reasonably writer! as Tolstoy, I unde~stand re2sonably correct for such writers Winston KatherinC' Anne Porter. 1110se Wi~ston Churchill and Katherine -nlose who can C2n stick to a prior r.1ithfully, like ):1I1Ies Outline fuithfully, O~tIine James Fennimore Cooper, tend to to be either hacks or prodilies, 2nd and don't need this system...... JIts. system.~" NeiTher Neither Licklider nor Engellxlrt Engelhan: could ever semence like thaT. the Iitet:lry literary refetences references and the artfUl have produced a :l sentence that_ Both me artful that distinguishes Nelson rhetorieal dodge regarding Cooper point to something rberoric.al poim th:lt and Engelbart; che craft of &om Licklider :lnd Engelb...n; he is fascinated with, and skilled at, the "'riting. 'firiting.
n ..

As the 1960s progressed, Nelson came into Contact various avant-garde .As contact with v2rious av:t.nt-garde as~umption that art 2nd and engineering beell ch.allenging challenging the typical typic.al assumption artists who had been 55 S5 Romanricism Ronunricism and the Machine

u:lmple. besides creating creadng controverwere opposites. Composer John Cage, for example, 4 '33~). was wou fascinated fucinated with technology. sial compositiolls compositions (perhaps most famously 4'33"), inspiration, Lewis Mumford, Kathleen Woodward has contrasted Weizenbaum's inspiration. Cage:" If for Mumford, the values associated with technics are imper. imperwith John Cage: ~If sonality. regularity, efficiency, and uniformity, for Cage the rhe values are heterogenesonality, HI ' ity, randomness, randomness. and plenitude. These are also the [he values he associates with art. art:'l> 11,is line of thinking about abollt technology and art led (0 to a number of European and This KlUver, Robert Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg, and York-based efforts. For example, example. Billy Kluver, New Yorkbased 15166, which held exhibiuhibi others founded Experiments in Art and Technology in 1966, dOnS years. 1I In 1970, 15170, Nelson himtions in and around New York City in subsequent years." self wrote an online, hypertext: hypettext catalog for an exhibition titled tided H$of"tware,H "Software; which computer- and electronics-related installations. some of which were creinvolved computer mhers by engineers, and some who straddled both worlds, like ated by artists, others M IT's Architecture Machine M.:l.chine Group." Group.'" Negroponte, then head of MIT's Nicholas Negropome, Nelson may m.:l.Y not have been cemral eenrral in these circles. but he mOSt most likely gained g.:l.ined First. these groups encouraged him to arradr attack the some inspiration. of twO kinds. First, assumption that art and computer technology were opposites. Second, they per perbecoming a traditional comhaps suggested an alternative career path. Instead of ofbeooming governmenr, someone puter expert working for corpon.tions, corporations. univenities, universities, or the government, intersection might develop a name for themselves as a gadfly or iconoclast at the imencccion of some of these institutions; one could operate via vi.:l. what Fred Turner calls net ~net work forums forums~ that used the terminology and :lnd authority ofone [0 build links of one world to of the artist-rebel and the authority with another. Towards this end. end, the persona or of high technology might be combined instead of or being thought of as opposites. While \Vhile rethinking the relation between art and technology, however, the New still remained archmodernists, arch-modernises. York-based experimcmaJ Yorkbased experimental artistic community still expecting art (0 to take risks and be challenging. ch:lllenging. It was the San Franciscobased Francisco-based counterculture community with Stewart Brand at its cemer center that provided a more popular, inviting approach focused on a warm kind of playfulness and accessible I5I60s, whether through rock festivals like Woodstock, new style. And by the late 1960S, Rolliug S,ant, StOUt, or simply in the dorms of college campuses across publications like Rolling coul\tercultural ethos was Widely widely available. This 11,is became hccame Nelson's the land, this coumercultural influence. primary stylistic inAuence. It was tWO years after Brand's 1972 19'7:1. Rolling Stone Stont piece first publicized the th:ol.( computing could be countercuJrural th3t Nelson came our with his notion that coumerculrural that norion COtllPUftT Lib/Dream Lib/Drtam Macl,ine$." Mad,illl~s." 'Nhile While the larger counterculture magnum opus. opus, Computer lIery much in decline was at the time rime very dedine and paid little attention. attention, ComputeT Computer Lib had a profound impa.ct imp:tct on the small but energetic circles of people who were. were, Ot or who tWO decades, it has been become. involved with computing. For the last l:tlt twO might become, Kapot (the designer of common to encounter computer professionals like Mitch Kapor
56

LotuS 1...3 1-:1,-3 and cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Fromiet Foundation), who say NelLotUS son's book changed ~changed my life:'" life.~" (In the mid-15l8os, sOn's mid-1980S, Nelson claimed to have encountered at least fifty nfty other people who told him the same rhing.)" thing.)11 It is impossible to establish exactly how widely read Computtr COIllPUftT Lib was, but it seems likely that lO anendance at the West COUt Coast CompUter Compuret Faire and similar now' nOwmost of those in attendance 15I70S had at least some familiarity f.lmiliarity with Nelson and his legendary venues of the 1970S Xerox PARC during work, and Nelson himself reportS glowingly on a visit to Xetox period.1I Nelson frequently published essays in science and computet the period." compUter journ:als and served for a time as editor of one of the lirst magazines. nals nrst pop computer magazines, Crtatil't Computing." But it was Computer Lib that seems to have had such a Crtlltivt ~rhe most mOSt fonnative impact. The book has been in all seriousness described as "the H noo important book in the history of new media. jmpOnant .... CompUltT Lib was essentially a transposition COUIlComputtr rntnsposition of the style, format, and couno, tCfcultural \VJ'olt Eard, Clltlliog into the wOtld rerculrural iconoclasm of the \Vho/t Earth Ullliog wodd of computers. computers." Lib. Nelson had completely abandoned ab.:lI1doned By the rime he was working on Compuur umputtr Lib, all hints of the technical style of Licklider and Engelbart. Engelhart. Near the beginning of
the book, Nelson draws a distinction between hctween the computer profes.sional professional and the me ~computer fan,H fan,w that is, "computer
someone who :apprm..le;s appreci,u~ the opOolU, options. lUn, fun, elOCitemem. fiendish &scinWon fasdn~don of wmeone uciremem. and 6endish compute~ .... Somehow the idea is abroad thar computer activities are uncrunve, compu~ ... me 'dn :abroad thaI compureT acrivirie;s uncrcarive. as comp:lTed. ~y, with nxaring rotating dty day against fingen until it becomes a potpot. :u romparnluy. againsI: your lingers false. ComPUler$ Computers involw involve imagilUrion imagination and creation at the highcalegoric.ally f:abe.. This is o.legori~Jy creadon at level. Computen Compule~ an are an ~n in~ent involvement you an c~n rully really get inro. into. rcgardles.s regardlen of)"OUr of your est Ievd. welcome to to Ihe rhe computer compurer world. world, damneddamne<ltrip or your karma.... THEREFORE, _kome 1101ppened. &u gut we, the compuleT comporet people. peopk are rhing thaI that has ever happened. est and craziest thing nOt lr is you omen others ....ho who are CT4~ crazy 10 let us hawaii have all this fun run and power to to nOI crazy. II ourselves. COMPUTERS BELONG TO ALL MANKIND." ou~ehu.

The rationalist, rationa.list, technical jargon was gone and replaced by a fUll-throated fuJl-tllroated counpatt Tom Wolfe, part HaightAshbury, Haight-Ashbury, and parr part political flyer. Ctrculrura.lism: rerculruralism; part Byer. Which is not to say that Compuur Computer Lib lacked subsra.nce. substance. Mixed in with :tre concepts and descriptions of specific machines and computer languages are computer use usc thar that were then unusual but have since become comapproaches to compUter monplace. User-friendly illterfaces, interfaces, small personal-sized personalsi2ed computers, mice, graphic proceuing. email, email. interfaces, and noncomputarional noncompurarional uses of computers like word processing, advQC:tted. In In one of ate all elaborately explained and advocated. multimedia, and hypertext arc many prescient passages, Nelson attacks a Bll$ine$$ Businw Week Wak piece about~1he aboutlhe Office [he Future; dle emergence of computerized offices staffed starfed by of the Future;' which forecast the centrally located, specially trained word pro.:essing processing technicians and which prewiJl succeed in [his dicted th;tt that the only companies that will this field will be IBM and dicted. Xerox." Nelson goes on; Xerox." on:
57

Romanticisrn and the Machine Romanticism

rhe Machine Romanticism and ,he

I
III

Well. chis this is hogwuh.... hogw.l$h.... Th~ The office of tbe the furore, furore. in d>e the opinion of the ~uthor. Well me :luthor. h.:.vc nothing noching [0 to do with the silly compkzitia complexities of ;lUtortu.nc ~UlOmaric typing. Iyping. It will}w.", will have will h2vc wid. !:he

screens. :l.nd SCrttnl, and

kcyoouds. and possibly a printer outgoing [c!ten ... All }'OU' }'OUf krybc=ds. pouibly" prinrer for outgOingkm:n business infomu.cion informarion will be callable [0 the scrun lieTecn inst:llntly. inst::lnrly. An all.cmbn.cing aJl.cmbt::lcing data darn c:oJl:oble to

structure will hold evay ItJltuaJ-in:l. c;l.r'. uriStructure every form of informuion-numcricaJ informacion-numerical and tCKtual-in:l cDdk dHnk:l.ga; and you, the U$ef, whatever your job tide. rove your cndlc oflink:ogu; rh... liS. ride. may quickly ~
Kreen rhrough through the endre arC cncidcd cnridcd to scc:. ICe. You will h.:a~ have screen entire infornl:l.tion-Jp:l.cc infomwiolHp3CC' you arc

ITom Licklider's comfol'f2ble comforrable slaying iconoclastic stance ~ying st;lnco: sharply distinguishes him hom association with the military-industrial associ:lcion milit;lry-indusrrial complex. And Nelson pokes fun at the tho: artificial builders"; for Nelson, computers arc artilicial intelligence community as "God builders~; are not machines that think on On their own but tools cools that people use usc to pursue theit their dreams-"Dream Machines." clreams-"Dream Machines."

II

to ttl

do no prognmming." programming."

1"11i5 prognosdcation. He even :mricipatts This is :m an extraordinary bit of prognostication. anricipatu bU7;% bU2;2; words; eighteen years b,-Jote before the phrase web surfing swflllg spread throughout the culture, Nel8If compUters rhe future. surfbo;trds.~" son wrote, "If computers are the wave of the future, dispb.ys displ:l.Ys arc are [he the surfbouds,"4' grandiose notions about computers' liberato,/, potential And Nelson articulates OIrticulOlCes gr:andiose Iiberatory potenri:1i that later became standard. stand:ltd fare thatHknowledge, underunder dur f.are among netizens, nemens, claiming (h;.u"knowledge, standing and freedom can all be advanced by me the promotion and deployment of computer display consoles {with (with the right programs behind them):" them).~"' 11le Compufcr Lib shares much with both B:l.teson Bateson and the Whole Wllole The style of Computer EnrtJ, Cualog. Catalog. The book cridcizes criticizes and pokes fun :U at the mystifying mysrifying jargon in Earth which computers were then typically described. ~I believe in calling a spade a sp2de-not a personalizcd. personalized earth-moving eareh-moving equipment module,~ module: Nelson quipped." spade-not quipped."' The language is deliber.luly deliberately playful and !\On-Latinate; non-Larinate; computers are described as "wind.up Br:Uld, Nelson frequently uses me the colloKwind_up crossword punles." puzzles." (Like Brand, quial particularly effectively to soften grandiosity, rhereby thereby disarming quia! particulatly disanning the reader's ~When I saw my first computet.~ computer,~ he recounts. recounts, ~l ~J said skepticism: ~\Vhen &:lid 'Holy smoke, this is the desriny counterculmtal destiny of humankind:")' humankind."')"' And a loose sympathy symp,uhy with counteTCulturai boaSTS of having been at Woodpolitics and iconoclasm is also present; Nelson boasts stock,' srock,'" associates his critique of the computer profession with the feminist cri critique of the medical profession in Our Bodies, Bodiel, Ourst/vo,1O Ollrsdvel,l'> inserts a solemn pae:1ll paean to no-growth nogrowth economics,11 2nd putS puts a black'power r:lised fist on the cover. economics," and black-power style raised And the handdrawn graphics. graphics, paste-up style, and self-published self.published originme book's hand-drawn antiestab Nelson brags about eschewing mainstream publishers-all bespeak an anoestab-

Nelson and the tI,e Romaneic Ted Nelron Romantic PUSOIJa Persona of IIJ( Rebd Hero the Visionary Rebel
someone's life~ No book about the course of someone'slife~ How could a slim hook ahout computers change che doubt there is something comic about the idea of people sitting at ac computer conwles imagining themselves as Byronic heroes; one has to approach the notion of soles :os to romanticized computing with a sense of irony. But one way to to make sense of this ronunticized is to rhink chink of rom:.lnticism :.Iesrhetic or a phiphi. is romanticism as a social fonnation, fonnaoon. not JUSt juS[ an .aesthetic lo.ophy. We can think, not nOt just of people like Byron and other romantic figures, losophy. ligures, but of the readership of Byron, were in a sense bored By ton, more than a few of whom wete burc:.lucrats, people widl with relative material suriry security suffering from alienation in bure.aucrats, their narrow, speci:l1ized, lind rechnical technical professions, lifespecialized, and profes.sions, dreaming of a different lifo:looking recnchantment. One might be able to trace a fairly ioolcing for teenchantment. rr.ace .a f.airly direct line from hom lOme literature-Goethe's young lOITIe of the earliest masculine heroes ho:roes of romantic literarute-Goethc's Werther, say-onwatd say-onward to to the protagonists of cyberpunk novels, typically midlevel technical employees who've who'vo: spent a large pare parr of their lives sitting at com. computer consoles engaged in nurow, rasks and then in the COUtR course of the narrow, technical tasks leory advelltures. srory have dramatic adventures, It's Jr's entirely appropriate that m:u Nelson dubbed his proposed ideal hypertext I)'Item Xanadu, XOInadu, after the imaginary pleasure palace palaec in the romantic writer -rstem K Nelson's style and approach Khan.~ Coleridge's opium-induced poem ~Kubla Khan. Coletidge's e heavy use of romantic tropes. malc rhe emphasis on truth discovered in make tropes, From the to personal exploration, to ro the me celebtation celebration of dreams, visions, and revolution, ro to the Straregic strategic use of vernacular the suspicion of technical rationality, and ro vernaculat language, crafted his own version of onhodox orthodox romantic style. Nelson's guage. Nelson has cr.lfto:d Thoreau or enthusiasm for technology certainly ccrtainly disringuishes distinguishes him from, say, Thoteau Wordsworth (who famously wrote in "Timurn natlltC chen/To then/To me "Tinturn Abbey;"For Abbey,""For nacure \!fas all in aIL") originlll romantics were never opposed to technological 'Nas all.~) But the original advances in me the same fashion mshion :os. as, say, the Amish." 1he The original romantics were ProductS the emetging tc<:hnological world; they raised questions about prodUcts of me emerging new technological pointed to what they saw :IS spirirual failings, but that world and poimed as its limits and spiritual they Were were not nor really ones to step completely outside of it. TIley tiley They lived and moved rhe new world being created by new technologies of communication and about in the transportation, regularly riding the railroad into the countryside, living off of an transporration, ro:gularly

lislullent lishment senriment. sentiment. "Spacewar~ piece, the filct that people enjoyed el~oyed playing rhe simple &ct In Brand's ~SpacewarK with computers was an :uronishing ide.1. Nelson's Computer Lib gready asronishing enough idea. exp:lIlds assoei.1ting ~self-motiV:lting "self-motivating exhilaration" (wh:lt (wh.1t Nelson ails clills expands on this, :lssociating ~fiendish fascination"), nOt JUSt with pl:ly, play, but wim with ~imagil\2tion "imagination and cte:loon creatiOn at "fiendish f.ascin:ltion~), not clearly suggest that dlat computercompurer' the highest level." level_KNelson was wu perhaps the first to dnrly virtuality was, not nOt JUSt a syStem system for rational exploration in the Enlighten enabled virruality jUSt:l Enlightenment sense, but potentially :In an ecstatically pleasurable activity. Nelson's emphasis emphasiS lUll brellk on play and personal expression thus allowed for a full break from the stiff sriff Cw Cartesian mechanistic rationality that Engelbart was wu still rooted in, and his dragon58

Ronunrici5m and the che Machine Ronunricism

S9 59

Romanticism Ronunticism and Ihe me Machine M.lIcnine

roury priming not beyond economy made mOide possible by the tlJe rotOiry printing press. And they were nOt be}'Ond considering the utisric artistic char.Kter character of new technologies. In his 18)) 1833 sonnet, Steam"Steamthat rhese these machines should boats, ViaductS, Viaducts, and Railways," Railways: Wordsworth allows rhat OOns, byNanm:.~ because they arc products of~Man's be embraced embra.ced by "Nature" bec.lIlse OIre produCts of~M3n's art.~ OIrt." More enthusiastically, Walt Whitm311 Whitman wrote wrOte;\I1 a an eroticized celebration cclebra.tion of the locomotive, -To "To:l pam 3nd and roar-now taperLocomotive in Winter~ Wintet" r'Thy ("Thy metrical, now swelling pant fixti in front/Thy long. pale, distance/Thy great protruding head-light, flx'd ing in the distance/TI1Y
purple~)." floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate deliClre purplel." But the thread that ties Nelson to rra.dirional tradition:!1 romantic writing is the cretlJe real rhread ation distinct. struggling sttuggling persona. persona, This 111is is not just an idea or a arion or expression of a distinCt. textual practices constrUCt a very vety particular relanarrative but a collection of rextual pracrices that construct narrarive tion between writer and reader. Robert Damton has suggested that the otigins origins of Roberr Darntoll berween certain traced back to the time cerrain modern patterns of reading and writing can be rraced rime of Jean.Jacques Rousseau." Rousseau, Damton to ~fabricare "f.tbricate Jean-Jacques Rousseau,~ Damron has argued, did much ro reader. romannc sensitivity" sensitivir{ by "transforming romantic ~rransforming the relarion relation between writer and reader, of this new rhetorical situation was an effort between reader and text.At the core text: rheroricalsiruarion to pUt the persona of the writer in the forefronr, forefrom. Mlnstead "Instead of hiding behind the pur me to manipulate rhe the characters characrers in the manner of Volnarrative and pulling strings to taire; wtites, "Rousseau threw himself into his works and expected the taire,~ Damton Damron writes, reader ro to do the same." S<llIle.~ Rousse:lu RoussCOlu encouraged encour.l.ged his readers to ro approach his works hUlnan authentic, unmedi.ued unmed.iated expression expreuion of the inner feelings of a unique human as the authentic. foml of art that was capable of communicating "t:Ommunic.:uing to being. RouSSCOlu Rousseau envaioned envisioned :l. 01 form thOSe Nouvelle those far away, without any mediation. mediation, our feelings, fedings, will, desires.~ desires: In La NouvtlJr HdoiJe. for example. not only made the then-unusual thellunusu.al geSture gesture of signHrloijr, example, Rousseau, RoussCOlu, nOt preface. ing his own name to to the novel, but also made much of that fact in the preface, public, He insisting that a "man of integrity" should not hide himself from the public. furthermore llOt want to be considered any bener better than I :l.m."" fUrthermon:: insisted th:l.t"l that ~r do not am:" "A man of integrity: in other words, words. is a man who bues bares his flaws, which in turn of authenticity, the sign of an honest connection. become the mark ofauthenticity, the nature of wriring writing and readingTItis This now-familiar understanding of rhe Promethean authors :lUthors sharing their inner struggles with their readers-echoes in m:l.ny many artnaS arenas beyond the expected ones like secondary school literature classacademic: writing. for example, unheard-of in academic They are not unhCOlrd-of example. Rousseaui:ln Rousseauian rooms. 11tey tCXCUlil constructs conStructs were originally t:Ontrasted RotlSseau took as the contrasted with what Rousseau textual salon: there an:: are echoes of this stale, in.:luthenti" contrived writing of the Parisian salon; sule, iruluthentic, jargon and modishness. aspect aspeer of Rousseau in common criticisms of academic jOirgon and to to 3mdiorate ameliorate such criticisms it is often fashionable for us academics to adopt OUt otherwise salonlike writing. For e;ulTIple. some posr-Rousscauian post-Rousscauian tricks in our example, we cultivate e1emems of a unique writing voice Ot cultivare a few elements or strategically Strategically insert a per~ personal detail or tWO into our treatises. derail {wo

TIlere an:: ;lre many v:lriations to Van There variations of the romantic rebel hero, /Tom from Thoreau Thoruu to
(0 Che Guevera. But if Nelson prob:.lbly William Gogh to eIson has :l. :I. predecessor, it is probOibly BI.:Ike. sWe-e, the late eighteenth-century English POet. poet. 111ey They are not particularly similar a5 as inrellecrs-BI:.lke intellects-Blake was a religious myslic mystic and critic of industrialism. indusrrialism, whereas par~ lib"rtarian-and there is no evidence that Nelson was parNelson is more of a Iiberrari:.ln-and neularly inAueneed cicularly influenced by Blake. But the point of comparing them is that they both

offered similar reading experience and resonated with their :.ludiences offere.d a ~ simibr audiences by way similar set ser of tenua! tcxtu:.lI practices. An :.lnalogy BI:tke helps explain the parof a Similar analogy with Blake effut of Nelson's oeuvre on ncularly compelling nature ticularly rulrure of Nelson's writing. the effrct readers readen of the 1970S and 1980s. Born into a working-class family, Blake was trained as an OIn engraver. Engravof mass producing images in the eighteenth cening was the primllry method primary tury, and thus in a sense it was the multimedia of the day. When \Vben Blake sought m:tke his own :l.rt, poetry. drawing. and mech:.lnical reproduc. to make to art, he combined poetry, mechanical reproduction that was appropriate to his intense personal vision; he rion to create a medium thar invented a new fotm form of copper-plare coppet-plate engraving and eschewed es,hewed the industrialized typc. He was thus able to create Create a unique form of illuuniformity of moveable type. uniformiry minated manusctipt, mantlScript. with the text as part of the engraving and each page h:l.ndhandNelson. Blake was more committed to his vision and his colored. Like Ted Nelson, persona as a rebel than to to economic or professional success; Blake's insistence on maintaining rhe ~ the integrity of his work by eschewing rraditional traditional printing techniques ensured that he would never become widely known or successful successfUl during roques hit own lifetime. his Also. like Nelson, Bl:l.ke frequently presented presemed his personal philosophy in witty, ..Also, Blake &equemly terms. B1ake's ~Prov biting Blake's" Provbiong aphorisms and was known for constantly coining new terms, eros of Helr Hell" are ~s OIre some of his most widely quoted lll:.ltetial. material. For example, ~AlI "All that ia comraries II now proved, was once only imagined," imagined; attacks empiricism. "Without ~\'vithout contra.ries ia -Prisons are built with srones is no progress,8 progress; att:l.cks arracks rarion:l.lisr rationalist deducrivism. And And-Prisons stones oflawB .LL hb-'n fRd' , . . of Law,, Brothels with bricks of Religionexpresses Blake's views conventional roUlas Wit nU<5 0 1810n~ exp~ Blakes VIews of com'entional pithy Statement: -Computen "Computers are no morality. lIIOr:l.liry. Nelson is similarly famous for the pirhy mOrt inhum:l.n than we make them.HHComputers:l.re windup crossword puz;zles.~ more ,inhuman rhan them."MComputers are wind-up puzzles." Blake's longer works were based on his person:.ll mythopoetic universe, BWees personal mythopoeric univetse replete with h ' f.1mously with his characters. Nelson has fOimously IS own eccentrically eccentncally concocted mythic characten_ coined comed a universe of terms, of which hypertext was merely the beginning; for ,"""pl' u' - (f<> (for syStem that that :l.lIows the inclusion indusion of of porrions portions ofother of other Qample. e, ~transdusiontr.m:>uuslon ra a system allows the documents in neWet. "transcopyright" (Nelson's vision of an documentS newer. linked documents); -transcopyright" syStem of micropayments micropaymenrs for reading and linking to olhers' aUtomated system :Ut:mated others' works); thinkerroys to enable intellectual exploration open-ended devi,cs devices intended inrended to explotation dunkertoys (for openended :l.nd "interrwingularity(for the nonhierarchical, interreand experimentation); ~ and "interrwingulariryM intetrelared ed form of most knowledge). 6, 61 Romamicism ;lnd the Machine Ro lI1Olnricism md Machin"

60

Rom;lnricism :l.nd ;lnd th" rhe Mxhine Machine Romanticism

Nelson, in sum, can be described as a liberrarian, computerphilic counterpal'"t


to Blake; borh are witry, aphotistic, philosophically sweeping. economically inaus_

picious wriTers and self-described radicals who do their own illustradons and arc given to endless neologisms. And both arc captivated with the idea of unmedi_ self ated, personal control over the process of producing texts for the purpose of self_ expression-in Blake's case, via hand-colored etchings, in Nelson's, via networked compnters. How and why did all this mattet in the development of our computer-nerworked world~ The point here is nor to draw psychological parallels between rhe two thinkers but to point to parallels in how and why they are read. There is a particular kind of reading pleasnre offeted by an immersion in the works of Blake or Nelson, and this in turn helps explain the impact of such wotks on readership. Both Blake and Nelson offer precisely an intimate encounter with a perSOlJll, a specific literary inter:action with a consrructed nnique individual. Beyond a few of his most frequently anthologized poems, Blake's appe:ll is inextricable from the reader's developing a sense of Blake as a person. In reading Blake, one not only encoumers his startling insights and compelling views; in learning to adjust to his eccentric spellings, his mythopoetic charactets and terms, to his dr:awing and coloring sryle-which is less beautiful than compelling and didactic-one becomes accustomed to him the same way one might develop a fondness over time for the quirks of a loved one. The pleasure of slogging through his often dense and eccentric works is bound up with the enjoyment of reading his persona-not in the sense of getting co know the details of his life or his times, bur in the sense that what one is reading is unique co the imellecrual process of a particular author. It is not rhat his eccentricities arc things co be overcome in order to get the universals in his works; on the contrary, those eccentricities are part of how the texts convey a sense of the individual person of Blake embarked on a process of discovery. Reading Ted Nelson's Computer Lib is similar, While browsing the often prescient and arresting insights into institutions and technologies, one also develops a familiarity with Nelson's handwriting (most of the titles of sections are hand written), his hand-drawn illnstrations (often in comic srrip format), and, of course, his distinct writing sryle. And one gains a sympathy for his own pleasures in computing and personal frustrations with the problems of the field. For both Blake and Nelson, one sometimes feels awe at their determination, rebelliousness, and accomplishment, sometimes an appreciation for their insights and values, and sometimes a kind of poignam identification with someone who gives the impression, nOT so much of choosing not to compromise with the dominant ways of his world, bur of someone who could not do so. And of course parr of rhe rebel hero; even if only in a Reeting the pleasure is one of identification with the 62 Romanticism and the Machine

tIflIY' there's a thrill in imagining that we readers, coo, might know more than the authorities, that we might be right when our bosses are wrong. By the late 1970S, Computer Lib and othet writings by Ted Nelson were becOming familiar and, in significant numbers of cases beloved, among various rhe invisible colleges of individuals who developed and programmed pockeTS of the
DlIrnputers.

Why a Personal Computed

In the 1960s, most of the innovations that went into the use of computers as communications devices-graphic interfaces, email, discussion lists, user-friendliness in genetal-were developed by individuals lower down on engineering hierarchies, individuals whose salaries were paid for by projects officially dedicated to othet purposes, like fighting nuclear wars, connecting research scientists to super computers for elaborate calculations, or Taylorizing routine office work. In the 19705, the same could be said for the microcomputer; it appeared in the margins of the industry. The term personal computer crept into the language in the mid-1970S, quickly becoming atw;hed to the early hobbyiST computers nom the Altair onward, and became enshrined in the abbreviation PC where ir remains in the language today, Other tetms have coexisted with it-micro-, de5ktop-. "ome-bur the vaguer perSDnlll seems to have endured. Why~ The word personal as an adjective for a gadget does not self-evidently mean it is designed for use by one person. We do not call watches "personal clocks:' transistor radios "personal radios;' pocket calculators -personal calculators," or cell phones "personal telephones:' The word personal emered the vocabulary ofcomputing because it is the opposite of imperso/llzl. Before the mid-1970S, both the computer industry and the culture at large generally saw computers as the embodiment of the neutral, the universal, the rational and mathematical-as impersonal, as tools for centralizing bureaucracies, Taylorizing the office, or winning nuclear wars (or, like 2001'S forbidding HAL, as potentially murderous artificial minds). Like the slogan "black computer~ was a deliberate combination of is beaUTiful" in the 1960S, "personal computer" two things the dominant culture understood as opposites. At the beginning. attaching the term personal to something associated with impersonal universality Ptovided a nicely startlingjuxtaposition, a two-word condensation ofa larger cultural refiguration of the meaning of computing as a whole. It announced a radical reclassification of computers, raking them our of the old box of mathematical impersonality and putting them in a new one that associated them precisely with individual uniqueness, distinctiveness, unpredictability, and expression-with all those things we have long associated with the romantic persona. 63 Romanricism .md the Machine

ill

.:I refiguration refiguralion needs a larger comext. conrext. By 1975, NelSOll'S Nelson's Compuur Computtr Lib and Such a advoc.:lted spread into pockers pockets of the larger the alternative ethos of computing it advocated community of those with some interest and expertise experlise in computing, computing. The TIle cover communiry September 1976 [976 issue of Byte 81ft magazine sported a playful, plnyful, hand-drawn of the Septembet image of of.:l ralty, with with amndees attendees holding aloft signs that s,ay say a sixties-style political rally, "Two Computers in Every Homer HOllie!" ~Computer "Computer Power,~ Power;' and-quoting Nelson_ ~Two "Stamp Out Cyber-Crud!" One of the people in the crowd wears we.:lrs a T-shirr T-shirt emblaembla_ ~Stamp zoned with the cover image from Nelson's Computtr Computer Lib: a F.lised raised fist. And the conf;l.ins a now-familiar St:nse sense of computer-culture whimsy: S,ar Stllf Trek's image contains Spock is in the crowd, and a starship EnterpriSt: Enterprise flies overhead.'" overhead.~ It would be sevSpack eral years before this kind of imagery would be associated with computers in the broad popular popul.:lr imaginarion imagination (HAL was srill still the more common image ofcomputers of computers to thoSt: rhose inside the rhe various invisible colin the pop culture of the mid-1970S), but to engineerillg. these rllese images im.:lges were becoming familiar. leges associated with computer engineering. dnkerers invented invemed the This is the period in which computer hobbyists and tinkerers microcomputer and revolutionized the Ihe stmcrure structure and character ch.:lracter of the industry. industty. The first popular hobbyist hobbyisl computers appeared for nle uIe in 1976, and within :l a onC5 would be in a state st.:lte of decade new industrial empires would be born, old ones ellrire industry indusrry would look F.ldically radically different. differem. The core events have crisis, and the entire been much mythologized elsewhere in books, documentaries, and even docudramas." Basically, in the rhe mid-197oS, mid-1970S, off the radar of the rhe major corporate ;md and dF.lmas." milituy players in the industry, communities of computer compurer hobbyists began tinmilitary kering with the e\'er-cheaper ever-cheaper digital microchips, most IllOSt &mously famously the attendees at :u Homcbrew Computer Cornputcr Club in Palo Alto. Organized by political activist Lee the Homebrew r960s fashion, Felsenstein, who wanted to bring computing to the people in true 1960S freely shared infonnation information with one another, including things the club members &eely like the version of the Rasic Basic compUter computer programming langu..ge language that had been writAltair, the first commercially cOllllllercially successful ten by college dropout Bill Gates for the Altait. Sreve Jobs and Steve SteVe Wozniak were regular contributors and hobbyist computer. Steve club. built the Apple I to impress their friends in the dub. The rise of the microcomputer in the 19705 1970S is worth brieRy discussing in the imcrnet for tWO reasons. The TIle first firsr is context, comext. Microcontext of the origins of the internet rhe experience of imeractive interactive computing and :md created :l ::l computers both spread the tontext for widespread networking thar that would begin roughly fifteen years 1:.Her. later. context Second, the 1970S microcompurer microcomptl(er revolution nicely iIlusrr:nes iIlustr:ltes the complexity of relarion between culrural developmems. the relation cultural trends and technological developments. srraight line from Nelson's ComCo"'It would be an oversimplification to draw a straight pllltT Lib to rhe .:Ippearance rhe late 19705, 19705. Yes, Yes. Nelson was w.as puter ro the appearance of microcomputers in the m:.lny computer hobbyists of the time rime a.nd and made :lppear:.lnces at the dle appearances :It known to many P.:Ilo Alto Homebrew Computer Corllputer Club specifically. But Bm the first geneution Palo gener;uion of

microcomputers that emerged from the cra, era, from the Alr.:lir to the Apple II CO to the thc Altair were hardly the graphics-intensive, intuitivc inruitive ~dream ''dre:.lm machines" machines~ advoIBM Pc. wcre cated Nelson. (Nelson himself complained that the Homebrew crowd was toO tOO cated. by Nelson, ar The the expense of elegant software obsessed with gadgetry, with chips and wiring. at design.)" Moreover, one cannot cannor reasonably argue that thar Ted Nelson's work was design.)" rbt cause of the eventual triumph of user-friendly, gtaphics-oriented graphics-oriented computing; the were others in the 1970S al1d and 1980s who were promulgating various fla\'ors flavors tftere the Engdbarrian Engelbartian approach apptoach to to computing. cornputing. such as Andries Van Dam Darn at Brown, of the PARC. and so on. The rcvolution, form, would likely have havc hapXerox PARC, revolutioll, in some fonn,

we

~ned without him. ptned To search for which individual originated which innovation, however. howcver, is to sociorechnical change. By the mid-1970S, mid-1970s, most misunderstand the character of soootechnical norions about how computers might be used and undersrood understood had of the possible notions ~dy been arricul.a..ted, articulated, and the rhe microchip industry was already well on iu abeady its way rowards making computing inexpensive; Moore's Law L:lw h:l.d h:.ld .:Ilready become an already oper.acing principle. The real question is not who invented wh..t what bur but how certain ceruin oper.ating visions and uses became instirutionally institutionally embedded and en..cted. enacted. If Ted Nelson ..wons coumerculrural articulation of computing made a material difference dillerence in and the coumerculrur:al the world, it was on the level ofchanging of changing how individuals understood undersrood themselves Specifically; it offered a different self-concept, a different picpiewithin institutions. Specifically, ron: of who one was when using and building building.:l ture a computer. By the mid-1970S, several different visions of computing were at play in the technical community. While the corporate community cornmuniry was struggling with the \Vbile rhe floundering efforr effort to implement Taylorized T.1ylorized ~offices "offices of the future; future: the military 80undering wu imagining global command-and-control command-and-conttol systems with the ARPANET. ARPANET, and W:l.S Engelbart were exploring the enC)'dopedic encyclopedic vision of compuring. computing. descendants of Engelhart Ted Nelson was the most important spokesperson of:l. of a communiry cOl1ullIlIIity promulgating Tt'd import:a.nt counterculrural vision of computers as creuive creative writing machines chat that a distinctly countercultural enabled self-exploration self-cxploration and expression. tn.tbled understand the impact of these competing discourses or visions, it helps To undersrand to remember that the microcomputers these hobbyisu not all hobbyists were building were nOt purdy technical rechnical sense. In fact, the first microcompUters microcomputerS were not that unique in a purely rhar different from the machines be.ing being sold by the big manutechnologically all that f'aCtll(ers to impleme.nt implement the ~office "office of the future," future: For example, ex:!lllple, in 1977-the same facturers }'ear that Apple began beg.:ln selling sclling the Apple II computer-IBM introduced its SysSys ~r 6~information rime as as~.:I ~information processor," processor;' which was described at the time "a terminal with tem 6 'noppy disk' memory that th.:lt stores more a small TV-like screen to display text, a 'floppy information, and thar controls a flow Row of ink droplets a.nd a high-speed inkjet printer chat inform:uion, (and which could] communicate with a computer to form characters charactcrs on paper [and othcr IBM word processors OVCt over phone lines:',. lines."" 111e -111e sticker price for an Or with other

64

Romanticism and ~nd the Machine

65 6S

Romanticism :md and me the Machine Rom:mricism

1"11

I I 11

t!

~I

Icss-:.lbou( $2000'" rhe IBM syssys_ Apple II was much less-:.lbou[ $2000"" compared to $16,450 for the tem-but drivc. a monitor, networking capabilities. tem-bur the larrcr Lanet induded included ;l a floppy Roppy drive, an ink-jet printer, e1abor;l.te softw:lr<:. have been beell primer, and elaborate softw.are. These items, if they could h:l.\c to the Apple II at ae the rhe rime of iu its introduction, could well have brought it to added to r.mge.' a similar price range." the Apple II from IBM's System 6, then. was less Jess the What distinguished me men, w:lS specific t:hnology technology than the imagined use. One bought an IBM System 6 in the s~cinc expectation :tlready institurionally institutionally defined. the eJCpecr;lrion of solving particular problems 2lre2dy that could be laid grant application applic:ltion or a corporate busibusi. kind of problem chat l.aid our Oll[ in a grnnr II in 1977 simply to have h ...ve a computer, simply to ness plan. One bought an Apple [I explort, nor to ro undertake a known task. The poinr to explore, paim of view see what it could do, (0 irs marketing, programming, cOSt cost structure, and so embedded in System 6-in its marketing. programming. thar of upper management forth-was that managemem concerned about cutting cosrs COStS and better regulating behavior within giam, giant, far-Rung far-flung enterprises. emerprises. TIle Apple II 11 was designed wirh another ethos in mind, purposes that in rum turn implied different differenr views :.I.bout abour with how dle the social world worked. TIle The Apple II was much cheaper than the IBM SysWo:mi2k's famously clever circuir bur JUSt tem 6, not just because of Steve Wozniak's circuit design, but :IS imporranrly because ir did not come aS:l complete system ready for integration u import2Jldy becau.se it nOt as:.l. m.dy into :.a corporate office; it ir was sold simply as a box thar into a imo I. corpor.ate th:.l.t could be plugged imo :.I. drive, or elaborate softw:ll'e monitor or :.a I. TV set, without a prinrer, printer, disk dri~'e, d:.l.bor.ace set of software corporate goals. goals, The Apple II W:.l.S was remulubly remarkably cheap only if one's dedicated to corpor.ate goal was to plllY <l (omputer, compufer, only if the sheer fact operarplay with a bct of owning and operating a computer was a goal in and of iudf. itself. IBM's System 6 and similar machines were cre:m:d such:l gO:l1 connicted created in a conrexr comext where such a goal conflicted with rhe the basic insrrumental instrumemal underst2nding important sense, the microcomunderstanding of what a compnrer computer was for. In an importallt puter was not a new technology; it imagining, marketing. and ir was a new way of imagining. existing technologies. An Apple II was supposed to offer suprises, whereas where:ls using exiSting a System SYStem 6 was supposed to prevent them. compurer fairs and other industry conventions convemions were :.I.n an l:are 1970s, computer In the 1:l.Ie import:tnt locus for culril'3ting shared interptetive frameworks for the indusrry. impom.nt fOr cultivating shued interpretive industry. executives, gadgets physic:ll Engineers, v::ecutives, g;rdgers and reporters were brought togerher together in physi~ jusr the dIe airing of new ideas, but bur Ihat excitproximity. This would allow, 2II0w, not JUSt that rich, excit< affirm:ttion :.I.nd and amplification that comes from being face to f.ace face with ing sense of affinnation sem a reporter fO others who share one's view. In June 1977, the New York Times Timc.! sent to the National Computer Compmer Conference in Dallu. Dallas, whose story prominently featured the new excitement around microcomputers.' microcomputers." In August, August. in an arlicle article specifically :tbout artention about the enthusiasm around microcompurers. microcomputerS, rhe the paper papet called readers' attention to the upcoming Personal Computing Show in Atlantic Adantic City, Computermania Computermallia in Boston, and the Personal Computing Expo in New York City. And the article Coasr Computer Faire Fairc in referred back to rhe the now-legendary debut of the West Coast

rook place in April!' Within an hour's drive of Silicon ValV:ilSan Francisco, which took

Icy. the West F:iire offered attendees the first look at the Apple Icf, \Vest Coast Computer Faire IL attendance wu was double that :illticipatcd," lLarrendance anticipated," and it was becoming clear to those in
artendance that the new world of microcomputers was going to h:n'e anencl2nce ha\'e an impact. Nelson "'Those Unforgettable and NcJson gave a keynote speech called lhose Unforgert:lble Next Next: Two Years,~ 2nd he opened by saying. "Here we ue arc at the brink of a new world. Small computers be yOIl know it,~ it: He continued, are going to remake our society, and you dle dinky (OmpUle1'$ are working magic enough. They will bring For now, though, [he: computers au about du.nges in $OCitty.u ~ery as radical I':Idical [host thO$( brought about by the [elephone telephone or ~bou[ changrs Or the auromobilr. here,)'0\1 ran buy thnn charge ~utomobile. The little li[t1e computers ue ~re here, you c~n them On )'Our your plastic pla.stic ch~rge card, avaibble accessories include disc dil< s[o"'ge, srol':lge, gr.tphic interactive e~rd, and the available gr~phie displays. di5play5, in[cractive g.omes, that d",w dl':lw pictures and goodncss goocIneu g:>mcs, programmable programmablc turtles rurtb th:u pic[urcs on butcher paper, a'ld know~ what wh:l.t else. Here wr a\l [hc the makings of a f...d, fad, it is f:m fast blossoming blossollling into into:l. knows d$c. Hcrc we have h~vc~!J ~ CUll, and soon it willl11ature to a filII-blown consumcr con~umer m~rket market.... The rush will cult, iT will mature in [0 ~ full-blown .... lhe ~ on. Thc The Amtrkan American manufieturing mal1uficturing publicity publidry machine will in gourd. be wiU go out of iu And ,he next two two )eatS will be be unfOrgettable." unforgettable." me nn[ rears win k would be five rears yeatS befOre before the microcomputer would be featured on the cover ofTimt two." but again Nelson's predictions would tum turn J Ti".( as 25 ~man of the year,~ IIOt not two," out to be surprisingly accurate, more so (han than most ofthe of the musings about aboUT the rhe future of computing that were appearing in the mainstte:un mainstream press at rhe same rime, time, ar the still tended towards T:lylorized office. As a result, thousands which stiU rowards visions of the Taylorized individuals who were involved or were becoming involved with computing by of individua:ls mending conferences (or talking to those who attended them) were exposed to attending tbecounteccultural dle meaning of computing. and over the next sevthe counrercultural rendition of the en.! h:lnd how, on occasion, a rollicking iconoclastic eral years would experience first hand our to be more :lccurate discourse could rum out accurate than the dry, jargon-ridden prognostiations of mainstream executives, execurives, academics, and financial page reporters. tications
W

Conclusion
Ar rhe end of the 1970S, [he the various visions of computing associated with Ted NdNelArthe: ofthe ofcomputing 1On1On_ computers were for symbol manipul:ition manipulation :.I.nd and therefon: therefore they should be used 1& vehicles for passion:.l.te passionare explor:ltion sc:lf-expression-were still minority II whicles exploration :lnd 2nd sdf-expression-were \'iews, both inside the indusrry out, The TIle big money was still flowing Rowing towards riews, industry and out. Jiant mainframes, centralizing corporate applic:.I.tions, applications. military applic:uions, applications, and Fant tIoric experimentS like artificial intelligence-approaches to computing that, thar, for txoric :au rheir variability, were hardly counterculruraL Even those who were interested aU their an COmputer communication tended to think in rationalist, Enlightenment terms; rerms; in C1Dmputers ~puters were going to be for sober activities like looking up scientific informatiOn, helping professionals keep their appointll1ents. tion, appointments, or better educating youth.
67

66

Romanricism and me rhe Machine Romanticism

Rom.:mricism and the Machine M:l.chine Romanticism

19705, however, a new cultural toolkir toolkit was made available to and During rhe 1970S, within rhe world of compuring. computing. Its significance was nor JUSt rendered compelling wirhin coumercultural trappings into inco rhe the office that it brought bean bag chairs and other countercultural the high-tech industry. Rather, it offered a new social meaning for buildings of rhe computer use, a new vision of what it meant (0 sit down at a computer console and of who rhe person was who was using it-a new idea of self in association computers. It was not news to compUTer computer engineers of the 1970S 19705 thar that in some with computets, that there exisred existed computer games, that computers sense computers could be fun, thar power. Bur, Bue, before the counterculture, that knowledge and experihad a holding power, ence for the most parr had (0 to be he treated as all insider secret or an odd side-effect rhat one mentioned guiltily, if at all. Compurers Computers needed (0 to perof the machines that form specific, rational functions for large organizations; that they might also be grant proposal, or markering marketing fun was not something to put in a business plan, gram campaign-not something that might help legitimate computers. the second half of the 1970S, that was changing. From about 1976 onwards, By rhe computer engineer or graduate student, perhaps it was common enough for a compUTer ftom the Pentagoll, Pentagon, (0 to pick up a one whose livelihood was secured by mOlley from copy of Computrr Computer Lib or Crrativr Creative Computing during a coffee break and, in the midsr of descriptions of new programming languages or techniques for rendermidst gtaphics, be exposed to a mode of understanding. undersranding. (0 to what Bourdieu calls a ing graphics, compulsivc character of computer work mighr might be associated associatcd habitus, in which the compulsive with social legitimacy, might be something that thar could be brought into the thc light of public advocacy. By offering a romantic framing of computer use-computer use bc articulated as playful, expressive, even rebellious-the rcbellious-the activity of comcould be usc and design no longer longcr Ileed need be instrumentally tied ro a specific ends; the puter use means could be an end in itself. effecTS of this romantic framing. as we will see, would come in Most of the effects its subsequent decades; in 1980, the broad outlines of the computer indwmy and irs place in the larger culture was nor all that different from the situation of 1970. But rhe computer compurer counterculture's survival was secured by microcomputers, which the ro a degree, degtce, nOt nor for specific purposes, bur in a were originally conceived and sold to computing-for-computing's sake way. This not only created a new market playful, compuring-for-compuring's but a widely accessible alternative vision to the highly ends-oriented, instrumenbur lllis fact left tal way in which computers had been imagined up to that point. 111is rhc original entry-level emry-level IBM PC would its imprint on the machines themselves; rhe gamc port before it offered a hard disk.~ Bur, But, perhaps more significantly; offer a game potcntially connected rhis playfulness of means and uncertainty of ends was now potentially wirh a rebel-hero identity. identity would provide people in the profession with That idenrity thinking of themselves and their relations to others and would with a new way of rhinking draw new people into the profession. also dtaw

Missing the Net


The 198os, Microcomputers, and the Rise of Neoliberalism

..., a networhd networked computer compurer sysrem.... system.... They had over a hundred They showed me .. that. r was so Alto computers all nerworked using email etc.. ere.. I didn't even sa that, rhing they showed me which was the graphical uSer interface.' blinded by rhe fitst thing -Steve Jobs. looking back on his visit to Xerox PARe in December 1979

Two Guys in a Garage?


COmputer was initially the product of the collaboration of three The Apple II computer Clilford "Mike" Markkula, Jr. people, Steven Jobs, Steven Wozniak, and Armas C1ilford Matkkula, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, was dearly essential essemial to the crecrcMarkkula, arion and success of the company; Wozniak has suggested Markkula was the most important of the three.' He provided both capital and managerial skills, served as chainuan of the board, and for a while during Apple's period of most CEO.ll1le Apple was nor the first microcomputer; rapid growth, he was Apple's CEO.l111e wete many hobbyists tinkering with tiny computers computets at the time Apple was there were somc of them were manufacturing mannfacturing and selling them. What Whar started, and already some matdistinguished Apple is that it led rhe fledgling industry beyond the hobbyist marker imo the larger world. Markkula, arguably, is the one who made this happen, ket who distinguished Apple from all the other early microcomputer builders by using his knowledge and connections to turn a business run by and for hobbyists into something capable of growth beyond those bounds. Yet a search of English language newspapers and magazines for the decade of the 1980s rums turns up only 83 articles thar that mention Markkula, Markkula. Steve Sreve Wozniak turns rhe up 417 articles, and Steve Jobs, 791, a difference of five-fold and ten-fold, respectively.' Apple computer, the world was repe:ltedly repe:ltedl y told, was started by "cwo "twO guys tively, two guys. in a garage; and Markkula was not one of those cwo Why this oversight? In 1985, newly reelected President Ronald Reagan annonnced, "We have Lived rhrough through the rhe age of big indusrry and the age of the announced, giant corporation. But I believe that this is the age of the entrepreneur:" This was nor nearly ncatly fit fir the myrhic mythic American narrarive of the Markkula's problem. He did not

68

the Machine Romanticism and rhe

69

entrepreneur. entrepreneur, who in popular fantasy came from nowhere and needed no outside Markkula came from somewhere and had connections. support. Matkkula connecrions. He was an expe_ rienced Silicon Valley manager. manager, fluent with the complexities complexides of incorpoutio incorporation, ll venture capiral, capital, manufacrure. vemure manufacture, and distribution. distriburion. He brought an established cstablished body knowledge. social relationships, and experience to be:.tr bcu on the production :.tnd and of knowledge, microcomputer. But, 1980s, the m:.tinstre:.tm mainstream press W2s was markering of the microcompurer. marketing Bur, in the rhe 1980S, sensitized to me the Story story of the entrepreneur emrepreneur and was e:.tgerly eagerly looking fOr for real-world sc.nsitized the narradve. rhe cl.usic classic narrative gocs, work instances of me n:lrT:ldve. And entrepreneurs, the n:.trrarive goes, established social Enme. fr:lme_ alone, wimout without connections, b:.tckground background knowledge, knowledge. or est:.tblish~ :lione, g'Tr/lge and works. A search se:.treh in Lcxis/Nexis Lexis/Nexis for fOr anicles Olrrides that mat contain cont:lin the words gamg( 3.Od Apple Computcr in the 19805 rums up dm:ens articles with tides ~More Appk ComputM' 1980S turns dm;ens of 3.rricles titles like -More Millionaires. Please; (71,c Economi~f),'-Risk E(oflolllist).~Risk TakersTakers~ (US NelllJ Imd World Young Million3.ires, Plellse; (71x NeM and Reporf).' and "The Spirit of independenceIndependence~(I'I(.).' (IIlC).' Report); 3.Ild It is a facr lr fOlct thar. mOlt, in the year yeOlr before Markkula arrived, Jobs and Wozniak, OUt of a garage, did make and sell about two hundred citcuit circuit working literally out computer called the Apple. This form the core of a hobbyist compurer boards that could fOrm rhe hugely popular entrepreneurial fable F.l.ble that dlen became the core of the nugget rhen rwo guys in a garage. But this pre-Markkula Apple computer was starred st:.trted by twO preMarkkula year involved an unincorporated, unincorporared. relatively informal partnership of two collegeyeat aged hobbyisrs hobbyists making something for other hobbyists. Wozniak was working full time rime for Hewlett Packard at the rhe time and has said of the change Ibis was different when they rhey joined up with Markkula, "This differenr than the year we spent the Apple I togcthet rhe garage. This -rbis was a real compa"y. compllllY. spem throwing me together in the I designed a computer because I like to design, design. to show off at the club. My motivation was not to to have a company and make money:' money.~t But, in the rile 1980s, rh:lt distinguish two rwo guys in a garage from a real those things mat relll company would the microcomputer industry, indusrry. casu.a.lties casualties largely disappear disappellr in media coverage of me the entrepreneurial entrepreneuri:ll narrative. of me symptom of a general transformation domin:lnt, bcun:l was :l This lacuna a Symptom rransfOnnation in the dominant, governing gO\'erning ideas of American society in the early 198oS, 1980S. when a r:ldieal radic:.al belief in markets and 3.Ild an accompanying acconlpanying suspicion of of.all all forms fOrms ofgO\'C.rnment ofgovernment regulationregularionthat were once thought to be fringe-would become commOll sel1se. among beliefs mat common sense effects. In the early 1980s. many in positions of power, with global effecrs. 1980s, tOO, the im:lge image of computers as distant and fonnidable formidable W:lS popul:lr imaginaimagin:lwas overthrown o\'erthrown in the popular cion and replaced repbced by the little lirtle typewriter-like boxes appearing with ever-more tion frequency in advertisements. advertisements, the media, offices, and homes. These two epochal nor unrelated. The partitular p:lrticular W:lY shifts were not way the microcomputer :lppeared appeared on the market faith fed American scene, we sh:lll shall see, helped make the rhe marker feel right. At the same time. market lens disrracted that would time, the marker distracted the larger culture from developments rhat specifically. developments developmentS in the rhe internet. later prove to be momentous: specifically,
70

Microcomputets Microcomputers and Markets


John Maynard Keynes famously said. Practical men, who believe themselves said, Practic:li to be quire illlellectual inAuence. the slaves of to quite exempt exempr from any intellectual influence, are usually me some defunct economist."'o Marx and other SOllle economist:"' True enough, but why sometimes Marl\': times Milton Friedman? Fri~man~ Whar makes some intellectllal imelletrua! frameworks gain disappear? Sometimes mere there are broad fOrces forces widespread support while others disappear~ selfinterest. Bur But mere there are too tOO many cases of wealthy at work, like economic self-interest. ro be me the whole Marxists and working-cLass working-class economic consel'Yatives that [0 tonservatives for m3.t

ames

Itory. """,. pan of what c;l.reful cultivation Of course, part wh3.t drives the uptake of ideu ideas is their mdr careful institutions. like academia. instimtions. in traditional institutions, academia, think tanks. t:lnks, and similar institutions, followed by the careful cneful promotion of ideas into various halls of power through fOllowed mrough of neolibpublications. conferences, 3.Ild and the money to produce them; in the case publications, ro movemenr and ;I. eralism, era.lism, we will see that the Chicago law and economics movement a series uinformation society" rhar of publiC2tions publications about the "inform.ation society played their theit part. Sometimes mat thar is needed; numerous ideas filter filrcr from institutions is all that instirutions into our businesses, l;aws, and legislation without the general gcneral public hearing much about them. rhem, muth much laws, less understanding them. rhem. Bur, level. there's another piece of the puzzle. To mote enduring level, another.piece But, on a broader more really influence society widely and deeply. deeply, ideas need to to become vivid. Connections need ne~ to to be drawn between the structures of everyday lives and the larger, l.arger, experiences that lend themmore absrract abstract world. For example. el\':ample, rural life offers el\':periences selves cerrain political worldviews-a worldviews-:l hunter's distaste diStaste for the annoyances of Idves to to tert3.in gun licensing might evolve into a distaste for government regulation in general. a concern about abom urh3.Il urban And life in a cicy city offers differenr different eKperiences, experiences, in which ;l to regul.arion regulation in general. violence or zoning laws might make one more receptive to JUSt a geographical Everyday life, however, is nOt juS! EYnyday geographic:.al place like suburbia. suburhiOl. It is built OUt of the regular engagement with people, spaces, and objects. microcomputer In the 198os, 1980s, fOr for .a a large chunk of the U.S. middle class, the micnxomputer became bttam eVOC:l.tive object in their everyday lives, an object that e JUSt such a socially evocarive with it certain experiences from which one might draw broader conclubrought wim sions narure of social existence. Specifically, the way in which microlions about the nature tUrn them into an emblem of what's computers appeared in everyday life helped rum COmputers whar's good about the free marker. tWO things were significant about this period. First, networking nerworking Culturally, twO the dominanr dominant culture was seeing things through free marker market Was ignored because rhe rhus imagined that microcomputers were about isolated individuals lenses and thus on rheir their own; it was disinclined to to think about the broader social relations acting 011 I.ih networking that both produced microcomputers microcompUters and that could be enabled like
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Missing rh~ Net Missingrht:

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domi by them. The focus of this chapter. chapter, then, will be on what preoccupied the dominant technological imagination of the time, rime, particularly particul:irly how the microcompurer microcomputer tile formation of what wh3t has since become known as neoliberalism played a role in the llUlrkcr fundamenralism. fundamentalism. Second-and this will be the subject or, to its critics, market of chapter four-in the crevices of the military-industrial complex, a specific set of practices evolved associated :Issociarcd with early networks that chat in fact pointed poimed in a very TIle community of computet computer network network_ politic:!! economic direction. The different political etS relied on a high degree of awareness of the rhe complexilies complexities of social relations tchuions ers elemenu of countercultural counrcrculrural style. that everyone else was ignoring; enriched by dements invtnting the rhe very nonmarket nonmuket tradition of open software sofrware [his community was inventing this ~rough consensus and working code,~ code," a rradition tradirion that would lead production via ~rough sutprising rise of the internet in the early 19905 and later in the decade to the surprising become the core of one of the major countervailing forces against neoliberalism's

of expert institutional legitimacy and :l.nd culrivation cultivation to succeed. Neoliberalism Neoliber:l.lism trifirst ic it gained umphed because of its articulation with popular consciousness, but firsl :I placform platform inside various think tanks unks and academic aC:l.demic movements. Technology :l cultivation. played no small role in each stage of its cultil':ltion.

or

ill fhe fig Law Lmll and mid Ecollomic$ MOllcmcIlt Technology in Economics Movemt'llt
Thete was a time when new technology and progress seemed to to belong more There to the left side of American politics. In the Progressive Era, Era. Louis Brandeis was :l.ble to argue the case for antitrust law by painting rrusts trusts and robber b.trons barons as able against progress." 19305, New Dealers unscientific and thus inefficient and avinsc progtess. ~ In the 1930S, government-created TVA and other big government projecu as celebrated the governmenr.created a:lebrared f:act is, the first half of being on the side of new technology and progress." 111e The fact me twentieth century saw the rise of giant corporations like AT&T and General Genenl the transfonnative effects elfecu of the New Deal, and the centrally managed Electric, the transformaci\'c 19405, all of which provided the Conten COntext in which the United war efforT efforr of me t940S. me richest and most powerfUl powerful country in the world and its iu States had become the citi:zenry had bun been showered with wirh wondrous wondtous ncw new things like: like radio, radIO, refrigerators, refrigeratorS, citizenry the interstate highway system. And much of this had television, automobiles, and [he ulevision. enrrcpreneurs striking out on their been :accomplished, bc:c:n accomplished, not by plucky enrrepreneurs meir own, but relatively tighr tight cooperation between government governmenr and large, multiunit, bureauby rdatively centralized corporations. Keynesianism gradually beame became orthodoxy cratically cenrralized powerfUl intellectual intelJecrualleaders wrote books like Eugene for both political parties, parries, powerful leaders wrore v: Roscow's Rostow's 1959 Plllllllillg Frudom, and modest government regulation of V. Planning for Frl"tdom, television news to airline ticker ticket prices seemed rational. profeseverything from rdevision rational, profes. forward-looking." sional, and forw:ud.looking." 1960s, as a result, tesult, American advocates adVOCates of orthodox economic libertarliberrarBy the 1960s. backward and oldfashioned. old-fashioned. Calls for dramatic rollbacks in ian principles looked backw:.trd govemment regulation and praise for the comp<:titive competitive free market seemed throwgovernment to the previous century, as quaint and out-ofd:ue out-of-date as Rohimoll RobiliJOII Crlls~. erl/JOr. backs to the economic conservatives astutely recognized recogni:zed was that, to to regain What che imellecrual authority, they would need to make market individualism modern. intellectual The works of Ayn Rand, Hayek, and some marginalist economic theory might be persuasi\'e persuasive in their own citcles circles of true believets, believers, but the l:l.rger larger world needed someming more. So they set out to show, not JUSt that markets in general were something specifically that free markets, m:l.tkeu, unhindered unhindered. by governefficient or moral, but more specific:.tlly eflicient mosr modern of technologies. Radio, ment regulation, could better benet handle the most argun,ent went, did not television, jet planes, even computers, the underlying argument need government regulation like the FCC and Federal Aviation Administration, or government-funded tesearch, research. or protected, regulared regulated monopoly corporations

simplistic market vision. How to Make Markets Modern: Technology and the Rise of Neolibe.ralism Neoliberalism
rhetoric, and in populat popular culture, the United Srates States has In legal thought. political metoric, :l.lways had strong Strong strains of a Locken Lockean individualist framing of life, wherein me rhe always marketplace is understood as me archepower of individuals to pursue profit in a markerplace freedom. But Bur the U.S. has never been purely purdy a place of Homo l.'conomicus. type of fTeedom. nonomicus. For example, patriotism, religion, ethnocentrism, civic republicanism, Emersonian individualism, the labor movement, and the rhe sentimentalized sentimentali:zed middlec1ass middle-class man have all at points wotked notion of the home and family ha\'e worked as popular and powerful counterweights to striCt strict marketplace individualism. Various flavors Ravors of socialism counu:rweighrs anatchism, fUrthermore, furthermore, have their important place in American traditions. and anarchism, Matket individualism has been not so much 11,[ Market the American ideology as it has been that, at any given moment, comprise the tegular part of the mix of ideologies mat, a regular :l.nd politial politic:l.l terrain. social and soci:ll W:l.S in th:lt that sense that, beginning in the late '970s, 19705, a new variety of market It was inAuence on policy m:l.king individualism arose and came to have enormous influence making both n:l.tionallyand from about :l.bout 1980 through the end of the twentieth natiOllally and internationally nom v:l.riously as neoliberalism, the Washington W:l.shingron consensus, and:mdcentury. Known variously derog:l.tively-:l.s market fundamentalism, as of this writing it has only recently derog:l.tivdy-as m:l.king in the United States St:l.tes and most lost its overwhelming dominance of policy making p;IttS of the world and still remains:l. powerful force. other parts remains a powerfUl om thrive inside universities and other institutions Intellectual movements movemenlS can Intellecmal without ever gaining traction in the worlds of politics and popular culture. But acceptance in poliriC5 politics and culture needs some form any movement that does gain acceplance

II

~.

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[Q be freed of the shackles of all these like AT&T; AT&::T; on the contrary, they needed to things. Free markets could be high tech. intellecrual Several different strains of thought combined [Q Sever:al to provide an intellectual framework for aU all this. Most famously, f.1.l1lously, a fully deliberate effort centered at the oj Lmv J.,1l1V lllld EClllromics gran-ed grafted strains neo_ Univetsiry Chicago's }ounlill Journal of and Economics str:ains of neo University of Chic:lgo's ontO key legal concepTS, OTher neoc1:l.ssically neoclassically classical economic thought onto concepts, and other oriented economisTS idea that gov. goveconomists began seeking ways to give new life to the id~ ermnent regulation was an anathema." Beginning in the 1960S, a series of up_ up. emment anathema," intellectuals, such lIS and-coming conservative 3crivist activist intellectUals, as Richard Posner, Douglas H. Ginsburg. Ginsbutg, and Robert Bork, sometimes in association with foundations like H, the classically conservative conserv,nive Heritage Foundation or the more libertarian Cato Insritute, beg:lll that probed the intellectual intellecrual :I.pparatus appar:atus of the Institute, began publishing articles th;l.t SpOTS. Nor Not content twentieth-century twentiethcentury American welfare state for weak spots. contem [Q to nick. stick f.1.bles about village markers, to traditional. markets, Horatio Algers, or celrraditional, conservative fables. ebrations of corporate chieftains., chieftains, they t:lclcled regul:l.tions. tackled the hllm hard (IlS($; ca.u-s: :airline airline regulations, law, FCC regulation of radio w;l\'es-exacrly those cases andtrusr wa\'cs-cxxdy those: ascs thar that New antitrust Law, Dealers and their successors had pteviously previou.s.ly identified to illustrate the limits of free markets.. markets. In each case, fTee case. the law and economics scholars tried to show that the cozy relationships between business and government characteristic of postwar corporate liberalism-relationships like those encouraged by the reasoning of or Vannevar Bush's Sciencr, Scieuce, th< ti,e Endkss EmlleJJ Frontier-were. Froutirr-were, despite all appearances, appearancc:s., neither necessary nor efficient and would he be best dealt with by dramatically dramadcally scaling Lawyers, judges. judges, and politicians, the back government money and regulation. Lawyers. rhe argument went, could make sound, forward-thinking decisions by thinking dtinking in terms cfficiency instead of contenns of notions like consumer welfare and economic efficiency cepn like the public good. ceptS The law and economics activists. activists, it's worth remembering. remembering, were offering what t970S, with seemed like bright new ideas. ideas in the context of a vacuum. The early 1970s, tead as a low point the Watergate scandal and the defeat in Vietnam, Viemam, is often read cerrain kind for American conservatives. But it was in fact a low point for a certain of postwar, nationalist, corpor.lte-oriented corporate-oriented centrism; the Nixon administration had annoyed both social and economic conservatives with many mallY of its policies, and the Vietnam debacle had been set in motion by Democratic presidents. industrial [970S progressed, the U.S. economy was stnlggling struggling and ;l.nd industri;l.l And, as the 1970S leadership was bewildered; thcse rhe short-li\'ed shortlived Ford and these were the days of the sugflation, :lnd Carrer and of the initial stages of the devastat~ devastatCarter administrations, of stagflation, ing decline in rust belt bell manuf:tcruring. lit this depressing context, context. the law and manufacturing. In nOt only criticisms. economics theorists offered, not criticisms, but what to some looked like a way out of this mor:ass. morass, one that would not seem to threaten existing wealth we;l.]th and ways of life.

Informatioll I,iformation Society Tluory n,eory


Roughly contemporaneously, a rather different strain of thought relevant specifically to infotmation society theorists. In [0 computers appeared, generated by the information the leadetship information society die leadership vacuum of the mid-1970S, the rhetoric of the inform:nion provided another galvanizing alternative vision for capitalist energies. In the ashes of the 1960S 1960s counterculture and McLuhanism, Daniel Bell, Marc centrality and importance ofvarious of various Sj'lllsymPorat, and others began to focus 011 Potat, on the cenrrality governments, and bolic economies in developed industrial societies; corporations, governments.. balic everyday life seemed ever more dependent upon and infiltrated with ever more eCT}'day communication. like satellites and computers, and ever more elaborate systems of communication, of data and cultural elaborate forms data. :md culrural products, like marketing research. research, globally cIabor.lte forms. Jean-Francois Lrourd Lyotarcl noriced distributed Hollywood movies, and so on." on'" Je:an-Fr:mcois noticed these mnds TI,e Postmoderll P05tlllodrrll Condifion, COllditioll. sending a faction f.lction of uends around 1980 and wrote The humanists postmodernism." Bur, humanists. off on a two-decades tv.'o-decades intellectual intellectu;l.l romp called po.stmodemism." But, in tulle with the power centers of Washington, DC. Bell and Porat intermore ID()fe tune Centers \Vashingron. DC, information society, where, as Bell pur pKted put preted these trends ttends as signs of a coming infonnation a, life would no longer be about ~the things~ but instead "a game ie,life "the management of things" inste1ld"a peOple.~'7 The refrain that emerged from these texts between people..... texts. was that mat we were approaching a society where me principal commodities would not he traditional ;I. the be rradirional resoutces or industrial objectS objects but rather digitally distributed infonnarion. information. resources Numerous compelling scholarly critiques of the information society tradition Numetous have been published. Much of the arly early work, it has been argued, rested on a have: reports of a growing service sector of the economy in misinterpretation of the repons milinterpreration growth of low wage which the groWfh w;l.ge service jobs like restaurant work is mistaken for a growth in knowledge work like computer progra.mming. programming. Also, the argument for :I fundamental fundamemal transfonnation transformation in capitalism (:I.S (as opposed to :a .I. simple continued a devdoptnent in long-standing trends like consumerism and the use of telecomdevelopment munications to coordinate production) was thin, more often assumed than d,an demonen :.I.ssumed onstrated." Among the sociologists and economists who make:.l. make a living seriollsly onstnted." seriously hal'e Uktll studying epochal historical change, few have taken the idea of an information ItUdying SOCiety all that tociery th;l.t seriously.'. seriously." But the idea of the information society nonetheless had h;l.d :In an enormous appeal OUtside academe, most evidenced by its popularization popularb:ation in ill works of Alvin Tomer, bestsellers with the 1980 WllIIC. So [980 TIJird TlJird Wave, who added to his line of future shock bcstsellers why did this notion do as well as it did? It could indeed be readily foreseen that didl communication ehe digital. COmmunication systems were on a trajectory towards convergence in the that were But BUt there were a lor lot of other terms referring to eo the s:lme same phenomena thar time-tuhll(ltonie socrety, Jockty, IclemMie eomp,m;w/;om. oo All tclematie 50ritfy, socrety, wlIlpu'licatious.'o thrown OUt out at the rime-tedmetrouie of these terms were based on the expectation of a gradual convergence of media 75 Missing the rhe Ner

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enabled by digiralizarion. various degrees embedded in versions digitalization, and all were to vatious of what whaT Carey Catey and Quirk called the "rhetoric of the electrical sublime." sublime," They all qu:\si-relishared the same technological determinism, industrial optimism, and quasi-reliof progress and transcendence through Technology. And they tended giolls sense technology, gious plausibiliry that Tom Wolfe pointed poinred OUt out was central Central to share the low threshold of plausibility What If He Is Right!" Righet' It w..sn't wasn't that you had to McLuhanisllI McLuhanism in his essay called" called H'vVhat to be fully persu..ded persuaded that television was was crearing (r<:;\cing .. a global village or that we were !O lcaving the industrial age and entering:Ul information one; ;111 all you had to think entering an leaving was Hwhat "what if he's right:" righd" ..nd and youa you'd pay ;lttenrion." attention." W3S Bur most of the tenns terms competing for fot the same S:lIllC discursive space sp;ICe focused on the But and computer technologies, technologies. on the machinery, machinery. 'The The term illforilljorrole of networks ;lnd matioll society had a special appeal that caused ir to oudau all these othet m"tioll SOCil'fJ h;ld .. it ro oudast theSt: other bu<:Z buu and to periodically ir did in the early eatly 1990S with the rheroric rhetoric of words ..nd periodiGl1ly tesurface resurface as it
thc information superhighway. the informacion 1he word injonJwtion i,iformatiotl suggestS suggests that meaning tne:ming can be ttC2tcd treated as a thing .and and thus The as m..nage.able. m:l.n:l.geable. As intdlecru..u inlellecru:l.ls looked rowards towards the eventual digitalization digit:l.li:;::l.tion and walls were were bre.aking bre:tking down :tnd colbpsconvergence of media, they could see that w.alls and collapssomerhing dispersed. dispersed .and :tnd granular; bur but ;lmong among me rhe ambitious capitalist c:tpitalisl ing into something was not nor B..udrill.ard's Baudrillard's implosion of meaning or Lyorard's Lyotard's end rhar something W;lS elite that but rather the rhe rise of information. From the rhe point poinl of view of totalizing discourses bur capitalism, infonnarion information had advanof the power structure of G1pit..tism, h;ld the extraordinary .advanimagine as thinglike and therefore as property, properly, tage of being something you could im.agine rage and sold. And this h;ld had .. a broad appeal TO as something capable of being bought .and to a struggling corporate corpor:uc leadership. If you said we were mOvlllg moving into a telematic re1ematic attract the attenrion of m.anufaeturers manufacturers of networking.and networking and tdeyou might attTact society, )'Ou bur if you yOll s.aid said we were moving into an information informarion communications equipment, but wider. Tanging e1l'ccutives to university ranging from Hollywood executives society, the appeal was wider, Wall Street Srreet brokers. administrators ro \Vall

ming wasn't w:l.sn't considered patentable. A few years larer, later, however, howevet, Bill Gates parof thing layed parented control over MSDOS software into what would become one of byed patented the world's wealthiest corporations. cotporations. dJe The COUrtS COUtts and legislatures was W:l.S made possible by a This change in thinking in the ideas. Signific..ndy, Significantly; the discourse ofthe of the information society lUmmed assumed confluence of ideOlS, mat informarion information already was .. a known .and and quantifiable thing. 'The 'Ole information that sooery rum informacion infotmation into property: property; they said it society pundits did not say we should cum is a thing. thing, it is data on hard disks and mus thus inherently propetty inherendy property (or at least is easily rumed into a commodity) .and and derived their analyses from what they thcy took to be RImed rhe day largely failed to foresee that self-el'ident self-evident fact. (This is why the pundits of che Napsrer problem. that is, is. the rhe way th..t that computer communications would disthe Napscer dJe rexu 50 so:ts problemarize the whole perse and accelerate the rhe process of copying textS as to problemadze property; they thought that the tre:atment tre:trment of infonnarion informuion as property notion of property: norian rechllology, and so it rarely occurred occurted to would emerge self-evidently from the technolog)', that in faa: fact these rhese very technologies might undermine the rhe idea ide:l. of property.) them th..t They ;l.Uumed assumed that. Their minds digira.1 digital information simply was property, mac, since to cheir rhat would have fr:amework not something mat ha\'C to be awkwardly shoehorned into the framework the digitaliz.arion digitalization of culture would proceed perfUnctorily. perfunctorily. of property, me rhe new enthusiasm for open opell m.arkets. markers. This 1his couThis was then coupled to the driven cxacdy exactly by logic. In me the 1970S, the schob.rly scholarly I;lw:rnd law and econompling was not dri\'Cn conservatives spent most of their energies on things like broadC<l!lt broadcast spectrum ics COllSt.l'V;lrives airline deregul;ltion. deregulation. They did not nor focus as heavily on intellectual property and :airline theory. the jusrificajustificarhe rime, time, perhaps because, from the point of view of their theory; at the patenrs are thin. CopyrightS Copyrights and patents creare crcate tempotion for copyrights and patents encourage what economists mighr might call inefficient and rary monopolies and can encounge anticompetitive tent-seeking rent-seeking behaviors. If neocl.assic.. neoclassical cconomics doesn't exactly e1l'actly .anricompetitive 1economics riglm diSCOUNt discourse does, does. 111e The law and ecoencourage intellectual property. however, righu language of classical property rightS rights and revil'c the langu.age nomics movement did help revive thisNrights talk~ talk" lent itself in a general gener:l.l way to the norion notion that the more rights tights the thisrights better. bener. Wh:l.t happened. Then, inform:uion society rhetoric rherotic What happened, then, was a loose fusion of information markttizarion within the with the general law and economics enthusiasm for markerization COUrtS; this fusion laid the foundation found:l.rion for the early urly t980s 1980s legal decision. COurts; decisions that trends:l.( rime were began to inflate the notion of intellectual ptOperty. property. Key trends at the time software. 2nd and later intellectual intellecrual property the extension of patents to genes and software, exrended to the look 2nd and feci compurer program, program. to biologi biologiprotections extended feel of :t a computer :l.nd genetic generic seGuences. sequences, to many aspects aspecrs of a :I. pop star's srar's personal perlonalcal CUltures culrures and ity. and eventually in the rhe 1990S to things like business models and Amazon's Ama:;:on's ity, One-dick 1984, the rhe U.S. Congress and the U.S. one-click book ordering. Beginning in 1984. Department of of$tate proteCt State got in the habit of demanding that other nations protect
77

Digital Convergt'lCt" COllvugwce aud SYIlthesis: Digital SyUlhesis: and the Co/tStruttio'l oj Digital Digital Information tliformatio'l as Property Property tl" COIl5truction of
t:tnks. Federal administrative administr.lrive agenIn the narrow bur powerful worlds of think tanks, cies, Congressional staffs, informacorporate government relations offices, inform:!.sraffs, and corporare neoclassic:l.l economics intersected, inrel'lleCled, with wirh powernll powerful tion society sociery rhetoric and neoclassical cion effects. A useful illustration illustt:l.tion of how the information society rhetoric and neoclassic:tl economics :1.11 all e:tme came together can be found in the realm of intellectual propsical softw:l.re could or should be owned, owned. particularly erty. rhe 1970s, the idea that software erty, In the on the rhe level of algorithms and patents, p:trenrs, was at best controversial. The inventOrS inventors of che rhe spreadsheer did not patent rhe concept because in the lare 1970S that kind spreadsheet the late chat 76 Missing the Net Nel Mining

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intellectu:.l.l properties-puticu1:lrly tho$e conrrolled controlled by Hollywood and :.I.nd U.S. intellecrual properties-particularly those :.I. prerequisite 10 favor:.l.ble trade agreements." pharm:.l.ccmical companies-as a pharmaceutical to favorable Wh;u happened was that rh:.l.t the general logic underlying legal decision making m:.l.king What h.:lld shifted. Previously, if you wamed ro exrend property protections to things had wanted to extend properry unproceaed, the burden of proof was on you to justify this extnOt_ extraor_ previously unprotected, din:.l.ry extension of oflegal midto-l:.l.te 1980S, 1980s, the underlying logic din.ary legal power. By the mid-to-Iue reversed. The burden of ofjllstific:.l.tion wanred was being revened. justification was on the person who wanted to prell"ll legal commodific2tion; the :.I.ssumprion W:.l.S lhat, if money could be [0 pUvtll1 commodificuion; assumption w.as that, intellectu21 properry property protection was the logical direction in made, extending intellectual which to move. 198} MIT social scisci A further indication indic:.I.tion of the synthesis .:lIppeared appeared when, in 1983 501:.1. Pool published .:lin influential book tided Talmol professor Irhid Ithiel de Sola ence ptofessor an titled Techllol_

ogirJ of Freedom: Frudom: On Frrr Spreeh ill IHI ElectrOlli, Age." Tahllologies TerimologirJ of Freedom ogies 011 Frer Speeeh ill <lI1 Electrollir
marked the success of the cultural C3pture capture of high technology by the economi economic:.l.lly conservative conserVlltive right wing. If a book with this rhis title had h:.l.d been published in 1935, 1935. cally it would most likely been a celebration cdebr:ttion of the New Deal :.I.nd would have focused and rurnl electrific:uion on things like the Tennessee V311ey Valley Authority's rural decrrific:uion project. But 1\)8) until at least the late bte 1990S 1\)90S teelmologJ 2ndfradolJl together would be ~ from 1983 [ahllo!ogy and frttdom togethet conserv;ltivism, De Dc Sola Sol:.l. Pool's book played no small popularly associated with conservativism. m:.l.king it so. It gave conservatism consc:rv:.l.tism its needed modernity. role in making Talmologies TedlllologieJ of Freedom begins with a :.I. threatening narnti\e. n:.l.tt:.l.tive. The first chape1l:.l.p ter. tided titled ~A Shadow Darkens,~ begins by asserting assening that "for -for five hundred years ter, fought. and in a :.I. few countries coumries won, won. for fur the right of people to a struggle W:.l.S was fought, freely. unlicensed, uncensored, uncensored. and :.I.nd uncontrolled.... uncontrolled .... As speech speak and prim print freely, five.century growth of :.I.n increasingly flows over those electronic media, the five-century an spe:.l.k without controls may be endangered.~' endangered.~" De unabridged right of citizens to speak Sola Pool's book made a number of now-familiar now-f:llniliar moves: it pointed to ro the comro digitalization digit:.l.lization as :.I.S having .a :.I. potential for enacting a illg media convergence due to ing cl:.1ssic211y liberal utopia of free-speaking free.speaking abscract :.I.bstracr individu2ls, classically individuals, and it ir demoni;l:ed demonized the Washington, DC regulatory apparatus m2in threat to the enactment appararus as the main enacrmem pasr history of free speech through distinctly distincdy of that utopia. It looked at the past rose-colored rosecolored glasses; the five-hundred-yea.r five-hundred-year srruggle struggle of which he spoke did not not until the middle decades of the twentieth include. say, the fact faCt rhat it was nor fund:.l.menr21 in U.S. law would acruaUy actu211y century that the idea that free speech is fundamenral cemury :.I.chieved. in no small part pUt due to efforts of wobblies and other r:.l.diuls radicals in be achieved, the t910S. 'I And it equated free markers. 19~os." markets, corpor:tte corporate autonomy, and free speech in a common but slippery way, where in one breath the word ~edom ftudoltl means, m:.l.rket competition for local phone service, the next it means abandoning say, market pro' :.I.ntirrust regul:.l.tion, and the next it means standing on a soap box in a park proantitrust regulation, claiming one's political views. 78
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Sob Pool's book in its day was to to describe techBut the key function of de Sola nlaner of legal tights. maner of simple nological management as a maner rights. Seen as a matter Ieg:.1l process, there's arguably litrIe litde or no difference creating a right Iepl diJfert;n~ between ctuting righr :.I.nd ,md agree engaging in intrusive regulation, and lll:.l.ny many lawyers would be happy to agrtt 1\)40S or so, people hardly used the term intelime/ with that assessment. (Until the 1940S /l<tllill proptrrJ; property; what we call c:.l.lI intellecr:ua.l intellectu:ll property today was back b:.l.ck then thought ItaIUlI many as a loose bundle of privileges, more in the category of welfare welf:Jre than of by m.any property.) But putting the word righrs rightJ from front :.I.nd center had : . I . cruci:.l.l and cemer a crucia.l ideological rime. On Ihe h:.l.nd. the word rights rigllts harnessed technology rechnology and :.I.nd impact at the time. the one hand, pro_m2rket emhusiasms enthusiasms to ro work in broad currems currents in American culture. culrure. Tech pro_market Technology and :md modernity were no longer on the side of pl2nning planning or the public good or an example eX:.l.mple of what democratic government could accomplish; chey they were on righn, and government governmenr was their enemy, JUSt as it was the enemy of the side of rights, Brand would cite rights. By 1987, [987, in a book celebrating MIT's media !:.lb, lab, Stewart Bra.nd Tedmo/ogieJ of Freedom as u a key inspiration." de Sola Pool's uchnologil'J ofFrudotll

me

The Political Economic Meaning of the Microcomputer


matter of figuring out how it works. Making sense of a new gadget is not nor just a malter It has to be given soci:.l.lmeaning. Milch of this is about standard social soci:.l.l variables h social meaning. Much like status and appropriateness. :.I.ppropriareness. Carolyn Marvin M:.I.rvin and others have hal'e pointed out .like poinred OUt W:.l.S introduced, phone company :.I.nd users UM:rs mat when the telephone was com~ny executives and

aIikc: worried about whether this new technology should be limited to business alike
orher purposes; there rhere was considernble managers or allowed into the home for other considerable about the possibility that young single women might get panic, for example, "bollt theit hands on the powerful new device, thereby debasing it.'l Similarly, when their microcompUterS first appe:.l.red microcomputerS appeared in everyday life, it wasn't quite clear where they belonged in the social order. Was having a computer on one's desk a sign of be.longed Was this thing rhing with a keyboard for managers or for sechigh or low status? StatUS~ \Vas rnaries~ \Vere Were they for the home or for the rhe office? Were they for games or ra:aries~

serious lerious purposes like blldgeu~ budgets: Wu \Vas using a computer fashionable, fashionable. a mark of a of prowess worth bragging :.I.bout, or was it simply a routine technical task, kind bnd about, like underlings~ But as people sought like: photocopying. something better bener left to underlings? answers chat suggested somesome In.swers to all these questions. questions, patterns were established that abouc the relarions thing broader: the rhe microcomputer had something to tell teU us about relations between politics. politics, economics, :.I.nd and each orher. other. This widely trumpeted new tech:.I.bout nology became a trope. trope, an ideological condensation symbol. symbol, for thinking about big social relationships. rc:l:.l.rionships. The answers to these questions were not nOt foregone or fully determined by the the technology itself. In this period, the French, for example, eX:llnple. were chaUcter of [he character 79
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me

targe and growing numbers typing on keyboards to produce letters OIl also in brge On screens powered by microchips-on the Minitel terminals widely supplied by w.n a project created largely by the govern_ govern. the French phone service. Yet Minitel was etTl!Il!communicarions), ment-owned PTT (Poste, Tl!Il!phone, Telephone,et Telecommunications), and it thus began em:lil and retrieving information, rather than as a life as a :a networked device, for email inform:ation, r:ather a smnd-:done object. Bec:luse stand-:alone Bec:ause in France digitalization eneered entered everyday life via :a structure, computing had different implications fOt different political economic structure. for meaning and use. The Fteneh French experienced a connecu:d connected telecommunieltions telecommunicarions sysme:aning tem provided by the government; the box in their homes was a means of access to fcllow citizens. States, in conthat larger system and, through it, to fellow citizens, In the United Srares, th.ar rrasr, isolated object provided, :It tr.I.St, people experienced an isobted at least as far filt as the press pres.s capitalist entrepreneurs and inventors. One was a means of was concerned, by elpit2.list othet$; the othu othet was an isolated box, purely under one's access for connecting (0 to others; own Control. In the broad view, both experiences lent themselves to oversimplifi_ cations, illdustry sat atop decades of ofgovernmentgovernment- funded cations; the US microcomputer industry in Fr:mce, privare industry was research in microchip and computer design, and, France. priv:ate rese:arch terminals and related equipment. Both Minitd tenninals deeply involved in manufacturing Minitel corpor:.lte liberal Iibet2.l in the sense of business-government interdeefforts remained corporate pendency. But such deep-level patterns were not immediarely immediately appartnt, app:arent. On the in the case of the microcomputer. subtle and intimate aspeCts surface, surf:a.ce. microcomputer, aspectS of meaningrightw:lrd swing in Americall creation and the rightward American political economic policy became cre2tion intertwined. intertwined, was not purely spontaneous or disorg:aniud. disorgani::ed, It is true that This intertwining inrertWining wu in rhe 1\l70S rhe idea of mass marketing a general-purpose computer small and the 1970S the cheap enough to be bought by individuals was simply missed by the established vacuum set the stage for some corporate players in the industry, and the resulting V2cuum boardrooms :md and otigislilall computer firms working off the radar of corPOrate corporate bo:ardrooms origismall nating in the hobbyist community, like Apple and Microsoft, to be catapulted he n:ning pl3yers, with the side effect thac th:u the microcomputers mictocomputers into the r:anks ranks of major playus, playfulness," But, by the early 1980S, the arrived imprinted with signs of hobbyist playfulness," :lrrived microcompllter m:lrket market was no longer being ignored. \,\,Ihen microcomputer When Apple and Microsoft with a host of competitors cOlllpetilors like Frankwere Still still modest-sized modest-si::ed companies f2ced faced lin, Radio Shack, Sinclair, Sindair. Commodore, Osborne, and Kaypro, American media and some segments of the population were :llready already deeply obsessed by the micro:lnd ir 1:Icked coordinated. mission-driven characcomputer. Even [hough though it lacked the highly coordinated, ter of other consumer product introductions, the microcompUler"revolution~ microcomputer "revolution" of [he cerrain way, way. a highly organi::ed the early e:l.rly 1980s was, in a certain organized evellt. event. What the 1980s lacked in policy manifestos and industry consortia, it made up for with a chorus of mythologizing thar that resonated from the White House to the media to tile rhe local computer store. Store,
80

MicrO<Q/nPIIUrS liS Microcomputers as AllticollSumer Allticollsumu Producu Pronllets


s<;holars I\lSOS have often turned to Scholars in search of the computer zeitgeist of the 1980s cultural texts like Apple's ~1984 ~1984~ TV ad," ad," Willi3m William Gibson's ur-cyberstriking culrural computetS like punk novel Nwromallcer, Nruromanctr, or films with an :an ominous depiction of computers Terml/la/or (1984).)0 (1984).'" As fascinating texu are, fucinating as these dark textS War Games (1983) or Terminator Ihe culture, it is risky to assume that they actually represented the core of the culture. Apple's ~1984" -1984- ad was only broadcast once nationally, narionally, Nrurolllilliar Neuromancer began as a narrow cult and Terminator TermillAlOr owe more to to 2001'S dassic, and War Games :.md 200"S HAL than to the rapappcared in idly proliferating microcomputerS microcomputers appearing in Stores stores as rhose those films appeared at the significance of computers in the everymeaters. If one really wanrs wants to get :1[ theaters. Americans in thar to starr with someday culture of AmeriClfls that period, it might be better to thing more widespread: the then-novel then-novd experience of buying one's firsr first compUter. computer. Today, this might seem mundane, but ar at the rime, as millions of AmeeiClIlS Americans ",ent went Tocby, anyrhing bur. through the experience, it was anything but. Opening the box of a Kaypro, Apple, or Radio Shack microcomputer, assembling the pieces, and having one's firsr first of ryping on a keyboard and seeencounter wirh rhe then-remarkable experience typing keyboOird with the then-remOlrbble ing corresponding letters appear on :a a monochrome screen wu was iu irs own cullUt:l1 culrut2.l event. t/::chnological innov:atiollS innovations into the home for the The 1980s brought numerous technological 6nt time: videotape recorders, fax machines, and answering machines, to name nanle a first fax;and ;answering few. But these objects objecrs were novel only in the sense that more people could afford RW. sellSe th:lt came from companies mem; we had all heard them; heaed of these things before, and they elme TIle microcomputer was something in a class by familiar. The with which we were familiar, itself. Before the early 1980S, ordinary Americans never imagined they would evet own a computer; computers were thought to be giant expensive things for ~r foe usc or desire, which an ordinary individual would have ha\'e no use desire. So, it represented middle-class Americans were distinct when swelling numbers of middle-dass something quite distiner SUddenly thumbing through computer magazin/::s, rhe mysteries of m:lgazines. deciphering the suddenly new objects like floppy disks and new concepts like sonw3te, parricipating in software, :lnd and participating Water-cooler the details of these new machines. water-cooler conversations about rhe [he rime was the backdrop b;lckdrop of a corpot:lteAn essential part of th/:: the context of the that in a ~ corporate dominated consumer economy, It has long hcen observed economy. been manufacturtrs consumer products producrs rend tend to become economy dominated by mass manufactUrers more and more alike. Jeans, beer, soap, and eventually cars hccome become nearly undifftt/::ntiated The marketing problem thus becomes one ofgenerating of generating Rrenriated commodities. TIle Iinle exists-hence the habir of slick,jinglean impression of distinction wher/:: where lirtle habit slick, jingleand image-dominated advertising reliant on SI0g:105, slogans, celebrity endorsements, and lifestyle imaget}~ imagery, advertising that tells you next to nothing abour about the product and character of this trend everything about abour its cultural associations, associations. The 11\e enervaring enervating characrer trcnd
~,.

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II

rime is one om: of the weoUrnuses weaknesses of consumer capitalism, likely one of the core over time reasons that groups the world over at odd intervals respond with indifference rusons and sometimes go off in or hostility to consumer capitalism and irs institutions :md alternatives. search of altematil'U. to me the consumer mainstream mainstteam by taking up Many Americans find alternatives to avocations that involve constant study srudy of technical details; getting hobbies or avoations anrique cars, or playing the bagpipes involved in raising purebred dogs, restoring antique in a subculture of expert knowledge shared through dubs, clubs, requires immersiOn immersion books-:I subculture subculrure in which personal networks, newsletters, newsletters. magazines, magazines. and books-a satisfying in its own right, and the activity is beyond substance matters, labor is sarisfying the reach of national name brand consumer advertising. The proliferation of the microcomputer microcompurer in the early 1980s began u as :.l a ver. version of th:n that hobbyist subcultunl subcultural experience. For the ever growing numbers of individuals thinking :.lbout about committing the substantial expense necess;ary necessary {Q to buy individwls cost two twO or three rimes times the cost COSt of :.l a a microcomputer-even the cheaper ones COSt :.l television set, and some of the popular ones appro:.lched approached the price of a functional information available, inviting study, compari. compariused car-there was a world of infonnation :md thought, all energiud energized by the sense of excitement of being a part of sons, and something new. The c::onrrasr TIle early days of the microcomputer industry thus provided a sharp contrast ('lpitllliJt alum:.l alternato the traditional consumer experience and rhereby suggested a capitalist was indeed new, compliured, complicared, tive {Q to conventional consumerism. 111e til"!: The technology W:.lS :lOd constantly changing. and SO so the producTS disproducts in question quCSt:ion often were indeed dis 2nd connast to, ro, say, Coke or Levi's Jeaw, Jeans, concrete infonn2tion information .1bour abour tinct. In deep contnst technical apacities c:lpacities 2nd and how they worked was in fact useful and the products' technica.l just :.l a matter marter of picking it up :.It at the relevant. Buying a microcomputer was not JUSt and plugging it ir in; it involved becoming part of of:l store :.lnd a world of constant reading Store speed. program :lnd and discussion, a world in which RAM capaciry, microprocessor speed, matters worthy of much attention. compatibility, and peripherals were matUrS [n the 1970S, microcomputer buyers were largely hobbyists and others with In to technical communities through clubs, school, schooL technical proficiency connected {Q or work. By the early 1980S, however, much of the rhe purch;uing was being done by purch:lSing W:lS to such commua wider community of people who had no ongoing connection to or by middle nities-by people with pure curiosity, by small business owners, Ot level managers who could use the office supply budget and thus operate outside the supervision of cenrral central management. These individuals were less able to rely che 011 clubs or other informal networks to get information inform:lrion and thus largely had to on to develop an understanding of what these things were rely on the print media to nOt one should buy one. It Ir is in jusr jUst such a conrext that print and whether or not media an can pl2Y playa powerful role. The early 1980S W:l.S a was marked by an explosion of

the mainStream mainstream press and in popular commentary on microcomputers, both in che proliferation of new magazines devoted to the topic. ropic. Magazines that rhat began in .a the 19705 :IS as blackand.....hite black-and-while narrow-audience newsletters newslerrers (Cwltivt (Crtmivt Computing. Computing, lhc: Byte) adopred adopted glossy fonnats forman and sweUed swelled with 2dvertising. advertising. and .1 a host of new811t) comers entered enrered the field. media covenge coverage took the fonn form of buying advice for novices. As Most of this medi2 magazine racks began to fill with new computer publications and newspaper artirhroughdes about microcomputers began popping up with ever more frequency throughthe United Srates States between 1980 and 1983. out che 1981, the tone moved from curiosity to ~whar are theset these:'" to "now -now that you know you're a kind of upbeat urgency, from ~what how." In March of 1980, for example, the New York Yllrk Times Timtj ro buy one, here's how.~ going to "Computers Made to Feel Home:' which was largely ran a short piece titled ~Computers Feci at Homc.~ anecdotes supplied by the owners of that rhar new phenomenon. phenomenon, the comprised of anecdores store." The article notes the rapid growth of the fledgling Aedgling indusrryindustrycomputer Store." a Store owner says, "For -For the rhe first time since we've been in business, busillCSS, there W:lS was a .1 While the rhe article briefly brieRy mentions brands and pricesChristmas rush this rhis year." year.~ \VhiIe Christm:lS TRS-8o-at this early stage, the article's tOne tone of the Apple II and Radio Shack TRS80-at nOtes that computer stores "have ~have the atmosphere is rather bemused; (he che article notes poillts to store employees' enthusiasm emhusiasm for games. To of a friendly dubdub" and points arc doing with home computers, the artide article relates how (:.l (:I bit explain what people are improbably) the children of one new computer-owning family are assigned the task of programming an Apple II to keep household budgets. Another customer taslc reported to to have used his computer ~to "to h2ndicap h:ll1diClp horses on the theory that it is ccported another programmed his computet computer to would improve his gambling profits,~ profits." and :mother (rain. run his son's electric train. ye:lr, the rhe New York Times Timej ran rail a similar piece, ~A -A Brighr New The following year, Computers." Here the tone is more 1110re confidenr.!' confident. I ' Also directed World of Home Computers: at the lhe first-time firsr-time potential buyer of a microcomputer, microcomputet, this piece was several sections: "Doing the Homework: -Tips on Buytimes larger and divided into sectiOns: Homework," "Tips ing.- ~Where ~\Vhere to Shop: :.lnd and a glossary of computer terms explaining the meaning." 111is article expressed exptessed little doubt that rhat buying a coming of words like printer. This and worthwhile entetprise. Quoting the advice of university puter was a serious purer enterprise. first study smdy computer professors, the piece recommends that potential buyers firsr course. h It gets perha'ps take a COUtSC. getS into more detail about magazines and books and perhaps ttthnic:ll aspectS, as~crs, explaining. for example, that ~programm2ble ~programl1lable memory is meatechnica.l lured in the 1,0005 of byres. A byte is the binary code the m2chine machine hu has :lSsigned assigned IUr'cd I,OOOS bytes. compurer memories usually nnge range to every English letter and number. Home computer IK, J2,000 bytes, or 12K. )1K. K stands for between :lbou( about 1,000 bytes, or J K, and about 12,OOO ltiJ.o: VCRs were new :It rime, roo, (00, but this W:l$ different buying Itilo," at the time, was an entirely diffetent ~rience. expetience.

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The press was happy to print coundess such arricles that reported on the COnstant proliferation of new produClS associared with the microcomputer. Compa_ nies were consundy announcing new models, new companies were constantly jumping into the game. and the third-parry industries of software a.nd periph_ erals were consta.ndy sending out press releases a.nd otherwise hawking their wares, Reponers were happy to write reviews of all these products-this was a. ra.te new journalistic specialty in a. tight economr-and companies were happy to buy ad\'enising that would Supporr this reporting, The potential purchaser, after perhaps having his or her curiosity inflamed by someone at the office or an article like the one in the New York 7imts. would thtn have a plethora. of informa.rion available at the nearest magazine ra.ck. ready for browsing.

Use Value mid Utopia


Signilicandr. while the press grew ever more confident about the value of purcha.sing a microcomputer in the early 1980s. what people were actually doing with them remained obscure. In passing. the 1981 New York Times piece mentions games, music synthesis. and educational uses, but nOt in any detail. Between the [980 piece and the [981 piece. it is as if the newspaper went from wondering what a microcomputet was for straight to assuming that it had a use-without ever figuring OUt what that use was, True. rhe 1980-83 period was clle time when various specialized communities were discovering specific uses; :lcademics.journalins, and sectetarial staffs were discovering word processing. and small businesses and lnid-level managers were discovering the spreadsheet, But it would not be until the second half of the 1980s that the mainstream press would discuss these applications in any detail. and e\'en then it would be more with an -ofcourse- tone, more &om the HSumprion of usefulness tha.n an exploration or explanation ofit." A sizable Ntws~tk overview of personal computers from early 1982 is typical." Tided -To Each His Own Computer; the ess.ay begins: lnugine a ....ordmllm $0 wiK thar he can easll}' comprdlend and manipul:ue lI\O<'C words than fIlO5t propk ever UK, men sptW [hem out-with spelling erron corrcered-on a high-speed primer. lnugine ~ teuher with in6nite p~rience who !us the devilish abilil:)' to spot your weak points md drill you on them, in everything from typing to French. A m~ster sportSITL:ln who neVer rim of pbying rour favorite game. A researcher who, wirh ~ little help from rhe relephone, an C":l!l up rhe world'. great boolu, the breaking ",""S, rhe be" buy in a lo.:al dtess shop and the lares[ breakrhrough in kidney research, and bring rhem all inro the privacy of your living room, And imagine all rhese rhings wrapped IIp in a form so prorean thar even its creators have no idea of its Iimils-if there are all}'. -il,erI' yo" have it, rhe personal compuror, 84 Missing d,e Ner

1his kind of dramatic narrative does not exactly explain what the actual practical uses of the computers available at that time might be; some of the uses described abo'ooc were more than a decade away. some have yet to be perfected (-a teacher tVith infinite patience~), and some were grandiose construals of fairly mundane taSks (describing a word processing ptogn.m as -a wordsmith so wise-). \Vord processing. the most common use of microcompurers at the rime (and remaining so at lQSt until the popularization of the internet). gets twO shon senEeIlttS in this 44oo-word anicle: -Wa.nt to write a novel! Load in a word-processing progr.mt that lets you and your computer manipulate words on a page, edit the text and print out Rawless copy,- The article w;u:es enthusiastic about microcompuu:rs as educational tools-a common seUing point in the early t98os-but laYS next to nothing about what students ace actually doing with the machines. Computers, the anicle claims, are -emerging as educational tools.Classroom 56) iii unlike any other at Central High School in St. Paul, Minn. There is no tl'<lCe o( chalk and etaKn, school desks or blukboards. Instead, euh of the srodents in Central High's computer lab sits in from o( an Apple Il plus microcompurer, and rhe only sounds are.rhe faim clicking ofconsole keys and sporadic beeps (rom the muhines, \Vhen rhe Minneapolis area was hit by a blizzard recentl}', the smdenn were dismissed ,u noon and rhe school cleared in minuresexcept for the kids in rhe computer lab, who refused ro go home, Of the roughly three puagraphs of this thirry-seven-paragraph article devoted to discussion of potential uses. the approach is not a careful discussion that compares traditional against microcomputer-aided methods but an uncritical. breathless rattling offof tantaliz.ing potenrials.lhe force driving the market; the anicle opines, is the incredIbk versatilit}' o( the machines.. A penonaI computer C.1n be used for :In a1mosr limitk.ss \';lriery of tash. When \V'tlliam D, O'Neill get.. home to suburban Washington from hi.. job as Dircaor fOr l\, ... va1 Warfar~ at the Pent2g0n, for example, be head.s for hi.s baserne:nt.l1icb on his personal computer-and goes to worl< on his sond novd.1he Remo=less Deep; a thriller .1boul submarine warfare. Alan Tobey, owner of rhe \Vlne and the: People: shop in Bedcdcy; CaIif~ uses his computer to wrile: recipes ro ba6nce the hops. malt .1nd CKher ingt'Cdienrs for hi. own home:brewed beer.. ,. Hood Sails in Marblehud, M.1s.s., uses personal computers to design custom sails (or J=hts in irs 15 s.aillofrs .1round the world. Or UK the computc:r to gc:nerare musical tone.:rnd it becomes.1 musici'm's instrument. Libera:.. composer use:s his computer to help with .1rrangements for the King of Kitsch, .1ndJohn Cudc:r, dc:sign cngineer for rhe Gratc:ful Dead, uSeS.1n Apple II backstage ro nne-rune the elecrronics during the rock group's performanCeS. Ir can also serve a loftier purpose, Ihe Rolling StOnes have an Apple th.1r helps rheir official biographer Store informarion "nd write the group's history." 85 Missing rhe Ne[

particularly insightful overview of what was happening at the time dme or Or This is nor a parricularly a prediction predicrion of what was going to to happen. h;appen. The article does nOt not mendon menrion spread_ sheers, The sheets, email, email. or discussion lists, and while it mentions CompuServe and lbe contains no mention of the imcrnct, Source it certainly comains interner. It has no discussion of the obsessive. obsessive, addicting quality of inter.l.ction interaction with computers or of the gamelike g:1Il1clike che the computer activity even among :I1ll011g those who were wcre nOt nor using quality of much of rhe them ro to play games. chem [ell che the story of che the microcompurer, microcomputer, not nor in terms of What the article does is tell i[5 immediate pr:a.ctica.l practical uses, buc bur as a narr.l.tive narrative of hope. of porential. potential. It offers the irs
sellSe that he or she has che the opportunity to to panicipare p:lrticiparc in gr.l.nd. grand, unfinunfin_ reader a sense ished developments. The 11,C vagueness about use was chus thus rherorica.l.ly rhetorically turned intO into :loom :lny p:lrticular uses rhat that any particular a strong point; in the absence of hard knowledge about trotted OUt out:.lS as evidence of usefulness. worked, any anecdote could be rrotted It was only a monch month bf:fore that Tirnt's Time) J 3January 198a issue declared rhe the com_ January 1982 before rhat purer the "man ~man of the year." The 1he from-cover front-cover image was of a grey plaster plastet manikin pucer

the still highly concentrated industries of microchip manufacruring manuftcturing upon which the srill the the pressures to try cry co to rum turn life imo into numthe microcomputer industry depended, [he legal. political. political, and cultural bactles clata, information, informacion, berS, the legal, barrles over control over dara,
te1l:cu:l1 production: all this was W:lS and commodification, the shifting modalities of textual a box, a thing, somerhing something one uw saw on a shelf in a store, score, purchased. purclla$ed, and reduced to ... away, all for che use of oneself, for an individual, plain and simple. $imple. The carried away; comple1l:ities were all inside the box. The TI,e microcomputer occasioned occ:lsioned the reifica(l[lIJ\plexities don digit:llization. tion of digiralization. In the 1980s, [980$, as a result, these small computers provided an immensely useful ftith in markers. markets. Parr Pat"[ of this object lesson for the proponents of the neoliberal faith rhe overlapping communities of politicians and upper worked simply because the 5evd corporace corporate management looked at the rapidly growing microcomputer induslewd cry from a distance, watched che the rise of new industrial empires like Apple, Comuy paq, and Microsoft, and saw a powerful argument for reviving che the belief that the I*!' business wodd world was indeed rhe che product of emrepreneurial Giam global glob:!;l buRness entrepreneurial initiative. Gianr enrerprises from Coca-Cola to GM co to General Electric Elecrric norwithstanding, notwiths[:!;llding. percarerprises haps the economic wodd world was not nor dominated dominared by an established interlocking grid baps ollumbeting bureaucr.l.ric bureaucratic corpor.l.tions corporations in league with the governmem; nor .Iumbering government; it was not system thOlt chac Vietnam era pundirs pundits and :antiwar amiwar protestors complained ...bout. about. -Ibe s}'Stem" che business world was simply a wodd world of innovative. innovative, risk-taking ri$k-uking individu individuMaybe the lib competing wich one anocher, after :III. ... oornpering with another. all. microcompucer thus provided a sophisticated. sophisticated, high.tech high-tech glitter to the The microcomputer free enterprise: it became Reagan er.l. era enthusiasm for markets, markers, deregulation, and (ree Rag2n an icon that thac stood ror for wh:at's what's good :abour about the m:arket, market, giving leaders the wodd world O\'l:r over In an Cll'tra incentive to pursue neoliberal policies. Gorbachev era Soviet officials ID extra ro nroliberal have claimed it was the West's astonishing success in market-driven high tech_ aoIogy, as much as anything else. else, chat that first inspired Soviet leadership ro to look for ooIogy. DeW, market-friendly economic models in the 1980s.'" [9805.'" Nroliber.l.l Neoliberal pundits crowed DCW. microcomputer indusrry, and managers and officials who might ocherotherabout Ibol.u the microcompurer skepcical of the nroliber.l.l nooliberal theories were given wise be skeptical givcn pause. ac the level of policy and grand theory. For the rhe growing numBut it wasn't all at ben of individuals who took the plunge and bought a microcomputer, there were bers dUngs about rhe experience ell'perience thar chat STood stood out from the rest of one's life. There TI,ere was things abour the the utonishing .lStonishing effect of an exploding ClCploding muketplace riding the wave of Moore's rbe marketplace tiding Law. In the search for cars or dothing, corpot:lrions seemed the same, ume, the ptices prices clothing. COtpotations the innovations were b.rge1y I:lrgely cosmetic. For microcomputers, ahrays rose, and rhe alw:ays bowever, new prices, new capabilities, and new companies were being announced however, 011 an almost weekly basis. The act of buying thus had a sharply on shatply different feel. 'There also was the contrast with the popular memory of new technologies cechnologies of There die during which new technologies were rhings things like nuclear the previous two decades, duting

styli::ed microcomputer. The accompanying :lccompanying essay connins comaillS slumped in front of a sryfued than Newsweek's NewJlI'uk's almon contempotaneous more sociological gener.ilizarions geller;lliutions chan almost contemporaneous posrindusrri:LI, edenic. edenic, "d~elec piece, quoting, for enmple, Tomer's prediction of a postindustrial. tronic corrage: conage,~ while brieRy~balancing" briefly"balancing~ such claims wich with a few quores quotes from skepcronic the piece is similarly vague :lbout Wei::enbaum. Bur rhe tics like Weizenbaum. about effective uses, chooslist anecdotes :lnecdotes thar that range from the mundane ro to the rhe improbable, ing to breathlessly liu retrospeCt know to be the key trends rrends at ar the time; rhe while missing what we in retrospect rhe internet, or Minirel, all essay does not mention the spreadsheet, ARPANET, the rime by simply browsing some trade rrade of which could have been researched at the time
publications.
TlJl~ Feeling of tile Market: Milrket: TIK Fuling ojthe Lone ltldill;dull/s Individu(lIJ Exercising Exercis;ug Mastery MllStery oller over Objurs Objrw Lom

-me

importance to Time's Timt's :innual :lnnual pub pubThere's no reason to ascribe much sociological imporrance judgment of rhe the magazine's editors, liciry licity stunt, stum, which reRects only the subjective judgmem their solid circulation figures than for their prescience or wisknown more for theit Il0t to imagine that chat :l dom about abour current events and social trends. But it's hard not a the cover-on newssunds, ncw5$c:mds, coffee tables, waiting rooms. rooms, :lIld and in secondglance at rhe numbf:r of weeks-helped ary media commentary:.lS commentary as it saturared saturated the culture for a number solidify, nor JUSt the growing sense rhat thar computers compucers were somehow deserving of serious atrention attention and expense, ell'pense. bur but thac that chey they were things, tMltis, Whac What was being called wu computers-not nOt networking. nor ro everyone's :lttencion co :rrrention was compmers-noc computing. nor nor 1r as Time W:l$ W:1.S concerned, a novel forms of communicating. A computer was, as ftr compuring. thing. not a human action. The entire set of activities associated with computing. 86 Miuing the rhe Ner Nel

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[I

energy, supersonic airliners, and space rravel, each of which had come to involve huge, inaccessible institutions, various degrees of disappointments and dangers. and mysterious complexities that never seemed to clear themselves up, at least in the eyes of the average person. Microcomputers provided a sharp contrast to all those ambiguous or negative connotations. Against that backdrop of techno_ logical disappointments. there was something wondrous about having an actual computer on one's desk, in one's home or office, a clean Little bit of modern tech_ nology that came from small companies with cute names, that ptoduced no roar or smoke and offeted no major safety hazard; motorized garden reols were dearly more dangerous. Finally, for all their little mysteries-in those days, concepts like booting from a floppy disk or typing in cryptic commands were completely opaque to an average user-those mysteries could be generally collquered. Most users would eventu_ ally learn their way around the basics, and the very process of doing so gave one a growing sense of mastery. Microcomputers were self-contained boxes, it seemed, efon could be brought eneirely under one's own wnereL that with effon For any ideology to gain traction in a complex society, for it to become a widely shared form of common sense, it has to be made to fed right. This is cenainly true at election time, but also more broadly true on the level of the contours of political discourse, on the level that shapes what pundits, journalists, essayists, officials, and politicians perceive as imponant as they consider legislation, policies, or their next career move. Not everyone who bought a computer came to believe in the free market, of course. Ideological shifts rarely work that mechanically or cleanly. But the experience of reading about, buying, and using microcomputers created a kind of congruence between an everyday life experience and the neoclassical economic vision-the vision of a world of isolated individuals operating apart, withom dependence on others, individuals in a condition of sclfmastery, rationally calculating prices and technology. A Weberian might call it an elective affinity between the appearance of the microcomputer and the neoliberal faith; a student of cultutal studies founder Stuan Hall might call it an aniculation." But the poine is that, in 1983, even the bearded Marxist professor, using '; lAinch floppies to boot up his new IBM PC in preparation for working on his latest essay, might at that moment feel a little less in a condition of solidarity with the downtrodden and perhaps a bit more like an ambitious Lockean individual, cutting new ground in isolation. The Marxist's established convictions might prevent him from doing anything with that feeling. But for the much larger number whose political convictions were less fixed that feeling might help them see sense in the neoliberal vision. Maybe markets weren't so bad. Maybe they were even a little bit thrilling.

Beyond Utilitarianism: The Invention of the Hacker as Romantic Hero


But better that thcy be a bit thriJling than merely rational. The problem with the kind of autonomous individualism associated with markets, the rational, utilityl'IW'imizing individual of utilitarian fable, is that it is so dry; it reduces the free redious, calculating caJculatingshopkeeper. individual to a rediolls, shopkeeper. The attraction of the press to Steve jobs and other microromputer success stories was not only that they fit the Reagan era entrepreneurial story. If they had been metely successful entrepreneurs in, say. ball-bearing manufacture, economists might have been pleased, but the attention would have been much smaller. Classic utilitarian theory suggests that widespread selfish behavior in a marketplace leads to the betterment of all, but it does not celebrate rebellion for its own sake or care about the colorful details of a capitalist's private life. The stOty of personal computers being manufactured and capitalist'S programmed by youth in their garages, however, had an added romantic appeal. The microcomputer companies of the early 1980S were young, tweaking the noses of (he established computer businesses. The story of young Jobs and Wozniak carlY,I970s bonding while building boxes to cheat the phone system in the early 1970S was repeated endlessly in the business press, not because it implied rational, selfinterested behavior-it was a college prank, involving petty theft-but because it suggested a rebellious attitude towards the powers that be, expressed through w:hnical aptitude. \Vhen Jobs recruited PepsiCo presidene John Sculley to be CEO of Apple Computer in the 1983, he famously told Sculley, "do you want to sell sugar watet for the rest of your life or do yOIl want to come with me and change the worldt' In strict marketplace theory, entrepreneurial individuals are DOt supposed to care about changing the world; the invisible hand is supposed to take o.re of thar. Selling sugar water at a profit is a perfectly rational thing to do. BUt America's romance with the entrepreneur was a roman.e; flamboyant young characters with dreams of changing the world were much more attractive than mere profit maximizers. Fred Turner has artfully explained the role of Steven Lery's 1984 book Hack ers and a subsequent conference in creating-and not just discovering-a particular understanding of hacking as a culrnral identity as well as an approach to computer design and programming. Levy, a freelance journalist at the time, had written a book based on interviews with romputer programmers who had worked variously at MIT and in the Bay Area and had seized on the colloquiaJcolloquial~orked ism. hacking as something significant. Hacking had long been in usc to refer to I$Il\ hobbyist-tinkerers who worked with gadgetry for fun, as contrasted with efforts developed according to carefully preconceived plans. Levy traces the term to the

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MIT's undergr:ldu:lte model railroad dub in the 1950S. By the 1970S the term had come to be used casually in computer circles co distinguish obsessive and unplanned work styles from those that were rigorous and carefUlly pbnned. The general rerrain was already laid out; hackil1g referred ro the same behavior partern as Licklider's ~self-morivaring exhilararion,~ Wei:;:enbaum's addicted compulsive programmer, and Brand's SpacewaTs-playing computer hipsters. Following in Brand's footsteps, Levy's depiction of hackers was orthodoxly romanric. They are, he writes, ~:l.d\enturers, visionaries, risk-takers, artisrs ... and rhe ones who most dearly saw why rhe computC'r was a rruly revolutionary tool.~)O Levy added to the discourse both derail and a narnrive thar gave hackers credir for the ongoing explosion in the microcomputer industry. Subtitled Heroes oj Computer Revolution, Levy's book does not mention Engelhan. Licklider, Van Dam. or Xerox PARCo these individuals and institutions were relatively well-funded, embedded in large institutions, and at leasr on the surface operating according to explicit, rational plans. Inste;ld Levy provides a narrative in which hackers are celebrated as both romantic artists and the true causes of the changes in computing precisdy ~cauU' rhey were romantic artists; they \vere more e;lSily narrarable as such beause of their place at the margins of or outside major institutions. Insighdully exploring the cultures of 5e\'eral key moments in the history of computing. Levy We;lves a story in which first at MIT. then later in the hobbyist community in Palo Alto. and after that in the nascent early 1980S game-building community. indh-iduals with an obsessive approach (0 computers advanced the srate of the an. Hardly a technical history. instead Levy artfully offers portraits of events and individuals, many of them quire poignant. Ever since Rou.sseau, the revelation of internal passions and Raws has worked u a mark of romantic authenticity. Levy's Hacktn is such a compelling read-it rings true-to a large degree because of his focus on the internal emotional life of hackers. Levy's outline of what he calls the hacker ethic-acce.ss to compUterS should be unlimited. information should be fTee, mistrusr authority. judge people by their hacking. computing can be an-were appealing not.so much as political or philosophical statements; as such they would have to be judged as half-baked as best. They were appealing because rhey were presented as the values of a commUllity struggling with and acting on their internal passions. their shared fascination with tinkering with computers as an end of its own, To Levy's credit, however. he notices rhis difference. and at momems shows the tension between the romamic tendency in computing and the rationali:;:ing. corporation-building. profit-oriented imperatives th;lr were asserting themselves in the industry. Levy's heroes are not heroes beC;luse they struck it rich bur because of their passion and technical contributions. He spends some time in the book exploring the tensions between, say, the profit motive ;Ind the ethic of shar-

ing compurer code that was quietly building in the programming community. Levy called atrention for the first time ro young Bill Gate's squabbles with the early computer tinkerers who freely shared his first commercial softwa.re efforts and dubs Richard Stallman "the last of the true hackers"; both of these characrers would evenrually become crucial in the rise of the open source software movement more than a. decade later. But. in most of the n:l.rratives of the 1980s that celebrated the new computer culrures, the difference between the rational utiliurian fonn of selfhood congruent with market principles and the rom:l.ntic fonn elaborated in Levy was as often as not glossed over or arrfully mixed.

/m

Conclusion
In 1983. the s:IIffie year that de Sola Pool published Thnologit5 oj Fretdom. a curious debate broke OUt among readers of the counrercultural compendium, the Coevvlutiol1 Quarterly, an offSpring of Brand's \.vJXllt bmJ, CUtllog. In the previ. ous decade, the QuarttrlJ had in various W2ys sought to act on the counterculrute'S egalitarian, utopian impulses. h had offered an i.ssue up to be guest edited by the Black Panthers in 1974, for enmple. After 1975 all employees recei\d the same pay, and every change in subscription fea wu agreed upon by a loosely democratic process of consulting its teade.I'$.... Yet, in 1983. some readers complained beause. the editors had changed the past practice and behaved as most commercial publications do and raised rhe fee without consulting readers. But this was only pan of the changes afoot at the time; in the summet of 1983, Stewan Brand n(l{ed all the energy around microcomputers and set OUt to create a l..vhole Etlrtn SoJt~"'rt CAtalog and a Softll'are Rtview. Perhaps beause writers knowledgeable about computers were consrancly tempted by the more lucrative positions with the growing crop of commercial computer magazines, editors of these new projectS Wete offered higher, more competiri\'e Sal;lries. \\'hen, in 1984, the Wholt Earth Software Review and CoevoIll/iOlI Qllarterly were combined, and the joint publication was named Whole Earth Rtvitw. the economic egalitarian strucrute of CQ came to an end. Capitalist practice had been brought back into one of the few relatively visible places in the United States it h:l.d been resisted." Simply pointing to the individuals who carried countercultural ideas from the 1960s into the 1980s computer culture cannot explain this shifT. Even though it happened quietly, this was quite a change. One of the most famous moments in the history of the Whole Eartl, Cllfillog was when, faced wirh the brge profits brought in by rhe surprising succeSS'of the effort, Stewart Brand decided to give the money away to the "community" :l.nd held an all-night, come. one-corne-all meeting to decide what to do with the money." Brand was never
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havc imagined him to be; to me the extent as anticapitalist as some might have exrent that it of the lVIJoit EllrtlJ Catalog lloriced such things, the gener:ll ethos genenl Whck Earth CAlalog was that the noticed the root toOt of all evil. BUt pront moti\'e motive was tedious and conformist, not that it was me Bur profit dear that the utopian compass of Brand's publishing realm had by 1984 it was clear shifted, and the inequalities thar longer an that emuge emerge from market rel:uions relations were no longer:ln :lnd Kevin Kelly would go on to anathema. By 1990, CQ contributors Art Kleiner Kleinet and help create cre:lte Wirta WircJ maga'line. magazine. 111is by, say, simply exposing Brand This shift could nor not have been accomplished by; and his cohort to neoclassical theories of marginal utility. For such a change in the entire terrain tetrain of political argument to to truly sink in, something has to hap_ me microcOlnputer, newly pen in the gur, gUt, on the level of habits of the heart. The mictocomputet, 011 the one hand, because arrived on the scene, played no small role in that shift. On corpor:lte aUtomared corporate U.S. computer manuf':tcturets manuf.tcrurers were caught up in visions of automated typing pools and the like, they failed to foresee rhe the demand for general purpose tum resulted tesulted in a very desktop Vtry deskrop computers and thereby left the field open. This in rum numetOUS, small, upstart upStart companies appearing seemingly out of drama of numerous, public dn.ma :I high-tech field and :lnd competing fiercely on features and price. VVhilc While nowhere in a the entrepreneurial narrative nuntive of twO twO guys in a g:lrage garage was an oversimplifieatiol', oversimplification, in was a closer fit than most mOSt business behavior in an the case of microcomputers, it W<!.S economy dominated by oligopolistic corporations. On the other hand, consumers were treated treOlted to to a particular set of experiences with microcomputers, experiences that themselves themsel\'es stood out from the norm of consumer purchasing. 11,e The experience was one of achievable mastery of somerhing aile had until recently thing one recendy imagined as impenetrably complex; a generation :l.n image of computers as zoo,'s 2001'S HAL suddenly found themselves raised on an assembling small computen computers alone in their homes and quickly being drawn into inro ourset rhe.~e these the compulsive character of tinkering with them. Because at the ouner were largely stand-alone machines, rhey they amplified the sense of wete conceived conceh'ed as Iargdy computing as something contained within singular object-commodities (rather conrained singulOlr objecr-commod.ities wirh a system). Microcomputers lent themsd\'es thcmselves than as something associated with to a vision of oneself and others as abstract individuals competing in a markermarker:place. As Le"}"s Levy's Hatker5 Hllck..r5 knows, the fit between Reagan era cra entrepteneurialism en.trepreneurialism lind and imperfect in several ways. But Btl( idrologiideologlthe expetience experience of the microcomputer was imperfecr rarely if ever seamless. romantical shifts are tarely .seamless. In retrospect, the conAuence confluence of the romanricized stand-alone microcomputer on the popular level with the law and economics and information informarion sooety society movements on the elite level led to a perfect storm of ideological effectiveness. explosive ne\\' effectiveness, playing a role in launching a period petiod of elCplosive new growth in capitalist social relations, both across the globe and in the ,;revices crevices of everyday life and practice in the United Srates. States. 92 Missing cht: the Net Miuing

Networks and the Social Imagination


One C:lJl r:.ke issue issue whether the technical ean rake whelher the teehnical designs th:tt that emerge out ofIhat of that fcoll:tb[eollabor:.rive' procell foIr more important fhal orative] process are the beSt best possible, po&sible, but it ir is far lbt they lhey actuaetually come come into into existence by a a ptoceS$ proces' that fhar is is open-architecturally open-architecturally open, exiRence by open. polirinlly policirally ally open, that th:tt new people rome come in regu[:trly, re'ults are open. ~ people regularly. lh:tt that Ihe the results an distributed distnbutrd. free of charge to everybodr. everybody. '!be enormoU5 power of those fhO$e very simple chMge :ttOund around the world to The enonnous concepts is very hard h~rd to convq convey ro not experienced them.' con<:epu [0 people who have hal'\' noc -Steve Crocker

person using a computer compUter be said to be acting alone, alone. hrst glance, staring at a monochrome and when are they acting with others~ others? At Ar first to connect connecr to and interact interacr over a network screen and typing arcane commands to Both involve is hardly different from configuring a spreadsheet on an Apple II. Borh intetaction wim witl, a machine and lend themselves to an obsessive absorpesoteric interaction can have me dIe effect elfecr of removing one's attention arrention from the physically physic.ally tion; both borh C2Il proximate person in the next room. But, in the United States in the 1980s, for e:trly developstages of the eady those narrow cirdes circles of individuals involved in various Stages interner, there were key differences between their experience and the rhe ment of the internet, experience of the rhe millions who were encountering microcomputers, and those differences d.i~erences lent themselves to ro different possibilities for articulation articulaTion with larger visions. VISions. If using a stand-alone stand-a.lone microcomputer in the early d<lYs days lent itself to to a network. could have feeling of Lockean autonomy from others, using a computer network reverse effect; working on a computet computer terminal connected to something of the reverst a nerwork. netwotk, particularly over rime, foregrounds the social connections connectioru; embedded in the technology. Anyone who has had to to inrervene intervene in a discussion Jist list or in ill a chat rOOm tedmical advice to a room to keep things rhings going smoothly-by, say, giving technical sake of group newbie or by encouraging a flamer Ramer to moderate their tone for the .sake rhis effect. AifenfiOll AilCltlioll becomtJ towllrds harmony_has had a small sm.all taste of this bttomt5 dirWtd dirttfed lou'ard5 lilt <l JyJltm. tilt Jodlll wcial medtallirJ merhaniu of ill/trarlioll interattioll witl,ill within a 5J5tem. bur,look. One wouldn't have known it at the time by reading Time or Fortune, but, looking back, it is now clear Ing bOlck, cleOlr that the 1980s was a time of great advancements in compUter networking. While the U.S. mainstream was romancing the entrepreneur~uter ial tale of the stand-alone microcompUter limelight, Ial ~ale microcomputer in the 1980s, outside of the linle!ight, major developments were taking place with wirh rather different connotam<ljQr diH'erent political connora.W J-I ENe A N A WHEN CAN

93 9'

rions. By 1980, p~cket packet switching was established as:l. as a practical pracrical means of commu_ X.:15 networks that nication both on the experimental internet and the working X.1; connected banks and research labs. Ethernet (as well as competing token ring and ARCNET) local :\rea area networking technology became commercially viable, and protocols for today's roday's interner, internet, TCP/IP, TCP/II~ were pur put into place, the basic underlying prorocols Compusuvc tested, and heavily developed. Commercial computer networks like Compuserve and Prodigy were 1000unched, launched, small computer CQlIlpurer bulletin board systems st:lrted started co :l.nd to spread, and many university computer scientists began to COllllnunic:!.rc spreOlld, communicOllte over the Uscnct system. France led the world into consumer use of computer low-cost Uunet Minitd system, launched by the French post POSt office, networks with its nationwide Minitel information on terminals in the homes of that allowed emailing and looking up inronnation of computer engineers, net netsubst:tnti:tl segment of the community ofcomputer citizens. For a subStOllntiOllI cemer of thdr their attention in the 1980S_ 1980s. working was near the center not enru enter thl!: the broader public eye Because these events did nor Beause I!:ye in the U.S. until a happened in thl!: the 1980s occurred decade larl!:r, latet, however, howevet, OIl a broad discussion discussiol\ of what luppe:ned deade aher the faCt. And, as people have looked back to 6gurl!: figure out where this thl!: fact. only after amazing thing called the interner imerner came from, the effort dfort became an :tn opportunity :unazing :l.nd not a little political mythmaking, mythmaking.. both intentional intentionOllI for much hagiography and nor. For example, in response to the common (if :l.bsurd) absurd) mid-1990S habit and not. attributing the rise free market,' marker.' Michael OIInd and Ronda of Oltrriburing rise: of the internet to the fTu Hauben published a uries series of OIIrtides articles and a book that th:lt the HOIIuben thOlt made a strong case that antill1arket, communitarian communirarian principles consistent rise of the internet was due to antimarket, Howud Rheingold and omen; others in Srewart StewOlln Brand's cin:le circle with the 1960S New Left. Howard OntO the New Communalism. Commullalism. And numerous pot pOtgt:lhed computer gr.tfted compurer networking OntO red histories OIInd :md omelines timelines of me the internet OIIppe:ared appeared in print prim and on the internet tl!:d their sdection selecrion of detliliis. details. itself, often reAecring various political polirical inclinations in thdr Since these early efforts, a more serious his hiseffortS, the discussion has mawred, matured, :llld and OIl rhe internet and :tnd computer communication communic:l.tion toricalliterarure on the I!:volurion evolution of the toricalliter.l.lure appeared. Works Wotks by Janet Jallet Abbate, Paul Ceruzzi, and James Gillies and Rob Robhas appeOllred. h:.tve provided much finer detail and careful :tnalysis.' BIIt one of the ert Cailli:.tu I!:rt CailliOllu have nner analysis.' But not to rush to literature is that', that>, while it is careful nOt striking things about this newer Iiten.ture ontO the hiSTOrical historic:.tl detOlil, detail, political questions keep impose political assumptions onto resurf.acing. tbe internet has h:.ts been so large, and its origins so disdis resurf:l.cing. -Il,e The impact of the tinct, implic:uions of this course of abour the implications tiner, that th:lt one cannot help but wonder :about events for undersranding understanding politics and social relations. eventS Here I will focus on a few, illustrative episodes in the evolution of networking in the tl,e 1980s, whar makes them politically politiCllly unusual unusu:al and therefore 1980S, with an eye on what scver:al important points. First, the Ptevious work has demonstrated several intriguing. Previous was not nor created by two !WO guys in a garage, by small entreinterner most ccrtainly certainly W:l.S entre' intcrnct :t classic free market. It It was developed inside Hughes's preneurs operating in a 94 Networlu Networks :tnd and the Sociallrnaginatioll Social Imagination

ptilitary-industrial-university complex-at a moment when that complex was tylilitary-industrial-universiry ch:tnges. This fact alone serves an important rejoinder to undergoing significant changes. marker fundamenulisrs imporrant that the larger tnatket fundamentalisTS and libertarians. But it is also important established by Vannevar Ptiv:tte corpoVannev:l.r Bush. Private development framework was that eStOlblished e:l.tly on and were for rhe the most pan p:trt .uways alw:tys rations were involved in the internet carlyon imagined to be cemral take:ts central to whatever form the technology would take 0lS it matured; jsnagined docs early internet development was funded by tax revenues does the simple faet fact that euly Lefl position with tegard regard to corporntions. corporations. not by itself confirm, say, a New Left DOl early internet devdopment development h-om from .uteralterSecond, part P:lrt of what distinguishes the arly Second. nlltive networking efforts e/fons in the 1980S 1980s is an unusual culrure culture of infonnal, informal. open, aarive coopet:ltion-that \'ery very distinct diStinct set of pn.ctices practices that are incompll!:tely incompletely horizont:tl borizonn.1 coope:ration-mat code,H tummarized today under phrases such as "rough consensus and running code; summarized and "end-to-end design.- design:-4 The 1he role of these practices in the history of the inrernet internet and-end-to-end mese pr.tctices has become something of a political football; blessed by their genealogical relabas (Q one of the major rechnological technological success Stories of the twentieth century, tion to Don they are :Ire claimed as supporting evidence by dusic classic corpon.te corporate liberals, libertarIbq :tnarchists .uike. alike. It is important to get beyond the ians, democratic socialists, and anarchists has made the important timplistic \'ersions versions of these appropriations. Fred Turner hOlls simplistic th:lt friendly horizonral horizontal coUaboration collaboration among engineers is hardly by itself OIl a point that conStrued, and it is in fact faCt historica.1ly historically guarantor of political democracy broadly construed, parantor a:msisrent StrUCtures, like the cold consistent with autocratic a.utocratic and highly oppressive political struCtures, effons of the 1950S. And the history is dar dear that, to the extent there is a poli' poliwar effOrtS tics to internet development, it is not nor something that can be ra.d read off offof the politi. politiofthe particular engineers; right- and left-wingers, hawks and doVl!:S, doves, all cal concerns of parricuw contributions, often in coopen.tion cooperation with one anothl!:r. another. made important conrributions, reAects on two instances of a new and unusual set of ptlilctices practices This chapter 'Ibis chaptu rl!:Rects OIl a.nd 1980, ways of social OIInd and technological [ecllllological organization that in that emerged around t980, dw retrospect sttm seem relatively politically politic:llly satisfying s:ltisfying and praerically practically effective. eflcctive. First, it rurospe:ct development of new chip design methods in the late 1970S, which led looks at the devdopment to VLSI (Very Large L:lrge Scale rhe 1980s. 1980S. Whill!: While not nOt ScalI!: Integr:uion) Integration) microprocessors in the ch:lin of devdopmenrs developments that led to the internl!:t, internet, thl!: the VLSI chip always listed in the chain the Sl!:t thl!: design process was key to maintaining the momentum of Moore's Law and set ever-improving microprocessors and graphics chips conditions for the paradl!: p:lrade of I!:ver.improving on top of which thc the internet was built. For my purposes, it nicely illustrates the rhe sheer technical value of attelltion attention to to cnginct:ring of che discovery inside computer engineering SOCial process and to to open, networked, horizontal relarions. Second, the chapter aocial horizoncal relations. discusses the much more cle:lrly dearly political economic moment during which ti,e the ARPANET efforts effortS were split off from the military and quietly tr:lnsferred transferred to to is. nor nOt just the NSF funding. What is distinct about this remarkable moment is, to urefully carefully spirit of openness, but the use of that kind of open coll:tboration colb.boration to .pirit 95 :tnd the Sod:l.! Soci:tllmaginarion Networks and lm:l.ginarion

~hepherd a developing network as ir passed outside of the cocoon of DARPA funding into a wider, more fraughr world of funding by an ever-growing variery of users and sponsors, Theoretically, packer-switched global computer networking could have come to us in any variety of insrirurional packages, but this 1980s experience of quietly guiding the growing internet into a space between the dif_ ferently charged force fields of military, corporate, university, and NSF funding left a sramp on the institution of the interner that would have far-reaching conse_ quences.
"We Don't Have to Form Some Instirnte"; The Case of Lynn Conway and VLSI Chip Design There was never a single justification for seeking to communicate between com pucel'S. In the 1960s and 1970S, funding sources were the military and large corporations, so command-and-conrrol uses were favored, such as building a communications network thar could survive a nuclear attack, conrrolling military operations at a distance, or disrributed use of centralized supercomputerS for scientific research, 1hese arc rhe ideas that dominated grant proposals, commitree restimony, political speeches, and mainstream newspaper coverage, Bur other ideas percolated in the background, such as Licklider's, Engelbart's, Van DanIS, and Nelson's grand dreams of inrerconnected communication machines. But the eventual triumph of the ideas of Engelbart was as much a product of surprising experiences with early forms of computer communication as it was a matter of persuasion by a few intellectuals. The most often-mentioned surprise discovery of the ARPANET was the popularity of email and discussion lists; built for command-and-control uses, rhe ARPANET turned out to be a great way to JUSt chat, and the numbers of emails over rhe network skytocketed.' These statistics, coupled to the fact that most of the people reading the statistics had personal experience with email themselves, gave substance to the ideas of tbe likes of Engelbart and Nelson. By the late 1970s, among computing professionals, the idea of using computers for communication between people was no longer absrract; it increasingly had an experiential grounding. At least as important as the sheer fact of email's popularity was its social rone. Some of this was simply about the informal styles that became customary on email. For example, in 1978, Licklider and a colleague noted: One of the advantages of the message syStem Over letter mail was that, in an ARPANET message, one could write tersely and rype imperfectly, even to a" oldet person in a superior position and even to a person one did not know very well, and the recipient took no offense, The formality and perfection that most people expect in a ryped lener did nOt become associated with network mes96 Networks and rhe Social Imaginadon

sages, probably because the network was sO much f.lSter, SO much more like the telephone Indeed, tolerance for informaliry and imperfeCT ryping was ,,'en more evident when tWO users of the ARPANET linked their consoles together and typed back and forth in an alphanumeric conversation,' It is probably not inherent to computer communication that it encourages informality, It may be simply that, when email started to spread in the late 19705, tile secretaries who were regularly raking hand-scrawled nores on yellow pads and rorning them into formal letters were nor the ones typing emails, Networked computers were still too rare, expensive, and hard to use to integrate them into rhe established rituals of the office. The social insritutions and expectations that ordinarily lend themselves to formality-secretaries, lertethead, the legal expectations that go with a signed letter-were not operational. But the informality of online communicarion was also associated with something more subrle thar starred to become part of the experience of those using networked computers: the occasional efficiencies gained when working online on tet:hnical projects as a group. People often mention the surprising popularity of nontechnical discussion lists in the early days, like Usener's alr.clliture.llsenet and alt~ournalism.criricism.' Bur the fact is, well into the 1980s, computer communication was predominantly communication about computers; the majority of email and discussion list use was about technical issues. This might seem like a criticism, bur significantly, for the people who designed and built computers, this could be a surprisingly effective way ro get things done. An early and inl1uential version of this discovery occurred when Xerox PARC scientist Lynn Conway and Caltech professor Carver Mead collaborated on the development of VLSI design methods for microchips in the 1970s. Carver Mead, credired by Gotdon Moore with coining the term Moore's Law, was the first to use the methods of physics to predier the theoretical limits of the capacities of microchips. By the early 1970S, these predictions made it clear to Mead and others that individual microchips, especially microprocessors, were destined to become bewilderingly complex. Intel's first microprocessor, the 4004, conr:lined 1300 transistors on a single chip; this was a lor for the time, bur ir was still something that could be designed by a relatively small team in a matter of months. But, recognizing that this was just the beginning of a trend, Mead fOtesaw that, as the number of transistots per chip increased logarithmically, this would cteate new design challenges. How would the complexity of design be handled as the capacity of single chips reached hundteds of thousands, or millions, of transistOrs~

Lynn Conway, an expert in computer architecture who had made some pioneering innovations at IBM ill the 1960s, teamed up with Mead to tadde this ptOblem; as she put it, he was approaching the problem from the level of silicon 97 Networks and dlC Sociallmaginarion

upwards, and she was approaching it from the level of software downwards. The significant thing aoout their approach was that rhey did not set oue TO design a particular chip or even a particular type of design; they set out to design II me$}wd ofdnign, a way [0 make accessible and better org;mize the process o(YLSI rnic'tochip design. The problem, as Conway described it in a 1981 presentation, way.:~a[ when new design methods arc introduced in any reclmology. especially in~cw
technology . . a 1m of exploratory usage is naessal)' ro debug and evaluate new

among traditional work. I suggested the idea of writing a book, actually of evolving II book, in order to gencrare and integrate the methods:' So the texrbook was not just released into the world on irs own; it was developed in the context of a series of courses, beginning with one Conway taught at MIT and later extended to several other academic centers of high-tech development, where each course served simultaneously as a way to spread the new ideas and as a way to improve them through tight interaction and quick feedback between everyone involved. "Perhaps the most important capital resource rhat we drew upon," Conway stateS, "was the computer-communications network, including the communications faciLities made avaiLable by the ARPANET, and the computing facilities connected to the ARPANET at PARe and at various universities." The initial drafts of the textbook used in the firSt courses, she says, "made use of the Alto personal computers, the network, and the electronic printing systems at PARe" so that they could see the inside of a classtoom and be modified based on experience before needing to go through a publisher. Student designs were transmitted over me ARPANET from MIT on the eaSt coast to PARC on the west coast for relaying to a fabrication plant. As the courses expanded to other major universities, the network was used to wordinate the multiple efforts so that al1 students' projecrs could be transmitted to PARC for quick and cost-efficient fabrication. "The networks:' Conway observes, enable rapid diffusion of knowledge through a large community ~cause of their high branching rarios, shon: rimeconstantS, and flexibility of social structuring; any particip:mt can broadcast a message to a large number of orher people very quickly.... If .omeone running a course, or doing a design. or creating a design environment has a problem. if they find a bug in the text or the design method, they Can broadcast a message to the folks who are leading rhar particular aspecr of the adventure and sa}~ "Hey! I've fuund a problem: The leaders can then go off and think,Well. my God! How aIT we going to handle rhis{ \\'hen they've come up with some solmion, they Can broadcast it through the network to rhe relevant people. TIlt)' don'r have to run evetyThing through to completion, and then start all over again, in order to handle contingencies. This is a subtle but r...,mendously important fUncrion performed by the nerwork.... Such networks enable large, geographically dispersed gtOUps of people to function as a righdy.knit research and development community.... The network provides the opportunity for rapid accumulation ofsharable knowledge. Participants in these courses rook these experiences and went on to fund stan:ups (like Jim Clark, who used his course design ro create Silicon Graphics [SGI) and then from there went on to found Netscape) and to build the chips that fueled the continued growth of me mmputcr industry throughout the [980S into

design methods. The more explorers that are invohed in this process, and the better they are able to communicate, the faster the process runs to any given deg...,e of

completion.... How can j'Oll cause the eulrur..! integr:uion of the new methods, so thar the average designer feels comfortable using the methods, considers sueh usage to be part of theit normal duries, and works hard to correctly use the methods? Such cultural integration requitu a major shift in technical viewpoints by many, many individual de.igncrs.... TIle more designers involved in using the new methods. and me berrer they are abk!O communicate with each other, the 13ster

the process of culrural integration runs.... New design merhods normally evolve via rarher ad hoc, undirected processes ofculrural diffusion through dispersed, loosely connecred group. of practitioners, over rdatively long periods of rime.... Bits and pieces ofdesign 10"'" design examples, design artifacTS, and new, of suc' ces.fUl market applications, move through the interactions of individual designers, and through the trade and professional journals, conference. and mass media. I believe we Can discover powerful alrernarives to that long. ad hoc. undirecred process.' What's distinct here is the extem to which Conway, while working on what she caUed "designing design methods,'" is explicitly talking abour >ocial, as opposed ro purely technical, proce.ses. It's worth emphasizing that Conway is no compuret imptesario or pundit like George Gilder or John Perry Barlow, who basically make use of the technological for polirical or social purposes; she is a true engineer working at the cuning edge of her field, giving a talk at Caltech ro other engineers. Yet her primary concerns are numbers of individuals, their communication skills, and their culture. She describes her work from this period as a "new collaborative design technology." Mead and Conway's widely used textbook on VLSI design was not just a summary of what people were already doing; it was carefully thought our to enable more people to participate in the process of microchip design, and was written more with an eye to where mi<:rochip design was going than to where it was at the time. Once they had developed some basic ideas about how to simplify rhe process of design, as Conway pur ir, "Now, what could we do with this knowledge? Write papers: Just design chipsf I was vety aware of the difficulty of bringing forth a new system of bowledge byJUSt publishing bits and pieces of ir in 98 Networks and the Sociallmaginarion

the 1990S.
99 Networks and the Social Imaginarion

Orher communities of compurer professionals were having similar experiences. The pioneers of rhe Unix operaring system, which would eventually come co be rhe most common operating system on machines that ran the internet, also discovered rhat there were te(hnial strengths in systems that were designed to lend themselves to communication and collabor.trion. One of Unix's designers, Dennis Ritchie, f2mously wrote of the motivation for crearing Unix: "\VItat we wanted to preser\~ was not just a good environment in which co do programming. but a system around which a fellowship could form. We knew from experience thar me essence of communal compuring. as supplied by remote-access, rime-shared machines. is not JUSt co rype prognms into :l terminal inste;ld of a keypunch. bur co encourage close communiClrion.- Beginning at Bell Labs in the early 1970S. Ken Thompson, Ritchie, md others developed :l series of pracrices that went beyond jusr p:lfticular :llgorithms, software code. or techniques. Their basic vision of how to approach computer de\'e1opmenr was distinct. Instead of a company or handful of engineers developing a full-fledged system and then offering it for sale co users-the norm for IBM and other companies at the time-Unix provided what came to be known as a programming environment, where each function was rendered as a separable bit of software that could run on a variety of hardware and was flexible and easily linked co other programs through "pipes:' (The famous example here is Unix's search "mction. grep; instead of building sean:h functions into specific programs like word processors and email applications, grep can search within files from the command line, can be easily connected to other functions. and is thus avai!:lble for other programs to use; it was an C3rly inst:lnce of whar became known :lS:l scftwan: tool as opposed to a compleu: program.) Usenet, rhe legendary early bulletin bo:ml sysrem that was the first introduction to computer bullerin board communication for many outside those few that were connecred ro the ARPANET, was created in 1979 for Unix users at universiries to more easily collaborate on Unix-related projects. Not the least in these efforts was the e\oolurion of the culture of development md governance structures around the ARPANET. The ARPANET ....'25 inrended from the outset to work across different computer platforms within different instirurions, and the procedures for developing the prorocols for conllecring disparate sysrems was left largely to the instirurions rhemselves; no single indillidual or institution was assigned the usk of telling everyone else how to interconnect. As a result, a culture and shared awareness developed in the first decades of the imernet's life that took into account the need for. and value of, an open, collaborative, nonhierarchical dedsion-maing process. A symptom of this was the crearion of the tradition of gently named RFCs (Request for Commenrs) as the central mechanism tor distributing information about the rules and protocols for networking computers over the ARPANET, Out of a few initial meet100

ings attended largely by graduate students, an organization called the Network Working Group was formed (predecessor to today's IETF, which continues to playa key role in the ellOlution of internet technical standards). This community developed the habit of what has been called ~rough consensus and running code,~ design efforts drillen by a loose consensus among expert insiders th:lt is then closely ried to widely shared, practical implement:ations. Stelle Crocker, who as a gradu:lte student wrote the first RFC and who:lS of this writing remains inllOlved in internet govern:lllce, said in ~oo6, One QJI take i"ue whether rhe techniul designs dur nnerge out of mat pnxas an the bat possible. but it is f.ar mon important dut they :acrualIy come into existence by a procr:$5 [hal is open_archilo:tUrally open. politically open. th.ar new people come in regu.1.trl), rh>.[ the rewlt. are distributed free ofcharge .around the world to e\'Uybody. The enormous POWn" of [hose lIery simple conCepts i. \ItT}' hard to con""y to people who have nOl experienced them. To illustrate just how deeply (if not widely) the habit of thinking about computer networks as a means to establish horizontal communication for the purposes of technological development had become, it is useful to consider the case of Lynn Conway's [nove [0 DARPA in late 1982. Because of [he success of her work at Xerox PARC, Conway was recruited to join DARPA to help oversee the newly fonned Strategic Computing Initiative (SCI). TIle project had very conventional Reagan era cold war goals coupled ro a Vannellar Bush-style theory of technological innOllation; DARPA's official project summary said it would develop technologies, ~for such military purposes as aircraft carrier command and control, phoro interpretation, and Straregic urget pl:lllning.~" while much of rhe enthusiasm for funding the projeCt in Congress was based on the rheory that it was the U.S. answer to Japm's Fifth Generation Computing Initi:lri\~, which threatened the United Statd'S technological and, by extension, economic superiority. By taking this job, Conway was demonstrating mat she was no antiwar Iiber.ll, (In response to critics, she has said;if you ha.\e ro fight, md sometimes toou must in order to deal with bad people, history tells us that it re:llly helps [0 have (he beSt weapons all;lilable.~)" But Conway carried a sense of computers a.s tools for hori'Zontal communication thu she had absorbed at PARe right into DARPAat one of the hottest moments of rhe cold war, At the rime, she described her goal as fostering collaborative technical development oller computer networks, telling a reporter,
\Ve don't halle to form some institute. \l./hetelltl" people aTe they can partid-

p.te.... We'lI need fO have some workshops and some establishing of intct&ces .mong these groups.... And [ben, we'll cook up some network ~C[illiry .. DARPA is to the Dep~rfmenr of Defense ~s the Palo Alto Research Center is
101

Networks and the Soci:a! Imagin:acion

Nerworks and [he Social Imagination

1 ,

g"

II

There's ~ kind of $pirit spirit th~t ~ppro~ches ~ppro:.lChes p~uion ~,ion th~t ~riK5 ~riKll when to Xel'Olf.... XeTOK.... Thert's res.c~r(he" are fOl'ging ahe~d ~hnd in new tcnitory.... terrirory.... I'm going TO ro Try try real reJ.I hud reK~rchers ~re forging h~rd to Olake some IOniC interesting irllcrcsring things h'lppcn h~ppcn with [DARPA:sJ (DARPASJ money.... It grudy nukt IT greatly oversimplifies that we're OUt our to ro produce a nuchine.". mJ.chine.... Anyone Any Olle machine <>Vn'$implifies to uy th~t nuchine is 'pace. ... You'll sec a J. whok whole a=y arTay of lechnologics lechnologies and only one point in the design sp;ICC. You'U see knowledge spin off fTom the DARPA work. If the work i$ is sufficiently succe.. olffrom succcssful, it will Nve have ;U!50tU all 10m of 'Ipplicarions., ~pplicarion, .... [Within 10 ye:arsl ycarsj I [ imagine iOl~gine th'lt th~t you ful. .. (Within are going 10 sec 'I a wave of or SfllTt-Up irarr-up companies compmies ali as a result of the DARPA-funded DARPAfund"l He to 5 researcll." rcsarch." The notiOn rescarch could and should lead spin.orrs norion that defense research It::ld to commercial spin-offs W:l.S conventional corporate liberalism, in the me vein ofVannevar Bush. What \VbaT is diswas convenrional cotponre cmhusiastic description of computer compmcr networks tinct rinn is Conway's style and her enthusiasric as a forum for horizontal ;IS horizonral collabor-nion; collabonrion; where her predecessors in the military. militarylean gestured to a command-andcontrol industrial complex would have at ar least gesmred command-and-control vision particularly in a military context, she was speaking of computer development, parricularly frankly and almost exclusively of the value of opening the research process up to ''cooking up some network activity." relarively activity.n relatively informal forms of interaction, to Ucooking llie Strategic Computing Initiative is known to some as an expensive The Compuring eKpensive failure,'l failure," and Conway left DARPA after a few years to teach at the University of Michi:md that, even in a classic cla.ssic military-industrial gan. What is significant here is simply thar, milit.ary-industrial gan, context, a computer sciemist scientist was speaking a different language about how to the social rebtions innovation: "We make sense of Ihe relations that undergird technologir::.al technologicOiI innovalion: form some inSlimte, institute.... activit),. , , [to don't have to fonn ... We'll cook up some network activity... spirit thOit that .approaches approaches passion." This is l:anguage language that would encourage] encounge] a kind of spiril Engelbart or Licklider in the 19605." 1\)60s.' Even not have been used even by the likes of Engelban: rhe milituy military umbrella, the tone rone of computer engineering had changed. deep under me insriIn sum, the invisible colleges of computer professionals attached to big insti re~earch universiries univetsities entered the 1980s 1\)80s a1re.ady already in the tutions like Bell Labs and research rurions specific social Orglllliz/llioll of the process me sptcific socia' orgmlizatiotl procc:ss habit of thinking seriously about the technologies, heavily inAected with:1Il creating con' of building new technologies. inflected wim an interest in crearing confot crfeetille collaboration and a sense of how hierarchy and insrimtional institutional texts for effective colbbontion indillidual~ h:!d allegiances can interfere. Many of the key individuals e:ut imertere. had specific experiences eolb.boration and the sh.aring sharing of technical technic:!1 informarion information o\'er over of cases where open collaboration nerworks could crute computer networks create efficiencies. Thinking about "designing design w~s becoming a habit, and easily accessible computer networks were methods" was purpo~e. While \Vbile the rest of the world was dazzled by being used as a tool for that purpose. the stand-alone microcomputer and its association with frec frcc market individualindividual ism, the communities of computer compUTer networkers, who still largely lived our stilllargcly Ouf of pub public view inside the narrow worlds of the university-lllilitOiry-industrial university-militaryindustrial complex. complex, th:lt pointed in other directions. were having experiences that
102

The Internet's Institutional Annus Amllls MirabiUs: MimbiUs: The Split from the Military Milin:ary in 1983-1984 habits If Conway exemplified the microstructure microsftUcrure of the new network-inAected network-infleCted hOibirs technologic~l development, the fate of the rhe of thinking about the organization of technological a more m~crooriented version of those ways. The internet in the 1980s reRecn reAecu m2ero-oriented praCtical experiences with the subtle effects of the social condirions conditions of technotechno pracriC2.1 1980s. Pan: Part logical innovation were essential to internet decision making in the 19805. 10giC2.1 of this was simply the discovery of the values of allowing open interconnection. The more p.articipanrs participants on a ucisfying the experience of using 2 network, the more S:.l.risfying both public and private settings with access acce.ss to network was. Researchers in bom the netWork rhe ARPANET thus mus regularly the netn:gul2rly began to allow new parricipants participants :lccess access to rhe the still viewing work, often onen quietly quiedy so as to avoid repercussions from administraTOrs administrators srill networking through a commandandcontrollells." command-and-conrrollens." Alternative, Alternative. more bottom-up nerworking U~enet began to cre:lte networks like Usene[ cre2te gateways to the much more privileged and previously exclusive ARPANET. The story of the internet's relation to the Strategic Stntegic Computing Initiative illusre:lsoning was at the time. rime. SCI was wa~ new money, [tates trOites how unusual this kind of reasoning and a 01 lot lor of it; over its lifetime a billion dollars was spent. The principal creator DARPA's IPTO :lnd of SCI was Robert Kahn, then head of DARPAS and one of the key fig. figill the late 1960S t\)60s and 1970S. While hopes ures in the creation of the ARPANET in me la[e sciencefiaion-like new military applica.tions applic:ltions and hcsting besting the Japanese helped of science-ficrion-like luders of the progra.m program wrest this funding from Congress, Conway a.nd and Ihe the other leaders SCI, something that th~t would extend broader vision in mind with SCI. had a somewhat broa.der tradition of seeding bold, bold. exploratory developments in computthe DARPA tr.ld.irion that would advance the rhe entire field, field. It thus rhus attncted attraCted the interest interesr of ing in a way mOIl throughout the world of computing. from artificial many researchers resc:a.rchers Ihroughout an:ificial intelligence inrelligence re~earchers to solid state physicists researchers physicistS interested in new principles for semiconductor design. This was classic Vannevar Bush-sryled Bush-styled technological development. [or Yet whOll what is striking ahout the internet in this period was that its leaders rhose ,"OS( to funding. In particubr, parricul:lr, Barry Leiner, Lciller, :H time the program manto forgo SCI fUnding. at the me rime Pentagon, specifically specil1e:J.lly declined an invitation to ager of the ARPANET for the Penragon. thar internet developers de\'elopers would have jumped participate in SCI. One might think that parricub.rly given that at a chance to be involved, parricularly mat SCI was under the leadership their own, Rohcrt Robert Kahn. (And anyone who has been involved of one of meir in\lolved in the pursuit of research funding will note how unusual it is for an ambiacademic pursuil tious researcher to [urn rurn down ;IllY any funding opportllnity.) oppon:unity.) But Leiner has said that attention associin the early 1980S [980S he was more concerned with :lvoiding avoiding public 2ttemion rhe high-profile SCI than with resources. Funding was less of a probated with the particul;arly since the desire to interconnect lem for the ARPANET at the time, particula.rly 103 Networks and the rhe Sociallmaginarion Social [magin~rion

rhe Soci.allmaginarion Networks :lnd and the Sociallmagin'ltiQn

computer networks was now becoming srrong among researchers, which meant that many of them-including those involved in SCI-would bring their own rable. SCl"s high profile, however, might mighr also bring with it public resources to the table. conttoversy and meddling.. and Leiner's judgment was thar such visibility would outweigh whatever benefits could be gained by more funds." The goat, moreover, was not to be simply secretive or exclusive. In 1980, when ARPANET's Vint Cerf met with a group of computer science professors from across the country, he offered to connecr the ARPANET to a proposed academic protocols." This set the trend towards research network if it adopted TCPlIP protocols.'" encouraging open access to the internet, which would become the informal policy throughour the 1980S, leading to dramatic growth fueled, not by lots of governrhe ment funding. bur by an individual instirution's desire to interconnect. By the informally encoutaging mid-198os, ARPANET managers Cerf and Kahn were infotmally insriTUtions to connect their Local Area Networks-the then-new technology instiTUtions worksrarions and microcompUters-to of LANs that interconnecred groups of workstations the ARPANET. This was a tactic that proprietary systems would be loathe to pursue, but it had the effect of initiating the period of logarithmically increasing internet connection numbers.'" The policy towards openness then gradually filteted into the small p political world. While avoiding the limelight by staying away from SCI, Leiner also rhe ARPANET that, at famously shepherded in a new governance strucmre for the least formally, "was open to anyone, anywhere in the world, who had the time, interest, and technical knowledge to participare:'" Time and technical knowledge were of course major limitations on participation, but those limitations were defined by practical involvement in the technology instead of position in one or another instimtional hierarchy. It was a striking bit of openness quietly emerging from near the heart of rhe military-industrial complex at a very conservative moment in the country's history. Leiner's decision is a symptom of a subtle sense of the sociology of network innovation and governance that had been evolving inside the community of those thar seems to have inAuenced much of working on building the internet, a sense that the decision making in internet development and that contributed to the internet's evenmal rriumph. Kahn later said that Leiner's "ability to understand how to create social and organizational structures that by their design could motivate individuals to collaborate was at the core of this important contribution" to the creation of the internet." But Leiner was not alone in this ability. From experiences with things like Unix, Usenet, VLSr, and the ARPANET, Leiner and his colleagues had developed an awareness of the value of an informal, committed, open, participatory community environment. That awareness, however, was associated with a cotresponding sense of ways that external pressures and agendas
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could undermine that environment. Corporate profit imperarives, politics, fads, egos, and bureaucratic rivalries could all interfere, at the exact same time that these things generally also provided the context that kept the money Rowing. This sense of potential threats and possibilities was driven by accumulated experiencc and a deep involvement with the technology, not by political inclinations nor-quire-explicit level. The or theories, which meant that it worked at an often not-quite-explicit occasional incorporation of counterculrural style, the rolerance of informality, rhe dodging of hierarchies were not driven by any consensus about 1960S New Left politics; as the case of Conway reveals, the politics of the participants could be quite diverse. lilt the experiences of the 1960s did become part of the background shared experience of the participants and were drawn upon whenever they might have seemed useful for achieving the goal of widespread computer networking. The community had learned that, in some cases, "we don't have to form some institute:' TIlat shared sense helps explain one of the more remarkable events in the rhe separation of the ARPANET into 1980s history of internet development, the pans, which helped lay the foundation for a subsequent civilian and military parts, (98), the military split the civilian, nonprofit, working internet. In October of 1983, ARPANET into linked but separate military and civilian networks. Most press reports explained this as driven by fears of potenrial security breaches by hackers ir was breaking into military computers." The nonmilitary, more open network, it repons of the split thought, would support militarily signincant research; the nrst reports said the new, nonmilitary network would be named R&D ncr. (It is significant that the name R&Dner did not stick; the community seems to have understood the "new" network as simply a continuation of the ARPANET and its traditions, while the military branch was seen as something else.) As BBN vice president Robert D. Bressler put it maner-of-factly, "the research people like open :lccess because it promotes the sharing of ideas:'" The notewonhy aspect of this move, however, was not that the milirary requirements of hierarchical command-and-control eventually came into conAin with the growing culmre of open collaboration around the ARPANET. That alone would have been unsurprising. Rather, the important point was rhat the military-centered leaders allowed the creation of a separate, open network for research and development; they kept the internally open system of rhe ARPANET alive rather than simply shutting it down or subjecting ir to more severe access limitations. The technology could have been passed on through publications and transfer of personnel; that was the textbook way to conduct a military-to-civilian technology transfer. But in this case the people imolved (most centrally Cerf, Leiner's predecessor at DARPA, and his closest colleagues) underStood the social commitments and energy that would come from keeping an 105 Networks .1nd the Social Imaginarion

Networks and the Social Imaginarion

established, working, working. :and :and managed to quietly carve established. and growing network going and out a safe space for that network within the rhe pressures that typically rypically come with th:H this event evem is typically described in the literature liter:roture faCt thar funding sources, sources. The f':1ct were a technical maner matter suggests that the sociological and by participants as if it .....ere ac the time rime was uken taken sense that was driving decision making in the communiry ;l[ 1983, a platform for highly dfective e.ffective inter-nelWorking inter-networking granted, By the end of 1983. for granted. protected from the divisive pressures of the profit motive morive was in place that was prott'ned university contexts and funding. while also fairly f:lirly wellby the mix of military and universiry insulated from the political and technical demands that drove so much of governactivity ar at rhe the time. As if by historical accident. accident, an unusual and what we ment acriviry technological space was cteared. created. now know to be enormously productive rechnological The next step in the divotce divorce from the milirary military conrext context was shifting funding Foundation, which was accomplished with remarkably to the National Science Foundation. asmte, under-the-radar under-rhe-radar style little friction or rivalry, no doubt doubc due in part to the aSnlte. linle sryle rhe key participants. parricipanu. By the second half of the 1980S. [980S, a backbone for TCP/IP of the TCP!IP inrerconnecting was being constructed called the NSFNET. The internet could interconnening treared as a more generalized research project. To the rest of the from then on be treated and engineers JUSt doing wbat what they do. That llla{ world, this all looked like scientists :md w:.ts something somcthing more than that, that in fan fact an interesring politic:.tl expcrirnem it was interesting political experimell1 W:.lS underway, underw:.ty, would only begin to become apparent app:arent ;It ar the dose close of this rhis period, was around 1990.

In the che late 19805, 1980s, m:my many who me worlds of computing and high technology in the bcst thing after were scanning for the next wave-the next best aner the microcomputerwere finally looking towards networking. nelWorking, but most were imagining things hapcollective, centralized way; if mere thcre was W:lS going ro digitalized. pening in a more coUecd\'e, to be:.t be a digitalized, wu going ro to be a coopcrativc w:.ts not going to networked future fUturc it was cooperative project. It was networka:! bur would involve some form fotm of consortia, private! privacel come out of garage start-ups but publiC coordination and partnerships. p:.trrnerships, lndialtive Indic:.ttive of the trend was w:as the formation public the formafonnaofGcneral Magic by a consortium consorcium of computer companies in 1987, ofGeneral t987. and me Project, a lobbying group made up rion in 1989 of the Computer Systems Policy Project. tion AT&T, Digital, Hewleu Hewlett of the CEOs of ten computer manuf.1crurers, manufactUrers, including AT&T. Packard, and IBM." Packard. networking, As the network-now Similar impulses were driving efforts in nerworking. called the internet-continued intcrnet-continued to grow and possible commercial increasingly allied 1980s, things seemed ro to be going according uses began to come in sight in the late 1980s. 1988, computer scientist scicntist Leonard Lconard KIeinrock Kleinrock chaired a group that formula, In 1988. to formula. produced a report, reporc, ~Toward "Toward a National Research Network~; Nctwork"; this report caught Gorc, Jr. Jr, In May 1989, the rhe Federal Research attcntion of, among others. others, Al Gore, the attention ~Program Plan for the National Inrernet Coordinating Committee. Committee, released a HProgram Internet Netwotk; which proposed. proposed, afrer aftcr an initial inirial government Research and Education Network;' a high-speed network backbone to to major computing siees, sites, thar that investment in a :.tnd operated so that they can c:.m become subsequent stages ~will "will be implemented and commetcialized; chen be able to suppl:.tnt supplant the government in supplycommercialized; industry will then services.~'f Th.:.l.t That same S:llne year, physicist and :.tnd former IBM vice presnetwork setvices:" ing mese these nerwork idem Lewis Branscomb teamed up with Harvard-trained Kahin to Harvard-rrained lawyer Brian lGhin ident (II P) at Harvard's John F. Kennedy found the Informacion Information Infrastructure Project (lIP) Government, with funding from a rich mix of foundations, governSchool of Government. ment agencies, and corporations." :.tnd acronym-bden-National 2-cronylll-laden-National Research and The rone tone was high minded and title, Educ:.trion Nerwork quicldy quickly became NREN-wirh Education REN-with an emphasis, as per the title. educ:.ttion and scientific re.sa.rch. resench. Ihe "The NREN; it was proon applications like education posed, posed. should be rhe fhe proKypt PTOIOCype of a new ru.tion.:d nation'll infomution inform:.ttion infr:lISlrucrure infraSfTUcrure which could could. av.:Ulable ro fO eycry hOlllC, office and (:.terory. \Nhe~yu information is used. used, from every home. F.mory. Wherever be available manufaeruring ro fO high-delinition yidCQ entertainment. enfuuinment, and most mose p;lrtirop<lrricumanuf.acruring high-definition home vidN> larly in eduarion. education, the COUntry country will willlxndit rhii rechnology.... benefit from deploymenr deployment of this technology.... brly The corresponding cue ease of inrer-computer inter-computet communication cOl1llllunication will rhen fhen provide the th. associated wiTh with rhe the NREN to [0 the entite n~tion, improving rhe fhe productivb.ndits auociated benefits emire narion. all information-handling information-h'lndling activities. ~cdykie . To achieve ~chie~ this end, the deployment d.ploym.nt of ity of aU rhis end. me Stage Sf'lge) urucrured process specific. snuctured proccss resulting in transithe 3 NREN will include a .pilic. rion of the me nerwork n.[Work from a govcmmenr operation conunerdal service." ,erne.,." 3government operarion a commerd31 tion
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The Information Superhighway: AI Gore,Jr., and the NREN


1990 approached. approached, strict marker-based market-based economic policy seemed to be on the As 1990 wane, domestically at least. The stock market crashed in 1987-the first such cr:ash in the United SUtes St:.ttes since 19z9-and Y.111ey was threatened rhreatened by the rhe 1919-and Silicon Valley crash Japanese. particularly in the uea of memory chip manufaCTure. The wide-opell, Jap:mtK. area manufactUre. wide-open. 1i[[le less inviting and :.tnd a linle more threatenthrearenmarket was looking a linle unfettered free marker leadership, A3 As a result. for ext(;uoves. executives. the rhe significant groups of business leadership. ing to signifiCllnt business press, pte.ss. and many politicians. politicians, a principled hostiliry hoscility to to go\'Cmment government seema:! secmed busine.ss a little less appealing. Corporations Corpor:.ttions were quietly moving away from fronl the rhetoric rllctoric of competition and back rowards asking for government help to ro organize and industries, with calls c:.tlls for regulations that provided ~Ievel "level playing fieldsficlds~ stabilize industries. "regulatory backstops.~'l backstops.~" Some representatives of high-technology industries and ~regulatory bcgan calling for government coordinated "technology "tcchnology policy," policy;' which was waS:l began a vague tU incentives. research usc of government to provide things like tax term for the use money, and antitrust antirrust waivers. w:.tivers." bcginning to >6 Technological progress, many were beginning money. che market alone. Explicit forms of corporate libbelieve. could not be left up to the eral cooperation were coming back in fashion.
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Nerworks :.tna fhe Social Soci:.tllm:.lginarion NetWorks and the Imagination

Social lmagin;ttion Nerworks and the rhe Sociallmagin;l.tion

legislation began circulating circulacing in Congress, proposing federal funding for Drafts of legislarion that would "link government, industry. industry, and the education community" a network chat and that would "be phased oue when commercial networks can meet the networking needs of American researchers.")' about the "information "infotmation superhigh. Many readers will remember all the talk ahout 1990S. Because of the rich mix of political and economic energy way" in the early 19905. the phrase phtase be.:ame became attached, it developed a lor of momentum. mOmentUm. Politito which rhe to ride on irs its coattails, and industry factions began to try to capmre capture cians sought (0 it; phone companies claimed they could provide ptovide rhe the information infotmacion superhighway, iT; provided the government stayed our out of ir, it, thank you, and the cable industry industty "SOD countered by politically correcting the name of their newest technology from "500 channel TV" into "cable's information superhighway."l> l'iformation superhighway became so common it sprouted its own metaphorical universe, involving phrases like "road kill on the information superhighway."" It's easy to forget, however, that informacion superhighfor the first few years of this buzzword's flourishing, the information internet, way was not necessarily the internet. iliformatiolJ superl,ighw<Jy SUptr/,ighw<Jy has been around since at least the early The phrase iliformatjolJ [980s and the metaphor of an information highway for at least a decade before superhig/!Way began to take on a very specific that." But around 1990, iliformatioll jliformatjoll superhjg/!Way circles ofWashingron, DC. At the time, the u.s, U.S. economy life inside the political citcles H, W. Bush was looking increaswas floundering, and the administration ofGeorge H. ewnomic front. Fortrme Fortrmt maga:;:;ine sniped that "the President ingly helpless on the economit has been disengaged, reactive, and inarticulate" on the economy." The Democrats vv'1shingron sensed an opportunity; the slogan "it's the economy, stupid" would in vv'1shington next election. But the problem for the mainsoon prove devastating to Bush in the neX[ stream Democrats was finding a way to differentiate themselves from the Republirhat had cans without opening themselves up to the label of tax-and-spend liberals that so successfully against them in the previous decade by Ronald Reagan, been used sosuccessfully In the 1950S, Senator Albert Gore, Sr. had made a name for himself by shepherding in the rhe interstate highway system, which gave a huge boost to the auto hetding industry and the economy in general while profoundly shaping American life and culture around the automobile. It was one of the most successful and beloved rime, a triumph rriumph of corporate massive U.S, government building projects of all time, rhis rousing liberal habits. To this day it stands largely above criticism. No doubt this success was somewhere in the back of then-Senator Albert Gore,Jr.'s mind when, starting in 1988, he decided to get involved in building computer networking in the name of research. Gore, Jr.'s inspiration was to link up with various proponents of advanced computer networking in the engineering community, sponsor rhar funded the development of a state-of-the-art State-of-rhe-art compurer computer network legislation that project the "information superhighway." of networks, and call the projeCt
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the high-tech industries, battered by The idea pressed several buttons at once; rhe gtoping for the next wave. looked favorably Japanese competition and nervously groping after all could save them upon this modest kind ofgovernment investment, which aftet the COSt of a lot of high-risk R&D and perhaps shield them from overly intense competition, Because the project was wrapped it) the glamorous aura of high technology and a positive vision of the furute, furnte, Democratic politicians, like GOtI.', Gore, safety as a model ofUgood" of "good" government intervention, Jr. himself, could use this safely undermining the Republicans' efforts to maintain power by associating Democrats with government bureaucracy and excess. And it appealed to a kind of ecocratS nomic nationalism; by [99[, a Congressman Congtessman argued for government involvement in the creation of a U.S. broadband network by saying"theJapanese will have an rhe year :1.005 and the USA won't."" Small wonder, information superhighway by the Gore,Jr.'s bill bi\l moved calmly through both houses of Congress and was then, that Gote,Jt.'s signed by President Bush in 1991, providing for 2.9 billion dollats dollars over five years rime, Al Gore noted, "in many ways, til this is bill for building the NSFNET." At the time, is very unusual. I have been working on this bill for more than 2 years, and almost no one has said a discouraging word about it. Instead, I hear enthusiastic support in many, many different quarters-within the administration, in the telecommuindustry-among researchtesearchnications industry, in universities, in the computer industty-among teachers, librarians, and many others."" And then in 1992 the election of the ers, teachers. first Democratic president in more than a decade seemed to make the political publicprivate effort. This looked like a classic climate favorable for this kind of public-private implementarion of Vannevar Bush's corporate liberal principles for technology implementation development, Com-Priv The Public/Private Problem and Com~Priv the Bush philosophy docs does not always lead ro to rhe the linear, orderly process it is But rhe 9 ro.J Corporate liberalism mixes private and public. and for sometimes imagined co.J creates a substantial grey zone where all its historical effectiveness, that mixing cteates rules are unclear and asks the polity to take rake a lot on faith about borh both the the tules good motives and the wisdom of the individuals at the center of this movement berween the two worlds. And it inevitably raises the question, why should private between companies and individuals profit from publicly funded research? Why is this not government favoritism? with President Truman and Congress in 1945 over the Bush himselfsquabbled wirh exact form that the National Science Foundation was to take. One Congressional rhe government-funded research bill, for example, proposed that all patents for the protecting prh'are ptl\'ate parents patents be retained by the government, whereas Bush favored proteering maintaining flexibility Aexibility and autonomy,"" autonomy,'" Bush's approach was OUt of concern for mainraining
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tit" Social Imaginarion Networks and the

Sociallmaginarion Networks and the Sodallmagination

based on a deep faith in the capacity of scientists, engineers, and other expens to overlook their own selfish interestS in the name of reason and progress. The COn_ gressional proposal, by contrast, was based on a more transparent, skeptical logic. The fan remains that the process of transfer and public/private cooperation in general involves neither a Lockean marker nor a public process dedicated solely ro the public good. It is a movement between different worlds that operate by differ_ em rules. There is no getting around the fan that research efrons paid for at leasr in parr by public tax money come to serve the interesTS of those who are making a private profit. These tensions were laid bare on one of the more lively and revealing public political economic discussions of the early 1990S, a now-legendary diSCUSsion list called the Commercializarion and Privatization of the Internet-com-priv for short. The community of network experts, having spent the 1970S and 1980s simultaneously developing the tcdmology. discovering its pleasures. and learning the value of an open approach to its coordination. did what to them was the obvious thing; when faced with the sociopolitical complexities of making the internet into something broadly available, they established an electronic discussion list, open to all with the means and interest to sign up-which at the time, was still a relatively narrow citde. Com-priv was initiated by Marrin Schoffstall, a long-time participant in the Internet Engineering Task Force who had recently founded a company called PSI to offer access to the internet on a commercial basis. Opening his initial POSt to the list with the address "GentlePeople,~ Schoffstall laid our some questions: is the open, casual, RFC-based process of decision making adequate for a commercial environment:' What will be rhe relationship between existing. tax-funded, nonprofit network providers and commercial newcomers (at that rime, PSI and a company called Alternet):' VJhar happens when commercial activities start taking place on noncommercially funded systems? Schoffstall concludes the post in a way appropriate to the inviting. informal tone thar had become the norm in behind-rhe-scenes internet decision making: "Come ler us reason together.... Matty:'" Some of the discussions thar followed remained rechnical (for example, "HolV long does rhe UNIX password encryptor take on an 80881 Is it faster or slower than a PDP-II?")." But one of the striking things aboue the list is how much of it is devoted to working through policy issues; engineers found themselves thoughtfully debating fundamental principles of political economy. Much of the initial discussion began around something called the acceprable use policy (AUP)Y After the transition from a defense department umbrel.la to rhe NSF, the nt:twork had evolved around the central, NSF-sponsored TCP/IP backbone called NSFNET, which was then connected co a variety of regional neTWorks, mosr of
110

which were nonprofiTS and often leased equipment from for-ptofit companies. High-tech corporations like BBN and Hewlett Packard, with theit interests in networking and computer research in general, had various kinds of connections. PSI and a company called Alternet had begun offering access to the system on a commercial basis. The NSF portion of the network, however, was governed by a policy that said me network should be used only for appropriate rt:search and education purposes. With regards co the Acceptable Use Policy, Schoffsral asked, "How does one constrain use of federally subsidized networks ... from doing commetcial things I" Allen Leinwand, then a network engineer working for Hewlett Packard, daborated on the problem: This qUl:snon has plagued us here at HP for some rime. .. Suppose rhat HP connecrs to AlrcrNet (we have nor ... yet) and we now have the abiliry to pass co company X and company Y who are commercial data across AlterNet legally eo HP business parmers. We are already considering the idea of subsidizing our rrincal business partners with the funds ro connect to AlterNer when we do... ,The main problem is how do you convey to about 90,000 employees that it is legal to comp:!.n), X and Y because conduct commercial bluiness with lP based services ro comp:!.n)' AltetNet, bue don't do it ro company Z because they are only on they are on AltetNet. (the Bay Area public regional)? .. I cannot really envision a network BARRNet {the tool which intelligently decides what d:u;a is for commercial use and what is not. How do we distinguish between HP divisions working wirh the QSF across NSFNET (which IS legal) and the same division (or machine!) sending data to company Z". The subsequent discussion of this issue came up wirh more examples and explored different possible solutions. A purely technical solution was discussed, where different uses get coded into the network routing system, bur ir was generally deemed impractiGlI because of the already quite blurry lines berween nonprofit and for-profit activities on the network. Something that involved collective human decision making was needed. TIle problem was, in essence, political. Political, but not polemical. The discussion on com-priv made the goal of a fluid, easy-to-use, open, and reliable network a priority above all else. Schoffstal, who had recently stepped into the role of an internet capitalist, wrote, What PSINet has been doing (and from all appearances what ALTERNET has been doing) is working with indusrry ;md nOt upsetting the srability of the non.profits and academies. non-profit mid-levels from providing service to the non'profits infrastructUre seemed pointless to hun since too much of the US That non-profit in&astructUre is incredibly dependant on it. ... Now when the non-profits provide service ro industry is where we ger into a sticky philosophic~l/leg:J/t:lXation are~s."
III

Networks and the Social Imagination

Networks and the Social Imagination

antiNeither Schoffstal nor others tried to resolve issues by adopting principled 3ntibusiness or antigovernment ideological positions that 3rt are so common in other othet public debates. Parts of the system that worked, in this case run on a nonptofit nonprofit basis, were nOt to ro be interfered with, even by for-profit entities. emities. TIle The approach wete best beSt not was highly pragmatic. pragm;l.tic. But there was wu the matter of what Schoffstal called "philosophical/legal/taxa_ Hphilosophic.al/lcgallt3X;I._ H rion areas." matters is one thing, uound strictly technical m;l.tters thing. but prag_ tion areas. Ptagl11arislll Pragm;l.tism atound comes ro to the murky world of political and strUCtute ;l.nd institutional institutiona.l structure matism when it COmes is quite another. In the latter F.tCt of political and lattet there is no getting around ;l.round the faCt have to be made that will allOClte allocate :'md and shape the dissocial choice; decisions will h.ave tribution of power and resources, and no I~al legal or technic.alnecessity technical necessity will dictate a completely neurral neutral wa}'. way. the fonn fotm of those decisions in a. Conventional Con\'ention.al corporate liberal decision making in the United States has generally moments by couching things in thc the language of exper_ expererall}' dealt de.alt with these momems tise, bound together by reference to the national interest or public good. \Vhen When to org:,miu organi2:e the new technology of radio on .a a corpoHerbert Hoover SCI set OUt out to rate for-profit buis basis in the 1920S, 19:1.05, he gathered together a mi:nure of capuins captains of .a mir:ture and used. used the language Of of~the conveniencc, industry and engineers .and the public interest, conw::nience, and necessityH necessit{ to justify the creation cr=.tion of an administrative agency (predecessor (predeces.sor to tod:lY's use government legal power to alJoc.ate allocate r:adio t:l:dio fretoday's FCC) that proceeded to u.se quencies in.a in a way W:lY that F.tvored favored large, well-llmded, well-funded, commerci.al commercial oper:arions. operations. \.\/hen When tax money W.:l.S was used to create the interstate ux interst.ate highway system in the 1950S, the case, the public lanlegitimating language l.anguage was that of national defellse. defense. In e:lch each Clse, bureaucratic. formal and bureaucr:atic. waS highly fonnal guage was TIle tone on com-priv com-pr;v W:lS fulling b.ack back on the The was something different. Instead of falling authority of expertise .and and institutional hierarchy, there W.:l.S was an explicit small d .authority H "come, come, let us reason together. together." That TIlat impulse was leavened democratic impulse: H [e.avened by small gestures developed in past pragmatic experiences with sllch forms of decisuch fonns sion m3king. making. Most of these gestures gestutes were tokens of informality: first n.ame name modes of :lddress, address, occasional colloquialisms :lI1d and personal details, det.ails, and ;l.nd the use of selfmockery. Scholfsral, ~position was a bit StrOnstronwhoseposition Schoffstal, in describing an individual whose r would have taken~ parenthetical :lside, ~(hard to believe ger thall th:ln I taken" quickly adds a paremhetical aside, H(hard for SOllle some of your you): All these gestures worked to soften personal sharp edges, generatea inform;l.l solidarity, and f.l.cilitate facilitate group process. erate a tone of inform:ll United by the common goal of a functioning funerionillg network, then, Ihe the community commulliry on com-priv was using what had worked for them in technical areas-free are.1lS-free flowRowing, hori%onral. electronic communication-to sdf-consciously deal with issues ing. horizontal, self-consciously th:lt were both philosophical :Illd and political. Tinged by (if not fully committed to) That a post-1960S established, formal institutional habirs habits :lnd and by a ;I. corPOSt-196os suspicion suspirion of esr:lblished, the blurry terrain ollary truSt in informal directncss, olbry directness, they set out our to negotiate The
lIZ 112

between government and for-profit rules of operation in a manner that at that point in history was unique. They took what worked in a technical contextrook whar rough consensus and running code-and to matters that were cocle-alld set out to apply ;l.pply it TO becoming increasingly politic.al. political. In the broader political world, however, howevet, other lubits habits dominaTed. dominated. In Decem-

ber of 1992, [99l, President-elect convened a Conference on the Sute State of President-decr Bill Clinton Clinron convcned the Economy, having made fixing the economy a centerpiece of his call1paign. campaign. The conference COllfercnce brought corporate broughr together a blue-ribbon group of experts and corpor:ate chieftaills. At this point, the rhetoric rheroric of the information superhighway was in full chieftains. swing, and so it President-e1eer Al Gore, swing. ir was W.:l.S on the agenda, which gave Vice President-elect experience in setting the stage s!line on one of srage for NREN, a chance to shine with his a:perience his favorite topics. The New Nrw York Timet and AT&T chair Tin~s quoted this exchange exch:mge between Gore .and said. Robert E. Allen. Allen s.aid, focus on infnstrucrnrc. nelworb nerwcxks. commercial commCTCi:l1 networks A fouu infnsnucruu. including informJ.rion infomution nerworkJ. which au J.re interconneaed, imaconnected. imeroperabie, imerope",b[e. IUtionai I1OIcionJ.1 J.nd to be enCOUf~d g1ohJl, gloNI. needs nee<h TO encouragW.1 poinu to make mue maul abou[ .... who whJ.[ [hal respectrupeet,l aged. I hJ.ve have $Orne JQme points ho should do .... hat 111 III mat I [hink [he government mould should IKK nO[ build and/or open[e $uch nerworkJ.1 Think the ~dlor opuoate such nctwor!rs.. I believe bdiC\"C [hJ.[ privJ.[e senor sector can c.:ln be and will be incemed incented [U:! [.ie] to [0 build these dlue 1lCt"'Orks., networkJ. to thaT the private to with people J.nd enhance them and mJ.ke nul:e it polSible possible for people peopk to connect ....ith and people with information infornlJ.don any ~y place p6ce in the world. [hink. however. r1,at the governmem tole $enle of I do think. ho"'"CY'CI", thaI t!.t- gow-rnmem role can be Ilrong strong in the sense first. increasing incte;uing investment in dviJian ptecompetirivc tcchnologies. first, civilian research and prccompetitive ledmol.ogies. Secondly, supporring transfu of that technology [echnology to to me rhe priv:ue private secror. supporting the effective tr:lnsfer secror_ Thirdly esrablishing J.nd promulgating tedUlical slandards. which ~re 10 imporestablishing and rechnica.l sr:lndards, ....hich are so tall[ to to be Sure thar networks and devices plJ.y together.o [h~t we tant thaT nerworks play togedler, together, work Together, so that hJ.ve the mOSl mOSt efficient eflickm synem sy~tem in the world. and have wortd. And incentivel incentil"CS for investment investment:rnd reseJ.Tch development,job developmem.job training. tr.lining. resard! Gore replied: J.gru ....hen when it ir comes to conventional nerworks nC[works and the [he new nerworlu [ fully agree ro convention:l1 networks lh~r lhat I Bm with an advanced adVAnced network in the process of building. But your industry is now inlhe like the Nuional Research Resurch and EducAtion Network, it docs does sam seem to me thJ.l me National Education Network. that governmenr ought to playa role;n putring in plJ.Ce thaI backbone. Just a. no priv~[e 10 role in putting placc that backbone.Just as private im'CStor interstate highway system, 'ys[em. bUf but once il WJ.' built, investor w:u wa. willing to build bllild the interstatc It was then ~ [or of Olhn other roads connected to it. thia this new very blW.d broad b~nd band high capJ.dry capacity a lot network mOSt people peop[r think ~lKIthen lhink ought to be built by the federal govt'rnnlenl government and then tr.lnsitioned imo pnv;ue induury. You didn'r meJ.n to diugree with th~t view tr.msitioned into privare industry. did"l mean to di.agree that when you said government govemment should play J. role did youl playa you! To which Allen responded, "Yes I J may dis:lgree.~ disagree."" TIle next day, day; USA Tod/l] Todl1J reponed OIl the exchange under the reported on The headline "AT&T's Allen Feuds with Gore.~' Gore.""
UJ 113

Networks and the Soci:l1 Social Imagination

Networks and the Social Imagination Sociallmaglnadon

There's a point of view that sees this dispute as mete.!y technical. Gore and metely technicOl!' Allen both :agreed agreed with the basic Bushi:al' Bushian approach in which government funds resureh and then hands things off to private industry for practical devel_ deve.!_ inirial initial reseOlrch opment; the question was simply about whether the initial backbone fot for a proSllOUld be governmenr-creared posed high bandwidth network should government-created and then handed off to (0 industry industty or built by the private sector from the beginning. Brian Kahin, OUt a coordinating role in this effort thtough who was already staking s~king out through rhe the Ken_ nedy School's Information Infrastructure Project, Ptoject, turr l:uer complained th;u that the issue.~ As fllr as he was cOllcerned, everyone Gore-Allen exchange 'confused the issue,~ far concerned, confused already assumed that the internet "opened up to the private sector.~ a1re.;dy inu:rnet would be ~opened secror.~ The alre:ady was being beillg built from the bonom-up bortom-up by private entities-com_ network already nerworlc panies 2nd OInd universities-providing local loul area nerwooo nerworkli and workst.ations; workst:ltions: the he.!p ne.;r nC:lr the center, with some ~top-down ~rop-down government was just jUst providing some help Private comp:lnies :lnd MCI Mel h:ad already gotten gouen government subsidies.~ Priv.ate cornpmies like IBM .and had a.lready contracts technology. ;and contr.llctS to build signific2nt signific.ant pUts parts of the technology, md in some cues, cases, accordg:lve bids below cons, presulIl:lbly because they viewed this (0 K:lhin, Kahin, they gave COSts, presuma.bly ing to For someone like !Cahin, Kahin, all this W2S sinlply re.;sonreasonas an R&D invenmenr." a.s .an invesnnent." Fot w:LS simply priv:ue effOrts; efforts; concerns a.bout about the public internet able coordination of public :and md priv.ate being~rurned ovcrover- to priv;ate being~turned priv.ate enlerprise enterprise were much ado about nothing. nothing, But ado there would be. Ambiv.alence Ambivalence abom about the appropriate relations tthtions between betwetn government and for-profit enterprises .are arc woven into the American soul. The Gore-Allen exchange would be jusr first in a sporadic series squ:absuies of public squabGOte-Allen exchmge jUst the fint reve:aling uncertainty uncert:ainty over the me boundaries bouncb.ries between the private priv.ate and md public bles reve.;ling StatuS of the internet in the years to squabbles would be (0 come. come, Some of these squa.bbles status various types; typcs; .anticotpQt:lte anticorporate activists would mounted by political activists of va.rious goods, and complain about the theft of public gOQd$, md economic conservatives conserv.arives would try compl.ain to prove that thar AI Gore (and public funding) had han nothing to to do with wirh the success ro of the internee. internet. But, even for those with less specific politic~l political agendas, rhe the GoreAllen exch.ange exchange t:lises [;lises deep questions: who decides these things~ things? Is it right that thar corporare loyalties, loy.alries, be allowed such influence someone like Allen, with obvious cOtpQt:lte ehis level of decision making~ making? And was AI Al Gore's vision of a supportive govover this ernment in\'estment invesrment :as to be? be~ cle.anly rational as he made it out to as de:anly Looking back on his le:ldership legislOltive suppOrt support for the NSFleadership in developing legisl:ltive s:aid during the 1000 "I took NET, Gore said :woo c:unpaign campaign for u.s. U.S. president, -I rook the initiative on the internet." This st:ltement statement was then attacked in print by libertarian Wirtd reporrer Oedan Wired magazine reporter Declan McCullough and eventually rwisted twisted by v:arious varioils Republic<lns rhat Gore uid said he invented the internet." internec,4J From Republicans into the sound bite that PUndl there it went on to be<:ome become a favorite joke of late night comedians and a punch line in a TV pizza <ld. ad. It was a false slur, and it was irresponsible of reporters reporrers <lnd politici:lns to repeat thar cOlmpaign; it seems and politicians t!lat sound bite up to the end of the c:llllpaign;
114 114

~Gore said he invented the internet" quip did at least as much plausible that the "Gore damage d.amage to Gore's final nnal vote COUnt COUnt as Ralph Nader. But what's important about this rhis episode is that, while the sound bite was facrua\ly was funny. And it was funny because it appeals to a common rually untrue, it w.as skepticism about the orderly, managerial mode of thought associated with techas Washington was concerned, the NREN was far .as nology policy like Gore's. As ("lr consistent with traditional tt:lditional corporate cotpQrare liberal policy; it was to be a technology test rest eventually be implebed, something that mat would provide innovations thar that would evenru.ally seeror. And it would develop 011 mented and broadly deployed by the priv:lte priv.ate .sector. on a b:asis, nearly national basis, c0tpQt:Ine.;dy coordinared coordinated by orderly consortia of established COrpOr:ltions Dons like IBM .and and AT&T, perhaps eventually linking up with equally equ.ally otderly orderly systemS systems developing in other nations around the world. It was all very highNSFNET minded. lET initiative minded.. The information superhighway superhighw:ly predicted by Gore's NSF would be used by scientists for sophisticated research :lnd perhaps as .a a kind of and pema.ps dectronic library parrons would quietly and studiously gather Iibt:lry where thoughtful rhoughtful patrons information. useful information, h:ld in mind was Gore Gore: did take r.ake the initiative initiari\'C on the internec, internet, but what he h.ad conveying a cornuhardly the chaotic, explosive phenomenon that hMd1y th.at would soon be conveying.a and irrational copia of pornography, pop culture, culrure, conspiracy theories, md irt:ltional exuberance of gently .self-mockself-mockha\'e in mind the kind ofgently throughout the globe. And he did not h:ave ing, open, delibet:ltive deliberative process that was taking pl.ace place on com-priv.

Conclusion To wha,textenr what extent did the h.abir habit ofattention of:attention to social process thar that evolved in the 19805 1980s matter internet: In the C:lrly eventual triumph of m.atter in the history of the intemet~ early 19805, the evenru.al the internet, especially especi.ally of the TCP/IP protocol developed for the ARPANET, foreordained. Numerous other experimental networking efforts was by no means foreordained, and Engineering were running running;lr rhe rime, such as Brit.ain's Brit:lin's SERCNET (Science .and at the time, such.as Research Council Network), Cyclades network that inspired some Netwotk), the French Cycl.ades of the rechniques propriet:ary packettechniques thar that had been brought into TCP/IP, TCPIIP, and proprietary m:lnUDCturers such internerworking sysrems switched inrernetworking systems provided by computer manufacturers K1S networking standard, which as DEC's OECNET. DECNET. Most prominently, ~he X.2S ar the time :and intern:ational bodwas working commercially at and h:ad had the supporr support of international relecommunications carriers, ies and telecommunications c.arriers, was considered by many to be the obvious [n Ftance. wave of the future. In France, the PTT brought networking to common people with Minitel, whereas in the rhe United States, networking remained largely buried away inside universities and the military-industrial milituy-industrial complex for moSt most of the 19805. Minitd and other ocher teletex systems seemed to many like the obvious way to to 1980s. Minitel telcrcx syStems interll:ational body bring digital communication to consumers. 11,e The conventional international
115

Networks and the Social Imagination Nerworks

Networks :lnd Imagination and the Social Sociallmaginarion

for $Cuing hard at dc\'eloping.a developing a global setting technical standards, st.and.ards, the ISO, was w.as working h.ard.at than the imerinterp:lcket switching protocol called 051, in theory more adl':lllced packet .adl'anced th.an TCP/IR ner's TCP/IP. net's Moreovcr, by 1980. 1980, the cold war rhar had gillen given urgency to ARPAI ARPA/ Moreover, w.ar consensus that DARPA in the 1950S and 1960S W1S was gone. \Vhen When the newly elected Ragan Rt:lgan Stra:ldministration eng.aged engaged in some high-tech saber rattling in the form of the Sna.administration Initiative, the tbe computer nerworks networks at Xerox PARC hummed hUlllmed with tegic Defense Iniri.ative, and a network discussion lisr list W2S was formed in Ocrober October expressions of opposition, .and of 1981, which in 1981 lead to tbe creation of Computer Professionals for Social 1981. the Responsibility (CPSR). The group became inrernarionally internationally prominent for rheir opposirion ro to Reagan's SDI (popularly known as Srar Sr:lr W.ars), Wars), which was based opposition that high rechnology-backed technology-backed by rhe the Iarest btest computets-could ?n the theory rhat computers-could to shoot down enemy ICBMs. The prognm program W2S was not nOt only destabilizing be ustd used to :IS :II a belligerent threat, argued, but it would not to be percei\'ed perceived :as and likely to thre.at, CPSR .argued, the F.illible F.tlJible nature of computing. In sum, the full intensity of the work because of rhe heatcd politic.al political disputes had .appe.ared appeared within the still riny tiny world of day's most heated computcr felt it was legitimate computer networking. Some, like Conway and Kahn, still fclt we:lpons-rclated research, but that th:lt choice was W:lS no longer taken raken for to engage in weapons-related "isions characn:ristic Char:lcteristic of granred. The easy combination of social with military \'isions granted. Licklider's early work could no longer be assumed. So why did the internet succeed~ all technological st.andards, stand:lrds, OIIC has succeed: As with aU one h.u timing. economics, ecollomics, or for a ceruin certain amount of dumb luck: of accidents of riming. to allow .allow for.a l3etamax \'S. "S. VHS Story is a F.i\'orire favorite example; rhe the adoption :ldoption in the politics. The Beumax stand:lrd for color tele"ision early Unired Sr:ltes United States of the mediocre NTSC standard tele\'ision in the arly 1950~ is i~ another. One needs need~ to uke take seriously the rhe possibility that many or most mosr 1950S rhe reasons for rhe the interner's internet's e\enrual eventual success over ~ys of the oller other standards and sys:Ire simply ones of historica.! hisrorical accident. One commonly offered explanation tems .are the internet's inrernet's TCP/IP TCPlIP standards, st:lJ1dards, for example, is simply money llIolley for the success of rhe defense department dep:lttment funding into the 1980s, 1980.1, rhe the internet's inrernet's and timing. Buored Buoyed by defen~ .and teached :a a critical mass of effecti\'eness effecti"cness llJld at a :l time timc TCP/IP standards reached and users .at financial supstandards, not:ably not:lbly 051, were still struggling to achie"e when other srand.ards, achie\'e financia.! pon and political and technial technical stability. Had some historical accident slowed the port OSI up, the argument goes, intemetworking internetworking may llIay h:lI'e have internet down or sped 051 followc.d:l quite different parh. path. followed a quitt -llut rerrospect, cle:arly dearly somerhing something was done right in the 1980S, and That said, in retrospeCt, just the tbe adoption adoprion of the rhar something was nOt not purely technical; it was not JUSt that tcdmologies of packet switching switcbing and end-to-end design in the tbe abstract. specific technologies some political lessons to be learned le:ltned from the success suc(:ess of the internet. illlernet. TIlere :Ire arc sOlne effe<:ti"e (:ommuniclltions Most obviously, the internet was not turned into an effective communications medium by two guys in a garage, gar:.lge, by corporate leadership, Ot or by real or imagined
J 16 Jl6

"isions and enttepreneurilll fables that caused eaused market demand." demand. w The (tee free market \'isions entrepreneurial f.ables o"et the microcomputer in the 1980S .also also created a culture to obsess over American culwre that for fot the most part rendered invisible in"isible the coll:lborative, blind spot thar collabor:.lti\'e, social instiinternet. To a Large large degree, the Context context ror fot the creation of tutions that created the interner. W:lS defined by nonprofit institutions usinggo\'ernment using go"ernment funding. funding, with the internet was participation by the private sector, senor, by individu.a.ls indi"idua15 consciously working in a collabpanicipation mode who valued freely sh.aring sharing information and code within the technical orative mode. they were definitely not entrecommunity. \Vhatever Whatever one m:akes makes ofthose processes, rhey those rerms-and the rhe bro.ad broad preneurial or market driven in any obvious senses of rhose facrwould ha"e subsr.antial substantial consequences in rhe the 1990S. public ignorance ofthat f:act would have what, exacdy, were those processes! processes~ One can find individua.!s individuals of m.any many But whar, stripes among me the computer pioneers of the 1970S and 1980S 1980s who still dn.w draw di\'erdi"erstripc.s Nrlium, writgent political conclusions condusions from the period. Hauben Hliuben and lind Hauben's Netizrm, 1990.1 as a critique of rhe marketplace enthusiasms rime, ten during the 1990S emhusi:asms of the time, de"e1opment point towards have the lessons of Unix and ARPANET de\'elopmenr would ha\'e comlllunitarianism. Yer Yet Stelle Steve Crocker, for example, the value of an antimarket communitarianism. start-ups; he hI'. apparently app:lrently does not see sec a has been invol\'ed invol"ed in several commercial stan-ups; fundament:ll "aluing a syStem fundamental incompatibility between valuing system in which "results are distributed free of charge around the world to e"erybody" e\'erybody" and private ptivate enterprise. If amongst engineers, it is probably still some version there is a dominant view lIiew amongSt \'ersion of V:lnnevar Bush's: technological innovarion requires a mix of public lind priYate Vanne\'ar innovation and ptivate efforts, where the p.attem panern is for nonprofit institutions illstitutions co to do basic research and :lnd effortS, framtworks and protocols, which are then passed. perhaps establish shared fn.meworks passed on to Conw:lY, for example, has private industry for de"elopment pri\f:tte development into working systems. sYStems. Conway, ways that her work at PARC and Later later have fed into tepeatedly emphasi<:ed the repeatedly emph.uized wotk private start-ups qualifies the collabon.ti\'e collaborative sense of what was the creation of pri\f:tCe starr-ups and qua.!ifies "new kind of col1:aborao\'C/comperiti\'e coll:lborativelcompetiti"e environment.-" ell"ironment.~" going on by calling it a -new there is :a a relative relativc :autonomy autonomy of And, in the end, it must be acknowledged that mere engineering; engineers who work together are focused above all al1 on gening gctring comimperati"e seems ro to be able ro Cte:lte create coopen.cooperawork, and that imperati\'C plicated things to work. tion among :lmong engineers with quite different socia.! social and political proclivities. rion PUt of whar what happened W2S was that, ror for key networking pioneers in the 1980S, 1980.1, Part lIttention to social, institutional, and political rel:lrions became increasingly folded attention rel:ations beame S:lme way that learning a foreign lanconcerns, In roughly lhe the same into their technical concerns. gramrll:lr ofone's naei\'e native language, the act aware ofthe gr:.lmmar guage often makes one more awatc Inade one more awate aware of social relations. of building computer networks made rclarions. Di"erse Diverse gatew:lYs between indi"iduals and institutions est:lblished effective tecbnical individuals established effecd\'e rechnical gateways bctween netinteroperate, and :lnd works, developing protocols that :l11ow allow different machines to inreroperate, cornplexities of communication to broughr many of the material complexities similar tasks brought theit awareness. This was nor not wirhout f\lrthermore. Over time, the their without its pleasures, furthermore.
117

Networks and the Social Soci:LI Imagination hmgin;ltion Nel:Works

Nerworb Imaginulon Networks ;Ind and the Social Imagination

nelWork grew, (reating situation whcrc whete logging in always brought with it thc the network creating a situarion the discussion discuuion list, new connections and gateways possibility of new members of rhe contacts, As the netwotking networking pioto other networks-to new people, new social contacts. TO neers became more experienced with these fundamentally social aspects of netaffiIirs, working, working.. some of them eventually became involved in national legislative affilirs, in[l;rnational struggles inside the ehe militarymilitary_ international regulatory regulaTOry debates, and some unique snuggles the broad public eye, they laid the foundations far for industrial complex. Out of rhe become today's internet, both on the technicallevd teehnicallevel and on the level what would bome of political habits ofgovernance. of governance. 1983, rhe the ro-that-point to-that-point largely informal, open, democr.nic democr3tic culture of early In 198], internet governance and technological development W2S was given crucial cruci:!l instituinstiruinrerner \Vhat could have. have been a minor aberration in the history of militionalsupport. support. 'Nhat tional tary-funded computing was instead nourished and encouraged so that it would would by lay the foundations fOt for eventually provide the technology and ethos that would evenruaIly would be anothet today's internet. It ,",,'QuId another decade before the internet would explode on global stage and overt:lke numetous corporate efforts to popularize popul:!ri:l:e computer the g10~1 overtake numerous realiution of the long dreamed-of communication. becoming the vehide for the boming \'ehide 1983 decision to network, But the Department Departmenr of Defense's 198] multipurpose global nerwork. suppOrt a packet-switched packet.switched network free from military command hierarchies was support a key moment in creating the conditions in which open TCP/IP packet-switched nctworking was able to gradually evolve into inro the all-pervasive aU-pervasive internet.S> internet," A comnetworking attuned to the values and pleasures of ofdecenrrali::ed munity of researchers already aITuned decentralized dle evolution evolmion hori::olltal means of governing the computer networking and informal, horizontal RFC. and volunury voluntary committees was given the fundof the technology through RFCs ing and legitimacy neceuary necessuy to to further cultinte cultivate the network outside the immedimiliury hierarchies hier:trchies and rhe the profit imperative, imperative. ate pressures of both military thar the decision was as much a product of The previous discussion suggests that COmputer enginttrs engineers as of specific institutional the culture of the community of compurer needs or designs. designs, A large parr of what would come to triumph with the explointernet is a particular particul:tr vision of what compUterS sion of the inrernet computers are-writing technologies, devices for manipulating and communicating symbols among equalsassociated with a particular kind of informal social vision, a set of beliefs about partly human social relarions. relations, That TIlat vision first appeared in the late 1960S at le:lst rhe [ate least pardy 1960s counterculture, quietly grew through the 1970S, under the influence of the 1960S Il\:lking within and by the early 19805 1980s had sufficient influence to shape decision making i. neither monolithic nor self-evidently self-evidellrly the Department of Defense. Thar That vision is 1983 decision in particular illustrates the extent politically generali::able. But the 198] generalizable. Bur about network organization has been shaped as to which key decision making abom eOlnlllUllities of innovators as by macrom:llcromuch by the cultures of the relevant communities structural and economic forces.
118

The Moment of Wired


\Vhen it if comes to ro smashing snushing a paradigm, plea$l,l~ plealure is nOt not ehe the most importam important thing. It is is ehe the only thing. [The web browser] browser) Mo~ Mosaic is nOt not ehe the mosr direct way co to find Ie mOSt di""cr information. Nor is ie it the mo,se most powerful. [I [t is merely the mo,e mOst p1e:asurpleasur. online informacion. the 18 months month5 since it w;u was released, Monic indted a nuh rush of able w:lly,:lnd way, and in ehe MO$,l.k has in<ited excitement :lind Ihe Net. Net, exotement and commercial energy unprecedented unJ'"'cwented in the history of the -Wired, Oct. 1994 (10 monlhs month. befon before the Ihe Nencape -lVi",J, Netscape IPO)

the Cubicle: Cubicle: Revelations in the Computing in in the the Early 19905 1990S White-collar Computing
Recall-or. if you are young enough, imagine-what it was like to go online in Recall-or, At the rime, desktop computers had recently lost their novelty the early 19905. 199OS. Ar life. Word processing had, in the preceding and become a routine parr part of office life, live years, become a standard secret:llrial skill, and a new desktop computet compmer was five Standard secretarial skiU, standard pan part of an :lin academic job offer, offer. The 11le desktop computer had bome become JUSt a Standard routine, like [ike the photocopier, another part of office routine. photocopier. small minority, a smaIl In most offices, however, people who used email were still :I was unknown, Those 1110se who had experimented with email enlail a bit and web browsing W2S CompuServe, Prodigy, had done so typically within specific, confined worlds like CompuSet\'C, bad of several restricted :IIcademic Ot corporate corpOrate networks. lletworks, academi, or local bulletin boards, or one of.severa.! technically possible wirh with the computers computerS that time was thus te,hnically Going online at the rime were on the rhe desks ofjournalists, ofjournalists. academics, and other professionals, but bur it was a compUter professional, profeuional, it W2S was something Iinle OUt of the ordinary. If you weren't a computer little our of curiosity; it took a subsunti:l1 substantial amOunt amount of time :md to you did out and was unlikely to m:lJority, comrhe way of immediate yield much in the immr:diate practical value. For the vast majority, If munications that manered mattered still happened exclusively on p:llper paper or on the phone. If most people around you did not. 110t, you went online you knew that moSt Going online typically required rel:Juired purchasing purch:llsing and plugging in a roughly paperthem). The hack-si:l:ed nOt routinely conic come equipped with rhem). back-sized modem (computers did not lhshing red lightS, lights, :lind modem had a bank of mysterious flashing and using it involved installing, configuring. termin:lll program, typing commands, listenconfiguring, and then running a terminal ing to the squealing modem, modeln, and typing in another cryptic series of commands p:llsswords. There was no pointing and clicking yet in the online world.Jllst and passwords. world. JUSt
"9

NeTWorks and the Social Sociallmaginarioll Nerworb Imagination

it ~ll going wu was at least a forty-five-mintlte forty_live_minute time investment. And then fig_ getting it:l.lI what to do once signed on was a further challenge. GateWOlYS Gateways between uring out our whar computer nerworks networks were still being consrructed. constructed. As a say, an compurer 01 result, to send, SOly, email from the BITNET network-then common at less technicOlI technical universi_ ries-across the still srilllimited to be he undwiched sandwiched ries-:across limited internet, the email addresses had h:l.d [0 prefitced by IN'l6-thusly: IN%-thusly: IN%~T IN'l6"T _STREETER@ between quote marks and prefaced uvmvax.uvlI\.edu~ -and this u~chniC2l technical detail WOlS was not nor euy easy to find OUt. out. uvmvax.uvm.edu-:and mastered such arcana, you could then enter into a secrel secret world. But, once you maslered d,e conlen context in which a message appeared on a number of discussion This was the February 1993, prefaced with lhe the following: lists in FebruOlry From:IN,, TNC@GITYMI,B1TNEr-TECHNOCULTURE' discussion FrondN""TNC@GrTVMI.BITNEr-TECHNOCULTUREdiKUSSion list" u-FEB-I993 12-FEI~-199) 11:48:5639 1l:48:S6.)9 !is( To:! N""T N""T_STREETER@uvltwax,uvm.tdu--nlomas Sm~rer To:1 _STREETER@uvnwu.uvm~u " lhomas Sr~n"" PelT)' &r1ow I~~rlow matS m~en the lhe spooks Subject: John Perry Folks, folio. Thi.lovcly mi"i~ arne came from fronl SURFPUN~ SURFPUNKs (subscription (aubscription info below). The Tht' This Jo..c1y missive idu ofJPB giving:an giving an invited <iddros add~n on tromologr technology to 10 me the imdligen: imelligence (sic) comcom idea muniry is just J()OOO aoooo s....eer. sweel. And it', it's a good sptteh, spCh, roo. munity LaIT)' Huntu Hunter Larry The bulk of the messagr: message was the lext address given a few monlhs months before, in teXl of an Olddress given:a Decembet Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) cofounder John Perry December 1992, by Eleclronic Barlow to 01 a conference on N:ational National Security ouuide outside of ofWashingron, DC.' As me the furlow Washington, DC' message m:ade made dear, clear, many members mcnlbets of rhr: the U.S. intelligr:nce intelligence community (that is, the CIA, NSA, FBI) FUI) werr: were pusent. presenr. Barlow's agenda as EFF repusenrarive representative w:.u was to ro lhe speech and priv:acy privacy in educate this community about Olbout the value of protecting free sper:ch realm. the digital reOllm. :1 skeptical audir:nce, audience, most of us are arc likely to Ordinarily, when spaking speaking to to a adopt a cateful, careful. formOlI. formal, conformist rhetorical Str:uegy. downplay our ollr 2dopt $Cnleg)', We would downpby and differencr:s differences :md having deep respeer disagreements 2nd disagreemenlS :and represent ourselves as hOlving respl for the audience members. Barlow, however, began his lalk talk this WOly: way: lhe yOlllhc Knl~ of 11l":l.ngcnus that comu over som~one who earns his hi.lh'I can't tell you dle JCnJC str.mgcness dl'lt comeS someone .... ho urns li,, wriring Gr:mful Gmeful Dead .ongs, ~ple who urn um Iheir many ing writing songs, addressing addre'iSing people meir livings al as nuny upecially after huring Ihe last lut speaker. lj>C'ak.-r, If you don'r don't appreciate of you do, especially he.aring dle appreci.are the irony of our appe...ring suec~"ion, you have no ""nSe l~nK of irony at all.", ofour appr:1ring in succession, all.. lh~ ruson absolulcly nothing to do with the Gmeful 111e reUOn I am here has absolutely Grateful Dead. I'm I m~t a fellow named Milch Despile obvious I'nl here because lOleta Mitch Kapor in 1989. Despire diffe~nces. I felt fclt as if we'd wea both been up in the same nucer or .. , thar that differences, SOlme saucer Or something somerhing ... we shared sh...rtd a sense of con'puten mOTC.lhan JUSt better adding machines machinICs or a cOOlpmas being mOre than just better rypewriten;. rypewriten. We saw uw that rim computers, computen, connected conn~cled together, rogedler, had the capacbetteT

cre...re an mvironment mvironmenr which human hum...n beings bdngs could inh... bit.. " 111e '111e iry to create co~tld and did inhabit.... ~ple who shue this aw,.eness ar~ narives of rhe future, People who ha~ a h...rd people sh:lre awareneu arc the future. have hard with ir it may always lwa),$ be be: immigrann. immigl":l.nts, rime ....ith Mirch and nd I saw rhat thai computers had created cruted a pbce, plu~. we $tarred starl~d asking When Mitch what kind of place it w:u.... was" .. We decided to name it SOme questions about whac ir Cyberspace, after afrer Bill Gibson's descriprion description ofa of a futuri.ric futuristic place mher rather like it which we found in his novel Neuromancer.' Neuromal1cer.' round cenrral example of some h2bits habits of l.J.lk talk and thought Here is a 01 central thoughl that would into thr: rhe mainnream mainstream with enormous impact. impacr. Barlow WOlS was the soon be moving inro key figure in importing the tbe rerm term cybwJ"lu eybuspace from fi-om the world of science-lictionscience-fictionf.m pmgn.mmers programmers into inro middlebrow discourse; hete2frer, heteafter, the internet interner could be &n just as .a a tool or set of devices with predictable polentials, potentials, but bur as envisioned, not jusl space to to be explored 2nd and lhus thus aV2iJable aV.:.lil.:.lble for any number of collecan unknown Space tive projr:ctions, projections, particularly the frontier met2phor-mOlde met.:.lphor-made explicil explicit in the name Barlow's found2tion. foundation. Bur But this pamcul2r particular refiguring of the fronner frontier metaphor of B2rlow's W.:.lS also heavily inBa::led inflected with tropes ftom from lhe the 1960S counterculrure; Barlow's W2S 19605 counterculture; Cwe'd borh been up in the s.ame same saucer missive featured a studied informality rwe'f s:aucer missivr: w or something. something.~ ~Mitch,~ ~Mir(h,~ "Bill"'); ~Bilr); 2 a pleasure pleasute in iconoclasm rif (Wif you don't 2ppreciappreciate the irony"); and .a a f1ambop.m flamboyant individualism :ate individu.alism (in the EFF's relentless focus on personal priV2ey privacy :Illd and liberties), liberties). But this bit of Compuler computer counterculturalism counlerculruralism also h:.J.d.:Ill had an associnion association with power (the CIA!). And, crucially, in :a a classic counaI.so [erculrural m;meuver, instead Hattering his audience or downpl.aying downplaying his diftercultural maneuver, of flattering ferences from them, furlow Barlow offers them a choice between being one who gets gcts it ir Accept his rhetoric:.al rhetorical universe, 2nd and you are a "native of the and one who doesn't. ACtq't 01 ~native fUrure:' Reject it, howevr:r, however, 2nd and you are arc lhre2tened threatened with always being an immifurure.~ gt3nt lhere. thcre. gt"2nt me time, rime, r=ding rcading a missivr: missive like this on a monochrome screen, perhaps durdutAt lhe late 2l at night nighr at home, had an arresting ing a slow day at the office or perhaps lue effect, Ihe lone cubicle dweller who had mastered mastertd effect. Barlow's BOlr!ow's email suggested to the email th.at that a nr:w new semc rhe online world. Tht sense of energy was emerging in the The inconofficiab was funny, of gruous juxtaposition of a Grateful Dead Dc:l.d lyricist with CIA official.. but also enticing; how many people get inviutions invitations to talk to to CIA offiCOurse, bur cials, much less go on to lweak tweak the officials' noses and Olnd get away with it! itf Here was SOmeone whose tax br;lcket bracket and espionage experience were probably comparable was boldly preaching to an established, esublished, powerful, and sometimes to yours, yet he \VOlS opening, a new avenue towards violent institution. The situation suggested a new opening. power. As a white-collar reader of this text in early 1993, '993, you felt uniquely privy to pOWer, this intriguing opening because you were among the elite few who had mastered rhe procedures needed to arcanc art of online access. The relative obscurity of the the arcane

110

llle Moment Momel1r of Wired Wirrd 'TIle

121

The Momenr of Wired

auta of being part of a spial special group. You, who the message only added to to the aura get me the joke and technically could get access to it, were invired invited to be he one of both gor me the v:mguard, one of Barlow's ~nati\'es "natives of the future.~ future." h me vangu;rrd, It gave you a new sense of what it mam meant to be sitting in one's office typing. ryping. a new, hipper, les.s less ordinary, sense of self. effecc was indeed delicious. The effect professionals and white-collar workers In the early 1990S, growing numbers of profession:ds were being surprised by this kind of experience on their rheir desktop computers. As ~riety of online access increased from month to the number of people with some variety month. and more [110re people had an experit:nce experience of stumbling srumbling upon something month, more ;Illd sTtiking; it could be a surprising exchange on an email discussion list, involving a striking; tidbit of insidt:r insider information from afar. revelaafllr. Or it could be a titillating personal revela_ Illoment when stories of email romances began to circulare circulate in tion; this was the moment popular folklore. h It could be a new fonn of access to something or someone, like the personal MTV gopher created as a hobby by MTV vee-jay Adam Curry; me accessing his gopher gave one a kind of petsonal personal access to a media figure, to somethe television screen. scrt:en. one ordinarily shielded behind the glossy professionalism of (he treated TO ro a Barlow-like iconoclastic moment in April (Fans of this gopher were treaTed [994 when Curry, with wiTh a 19605 1960S Aourish Rourish of rebellion, rehellion, announced his resignation 1994 from MTV on air. He was resigning in order to pursue his digital activities full theory that me the digital world was the wave of the time, on the then-astonishing thoory future, and television was obsolete.)1 obsolete.)' Something the ordinary, it .seemed, seemed, fUture, Somerhing out of me was afoot. St;ues, the microcomputer indusrry industry hOld had By the early 1990S in the United $tues, was no longer enchOinting. enchanting. Microcomputers so far were triumphed, but it wu rurning out oue to be he office machines, OInd and most of the computers in the home turning oue to be mosdy mostly wOlys w:l.ys to do office work after :I.fter hours. Most of the 19805 1980s turned our effons home market-for example, the elforrs to sell computers specifically for the rhe hOllle rhe Sincl:.J.ir, the PCJt-had gradually disapSinclair, rhe Commodore 64, the Atari, the IBM PCJr-had pe:lred. The little linle compurers compun:rs did nor seem quite so personal :l.nymore. Not anymore. Nor peared. the desktop computer become a co[n[l1onplace :1.11 only had (he deskrop compurer commonplace of office life, wirh all its associiltions :lssociations with buraucraey, buruucracy, but the compOinies companies that made microcompurmicrocomputirs ers no longer seemed like the boisterous garage starr-ups start-ups of popular capitalist capit:llist en mythology; by 1990, Microsoft had pushed aside the rhe grey, arrogant, arrog:lnt, predierpredictable monopoly of IBM-and 113M-and replaced it with another grey, arrogam, arrogant, predict.tble :l.ble monopoly. .tble And, as Barlow's message was W;lS circulating in email discussion lists and newsnewSgroups, [he the firsr \Vit('d had just hit tht: the newsstands; newsst:lnds; wirhin within a year ye2r it ir first issue of Wiml h;lve 2 circulation of Oller 100,000 and a curious re:ldership sever:l.l times over 100,000 readership several timCS would h.tve.t th2t." th.tt.'
122 Ill.

From "Information Superhighway" to "Cyberspace" and HabitllS of Knowledge Workers the Habitus internet enmusiums enthusiasms of the as utoThe interner me 1990S have ha\"C frequently been described .ts pian, but it W2S was really me the inronnacion information superhighwOIy superhighway scen.trio scenario that was utopi:ln, in the for .t a bener better fUture. future. Cybersp.tee, Cybersp:lce, by me sense of offering a blueprint ror pi.tn, contrast, was m.tde made famous mmous in the precedent-setting novel of cyberpunk fiction, contr;l;5t, NeUr01l11lllur, which depictS neat-future world of technological depiers a near-future rechnological vioGibson's N~urolllllllCt:r, lence, cruelty, manipul:ltion, manipubtion, and cynical disaffection-a thac is distincdy distinctly dis.tffeerion-a world that !ence, appeal of Neuromallrer NturOI'WIKtr is less utopian rhan dlall romantic. Its t.tle tale dystopian. The .tppe.tl a nuracive narr:ltive of an auteur outcast hero on .t a desperate quest of a ~console cowbo( is .t initiated by a soreh, search, not for wealth, but for inner tr.tnsform.tcion-for transformaTion-fot lo"e, love, comr:l.deship, and me.tning. nleaning. but also, as if to make me the inner transfonn.ttion transformation comradeship, poinT vivid, an internal physical physic:ll reprogramming so as to allow for bener poim buter net traveling. m.veling. To the computer-operating white-collar worker in me the early '990S, 1990S, Neuromanet:r Nrllrl'JIIWllur a Story scory line th.tt that redefined the act of sining sirring at a keyboard keyoo:lrd emering comprovided .t mands from one of white-collar white-collat drudgery imo an act of exploration and advenm.tnds illtemet as 3 a space, space. a territory rerritory for adventure, ture. Cyberspace, by defining the internet rather than as merely a highway, cowards the end of acces.sing accessing already r.tther highw.ty, a means towards org:lIli%ed information, infonnation, suggested a new potential self-definition for knowledge organiud biformatioll superhighway $14pulJighll'ay sounds clean, obedient, and orderly. The conworkers. Illformafion notations of cybmIMu rykNpau are darker, les.s less regimenred, regimented, more salry-but scary-but thereby mereby more nocations thrilling. Late at night. alone in ill one's cubicle. cubicle, cybmIMCt: rykNpact had h:ld .t a much more alluring mriUing. .tt Cybersp:l.cc did not nOT ol'kr offer a Utapia, uropi:l, a petfecred perfected world; wond; it iT offered a taste raste of ring. Cyberspace selfhood. rebel-hero seUhood. think that romances and revolutions come conle from frolll nowhere, nowhere. as if they We like to rhink are their OWIl explanation and driving force. But of course there's generally a conown .tre CU:t like a mid-lift: mid-life ctisis frustrated and underemployed unden:mployed middle class dur that sets text crisis or a frustrared the conditions for The ch:lI1ge. The 'TIle S:lme of online compuring computing s.tnle is true of the rhe spread ofonline me me change. 199005. early 1990S. in the e.trly l'yber$I'IIU oudil'ed outlived information iliformll/ioll superhighwllY popular To understand why cyberspau JuperhigbwllY in popuhr exactly what kinds of people were getting online access usage, it helps to consider ex.tctly ~ge, in IJl early 1990S. 199005. Typical Typic;ll discussions of social class and computer usc focus on a the e.trly haves versus havt:-notS have-nors continuum, where the concern is extending the benefits of ha\cs computer use lower down on the class c!:l.SS ladder. But illuminaring to look COmputer Bur it is also illumin.tcing upwards on the l:ldder ladder as well: Both Bill Gates janitor that G.ttes and the j.tnitor rhat empties your upw.trds office trash bin can ger along fine without desktop computers in Ihe the day-to-day \\Iork lives. Computers have become .t a cemral feature of the of thtir their work central fe.tture rhe work lives of the knowledge or professional classes, a group That includes middle .pecifically d.tsses,.t that specifically 123 123
Wit"l'iI The Momenrof Momenr ofWiml

Wite'J The Momenr of Wil'td

managel'll, engineers, mid-level mid-Icllc\ government gOllemment bureaucratS, bureaucrats, aCJldemics, academics, and journaljournal. managers, iSts-white-collar knowledge workers. ists-white-coUJlr till': eOlrly tarly 19905, was the (.,ct thon online acces.s acctu the character of the Crucial to rhe 1990S, then, wu f..ct th:1t first among those thost who did their tlKir OWl! Iud the neces_ nectscame firsr OWII word pro(l':jjing processing and thus had sary equipment and experience experienct readily at hand. hand, Graduate students and assistant ~adily u provosts. Middle manprofessors were online before university uni\'ersity presidents and pro\'Osts. CEOs, agers, technicians, and engineers were online before vice presidents and CEOs. agus. relatively journaliSts were online before editors and managers. TIlis is a ~Iatively Mid-level journalists managen. This unusual pattern of technological diffusion; networking entered social life through as the photocopy machine rather than rhrough through the top-down difdif_ the same portal u the telephone or the consumer-distribution patterns of televitclelli fusion patterns of rhe 111is patrern pattern rhus thus meant me:.ant that the sense of something importam important happening sion. This in networking would hir hit the middle ranks of the knowledge dus class before it hit their superiors. theit supcrllighway, and the corporate libet:ll liberal technology policy The information superhighway, halle been reasonable, forward looking, and economically for which it stood, may have rarional. Bur Dut it lacked a sense of enchamment, enchantment, Developing government-business gOllernmellt-business rational. partnerships that would encourage investment in wide-area computer networkpartnetships exchangt may have been a good idea, bur, ing for purposes of information exchange but, for the belly, dwellet, it did nor typical cubicle dweller, not generate much fire in the belly. 199;:, the stage was thus set ser for the middle ranks In the years leading up to 1995, high to be treated to a drama of obliviousness from above, an objecr lesson in highlevel bewilderment. Ir It was the people who typed their own memos, reports, term le\d the internet first md and import2nce of rhe papers, 2nd md journal articles who sensed the importance Cyberspact, with wirh its watched the higher-ups snuggle srruggle to catch up with them. Cyl>uspau, then warched rOtllantic him hinr of a rebellious self image, better captured the sense ,~ense ofpleasure of pleasure and rom:mtic trump the [he staid rhey felt in watching their secret world rrump open-ended possibility they world of or their superiors. superiors, ,",'Orld

parr of the rhetoricOlI rhetorical foundation found3rion of ourlets outlers like the hacker website Sluhdot Slashdot or part Wired; in the constanr constant cavalier c2valier dismissal of vaguely \I:l.guely defined, old~ Wirrd; Nold" institutions instimtions IIiew (for example, example. Microsoft, television networks, government gOllernment 2nd and points of view :Ire Aattering flattering readers by implicitly Keynesianisrn) these media are bureaucracies, Keynesianism) implicirly all2nr-garde. As John Perry Barlow wu was including them rhem in the knowledgeable avant-garde. the mammals, mammab, and those rhose powerful people fond of implying, You are one of us, rhe dinosaurs. are the dinosauts. 'When a marginal social movement accurately anticipates in the public eye a \Vben leadership, the effect can significant historical f..ilure failure ofjudgment on the part of leadenhip, powerfuL Being right about something when the powers th:lt thar be were wrong. wrong, be powerful. example, was a central collective experience experiellCe of the 1960s counterculture; by for example,. telellision networks, networks. the Nrw New York Timrs, Timej, and 1969, the world had watched the television political establishment change rheir their position On on the VierVietmany members of the politil:al f.,i1ure to importance nam War. In the mid-1990S, it would be the failure to anticipate the importmce of the che internet, and, in the late 1990S the value of open software. software, And parr part of rhe the interner, :lnd, to iconoclasm and to power of such moments is that they open the door to to new thoughr; if the rhe authorities are arc wrong about that lhat one thing, thing.. what else currents of thought; mighr they have missed? might collective experience establishes At the same time, this kind of collccrive establish'es the conditions for dearly beneficiOlI beneficial drawing fot a less clearly dtawing of boundaries between those who knew and the listener that th2t he at or she and the those wllo who didn't. Vv'hat \har this phrase does is tell rhe don'r could be the rhe P2rt of the elite group who ger speaker are part get it, it. 11,e The ones who don't Penragon, the media, or your pa~nts; parents; in any case, there's a :I thrill in the implic2implicaPentagon, ri,e world, tion that chat you and I stand apanapart from despised others in rhe rion If being righr right about some central client like Vietnam or the internet gives the evenr thetoric of getting it force, accuracy accura,y in general genera! is not necessary or even ellen a pteconpreconrhetoric 'Illc internet inrernet was only discussed in passing in for the rhetoric to work. The dition fot Wir~d's fint first issue; Rosseno Rossetto had to catch careh up to the cenrrality centrality of the internet like Wirras elleryone else in the media, And, more importantly, once the rhetorical ground everyone established by whatever means, a powerful [fOpe trope for &huning shutring down inquiry is is esrablished a\l:l.ilable. In rhe the interview interlliew mentioned above, when Rossetto was asked if made nude available. replied ~no." ~no'- When asked if he's an atheist, 2theist, he :.also replied -no,N ~no,w he's religious, he ~plied also ~plied and then continued: ~It's not worth thinking abour... , I mean, I've gone beyond ~d -It's about.... it.... The TI,e rhetoric of-they ofthey JUSt don't get ger it~ ic~ can create creare conditions thar that make this It.... wis~, The teader reader or heater hearer is made kind of shutting down of inquiry sound wise. mOlde autoquestioning.. or complexity, evell ellen to themmatically wary of voicing any criticism. criticism, questioning, wrong.. you risk revealing rellea!ing telves. Idves. Express doubts, and you risk being worse than wrong, prillileged club; you JUSt )'ourself to be a dinosaur and rhus no longer part of the privileged yOurself don't get it.

[he Countercu)ture:"They Councerculrnre:"Thcy JUSt Just Don'[ Don't Get Get It" Ie" Tropes from [he
Wired. had experienced both the original 1960s 19605 Louis Rossetto, cofounder of Wirrd, COUllterculture and 2nd irs its emerging computer-culmre cOmputer-culture variant, the former fOflner:l.S a colcol counterculmre as :I die latrer latter as the editor of a small journal :lbout about desktop comlege student, rhe EI~(lrir Word,' Word. l He has said he modeled Win"d Wired on the early publishing. Electric puter publishing, Rolling Stour-rhe Stont-the sincere, preironic, early 19705 1970S Rolliug Rollillg StOlle, when it was Rollillg stars as oracles of or a revolution based in San Francisco and celebrated rock StarS Rossetto frequemly frequently dismissed m:linstre:l1TI mainstream media's in human consciousness, consciousness," Rosscno it'-' 11,e technology cOllerage coverage with the phrase, "they just don't get it."" The phrase is

124

WI11:a The Moment of Wired

12S 125

TheMomenrofWird The Moment of Wirt'd

The Moment of Mosaic: The Pleasure of Anticipation

By mid-1993, then, a growing crowd ofmid-rank white-collar computer users was By gtowingcrowd wu quietly gaining access to networked computing; and a growing portion of these were learning about and using the nonprofit, nonproprietary internet. internee. l"hes These e wert: experiences were ~coming becoming increasingly inAected with counterculrural counterculcural habits habiu and iconoclasm, iconocbsm, and the higher ranks of leadership, the CEOs and politicians, politi6ans. context proved extremely were largely b.rgely oblivious co to it all. This Conten wert: eXtremely fertile ground for fOr progn.m c:llled a new, freely disrributed distributed computer program called Mosaic, the first successful graphiC:ll 1.0 for the Macintosh and PC was released in graphical web browser. Mosaic 1.0 &11 of that year. TIle August 1993 and spread like wildfire through the f:lll The program nlOtivaringordinarily created an almosr almost instant wow effect, effect. motivating ordinarily bored or preoccupied cubicle dwellers to call a colleague and tell them, "you gOtta gOtt.;! try this thing." thing." started, This was the moment of take-off in rhe internet l11is was where it all started. This frenzy fren~ of the 1990S. Mos:aic, Mosaic. it needs be said, was neither the first web browser nor even the first graphical browser. 9 When two twoemployccs Universityoflllinois's gra:phica.l web browser.' employet;s ofthe University of Illinois's National (NCSA), Eric Beena undergradu;ne Center for ror Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Been.a and undergraduate 1991, they Marc Andrtt$SCll, Andreessen, decided to to program a beccer better browser near the end of t991. Man: were \vere simply making nuking their own contribution oontribution to an ongoing networking software evolution based on ideas that very much in the air. Their main technical th.at were already \.try Mos,1ic for rot Unix was the ability to to display im;lges images contribution in the first conrribution firsr version of Mosaic within the page and a slicker. slicker, more inviting imernce. Another important interface. Anodler importanr comribucontribubrowscr relused released in tion was the production of PC and Macimosh Macintosh versions of the browser August 1993. These versions, programmed progr:ullIned by bY:l b.rger ream of mostly undergradu:lTe .a larger team ofmostly ulldergraduate programmets, programmers, made the browsing experience mote more widely available. modesr contriburion, contribution, arguthen, Mosaic was a useful but modest Technically speaking. then. 35, say, SMTp, SMTP, the WWWprotocoliuelf,ortheSLlPand WWWprotocol itself, Ot the 5L1 P and importanr as. ably not as important PPJ> protocols dut that enabled connection (Q PPP to the internet via:l vi.a a modem. And Monic Mouic was cleuly cleatly not as importam:l technical comribution TCJ>/IP importanr.a technic.al oontribution as the underlying TCP/IP and:lll software that thar h.ad had been written to implement implemenr packet switching protocol and all the soltw.are it on a wide variety ofcomputers. Mosaic did noc iton nor make it possible to conneCt oonneC"t to the and protocols did th.ar. that. And Mosaic did not make the internet. Other programs .and internet friendly; it simply made it somewhat friendlier. And it is safe w to say that it a question ofefficiency; MOJai' Mosaic was waS:l ;lslow slow and cumbersome cum~nomeway fa to get inforwas not aquestion particularly on the gnphics-impaired gr.lphics-impaired computers of the first Mosaic firsr years. Mouk mation, p;lrticularly WU:I fine program,but it was not a revolutionary work ofgenius by any definition. was a program, but w.as definicion. 50 why did Mosaic become the internet~ 'Nhy v.'hy did its direct So rhe killer kilter app of the intemerf 1990S~ Part of it was successor Netscapc Netscape launch rhe "inrernet "internet economy" of the 1990Sf simply the tlte cumulative econO' cumul.arive critical mass or of people and technologies, what some ana126 11le The Moment of Wirrd \Virrd

mists rnists call network nerwork effects; enough computers were becoming ~ooming graphics-capable, graphics-capable. enough of those computers were becoming connected to LANs, and enough of those LANs were being connected (Q the internet. conneered (0 internet, that being on the internet W:lS was becoming more and more v:duable. valuable. chat Mosaic wasn't so much efficient as it was plC2.mnble; pleasurable; using But it's crucial that /irst reaJly compelling. fun experiences available on the Mosaic was one of the first reilly .available tried to downplay it for that very reason: internet. Same Some computer professionals Died 011 their PCs," "Mosdy, people use Mosaic to show off the money they spent on PCs,~ -Mosdy; observed one software "you can call sottw.are executive, you caU somebody over and say, 'Look at whi'Z-bang ;lppeal. appea.l.... this.' this: It has gOt that kind of whiz-bang ... It's Ie's like the first time you go to wander w:lnder through the stacks, pulling down books. the library: Ir's It's fun (0 through tile Buc of course we now know in retrospect that the fun of olf"'e But But that does wear off."' web browsing was llOt not about to wear off any time rime soon. What kind of pleasure did Mosaic offerf offer~ Mosaic did not sarisry 'Nhat satisfy desire, desite. it provoked it. Colin Campbell has descri~d desaibed Wh3t wh:tt he calls "modern Hmodern :lutOllomous .autonomous a distinctly modern StrucCUre structure of pleasure plcasure in which the imaginative hedonism; .a becomes pa.rt part of the pleasure itself and which is charch:tranticipation of pleasure beoomes acreristic of the consumer culture :lnd romanticism generally." Wh:l.[ one wants acreriscic culcure and Whu peculi:trly modem modern fonn form of pleasure. pleasure, Campbell in this peculiarly C.ampbdl :trgues, .argues, is not the satiation sati.ation of desire but desire itself; it is the desire to desire. Mosaic did not so much show IOmC<lne something they wanted or needed to see .as as it stimulared lOmeone stimul.ated one to image:lrly classic W3ys ways to demonstrace ine what one mig/It migllt see. One of the early demonstrate the wcb web was to click ror the watch grainy images of paintings p:tintings dick onto OntO the wcbsite website for rhe Louvre, to W3rch aJowly appear on the screen. This W:lS pleasura.ble so much in what it alowly was not pleasurable ir actually delivered-berter versions of the same images illlages generally could be found in any delivered-better rhe experience inspired the viewer to im3gine imagine number of art books-buc books-bur in how the W~t e[jr cur miglJt miglJl bl' be delivered. Mosaic enacted what en.acted a kind of hope; it did not deliver new l'OJJibility of new things. Surfing the web using things rbing~ so s~ much as a sense of the JXlliibility MoS:lic in the earl.y eady days shared featufCS with the early stages of a romanMosaIC" In sh;lred certain features affair or the first phases of a revolutionary tic :I.1F.lir rel'Olurionary movement; pointing. clicking, :lnd and watching images appe:tr genera.ted ...tching im.ages slowly .ap~r generated a sense of anticipation, anticipation. of possibility. dreamlike, compulsive quality of web surfing in the early days To engage in the dreamlike. Was an immersion in an endless what'S what's nexcf next~ 'Ifas.an

The Genesis of irrational Irrational Exuberance: M:lrket Romanticizing the Market

By By May 1993, white-collar workers 5carrered scattered in cubicles and offices across the quiedy discovering lhe thrill~ orgoing the thrills of going online, as Andreessen AndreesSCll and others land Were <juietly Worked Mosaic, as the likes ofJohn Perry Barlow Badow and the edirorial WOrked on the code for Mosaic. rhe editorial
J27 12.7

The Moment of W,,,,d WiTl"d

staff of Wiud \Vired were spruding rhe tropes rropes of the computer counterculture to the spreading the middle ranks. But Bur the mainstream was still srill thinking other things. That month, NewJ and mId World Re/X'rt Report published a "technology Htcchnology reportreport" 3bout abour the coming US. Neil'S clearly a response to the enthusiasm enthusiaslll future of networked computing. The article, deuly surrounding Vice President AI Al Gore's information superhighway initiatives, initiarives, had

u.s.

no memion mcntion of the internet. It began, 111C mdding melding of the Idq>hone. telephone, television relevision and pcnonal personal computet computer to(hy today has The unleashed a dynamic digital thar promises promi$u to [;1dial1y radically :alter alter the way unl~:I. digit:al revolution revoIurion tim live, work and pby play :around around thc the world. Wlut lNhar neW produro products and services ICrvicu people liw.. can expect from this tedmologic:al technological upheaval! upheaval,> How big:l. big a marker, exaCTly, arc C:I.ll we apecr ~rlra, t:aafy. we nlking talking :l.ooln! aboutl And what, ifanything. should the Climon admini$rr:nion do to to "oe wlut. if an}'Ihing. shoukI Clinton adminisrnl.Oon help foster Ihese rechnol~ in Americ:a1" America:'" tI1uc emerging technologies 1his convenrional way of underst:mding understanding things at the time-in busi This w.u was the conventional time~in the business terminology of producrs, products, services, and markers. markets. From there thete the article went on to (0 seek answers from "seven titans oftechnology": Bill Gues, tirans oftechnology-: Gates, shopping-channel Barry Diller, AT&T Chair Robert Allen, cable TV tycoon trCOOn John Malone, pioneer Bury hoard vice chairman Jack Kuehler, cell phone magnate magn:lte Craig McCaw, IBM board ch:lir George Fisher. The article was thus organized around the and Motorola chair assumprion that, whatever happened, it would be shaped primarily by corporate assumption wh:ltever leadership :md and corporate concerns, perhaps in interactions imeractions wirh with govemment government reg regulators uluots spurred on by initiatives coming from the White House. Gates predicted interconnected with home appliances. Others forecast a w:llletsi;:ed wallet-sized personal PC imerconnected shopping, ubiquitous ubiquirous multimedia communicaa lucrative cornucopia of online shopping. tion for business executives, eKecutives, movies-on-demand, distance di.stance education via cable TV, services. All expressed an ambivalence ambiv:llcnce about gm-oem' governand growing wireless data scn'ices. ment's role, expre~~ing :lppreciation for the excitement generated by Gore and the ment'S expressing appreciation Clinron \Vhite White HOllse bllt cautioning government regulators to stay out of the Clinton House bur way of corporate initiatives. This was a view from the top. me tOP' Andreessen and his colleagues were quietly releasing TInee months larer. later, :IS Three momhs as Andr~n the first version of Mosaic for me the Macintosh and me rile Pc. PC, the August iuue of me Augusr issue Sciemific American AmerjcMI appe2red appeared with overview an:ide." article." In keeping kecping with it5 irs Scienlific wim a similar o"erview more sophisticared sophisticated readership, the article contained much more technical derail, derail. comparing the bandwidth and cost ofvarious of various transmission technologic. technologies like fiber opric cable and ISDN, for example, and its interviewee. were generally further optic irs interviewees from the boardroom and closer to the research lab. Bur the basic organizing assumptions of the article were the same as the recent US News Nrws piece; the bulk of v:lriOtlS corporations and their tcchnologically technologically linked interthe article focused on various medi;1 ests, comparing and comrasting contrasting the schemes of various cable, phone, and medi:t companies, interspersed with various inside-the-beltway regulatory concer.us. concernS, application. of the coming lisr of possible applications comlllg such as common carrier principles. The list
128 The Moment of \Virt'd Wirrd

tet:hnology information and education than shoptechnology leaned a little more towards infonnation ping: a cut-out cur-out boK contained descriptions of .chool box school children communicating by Ant3tctica, a broadcast engineer who helped diagnose email with a researcher in Anu.rctica, hi. disease using online databa.es email, an elCperiment experiment with databases and email. his daughter's rare disuse sending dental X-t:l.YS X-rays :lcross Adamic, and a group of New Jersey schoolchilacroS.5 the Atbntic, dren communicating with teachers te:lchers in Russia," Russia." The TIle World Wide Web was not nor mentioned. l1lis article, ho.....C\er, however, dors lc opens with an anecdote This docs mention the internet. It Society President Vinton Cerf prep2ring preparing for a Congressional about Internet Societ}' hearing by conucting to the contacting thousands of enthusiasts over che the internet, poiming pointing to bearing rapidly growing activiry acriviry on the internet as a potential"scedpotential Hseed" of Gore's -National "National npidly Information Infrastfucture.H'1 HDomesricating CrberCybetInfrastructure."" And rhe article an:icle is titled "Domesticating space" space- and closes with a Congressional Representative echoing Barlow's metaphorical construction of the online world as a frontier: -Allything HAnything is a danger in cybersp:lce.... There are no rules. It's the Wild \Vest."' West."I011le The Bulow-inspired Barlow-inspired metcyberspace.... aphotical constructs of its irs tirle title and opening and closing paragraphs-a vision of aphorical a wild, wild. expansive, eKpansivc, exciting eKciting space in the inrernet~would internet-would prove to resonate more profoundly than the content :lbout corpor:lte srruggles, educational applications. applications, about corporare struggles. Amrrican's readership is SciClllific AmeriwlI's and competing delivery technologies. Perhaps ScirlJ/ific specialized, specialized. but that readership includes politicians, eKecutives, executives, and, mosr most imporcandy beillg among the category historr, repOrters-reporters repOrters~reporters being tantly at this moment in history, of people who do their own word processing. l1lis was the moment that the intcrnet internet hit the media radar. As summer turned This to fall in 1993, the internet rather rarher suddenly became bec:lme an object of media fascinalO tion. Scon Bradner, a long-time long-rime internet insider." insider," observed with some bewilderBradner,:l ment that-the that "the Interner best known to the Internet is suddenly popular.... popul:ll'.... For reasons beSt media gods, articles about the Internet scem seem to to be the thing to do these days,days." He mcdi:l. OUt that the fall 1993, a time when only only:a pointed out mat during che f.ill of 1993. a miniscule number of imernec access, :access, 170 170 articles appeared in m:ajor people actually had internet major U.S. publications mentioning the internet, :.IS compared to to n :IS 2Z articles in the same 5;lime period a bons me year before." He cominued, continued, attention i. is Barrering Aattering ro those o( have been prtdyri:cing pro.sdyri~ing this All this ..tttnrion of UI us who m\'C rechnol<>&) for }'Cars. years. The TIle problem is i, that I don't see any logieal logical rcuon re.uon for (or the CUrCur rechnology rent uound and 1nd gro"'ing growing (or dccade. rem :mention. attennan. The Internet Inrema h1' has been around for more dun lhan a decade. Sure, it's it', big (almost 1 million interconnected computers compurers world wide) and growing Sure. fast quire a while f1St (more than 7% a 1l1omh), momh). but it', it's been big and growing fast for quite Ir was certainly lust at this rate when Time 6: now. It ren:ainly growing at least /I( Newsweek were iMrud of i"rernarionaI international on-line. on-line, forecasting national video parlors for the kiddie' kiddies instead real time, intet:lcnve imeractive current currem aff.urI afF.Iirs in the school,.... schook ... LaJt LaST month, I even found an anicle rhe Internet in an airline Right Aight magJ:dne." utide on the maga~ine." /29 129 The Moment of Wirr</ ofWirrJ

As the excitement around 2round the interner gathered in the media, as Wirt'd Wind and mmed computer nerworking in bre2thless cOllmerculrural John Perry Barlow fr:!med compurer networking breathless countercultural terms. as Mos:!ic Mosaic circulan:d circulared ontO OntO the increasing number of internet-connected terms, beg;m to rake take note. nore. In parr, part, with thcir LANs, members of the business world began their the information superhigh_ dirccted towards networking nctworking by me attention already din:cred way thetotic, ul15l1rprising that those looking for business opportuOppOrTUrhetoric, it might be unsurprising might follow the medi:! media towards the internet. But another key factOr faCTor was nities mighr played a dual role. On the one hand, Microsofr's Microsoft's the Microsoft monopoly, which pl:ayed systems represented the uninspiring end of the garage dominance in operating opernting sysrems rom2ntic entrepreneurs to Start-Up days in microcomputing.. thus motivating romantic start-up orher. it was weU well known that rh2t Bill Gares Gates had look for something new. On the other, richeSt men in the rhe world and 2nd thar rh2r those who had heavily just become one of the richest 1980s were beginning to reap fabulous rewards. invested in Microsoft in the rhe late 1980S invested. Microsofr was thus borh both:l reviled corporate monolith and an object objecr lesson: might wa.s rhus a reviled. Microsoft Microsoft juSt Micro.soft had overthrown oven:hrown lBM~ IBM! Might just as Microsoft something overthrow Microsofr h:lve to do with rhe the internetf internet! And might lnight mere there be similar similu rewards th:lt thar something have ne.xt best rhing thing would be: be~ to be re2ped reaped by those who acc\lratdy guessed what wh:lt me the nar accurately guessed. Netsc:lpc:. Jim Clark, student of Lynn Lynu Conway :lnd Enter NetSC2pe. and founder of graphics workstation company Silicon Graphics (SGI), wa.s was by that time an aecuti\'C t.xecuri\e filii of who did not need to do his own word processing. Bur But somime sometime in the late f:lll 199J,just as the internet craze and Mosaic were entering mainStream attention, 1993, just inlernet emering mainstream rechnology, Clark stumbled upon Mosaic when, in search of a new direction in technology, he was introduced ro to the rhe web browser by :In ar SGI. CI2rk Clark resigned an underling 2t Aew to rhe the NCSA in Champaign-Urbana, from SGI in February 1994, Hew Ch2Jllp2.ign-Urb2ll2, Illinois, co commercialize the program found Marc AndrttSSen, Andreessen, and founded 2 a company to h:l5[e, he launched l:lUllched the Nersc2pe Netscape 1 IPO in spring 1994.... 1994.'0 With unprecedented haste, PO just a year bter. later. This -nlis became the til(: most successfUIIPO successfullPO in history to ro th2t that point over 2 and the model for many subsequent IPOs. IPOs, sening setting off the inrernet internet stock srock craze. 2nd -Inc largest p:lT[y that capitalism has ever tbrown had begun. The largcsr parry thrown this swooning attl:ntion~ In part, Nets<:2pe Netscape grabbed Neueape ger get all mis So why did NetSC2pe swooninganenrion: because ofJim ofJilll Clark's pre\'iprevibeadlines beause because it was in Silicon Valley, in part beo.use the headlines poltt because bccause Netscape Neucape hired Andreessen and track record with SG.I, ;lIld in part SGI, 2nd ous rrack Neuc:lpe's first hrst browser many of the other original programmers of Mosaic. And Netscape's huvily inro into rapirs Start-up start-up funds heavily was a good one, particularly as it channeled its relusing frequent free updates over the internet and idly improving the progranl, program, releasing thar it needs to be remembered th~r quickly becoming the most popular browser. Yet ir PO the company had no prOht and almost 110 revenues. If at the time of the 1 IPO rhe profit no Ir was giving its itS principle product away for free and had no crucial patentS p:ltents or other advant:.lge in the browser m;lTket: jUst one of abour ten dramatic advantage market: Netscape was just to comn1ercialize companies trying ro commercialize Mosaic."
lJO 130

To a very signihCant Netscapc gained so much attention because it significant degree, Netscape of cTeating cemered on a followed a deliberate strategy fOllowed creating a media narrative heavily centered romanticized, heroic construction tbe computer counterculture, which proved romanticized. constru<:tion of the with the media itself. Netscape Nerscape depicted itself as enchanting. Very very popular wim to presprcsearly on, Clark hired a publicist, Rosanne Siino from SGI, and told her to strategy ent Andreessen as the rock star of the company." Siino then developed a srrategy rhat carefUlly carefully cultivated media attention framed ftamed in terms of geek chic, deliberthat progr:lminro the back rooms to show sho\\l the chaos of the programreponers into ately taking reporters forth." And she mers' cubicles, programmers sleeping under their desks. desks, and so fonh." men' successfully turned Andreessen into a celebrity; in 1995, Andreessen appeared on Forbes ASAP with the blurb: Ihis "TIl is Kid Can Topple Bill Gates."" the cover of FOrbe5 Gates... Peuplt magazine m:l.gazine and appear on me the cover featured in People Andreessen would soon be fe2tured feet." of Time in his bare feet." Wittd magazine. Wired Arguably; none of this would have worked without WiJl"d Arguably, Andreesscn, and in that year it was bardy barely more than a year old when Clark hired Andreessen. had been full of adolescent hyperbole (Rossetto claimed that computer technol~social changes so profound their only parallel is probably me the ogy was creating social M discovery of fire1," hre ),'" and inaccurate predictions (besides mentioning the internet the first issue, the second implied that Richard Stallman's Free only in passing in me outmoded and doomed)!' doomed)." And its ere-catching eye-catching Day-Glo Software project was ounnoded graphics and layout were sometimes unreadable. Wired Wire,l did nor, not, fUrthermore. furlhermorc, that Mosaic was me the killer app of tbe imernet." the internet.'invent the idea mat Bm it populamed popularized the idea idc.a and did so in a particular particub.r way. Wired Wiml published its irs But in October Ocrober 1994, when the web first substantial piece on the Mosaic phenomenon ill internet aficionados butJUSt beginning to annct attract the anention attention was well known to interner "TIle (Second Phase of me) the) Revolution Has Begun; Begun," of the wider world." Tided Titled Ihe the article, by Gary Wolf. Wolf, didn't just target tatget a good im'esrment invcstment or new technology me as a normal trade magazine piece might have. Instead, it used colloquial language and emphasized revolutionary change, pleasurc, and pcrsonal cxpression." When When change. pleasure. personal apression. nOt the most mosr it comes to to smashing a paradigm; paradigm;' the article beg;an, began, pleasure "pleasure is not thing.~ In a section ritled, titled, "Why I I Dig Mosaic," Mosaic," important thing. It is the only thing." that "Mosaic functions lurchingly. lurchingly, with many gasps and wheezes; wheezes," Wolf observed matMosaic of setting olf to find technical information on the and described an e.xperience <1nd experience off to technial ro link. link, nascent web and getting distracted by the process of clicking from link to eventually ending up on a physicist's personal page. But while a st:lndard standard review ofcomputer problcms, Wolf \Volf did nor. nor.-111e wholc of computer software might point to these as problems. "The whole experience,~ Wolf wrote, Mgave an intense illusion, not of information, bur of per"gave illusion. but experience."' to be JUSt office sonality." Now that personal computers had revealed themselves to thac personal, Wolf was loc:ning loc:lting personality in the machines and therefore not all that surhng. aCt of web surfing. IJI IJI Wired The Moment of Wirrd

Wim/ The Moment of Wirt"d

:u if to give substance subsunce to the rather thin idea of the personality of the And, :IS AnOther ctafts all an image of the personality of Mark Andreessen. Another web, Wolf crafts journalisr might have interviewed inrerviewed the senior partner of the company, but Wolf journalist "A rhe twenty-something junior partner and notes personal details. ''A focused on the interview," Wolf notes, nores, MAndreessen "Andreessen removes his dress shin little way into the interview,~ T-shirr. This -nlis gesmre leaves the and answers the rest of my questions in a white T-shirt. the businesslike backdrop" ofNetscape's of Netscape's battle against the impression of a man doing hattie 011 Andreessen's dragon-slaying attitude; auicude: workheadquarters. And Wolf focuses on he.adqu:lners. ing for Netscape, Wolf notes, ''offers (AndreessenJ [Andreessen] a chance to keep him free from notes,Moffers darkness-Microsoft." comp:lny he sees as one of the forces of darlmess-Microsoft.'" the grip of:l company 2:eroing in on Netsope Netscape and Andreessen, AndreeS$en, this Wired profile, not only .ampli:lrnpliBy zeroing MOJjlic was rhe rile kiUer killer app of the internet and thar thM Ner.scape NetscaP<' fied the belief that Mosair would be irs its primary beneficiary, bur but also offered a romantic rom:lntic lens rhrough through which 'vVhite House and Congress took the to see the phenomenon. As the Clinton \\'hite information superhighway rhecoric rhetoric off inco into dry comminees, eomminees, spouting inside-theinfonn:l.tion beltway :acronyms, increasingly be seen thumbing through beltwllY acronyms, businessmen could increllSingly \Vircd on airplanes, and terms like cy~npau 'ybcrJpn(t and frontier met2phors metaphors copies of Wired beg:m cropping up in newspaper articles artide.~ and politicians' politicians" sound bites_ bitcs. Without Withom beg.an \Virt'd, it's nOt not obviow obvious that this liberrarian-Ravored libenarian-Ravorcd counu:rculcun! counterculmral framing of Wirtd, computer networking would have taken m:ainstream. computtr r:tken hold in the mainstre.am. t:lke hold it did. Being p.ut parr of the knowlyears, as we all know, r:tke In the ensuing yea.rs, was a centra! central p.art patt of the ethos at the rime. time. Mary Meeker, who edgeable vangullTd vanguard was.a edgea.ble bubble;' was a stock analyst lit at Morgan Standubbed "the girl in the bubble; later would be dubbed"the player in the Netscape NetScape IPO 11'0 and many subsequent dot com (PQs. lPOs. ley and key pla)'er "I remember rhat in 1995 I I would speak with Marc Andrees.sc:n Andreessen and .....e we She said, -I to count up how rn.any many people undersrood understood this stuff. We thought it was scuff: We would try ro about four hundred.~'" hundred:'''' Soon after rhe the Netsc:ape Netscape IPO, lPG, a ),oung young visionary ailed called Jeffrey SkiUing Skilling began leading a rising corporation called Enron Enton into new terricot}' terrirory Jeffre), internet-related activities; of skepspeculative trading of energy :md based on the spcculllrive and internet-rdated "there were to have scoffed, Rossetto-like, -there tics of his strategy, Skilling is reported to tWO kinds of people in rhe dle world: those who got gOt it and 3.lId those who didn't.MI' didn't."" And twO lhe summer of 1994, 1994. conservative pundit George left its mark in politics; in the it leff 3.nd others to release a rousing teamed up with futurologist Alvin Toffier ToRler and Gilder reamed ~Cyberspace and the tile American Dream: Dre3.m: A Magna Carra Carta for the documem called "Cyberspace document Age~; the document declared a new era in which free markets matkets 3.nd and Knowledge Age": technology governmentS obsolete, a set of themes that would soon nuke governments rechnology would make Gingrich, up by then-Congressman Newt Gingrich. be picked op to scoff at these patterns parterns with a smug" smug"1 told I wid After a point, it docs little good to }'OU so: stock prices of the late 1990S were wete you so." Many thoughtful observers knew the srock ellenl said so. The evidence and argumentS arguments were there, irrational. and many of them irrational,
13l 13Z

but the bubble kept expanding nonetheless. It is worth ferreting out our those who ro engage in various degrees of outright took rook advantage of the heady atmosphere to fraud. atmosphere itself only on occasional occuional rraud. But one cannot blame the heady atmosphete reporting, conRiets confliers of interest, or dishonesty. instances of exaggerated reporting. This overheated atmosphere was precisdy precisely a fusion of the desire for wealth and the dramatic overthrow with romantic dreams of freedom, self-expression, :lnd the powers that be. Without the romantic visions of freedom and revolution, revolution. of me there about; there was no gold in mis this rhere would have been nothing to get excited about: just castles in the air made of projections gold rush, no valuable raw material, JUSt seem valuonto immaterial digital bits; something had to make those projections sa:m hope of getting rich, the enthusiasm would never ha\'e have had able. Yet without the hope. :able. ro spread. Change the world, world. overrhrow overthrow hierarchy, express the energy it needed to and get rich; it was precisely the heady mix mile of all of these hopes that had yourself, lind )'Ourself, galvani2:ing effect. effeer. such a galvanizing

the Internet Surprise The Role of Romanticism in [he


chat:lcter of Cipiralism capiu.lism sometimes sonletimes tends to be imagined The development and character germs, and Steel c:ategory, things like technologies, sted ategory, in terms of things in the guns, genns, assume, is about the resources, and geography. Economic development, we like to :aSSl\lne. arc produced and fundamentals of human life are efficiency with which the prosaic fundamentllis have to eat or how long things rhat that change how much we hllve distributed or about rhings thinking, for all its insight, can mne make us forget jwt JUSt how we live. Yet this way of thinking. che development of Cipitalism capitalism has been at times. Think of me the role of frivolous the tea, tobacco, and beaver pelts in the development of mercantile sysgold, spices, tea., Atneric:!S. These -nlese [he European coloni2:arion colonization of the Americas. tems and the early phases of the practical value, whose populariry popularity largel), largely rrivi:a.l commodities, of no major pracrical were all rrivi:al reRected reAecred the whims of European upper-class fashion. Yet the rhe basic systemS systems of capitalistn, some sonIC accounting and trade that laid the foundations for early modern capit:a.lism, itself, were created around them. would say for capitalism and the world system irself, The internet of the 1990S may have been less like the steam engine or the radio 'vVhar the internet offered. offered, however, was and more like spices and beaver pelts. %ar nOt dothnor so much fashions for decorating deconting our bodies or our food as fashions for clothing the self. years. between 1992 and 1996, the internet went from being In a few shorr years, globa.1 institurion institution whose name seemed to to be on everya quiet experiment to a global By 1995, one's lips and whose eldsrence existence and importance rnken for granted. granted, By One's impormnce was taken remaining consumer computer communication systems from froln the 1980S 19805 like the temaining meallS of access to as means to the Compuserve and Prodigy were all selling themselves :IS Struc way around, the Congress was re\'ising revising the Strucinternet rather than the other W;ly
133
lh~ Moment MOtllcnt of \Viml \Virr<l The

111C MomClIt of Wirtd Wirrll The Momenr

fUre communic:ltions law for the first rime ture of itS its communications time in more than half a cenruq', Century, major corporations from the phone companies to Microsoft to the television networks were radically revamping core strategies, television ads for Coke and Pepsi routinely displayed URLs, and me the stock bubble was underway. In the history of media, this is an ext:raordinarily extraordiuarily rapid shift. In comparison, most other ocher media suggcSt suggest something well coordinated and the early histories of mosr in the United oudincs of the uample, the general outlines rhe TV industry indusrry in, planned. For tKample, States-the the :ldvcrrising Stares-the major corporate pbyen, players, me advertising sysrem, system, nerworks provid_ providevcn much of rhe programming like soap ing programming to affiliate srarions, stations, even shows-were clearly mapped OUt operas and variety shows-we~ our by the mid- to late-1930s, opcras more than a decade before its full-scalc li.ill-scale inttoduction introduction around 1950. (RCA/NBC made television a central cenrral parr part of irs plans for the me future by 19J2,just 1932, just as the networked/advertising-supported r;ldio broadcast system was becoming consoliworkedladllertising-supported radio datcd.)~ and struggles associated with their development, dated.)" For all the complexities :lnd film, television, and VCRs .....ere were dissetninated disseminated in a comext conten in which industry industl')' leadgenet;ll ers, governmenr sha~d similar broad general government regubtors, regulators, :lnd and manufacturers manufacrurers all shared of what the new industrits were going to be about, and disputes were outlines industries .....ere oudines limited to fine poims points of technical tC(:hnicaJ standards standatds (for example, Betamax Beumax versus VHS), videotape copyright issues), and the rile revenue distribution (for example, able cable and videotapc :It hyperbolic claims abour a~ correct [0 to scoff at about the like. His[Orians Historians of technology are rhe book). book), interner (for example, that the internet interner is the biggest invention since the internet its striking features But one of irs fearures is JUSt jUst how much, for a period pcriod in rhe the 19905, 1990S, it took only communiGition communication system of the rwentieth twentieth people by surprise. surprise, Arguably, the onJy cenrnry th:n that came with similar unexpectedness was radio broadcasting (whic.h (which century 1920S).ll also played a significant role in that mat other stock bubble in the 19:20s)," Many might .uk: dIe imernet internet triumph because it offe~d offered new effiask: Did not rhe ciencies, new flexibilitics, flexibiliries, and a new ease of access aec<:ss to infonnation information and knowledge crearion, rile driving force of rhe the internet itself iuelf and its creation, which together were really the contribution m~rker dynamism, globalization, and ~nd the A~ttening f1:mening of comribution to the new market economic relations? rhar much money :lnd efforr re~lIy ~lationsl' Could that and effort teally be driven by someephemer:ll and irrational as a p:lrticular romantic self-conceptf self-contept? rhing thing as ephemeral particular kind of romamic Other facrors F.iCtors m:mered, mattered, of course. course, Bur But it seems likely thar that the romantic entrepreneurial self-concept seif-coilCept was a necessary if not sufficient component of the internet events, Everydling Everything ner explosion of the 1990S. It helps to remember the order of events. illdividuals were successfully making a changed INfon bifore significant numbers of individuals profit selling vi~ via the internet ~nd and even before internet access W:lS was widely available. It was nor not as if people started using the internet to make monty money :tnd and then the rhe appreci:lble non metabusiness world :It lIIas no appreciable nonmetaat large responded; in 1995, there WOJ phorical marker yer, no substantial popui:ltion population of individu~ls individuals competitively buymarket yet, ing and selling things over the interner. internet, TIlere There were, by and large, only experiexpeti134 1)4 The Moment of W"'l'd ofWi~d

menters, ~nd enthusiasts, people who expected expecttd a market (0 mentetS, speculators, and to emerge where one did nor not yet exist. (Yes, there were those graphs showing skyrocketing numbers of internet nodes and users, forming almost perfect triangles as the lines tines headed for the uppcr upper right comer. corner. Bur But one could produce similar graphs for the sales of the me latest new pop rock sensation, and the internet had been growing at a rechnology, the internet similar rate long before 1993.) Understood as a practical technology, because the interner could not have caused these changes because: internet was not practical yet. set the suge the explosion of the: the Many of the more important changes that .set stage for rhe technology itself internet and rhe the interner economy, then, h~ppened happcned btfort hefOTt the rechnology had a chance ro ar all. to have much concrete concrere effect at The fact is, the rhar appeared in the 1993-95 pcriod period wasn'tJUSt wasn't just a techme internet interner that nology; it was the enactment enacrmenr of a hope. The changes of 1993-95 were vety very much ollriciJ'<ltory, changes based on what people imagined illlClgilml (auld hllpptll, not what whar had anticipatory, rOllld hoppen, already happened. happened, In the early 1990S, the internet did not so much cause new [0 inspire people to imngi"r thar new things would things to happen as it served to imagine that .....ould elldless what's happen. The shared embodied experience of an immersion in :In an endless ncxt? Mowc unleashed, coupled to the enonnous awe accorded new technen~ that Mosaic nology and the opportunity ro to step into the role of the rhe romantic entrepreneur, ofsignificam segmenrs enabled new behal'iors on the parr beha\'iors part ofsignificant segments of the population. PeobeCOluse the internet imernet enabled them to ple behaved differendy, differently, nor not just bau.se ro do differem things, bue because irs its presence inspired people to imagine how things might but bause ent transformed. Many of the things said and done in change, how things mighr be transfonned, rhe name of ehe imernet in the 1990S we now know to be misjudgments, some of the internet the rhem nor random. They TIley were mem colossal ones; rhose those misjudgments, however, were not and that chat vision had an impact even if parr pan: of a pattern of shared collective vision, lind it was based on some shaky foundations. ofNeoliberalism The Internet and the Revival of Neoliberalism That impact, moreover, was nor not fleering. TIle The internet internel enthusiasm was nor just jusr a away in lost fortunes. On Tulip mania, a medioc~ mediocre idea that thar evenruaJly washed eventually one hand, the internet bubble unleashed a flood Rood of money into the telecomthe onc unleashed:l muniCOItions infrastructure, infrastrucrure, effectively making TCP/I P the standard st:lndard for the foreTCP/IP munications IUrure and resulting in a build-out build-our of high-bandwidth seeable future high-bandwidrh lines that remained mer the bubble bursr, burst. On the other hand, less concretely but bur important ellen e\'en after perhaps more profoundly, rhe the inrernet imernet surprise helped revived neoliber:tlism. neoliberalism. As we have noted, neoliberalism looked like it might be in serious decline at the 1992.; both corporate leadership and government time of Bill Climon's election in 1992; poinr of view involving were mOiling moving back towards a more classic corpot:olte corporate liberal poim coordinared berween the collapse of coordinated privare/public private/public partnerships. But somewhere between 135 Momenr of \Vired Wired The Momc:nrof

the Soviet Union and the internet bubble, rhe blind faith in markets was given new energy. The internet, because it took the establishment by surprise, because it occasioned a conAuence of the counterculture with spectacularly speculative capitalism, created an opening for big ideas. Given the polidcal alignments of the early 1990S, the first intellectual bloc to jump into that opening were the libertarians, and they successfully fostered an equation of the romantic individualisr vision of the internet with a free market vision of the internet. Esther Dyson-a business consultant with a background in journalism, 2 door-opening 12st name, and libert2rian leanings (she told Re-aSOlt magazine th2t wh2t she likes about the m2rket economy is "number one, that it works. Number twO, th2t it's morall l4 -noticed the emerging internet as an opportunity and made it the core of her career. Republican speech writer George Gilder, previously famous for books atTacking feminism 2nd welfare, turned to technology with a book on the end of television in 1990; the book proved not to be all that accurate in irs predictions but irs enthusiastic reprion at the time caught Gilder the power of technological prognostication as 2 route to an audience. libertarian journalist Decbn McCullough Started m online website devoted to the interner and politics in 1994 and soon became a reguw contributot to Wire-d. This group was able to uke the framework laid our by de Sola Pool's Tuhllologies oj FrteMm, in which free markers are equated with free: speech and government regulation is consftUed as the enemy of both, md apply it to the exploding activity around the internet. To 5 how this feat of rhetorical associ:t.rion worked, consider 2 1995 CSS2y about the inrernet in 1ht Erollomist. Author (md eventuallr, Win-d editor) Christopher Anderson .....rote, the Internet re....olution has challenged the cotpOr.ltetit2n model of the information superhigh.....ay. The growth of the Ner is not a Auke or 2 fad, but the consequence of unleashing the power of individual cre2ti,, ity. If it were 2n economy, it .....ould be rhe rriumph of the free marker over central pl2nning. In music, jazz over Bach. Democracy over dictatorship... This vision of individual creativity unleashed (and the associated rhetorical flourishes) .....as orthodox rom2ntic individualism. But this was in TI)( Ecollomin, nor \-Virtd, and what readers of the magazine first sa..... when they opened the issue added a tell ing twist. A nameless editor at 11,e Economist compressed Anderson's romantic passage into a pull quore rhat graced the first page of the printed version of the aniele: "The explosive growth of the interner is not just a fad or a Auke, but the result of a digital free market unleashed.~16 Readers of 11,e Erollomist were subtll' invited to leap from "if it were an economy" to it is a "digital free market:' -nlis associative leap from market metaphor to actual market, repeated over and over again in the culture ar rhe time, allo.....ed a technological system based on nonproprietary standards and with roots in a mix of private and government funding ro

."

become a powerful archetype of both the free market and free expression in rhe broad public mind, The iconoclastic rhyduns by which the internet appeared in the cubicles ofAmerica were thus harnessed to a Lockean market projection. The illogical leaps inherent in all this were swept aside by the speed of events and by the const.J.nt threat of being labeled as a dinOS:lur by Wired-style coumercultural rhetoric. These events, occurring in the wake of the astonishing collapse of the Soviet Union and the quick rriumph of the United Stares ill the 1991 Persian Gulf war, created a COntext in which neolibet:llism was given new life. In law, politics, and business management, most of the talk of industrial policy and relared corporate liberal terms disappeared into the background, and the faith in markets as the source of all innovation (and of freedom itself) was revived as forcefully as ever. In 1994, just as Netscape was plotting its IPO, [he Nell' York Times rr.lnsferred a Middle East foreign correspondent named Thomas Friedm2n to covering the \\'hite House md economio. The following year, as the stock. bubble began irs climb, Friedman became a regular op-ed writer, and he cultivated an avuncular, anecdor:zJly driven, free: market fund.1.mentalism thu O\'er time he coupled to a subtle nationalist rriumphalism. In the :ace of all this, those who initially raised doubts abour specific neoliberal decisions, such as economist Jeffrey Sachs's belief in shock therapy for the former Sovier Union to drive it into a market economy-with. resulrs that even Sachs admits were mixed, and many would argue wete disastrous-were largely rendered mute throughout the 19905, (:Owed by the app.arenr irrefutability of the market vision, buored as it was by me Rood of events, the energy around the internet, and the associared mereoric rise of the srock markets. Thanks to me way the internet was embraced by the culture, Margaret Thatcher's 1980s cLaim that there is no :alternative (0 neoliberalism on me world stage was given new life.

Jj6

11le MOlllent

of Wirta

137

The Momenr of Wired

Open Source, the Expressive Programmer, and the Ptoblem of Ptopetty


Every good work of sofrware srarrs by scr,m:hing a developer's personal itch. ~Eric Raymond'

W HAT 1T WO U L D take to finally put some cracks in the foundation of the neoJiber:lJ consensus, it rums out, was rhe same thing that gave it renewed )ife in the early 1990S: romantic individualist representations of computing. Long before the spread of the itlternet, even before the appearance of microcomputets, Ted Nelson, in Computa Lib. briefly reRected on the problem of funding his sysrem of hyperlinked digital texts he called Xanadu: Can ir be done' I dunno.... Mr assumption is that the way W this is not through big business (since all these corporadons see is orher corporations): nor rhrouglJ governmenr (hyperrexr is nor commirree-oricnted. bl.lt individl.lalistic-and grants can only be gotten rhrough sesquipedalian and obfuscarory pompizzazz); bur through the b)'Ways of the priv:ue enterprise sysrem. I rhink the same spirit that gave us McDonald's and k:mdy kolor hor rod accessories may pull us rhrough htte.' Though little noted at the time, Ted Nelson thus imagined an entrepreneurial form for his digital utopia, in some ways anticipating the neoliberal framing of computing (discussed in chapter 3) that appeared a decade later. Bur Nelson was nOt proposing simply a market for J kind of machine in a box, like the microcomputer. As we've seen, the microcomputer could be easily imagined as a discrete object one buys and sells. How was one to implement something entrepreneurial, a farmer's-market-like syStem of exchange, our of the vast gossamer web of social and technical links and protocols that is an advanced computer network:' Nelson had an answer. He insistcd that Xanadu, while offering a world of hyperlinked texts, also "must guarantee that the owner of any information will be paid their chosen royalties on any portions of their documents, no matter how small, whenever they are most used:" Whyf "You publish somerhing. anyone can lise it, you always get a royalty automatically. Fair:" And he argues that this economic fairness, moreover, is of a piece with intellectual fairness: "You c:tn create new published documents OUt of old ones indefinitely; making whatever changes

seem appropriate-without damaging the originals. This means a whole new pluralistic publishing form. If anything which is already published can be included in anything newly published. any new viewpoint .can be faitly ptesented:" Nelson is not JUSt a believer in digital property; he hopes that digitalization can p~rfe(( ptopeny. This chaptet explores the emergence. in the second half of the 1990S, of what can be called the problem of property 011 the internet. This was the period when Linux, the open source movement, and music downloading raised both excitenlent and consternation in many legal and management circles. By pitting free communication against property rights, these developments called into question the premises of the market fundamentalism that had been driving most political economic thinking associated with the internet to that point. AU of a sudden, freedom and the market were no longet synonymous and, in fact. seemed like they might, in some cases, be opposed. The argument of this chapter is that the internet did not JUSt create 'lew problems for intellectual property. It broughr slumbering dilemmas with property in genetal to the surface. In the first instance, this resurfacing of the problem of propeny was enabled, not by a critique of property per se, but by the tensions between tomamic and utilitarian constructions of the individual. The desires to make a profit and express onesel which as we have seen had been cOllflated in the early 1990S. suddenly came to point in divergent directions. "Clean Arrangements": The Dream of Property Rights Much of the appeal of Ted Nelsoll's attachment to intellectual property was that it is embedded in a moral vision, not just a dry business model or an economic theory. Nelson, in Computer Lib, was clearly not just cooking up a jusrification for something that would help him get rich. Nelson saw intellectual ptoperty protection as of a piece with his idea of freedom. He imagined the computer user as an aUtonomous, free individual who communicates without the mediation of publishers. libraries, or educational institutions_ Digitally enabled intellectual property proteetion, he believed, would empower that kind of individualism. Someone like IUchard Stallman might argue that such proprietary computing introduces constraints, barriers, and lawyerly and managerial meddling. NelSon's response is this: ''I've heard ... arguments, like 'Copyright means getting the lawyers involved: TItis has it approximately backwatds. TIle law is ALWAYS involved; it is CLEAN ARRANGEMENTS of law that keep the lawyers away.... If the rights arc clear and cxaet, they arc less likely to get stepped on, and it takes less to straighten matters OUt if they are. Believe it or not. lawyers LIKE dean arrangements. 'Hard cases make bad law; goes the saying:'" This is precisely 139 Open Source, the Expressive Programmer. :md the Problem of Property

'3 8

where Nelson combines computers wirh with Lockean liberalism: liberalism; the machines, widl with ~dean :l.rrangemenu" arrnngcments~ their enormous capacity c:lp:lciry for fine nne c:l.lcularion, calculation, will provide the "dean mar enable property relarions. rdations" With X:madu. Xanadu, according to Nelsoll, that en:l.ble friction-free friction-fru propetty Nelson, e:lch individu:ll contribution to the system would be perfectly preserved and per_ e.:lch individual contributiOn perfealy perfectly rewarded; the computer system syMem itself is supposed to ro prevent the possibility possibiliry fealy un:lr[fibuted eheft theft of ideas because each Mquot.:lrion"quotarion" is preserved by by;l.lI ullalter_ of unanribured 2n unaltetable link. link that, not onl)' only 2JJowS 2ble aJlows te2ders readers to inst:mdy insmndy call up intellectual intellettual sources, soun:es. bue bllt direcr p2ymem payment for each use. also ensures direct Nelson"s hope rh2t that -dean ~clean arrangements" (thar is, precisely defined property Nelson's arr:mgements" (eh2t boundaries) rootS in American tradition, boumhries) provide the key to freedom has h2S deep roots nOt to to mention a long imellectual intellecmal pedigree. The triumvirate triuffivir:lte righrs rights of "life, libnot erty, and property,~ erty. property; made famous f2mous by John Locke and Adam Smith Smirh appeared in v:lrious various forms in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the me Bill of Rights.' TIle phrase, it should be emphasized, putS puts property Righrs.' The propetty rights righrs on par wirh with the claim to fteedom freedom itself the prohibition against murder (the right to life) and ehe ro be (liberty). Like these dlese other orher primordial rights, righrs, moreover, property was said to Ilarural, you had by virtue of being born. Early U.S. leadernatural, inherent, something somerhing )'OU ro property into the rhe soul of American society, ship thereby wrote the right to societ)" long before the rhe polity setiously seriollsly considered, say, universal suffrage. Protecting that rigln Prorecting right to property, making sure that what's yours is yours and wh:lt's what's mine is mine, is nor not JUSt a philosophical position. By mosr most reckonings it wotld. It is 2 a powerful bit bir is fundamental n.ll1damental to (he the sense of justice in a capitalist world. socioculrtlt:ll sense m3king helps it seem natural of sociocultural m:lking that thar hdps narural and right for people to things, even if this results in some people owning a lor pursue the me ownership of things. lot bw 2nd and justice jusrice is supmore than others. And it feeds into our sense of whar what law po~ed [0 to be in the place. Fair, de:lr clear rules-the rule of law, posed me first pl:!.ce. I2w, not of men, as the obtained by maintaining c1C2r dear boundaries, boundaries between saying goes-are goe.s-2n: obuined property, between individuals. Find the dar clear lines, make propetr}', mal: sure no one is stepping OWIl property over mem them and is yet free to do what they Want wam within in their own Rand, Ameria's America's twentieth.century twentieth-century pop boundaries, and boundaries. 2nd you have justice. As ~ Ayn Rand. "Just as m:rn man philosopher of property righTS, rights, had her fictional fiaional hero John Galt say. -Just withom his body, so no rightS rights can exisr translare can't exist without cxisr without the right to tr.l.nslate righu inro realit)', to (0 work resultS, which means: the rhe one's rights into te2lity, ro think, think. [0 wotk and keep the results, properry.... Property, in her view, is not jusr technicality. The right of property.... just some legal technic2lity. right~to think, think. to ro work.~ work,~ is of a picce piece with the right (0 "keep the rhe results." rightUto to"keep notJUSt 11lis docs not This view does JUSt appeal to the already rich. By standard measmes, measures, Nelson's career has been a checkered one on the margins of the same commercial inlluenced educarional computing communiries that have been so deeply in(luenced and educational thue's somerhing poignant about his vision; it's by his ideas. With that in mind, there's the vision of an outsider, never entirely secure or well-rewarded by institutions,
140

mose who has never been treated all thar"fairly," rhat "fairly," who imagines a utopia in which those Ullfair unfair institutions are arc supplanted altogether altogemet by communities of free individuals working at computer consoles. It's a utopia where arc no arbitrary arbirrary powers whete there are like a corporate monopoly or arbitrarily powerful authorities with careers built builr smug.. tenuu<!. tenured journal editors can on glad-handing or hot air; a utopia uropia when: where no smug. prevent one's article from reaching re:lching publication, publication. and no short-sighted corporate pn:\'em cOSt cutting. execurive can arbirra.rily arbitrarily deep-six a beloved project on behalf of cost executive cuning. Nor can any of these people claim an underling's idea as their own. Nelson is proposca.n cWm ida ro nuke make real a very American ideal: a vision of a mathematically perfea perfect proping to nnally m:.lke manifest -the "the rule of law, not of erty system, of crystalline rules that finally mal: m:mifest men"-enabled, men--enabled, in this case, by computer technology. As the internet triumphantly spread the h:.lbits hypertext into habits of Nelson's hypertcxr American life in the mid-1990s, mid-1990S, however, things would turn out OUt to be 2nything anything prOperty. but crystalline in the rhe realm of property.

Mud: The Problem with Property Crystals Turned to Mud;


A look at the history of Western law shows that it is not just new technologies that laSt few centuries, the dream of render property boundaries confusing. Over the last ~dear and exact" has proven to be elusive :Iocross rights that are are"dear across many domains. Property relations themselves, themselves. of course, have hardly been in eclipse; as capitalism c2pitalism has Inorc expanded over me past few centuries, pressure to extend e)(fend property relations [0 to more aspecrs of life has grown unabated. With the important exception of slavery, :aspectS sbvery, almost no category of things that has been turned rumed into property has ever been turned back property, though. though, is thar, cxpanded. into nonproperty. The problem of property. intO that. as its scope expanded, properl)' grew ever and exaa." exact." Property the character charaaer of property e\'er muddier, ever less "clear -de2r 2nd have hardly been the cryStalline practice, it rums out, h2ve rights in practice. crysuJIine system that Locke ho~s Mr. for. Gnawing 2way away at ar me the entire idea of property. property, suggested and that thar Nelson hopes then, is a sense [hat ad~'ertised might be impossible. men, thar making it work as ad\'Crtised. caused by side effects like the unequal distribution nor just the distortions c2used It's not me judicial and political systems keep finding reasons to blur of wealth or that the wvironmenta[ property boundaries with regu1:.ltory regulatory efforts like :zoning zoning laws and environmental regulation. It is also thar crisply defined rights on paper appear much less than crisp when one tries to map them OntO the me real world of human activities. Even archerypal forms of property-land-seems properry-bnd-seems to nltll turn up intracone of the most archetypal table quandaries, quandaries which surfaced in legal cases going back to the nineptoperty teenth cenniry. Where. exactly, is the line where enjoyment centll.ty. Whete, enjoymem of one's own property say. raising pigs muddies Stops and interference with another's begins~ What if, say, erecting a building casts casrs :I a sh:ldow shadow on a neighbot's garthe neighbor's streams or ereCtillg den?' den?" Over O\'er the rhe years, the more tll:lot that the finest legal minds applied themselves to
141

Open Source, Source. the Expressive Programmer. :md and the Problem of Property Propeny

Open Souru, Expressive Programmer, :md and the rhe Problem of Property Sour'.., Ihe rhe Expreuivc

these questions, the more possible answers there seemed to be, with the result rime. that the cue case law in aggregare aggregate seemed to grow ad hoc and murky over time. $0, as the twentieth century progressed, the me more aspects property aspecrs of life that propeny So, to the less sense those relations seemed to make. People relations were applied apptied [0 e\"E:r less like the prophave been buying and selling things that look and behave ever Locke had in mind. In the rwentieth century, licenses to drive a taxi erty thar that twentieth radio frcquency frequency were wen in New York City or licenses to broadcast on a particular nadio not things at all; they bought and sold for huge sums, but these things were teally really nOt at:all; created by the actions of various were something quite obviously defined and Cre:lted law in fact states that a license to broadcast allows government agencies.agencies."' (U.S. (US. faa ~thc use of such channels, but not the ownership thereol.)" thereof.")" Ownerthe holder Wthe not grant ship of a stock does nOt gr:lnt one anything physical; having five percent of the to walk off percenr of stock in a company does nOt grant one the right to ofT with five percent the factory. Stocks, on dose inspection, appear less like property and more like faCtof)'. Stocb, shifting set of entitlements even as they have become a core form and shifi:ing fonn of an odd :md property ownership in the capitalist system. f.11110US review of historical variations in American legal approaches to A f.amous property distinguished between crystals and mud, between legal decision making based on finn, firm, bright-line rules and blurrier and flexible Rexible standards." While there fonh between crystalline and muddy has been a certain amount of back and fom interpretations meorist William Fisher has pointed out that thar the incerpretatioM of the law, legal theorist dominant trend for at least the twentieth century has been towards mud." The record, in sum, sum. would suggesr suggest that crisply defined laws on paper may historical record. nOt be capable of producing a crisply defined system ofjustice in reality; they are nor only. crisp on paper only, anricipated aspects of this problem nearly Some philosophers anticipated neOlrty from the beginning.. noting thOlt that the idea of a nattlral natural right is a frail one. Jeremy Bentham, for ning. ro theorists of natural rights, acerbically observed, acerbicallyobservc:d. example, when responding to reason aWs uisrl for wishing that rlu.r th..... rhere were $uch thing$ Bur rusons w... c .uch things as ali rights. righn. BUT reuom A te:lSOn therc werc ~re not rights.. ... N~IIlr:d for wishing [here \\I... e such things:lS rnings as righu. Me not righn. Naron! rightl;. righu is limple nonscnsc; n~lural and ~nd imprescripnble imprcM:ripnbk rightS, rights. rhetorical nonsensc-nonsimple nonsrnse: narun! rhetoric;U noru.enw-nonscnsc upon slill..... sense nilu." Bentham's point was thar exisr when a gO\'ernmenr government takes action ro fO rhar rights only exist Benrham's poinr withour the hand of some government gOI'emment body determining whar what make them exist; without form they should take, and how they should he be enforced, rights should exist, what fonn government there is nothing. Rights cannm be the ultimate protection protcction against go\'crnmem Righrs cannot [II the action against individuals simply because bccause they are tIrt' government action. In run, this line of reasoning would suggest, rights are indistinguishable from long tun, govemment privilege. Pro petry is not nOt a right that protectS protects us from government. govemmcnt. Property a government Property are 01 a {wllion creafioN of government. govemment. Properry rights, like other rights, it would seem, OIre
142 /42 Open ~n Source. Sourcc, the Ellprusive Expressive Programmer, Progr.lmmet, and the rhe Problem of Property Prop<:rry

utilirarianism. Rights are Bentham's response to this problem was to to invent utilitarianism. not natura!' natural, but human self-interest is, he surmised, and the pursuit of self-interest can and should be organi%ed to maximi%e org;ani:zed to maximize the happiness of the most mOSt individuturn b.id laid the foundation found:ation for tod:ay's norion in tum roday's overlapping tr:aditions rraditions of als. This notion Ileoclassical theory and has seeped into popular neoclassical economics and rational choice meory consciousness in myriad ways, such as the COntemporary comemporary habit of using tenns like illWJliviu. at won:. work when, in 1976. '976, the twenty-year-old tweney-year-old Bill inctnriviu. This was the logic at complained to me the Homebrew CompUter Computer Club about members Gates famously compla.ined th:at wu freely shared the Basic software mat who fredy was his company's first product; doing so, Gates griped, would make it impossible for him or others to keep writing more software." software." In contrasr conrrast to Ted Nelson, Gates talked, ta.l.ked, not nOt of faimess, fairness, but of incentives Sohware should be protected because free copying incemives to make sofTware. software.. Software mould lx: creation of more SOftwOlre. software, would discourage the crearion But Bur Bentham's was just the beginning of a proliferation of various intellectual responses to the desire for a sysrem system of property rights righrs that could rest on someutilitarian strains thing other than arbitrary Stare sute action. Besides Lockean and utilirarian of thought, Kant and Hegel both comributed contributed justifications for fOt property rights form of the transcendental based on the idea of a respect for personhood or some fotm funetion:alist but nonutilitarian nonutilin.rian theories of and thete is a broad range of functionalisr subject, :and rightS Structured structured on beh;l.ifofone property rights behalf of one or another version of the social good. good.'

Beyond Property Rights: 1he The Author and the Machine


Each of these theories rheories continues condnues to have its defenders. But, by the late 1970s, 19705, after arrer twO centuries cemuries of experience with theoretical (wo rheoretical property crystals repeatedly turning to empirical mud, it began to ro look wise ;n in some circles to declare that thOlt propbw professor Thomas Grey erty was nothing but a bundle of rights or, even, as law suggested, mat that property was simply disintegrating." disintegrating.'" Many academic schools of years had quietly CX"pressed expressed versions of this argument: the legal thought over the yellS realists, some legal historians, some sociologists ofbw.1he oflaw. The Critical Crirical Legal Studies Srudies movement-which appeared in the legal ac:ademy academy with a bit of storm stonn and fury in t98os-was for a while simply the beSt the early 198os-w;u best known :and and loudest loudcst proponent of the claim that things like property law had for the most part failed of their own accord. Legal rules, rulcs, at leasr leaS[ in the hard cases of the type that make up Supreme 50 much anention, attention, are indeterminate, Court jurisprudence and thereby CoUrt theteby gain so indetenninate, that is, logically interpretable any number of ways; whar Outwhat shapes ultimate legal outculrure, f.,shion, f.1Shion, ideology-in short, comes is social context, culture, shorr, people or, statistic:ally speaking, J. certain kind cally speaking. men. This position had a strong logic to it and had a of intellectual daring. dating.. a sense of staring down difficult truths; while ignored by fhe v:aSt majority of ptacricingjudges, practicing judges. Critical CritiC:ll Legal Studies g:lined:l gained a foothold in the vast 143 Op<:n Source. Prop<:rty Open Source, the Expressive E"pres.sive Progr:lmrncr. Progr.lmmer, :l.IId and the Problem of Property

law schools. sdlools, By the 1980s, Ig80s, then, thete there were several sophisticated :md and well-estab_ well-established schools of thought from whose point of view Nelson's drum dream of crystalline properey-not JUSt ptoperty of any SOrt_ property-not just in compurer computer networks, but crystalline properry SOtt_ seemed like a naive fable. sociologisrs, moreover, the iconoclastic iconodutic idea that property For historians and sociologists, state-created privileges raised was JUSt just a bundle of state-created. raised. interesting questions. If properey rights were not perflmctory, perfunctOry, if they were arbitrary constructions of the state. state, erty how did they get ger constructed, and why did we continue to talk ralk about abom then exactly euctly Iww /mngr was one of the Owners/lip of tllr thI Imagt them as rights at all? all! Bernard Edelman's OWller$hip first works to cackle tackle this question in the realm of communication technology, dle em: late nineteenth-century encounter encoumet with the spread of using the example of the photography," photography-II In a world where copyright law was generally justified by reference to the labor labot and creativity of the artist-a writer or ... a pOlintet paintcr deserved to own his ro Ile or she pUt intO it-photograor her het work because of the labor labot and inspiration he put into phy introduced introduced. a series of quandaries, quandaries. Was clicking the shutter shuttet of a eamer:l camera really laoor deserving protection, or W:lS merely a minor technica.l technical a kind of creative labor was it metely light~ Did the subject of a photogr.tph photograph have act, like switching on a light! ha\'t some kind of im:lge! Wasn't th:u person's aCtual aCnlal face and appe...rance appearance right to the image! \V.un't it, after all, mat that shaped the rhe image on the film, not an artist's 3.rtist's interpretation of that face~ If one believed, like Locke, that the righrs there somewhere in nature natute and tights were out thete was an imellectual intellecrual descendant of Bento locate them was the problem, or if one W:l5 tham and assumed that one could somehow scientifically determine a social-welfare-maximizing fate-maximi::l:ing distribution of rights, then the problem would be merely a techrhe law to phorographr nical one, a problem of working OUt out how to design the ro take photography that they were arbitrarr, into account. But if, like Bernard Edelman, one believed believed.. thar arbitrary, interesting historical that there was no correct answer, then the question was an intetesting political, economic, and ideological forces shaped how one; conAuence of politica.l, one: whar what conRuence wcre defined~ property ptoperty rights in photographs were defined! instcad of the standard easy and Edelman's analysis was significant because, instead thc capitalist c~pitalisr class or ~ a cynical answers to this kind of question-for example, the interest groups simply gets wh~r ir wants-he w~nts-he granted that, in a spewhat it coalition of intetest cific way, ideas do marter, matter. The law has to be mrmtillgful melwillgful in order to work, and the plarers invoked the image of a I.aborlaborplayers in the game who made the law of copyright in\'oked ing. creaO\'e jUst tewards; rewards; in other words, coming creative individual getting his or her JUSt up with :In an answer to copyright in photographs involved invoking a particular idea of the self or, in Edelman's terms, a subject. 11ut That subject subjecr was both borh depicted in the rhe law and in a certain cerrain way enacted by its enforcement. enforcemenr. Edelman, borrowbortowfrom French posmructuralism, a~ a thing ing ftom poststructuralism, understood the subject/self, not as that automarically a automatically inhered in a persall, person, but rather as a cultural culmral accomplishment, :lccompli~hment,:l contingent organi::l:ation organization of Ianguagc langu:lgc and social ~ocial practices, along the lines of what

rhar seHhood:'" (TIle (111e argument is, not that John Frow calls "the imaginary forms of selfhood."t9 selves do nor se!>'es not exist, but that they are arc not nor their own explanation; when someone deeply feels, "rhis "this is who I truly am" or when they behave according to a certain citizen;' say, or"[ definition of selfhood-"I selfhood-"' am a citizen," or~l am a businessperson trying to have their OWIl make a profit"-it's not that those claims are untrue, UntrUe, bur but that they hal'e own cannOt be taken as fuJly cultural conditions and thus cannot fully self-explanatory.) of ownership Applied to the phenomenon ofcopyright, this meant meam that a sense ofownership of one's writings or efforts, a sense of responsibility for olle's one's creative compositions, had to to be acquired historically and culturally. It was not something obvious to aU ill people at all times, as Ayn Rand might have it, but rather, as legal historian puts it, a habit acquired. ::I.cquired"much lare twentieth~much in the same way as late David Saunders PUtS cenrur), Westerners ll:lve a relucta.nce reluctance and incapacity incapa.city to spit in public."'" century h...ve acquired ... Pan of Edelman's unique contribution was to take rhe culmnl subjectthe idea of cultural rea.lm of literary analysis into a realm rea.lm where one could conStruction beyond the realm specifically see the intersection of power, culture, and the state, in the momenr moment of specifica.lly crearing capital, creating capital. later, across the Some )'ears years bter, rhe Atlantic Adantic in the Americall American academy. academy, a Critical Legal Studies-influenced law professor named Pent Peter Jaszi jaszi became interested in similar interscctions, jaszi and literary intersections, resulting in a then-unusual collaboration between Jas::l:i collaboration, a critical lithistori:ln historian Martha Woodmansee. In the wake of their collaboration. er~ture on copyright de\'eloped developed that discovered, with a kind of astonishment, the erature romantic notion of the author-genius buried away awar inside intelle(fual intellectual property law." law.'" historically a response to to the capacities of the printing press, Copyright, historica.lly ptess, is not individual book. It is about a. a text. text, about propert}' property in a physical thing such as an individua.l ...bout that is, a sequence of words or ...n an org;a.ni::l:ation organization of colors, shapes, and sOllndssoundssomething that can be reproduced across multiple nlllltiple instances, actOss across the multiple film. But for this to make sense as something copies of a book, a photograph, a filnl. thar rec that can be owned, copyright copytight needs to be granted to something the law can recnot a copy, cop~~ something that is original, both in the sense of unique and in ognize as 1I0t the sense of having an identifiable origin. That TIlar thing which is granted a kind of property status, starus, then, then. has to be something that was not itself copied, something thar cre:lrion-from-nowhere. Beginning with primed books that h:ld had a moment of creation-fromnowhere. themselves, judges and lawyers, squ:lbbles and dilemmas, tended la\\1'Cts, faced with legal squabbles that sprang from :I a mOment to imagine thar original thing as something moment of inspithat otiginal individual, :l a genius. This, it turns mrns out, was ration inside the head of a unique individu:ll. Bentham's nor not a figure so much like Locke's yeoman farmer cultivating land or Benrham's calculating. profit-maximizing shopkeeper, but, both historically and phenotypically, it was something more like Goethe and Wordsworth's inspired romantic artist~the attist-the model for the romantic form of selfhood. sclOl0od.

144

O~1l Open

Source, rhe the Problem of Property the Expressive Expre~sive Progr.lmmer, Programmer, and rhe Properry

145

Open SOllrce, dle Expressive Programmer. Soura:, rhe Programmer, and the Problem of Property

;I rcsulr, result, inside legal [eg;ll cases uses concerned COllcerned with decidedly unrornanric unrom;lnric topics As a genetie;lJJy altered cells from someone's spleen, dat;lbases and genetically such as computer databases c;ln find invocations invoc;lrions of something that looks very much like the shopworn one can isobted artistic genius working away 3way in a :l garret. g:lrret. literary figure of the romantic, isolared literary crirics critics and culrural cultural historians found rhis this interesting because they had The lirerary notion ofauthorship. of authorship, The TIle signature essay. essay, from frolll deconscructing rhe the very norian been busy deconsrrucdng view, was Foucault's MWhar "What Is an all Author:'" Atlthort which famously f;l1l\ously contheir point of view. dudes with the question MWhat "What matter who's who's speakingt" speaking:"'.. (Jaszi's introduction cludes to the legal leg3l 2cademy :lcademy W2S was called clllled ~Who "Who C2res Cares Who Wrore Wrote Sh2k Shakeof this notion ro espe;lret)" -Ille question has double implications. implic:ltions. On the one h2nd. hand, the quesdon qnestion speue?,/'Illae casts the common concern with specifying :luchorship inro doubt: doubr; why should castS authorship into \\'har does that teU tell us about his Shakespe:lre was 2S as 2 a pefllon~ person! \Vhat it matter who Sh2kespeare matter~ But. Bm, on th~ other hand. hand, it also ;1[$0 r.lises r;lises;l works, about why they m2tter: 2 question of works. ide;l of the author as 2 a genius-creator genius-creatOr operates in history and society. $OCiet)', the how the ide2 what Foucault called the 2uthor-fimction. author-function. question of whu 111is to a great de.u deal of fruitful scholarship that This approach opened the door to cutting-edge humanisu hunlanisrs and ;lnd cultural critics cridcs with widl those rhose m;lrried the COncerns concerns of cuning-edge married leg;II scholars. seholus. Film scholar Jane J;lne Gaines, for example. example, published :I a book demof legal intellectual property properry C2fl can illuminate 3n underst3ndonstraring how;ln analysis of inteUeenu1 onsmting how an :lnalysis an underStandfilms.... Law L;lW professor James Boyle ;m;lly:zed analyzed trends in copyright law using ing of films." scholus." Boy[e in panicparticinsighrs borrowed from Foucault and ;lnd other continent:U continent;ll scholars. It Boyle insights u[n to how the cre;ltion-from-nowhere ;lssumptions associated ;lssociued ular called attention ro creation-from-nowhere assumptions genius, what he called the Mauthor-ideology: "author-ideology; had with the conCept concept of authorial genius......hat soci:ll conditions of creation. cre;ltion, leading to questionable the effect of obscuring the social legal policies and obscuring various forms of collecrh'e collective culrural cultural and intellectual production. Law professor and anthropologi5t anthropologist Rosemary Coombe further elabo"double-jointedproblem, granting Boyle's point but also noting the Mdouble-joimedrated on the problem. law, the W2Y way it can go in multiple, ness" ness~ of the idea of authorship in law. multiple. sometimes unpredictable directions; ifMauthor-ideolog{ if "author-ideology" generally functions to shift power $;Iy, Disney or Time Warner. Warner, ir it also can sometimes crearion towards, over culture creation rowards. say. support, say, Native American groups trying to protect their cultural heritage." herirage." Americ:m rrying suppOrt. say. quesdons, however. however, the courrs courts While scholars were pursuing these interesting questions, ;lnd legislaturcs legisbtuteS of the United States, Sratcs, and ro to a large degree of the world, were and skeprical line of reasoning regarding private privare property. pursuing a decidedly less skeptical rhought, property relarions Under the sway of neoliberal habits of thoughr. relations were being water, to highways, to extended ever more widely-to watet. to genes, and, in the realm of intellectual properry, property, to software patents, to to business models, to ro the "look and sofrwue, to ever-longer copyright duration-and dur;ltion-and in the early e;lrly 1990S this feel" of software, W;lS generally presented as the rhe only logical logial approach. ;lppro;lch. A task force created creued by the rhe was P;lper calling for strengthening Clinton administration ;ldministr;ltiol1 in 1993 released a White \"'hire Paper Clinron 146 Opcn Source. the Expressive Prognmmu, Progr:lllllller, and [he dle Problem PmblcllI of Property Pmperry Open

digital technologies," 1994, the United inrellectual ptoperty property in the face of new digit:ll technologies." In 1994. intellectual intellectual property law an States and European nations succeeded in making intellectu:ll dement of the international system syStem of trade in the TRIPS agreement, adminelement digit3l realm re;llm was dear, clear, efficient. efficient, moral, istered by the WTO. Property in the digital powet were concerned-inevitable. concerned-incvit;lhJe. The 111C principle ofuthe of"the and-as far as those in power better" seemed inexorable. more property protection the bc:tter~ rhe other orher side of the intellectual fence. fence, it did nor not help that Critical Crirical Legal Legal On the Srudies and its fellow travelers were vague when it caIne to solmions. CririfeUow CJme to solutions. CritiStudies cal Legal Studies was generally thoughr rhought to ro be a left-wing movement movcment because bccause botb legal moderates and conservatives inside it typically crossed swords with both and because it seemed to make a ;I case for fot relatively radical radic;ll changes law schools 2nd W;lS not, nOt, however. however, exactly cx3crly the activist Left of the civil in legal interpretation. It was e;lrly 196os. 1960s, which. which, following Marrin Martin Lurher Luther King. King, Jr. Jr., rights movement of the early ide:ll of rights; rights: that earlier version of the Left Lefr its claims in terms of the ide.u couched iu th;lt the United States Stares live up ro irs its own ideals. ideals, proceeded largely by demanding that King said, every citizen's right (Q to life. life, liberty. liberty, 2nd and the pursuit th;lt it uphold, that uphold. as IGng contrast, seemed to be saying. saying, not that tim of happiness. Critial Critical Legal Srudies, Studies. in connut. standards, but thac thu it could cOllld nOI Itot live up to law was failing to live up to its own standards. standards. Yes, this also meant me:mt that those srandards. that the law could in theory be changed any irself rhe the theory did not offer any basis for deciding what ways. but by itself number of ways, rrue, moreo\'er, happent'.d (Q to the was trUe. moreover. wh;lt what had happened those changes should be. If this W;lS oflawf tht'. rule of men. men, where judges seme settle rule of law! Were we jusr just collapsing back into the views~ Had we ever even left it! it~ persOllal political views: disputes based on their own pc:r-sonal \Vh;lt was the alternative~ alternativef \V}ut So, even for irs its enthusiasts. enthusiasts, there therc was was something somcthing disheartening dishe;lrtening about the So. Critic;ll Legal Studies position. Once one had est2blished, esclhlished, ar at least to one's own Critical of the domin:mt ide3s, what nexr? Perhaps a colorsarisf;lction, the bankruptcy dominant ideas, whar nexr~ Pemaps sadsfaaion. idt'.als might be enough for those who relish the rht'. moment mOlllt'.nt fully ironic take on legal ideals But, as conservative COnservative law and economics rheorists theorists of iconoclasm for its own sake. But. OIl accuallc:ga1 aetu;ll legal decision making. for those with were wielding ever more influence on positions,;I llluch-disimportant insight into the holes in the conservative positions. a list of much-dis;I few tenured tenuted law professors making Ill;lkillg eleganr elegant critiques seemed cussed books and a jusr take r:lke :lpart aparr other people's like small comfort. If you wanted to do more dl;ln than JUSt ideu in front of your colleagues. colle:lgues, if rou you wanted to be pUt part of some 3ctll;ll acrnal positive ideas m:lde a difft'.rence, change, if you wanted to do something that ;lctu;llly actually made difference, where tum~ were you supposed to to rurn~ appe;lrance of the internet presented prest'.nted;ln In this context, the surprising appearanCe an opportunity. Pury Bulow, Wired published an essay by John Perry Barlow, which, in a In March 1994, Wirrd dismissive sweep characteristic of both, was subtitled, "Everything You Know 147 Source, the rhe Expres.sive Expressive Pr<>gr.lmlller. Programmer, and the Problem of Property Open Source:.

about Intellectual lnrellcctual Propcny Ptoperty Is Wrong." Wtong." Here, Here. suddenly, suddenly. was something that

looked like a Critical Ctitical Legal Studies atgument argument appearing in a hip popular maga_ lmga_ zine. The resemblance, resemblance. to be sure, was mostly mosrly in the title, title. The artide, anide, about patzinc, 111e ents ems and copyright in the digital digiul realm, uked, asked, If our property an r~n be i,,~nitdy reprodllced distributed ~ll bC' infinir~ly r~produced ~nd and inltant~neously inst:anunrously disrribur~d.tll Ifour
without rOlt, knowledge, without leaving our over the rh~ planet pbnet wirhout cosr, without withour our knowledge. wirhour its iu even ~ven le.tving possession ... what will ;lS5U"'" assure che the continued cre.lriOIl poss~uion." crution and distribution ofsuch of such work? ... 11le accumulatl-Q canon copyright ~Ild patelll law was developed to woal Th~ xcumularcd unon of ofcopyrighr:rnd p.1t~nr bw w;u; d~V<'loped convey fornu and methods of e~preS$ion the vaporous com'Cy forms :md upr~uionentirely =tird)" di/ferel1l dilfuenr fTOm from rhe ....tporous cugo urgo ir is now being asked to any. carry. It islealdtlg within u as from withuked ro is le;Wng as u much from wirhin om.... Inrellectual parched. retrofitted, or expanded to ro our.". InrelJernuI property ptopetT)' law UW annOl cannot be patched, rerrofirred.01exp.tnded conr~in expresSion :my any morc rh~n real t'll~re uw law might mighr be revised cover connin digirized digitized expression more than rd esr::l.1e revisccl to cavarhe alJOCItion ofbro.tdasringspecrrum of broadcasting sptmm (which, rarher rC$emblcs rh~ .tlloc:uion (which. in 00. faa, r2thn resembles what .....lur is being attempted mempeed hete). het~). \Ve V{e .... will ilI need nttd to develop::ln de"dop an ~nrirdy entirely new nnv ser sa of methods:u methods as befiu this entirely set of circulllS!ances.... 11>e wurce as be6u mrirely new J,C[ ofcircumsr::>.nces. ... Th~ sotl'U of this chis conundrum i. il:U simple as in irs JOIurion solution is i. complex. Digita.l technology is deuching inform~rion from simple.ts Digiw redmology d~ing inform.trion rhe the physical physic.tl pI.tne. plane. .... where here Propl:rty propcrq' law 1.1.... of:ill of allsoru sons hu has always .tlwa)'$ found definition." definicion.. ..

ers, and Ner Net surfers-already know this. Unfortunately, Unfortunately. neither the companies direct experithey work for nor the lawyers these companies hire have enough direcr ence with nonmaterial goods to understand why they are so problematic." 11le The time were already develop"programmers, hackers, and :rnd Net surfers," who at that thu rime ing a heroically rebellious status in the tile culture, thus might in fact f3Ct be willing to rally behind someone who d:\imed claimed that all those old lawyers were wrong. Decon-

structing property l::>.w law might bur following Barlow's mighr impress a few colleagues, but to new, more hopeful placa. places. Here was a potential ally,::I ally, a new lead might mighr take one ro potential audience, and, unlike the seemingly impotent Critical Legal Studies, a 111llke n II diffetrllCt. difference. him of something that might actually mnke Barlow's essay exemplifies how the generalized rOlll:lnticized construction of romanticized construcrion context of the spreading internet created a context for a poputhe digiral in the COntext larized iconoclasm. The surprising spread of the internet with the romanticized made it easier, sense of rebellion so successfully propag:ated propagated by Wirt'd Wirrd suddenly m:lde even attractive, to dismiss large chunks of the received wisdom. In this new conam2ctivt:, ro lhe received text, inteUe<tual propeny might be one of those areas where the reeeh'ed wisdom intellectual property might be changed, notJUSt not JUSt criticized. Cyberlaw The Birth of Cyberl.aw Lawrence Lessig was at assistant professor of law 13w at the L.awrence lLssig W:l..'i ::It the time rime a promising assist:mt University of Chicago. He had published a series of articles on problems of Conh:ld .seria gnawing stitutional interpretation rhar that demonstrated a solid awareness of the stirution.al me gn.awing interpretation foregrounded by Critical Legal Studies, but :m all dilemmas of legal inrerpreGlrion unwillingness ro to accept the fatalism futalism rhe the position suggested. His first I;lw l.aw journal publication, for example, was a comparison and ContnSt Contrast between the theories of publication. legal moderate Bruce Ackerman and those of the thundering nco-Hegelian star nw-Hegelian srar Studies mo,emenr. movement, Roberto Unger." Unger.' Lessig argued that the of the Critical Legal Studia assumed. two approaches were less disrant distant from olle than was commonly :lssumed, one another th:ln him in the position of both young turk-each scholar and their folwhich pUt put posirion divisiOns were nor not as nlOderate-the divisions lowers were wrong about something-and moderate-the pronounced as most thought, and in the polarized legal acadetllY academy of the day being a moderate could actually appear as iconoclastic." iconoclastic." And, And. as the 19905 1990S progressed, that showed a keen intereSI in and Lessig published a series of scholarly arcicles anicles interest assumptions in legal debate, grasp of the role of first principles and underlying assumption~ sense, to maintaining a conviction convicrion that the law could be made to make ~ense, while also maimaining live up to its promises; the rhe law could work. In the manner of Critical Legal Studies, Smdies, Lessig regularly pointed to to the weaknesses of the assumpdons assumptions underlying various philosophies of jurisprudence, wrote. for example, that the underlying though he did so in a gentle tone. rone. He wrote,
149

For l::lw l:aw professors mher intellectuals skeptial of the project of property, professon and orner imdlecruals skeprical voice from an unexpected place. this looked like a friendly ::I "oice pbce. To be sure, for somehistoricallin~rantrc one steeped sreeped in the critical :md ::Ind historical literature on intellectual property, many clainlS were dubious. Digital technology was different, but of Barlow's specific claims and Edelman had shown how successfully photography,:rnd once upon a time so was photography, law had been adopted to that once-new and befuddling technology: historirhe the h:ld bee:n :ldopted :md music." And ans could rell tell simil:lt similar storia stories about broadcasting. broadcasting.. filnl, and recorded music." film,:md based on "the physical physic~l plane" plane" was peculiu; peculiar: Barlow's idea that old laws l:lwS were all all1secl i'Jliwgible things. rhings. There 111ere was litrle linle new intellecmal property has alw:lYS always been about illttlllgible inrellecrual (Wllile iis it's true that rhat copyright has genergellerabout the virtuality" "virtuality" of digital property. (While "at'e fixed in a tangible medium of expression"ally protected only things th:lr that "are expression:l printed that is, written down or somehow recorded-the difference between a degree, not of tape and a digitally rransmirred transmitted text is one of degree. casserrt: rape book or a cassette 011 :l a p:lge page nor words displayed on :I a screen arc kind.) Neidler Neither words displayed on :lrt: complerely TI,e lack of completely lacking in physical substance, subsrance, and both arc are easily copied. The fit between the law and the realiry, reality, from the me point of view of lhe the accumulated criticalliterarure critical literature on property. was nothing new. A Critical Legal Studies aficiogeller/Ii was nado might have said that everything we know about property ill ge'lCTlII wrong.. so what's the big deal about pointing this out our in the digital tcllm~ realm~ wrong. Yet even for someone who was aware of all that, there was something alluring in Barlow's jeremiad. In a by-then-familiar lllOVC, move. Barlow distinguished between that the cool young folks who got it and the old suits that did nor. not. He argued thar create soft soft- property-the property-rhe programmers, hack"most of the people who actually cre:ue
148
Opcn Source. the Property Open Sourc~, [h~ Expressive Erpressive Programmer, Programmer. and the Problem of ofProp<:rry

Open Sourc~, rh~ th~ Expreuive Programmer, and the Property Exprnsive Progr~mmer. rhe Problem of Prop~ny

principles of the entire law md and economics movement tend to rely on an 3.n ecoprin<:iples ~spatseness and simplicit{ sometimes might "make ~m3.ke one nomic theory whose ~sparscness mi$S something important."" imporrant.~~ Or that all the various effortS efforts to define a system of miss ConStitutional interprerarion interpretation that accounts actounts for the dramatic hisrory history of change changc in Constiturional interpret3.tions interpretations of the meaning of the Constitution tely rely on ~plenry "plenty of intuitions, but no satisfactory account. account.~11 Unlike Critical Legal Studies, however, Lessig dishinlSelf from those who would say rhat that dlese these weaknesses might make one tances himself leg;ll reason itself iudf is rorten rotten to rhe the core. core_ An account ;lccount of the meaning me3.ning of wonder if legal human.3.ctions, he suggests, can complement complemem efforts efforrs to to apply economie economic reasoning reuoning human,.actions, translation em can revh'e revive the idea of fidelity to the Constituto the law; a theory of tr.lnslarion that suggests a lack of faithfulness." faithfulness. l ' rhe face of all the historical evidence rhat tion in the nl.ther uniqudy someolle wirh with his training. tr.lining.. Lessig l.cssig was also a h2bitu21 habitual But, rather uniquely for someone pUt dabbled in progtamming programming after college." This put fiddler with computers, having d2bbled that category of individuals who would be experiencing the rise of me the him in thar Court imernet before their superiors aught internet caught on. While clerking for Supreme Coun sevenl.l Amonin $calia Scalia in the 1990-1991 tenn, term, he m:rn.:lged managed ro convince severn Justice Antonin justices to sun surt using microcomputer-baud microcomputer-based publishing softwue software ro to replace their 3.ntiquated alternative software on his laptop. By Lesantiquated syStem by demonstrating 2lrernative Barlow-em;l,il-moment was a cover story in the ViIIllge Village Voice Voiu by sig's account, his Barlow-email-moment Julian Dibbell called ~A ''A Rape in ill Cyberspace; Cybcrspace;' which appeared in Dec. 1993-a months after me the internet firsr first hit the media medi3. ndar_ r.l.dat. It \v.t$ was a discussion of a few monms "as he read Dibworld.'" According to Steven Levy, ~as npe in an online game world." virtual rape S[ruck by how closely closdy me the concerns of the participanrs participants in bell's piece, Lessig was srruck the virrual virtual world ... resonared resonated with those of [legal scholar C2therineJ Catherine] MacKinme radic3.1 views (porn isn'r isn't protected non, whose radical ptotected speech) were generally considered Voice. This suggested to Lessig th:lt that cyberspace was virgin intelat rhe the Voia, anathema ar lectu3.1 territory, territoty, where ideas ide3.s had yet to be boxed in by onhodoxy. orthodoxy. 'It w:lS.:I. was a place lectual (heir politics: says $:IYs Lessig.~r. Lessig."ll where nobody knows their The move from the dry world of theories of constiturional inrerpretarion interpretation to wriring .:I.bour about the internet, then, rhen, while certainly occasioned in part by Lessig's perwriting rhe surprising explosion of the inrerintersonal hobby of working with computers and the mOtivated by the desire to do some,hiug something net on the scene in 1993 and 1994, was also motivated /hill rna/lered milltered in a world where conservative sccmed to hold:all hold all the power. power, Ihnt conserv:arive thinking rhinkingseemed "cyberl:lwyer,~ Lessig h:as has s:aid, said, Look.ing back b:lck on his move rowards towatds becoming a ~cyberlawyer,~ Looking iuud; I think mink arc unjusc abour legal syuem, system, ou=~' outr.lgeously There are wues are deeply UnjUSl about our leg:d 10. You know. sptem for fOT the rhe poor is out[;l~ outr~geous, md ~nd I'm rm wildly ~ oppoJcd so. know, the legal s)'Su:m ro the dearh penalry. TI1CfC afe a million rhings like th3t-you callT do anything to death ~n:a.lrr There are a things th,u-you aliI' an)'I'hing about them. I I could go be a poIirician, bur but J Ijun jUA could never ncver do something JOmething like ~bout ~ polirici~n. thu. But Bur [cyberspace) [cyberspace] w~s wu an are3 where, dIe tbe morr more II undemood understood it, felt that. ~n ;Iru iI', the rhe more II fdr chere was a righr right mswer. :Ulswer. The law bw dau docs give a a right mswer." answer,there wu:a
n "

the e2l'ly early 1990S, 19901, 2mong among intellecruals intellectuals spending their not alone. In rhe Lessig was nor unexpected spare rime time discovering me the pleasures of online communicating.. sp.:l.re communicaring. the unexpcc:ted internet seemed ro to creare.:l.n create an opportunity for bringing up big philospread of the rite interner rhat mighr might be heard outside ourside me rhe confines ftesh ways, in ways that sophical issues in fresh of a narrow circle of colleagues, colle3.gues, in ways that rhat :lctually actually [night might have an inAuence. influence. took. esrablished established institutions by surprise in rhe early 11le way that The th2t the internet took an opening. opening.. .a place where intellectual iconoclasm actually might 1990S offered .:I.n :I. pbce academy, gain some purchase outside the aademy. As we saw in the rhe lasr last ch.:l.pter, chapter, libertarians like Esrher Esthet Dyson began to discover 1980s and sei2;ed sei:l:ed on ir it in the che pages of Wired and other this possibility in the late bre 1'}80s mis 3. sense, their hope was that, somehow, computer technology could venues; in a back. into cryst2ls. crystals. As the 19905 progressed, however, it was the iconoturn mud back to move row:.lrds tow3.rds the interner. internet. Boyle, whose clasts of the legal Left who began to r3.nge of topics lOpics from indigenous intellectual property covered a full range first book on intellecrual tr.l.ding.. began focusing more on the cultural knowledge ro to genetics ro to insider trading. rhe culrural the mid-1990s. mid-1990S, A legal historian on Ille faculty at me faculry specifically digital world in me Columbia Law School named Eben Moglen signed on to be general counsel to the t,hen-Iittle known Free Soffware Software Foundation in 1993; Moglen had worked me rhen-Jirrle early legal career was made up of as a programmer in the early 1980S, bur his e2Tly historiography of early twelltiem-century twentieth-century law {md (and an 3.n law journal articles on the historiogn.phy that weighed in on some fine points poims of CriticallLgal Critical Legal Studies's principle of article mar legal inderenninacy)." indeterminacy)." Iega.! Ir is common enough for a mid-areer mid-career professor, prore~sor, once granted gtanted tenure and It to prove oneself to senior colleagues, colle:l.gues, to rhus no longer so needful of having to look for something :I a little more worldly, something that might take one doser closer to me the rough-and-tumble of current evems, events, Bur this move Ilsually rhe ro usually takes the the more a.bstr.lu, abstr:l.c(, perha.ps perhaps philosophical philosophic3.1 concerns form of backing off from rhe :l.cademy; one StartS srarts accommodatthat seem of highest intetest inside the academy; th.:l.r of, say, politicims, politicians, or pn.cricing practicing bwyers, lawyers, or inrerest interest groups. ing the concerns of. What is striking about me the development or cybc:rlaw was rhe degree to which of cyberla.w Whar i( was driven by a :I. sense, not that one would have to aba.ndon abandon rhe philosophiit GIl to deal with the "real" ~real~ world, but almost almoSt the revetse. reverse. 111e cal The way the internet entered American social and political life creared a comext context that seemed to into first principles while also mainraining maintaining .a :I. sense actually welcome an inquiry imo possibilities, lntellecnW Intellectual radicalism-in me the sense of .a of positive pouibiliries. :I. critique of the underlying conditions of a situation-seemed to to be the way the roots, of the: copyright (or property, or gO\'erngovernto go. Maybe everything we thought about copyrighr rhe context COntext of the internct, internet, that ment menr regulation) was wrong; bur, but, uniquely in the wa~ perhaps not dispiriting. [r It carried with it a sense thar that someconclusion was done, thing could be done:. 151 the Expressive Programmer. Programmer, and me [he Problem of Property Open Source, rhe

150

rhe Expressive Programmer,:trId Programmer, and tIY d1(' Problem of Property Properry Open Source, the

111c The Microsoft Problem

111e nrSt years ye3U of whal what would become known 3.S as eyberb.w cyberbw mosdy involved The first 310ng with the Wind Wired vision-the internet inrernet W3S a realm of potential W2$ 3. riding along (0 be sullied by old corpor.ate corporate 3.nd and government th:u ought nOI not to new freedom that w:lys-while deb3.ting debating the particulars with those earlier iconoclutic iconoclastic entr2llts entrantS ways-while into the open culruril eulcur;l.l sp3.ce space created by the internet surprise: the m:uket lllarket purinro ists and Iiberuri:ms. libertari:lllS. However, as Microsoft readjusted itself to the emerging t996, it no longer looked self-evident that the internet's interne!"S internet in 1995 and 1996, openness would ovenhrow Overthrow the Microsoft empire; Microsoft, by throwing its operarenonnous resources into its browser and lever.aging lever.lging its domination of operatenormous usourC6 dominare the ing systems, systemS, could coloni%e roloni:l:e the internet JUSt as it had come ro dominate personal computer. SpOrt, particularly programmers panicularly among progr.ammers Hating Microsoft has been a popular spon, TIle railing against Microsoft does not come from exactly the and technophilcs. The generali:l:ed railing against againsr corporations in the United same place as the more generali%ed rhe ProStates, True, ever since they took center stage in the U.S. economy in the States. critici:l:ed and anacked attacked :llmost almost as much gressive Era, large corporations have been cririci%ed celebrared and emulated. And inrdleauaI intellectual property has often ofren as they have been celebrated been a source of power for many of them; carefully cultivated patent libraries tied the strength to investment-guided research and development provided much of tlte of early e:arly twentieth-century twentiedl-cenrury corporations, as Dow Chemical, Chemic:lI, Gener21 General Eleccorpotations, such ;lS RCA.'" tric, Westinghouse, and RCA .... Btl[ the resentment against Microsoft is uniquely personalized. personali:l:ed. Criticisms of But Microsofr rarely associate the company with corporations with similarly priviMicrosoft mictoprocessor manufacrure manufaCTUre or leged positions posirions in their fields (such as Intel in microproces.sor l~ed Onele in database dat:lbase management managemenr srstems), systems), and the Strucruril Strucrural conditions of corOracle irs own reward are arc not usually discussed. porate capitalism c3pitalism thar that render bigness its por2te Gares, and critieiSlns are typically focused on the company founder, Bill Gates, Instead, criticisms (0 criticisms of the quality of its irs products produCTS and the rhe implication implicarion tbat that there linked to peculi:lrly nefarious about abom the whole enterprise. The website websire SI;lSh Slashis something peculiarly enrlmsiasTS, labels dot, popular among computer professionals and open source enthusiasts, Google, Sony, Apple, Yahoo-with stories about most corporations-AOL, Goog1e, corporare logos or pictures of products. The icon for Microsoft-related Microsofr-related stories, corporate contrasr, superimposes the headgear of the Borg-the evil, mind-controlling in contrast, Slilrtrck TV series-on top of a picture of Bill l3ill Gates. Computer empire from the Stllrtrek scienrists who go to to work for Microsoft find themselves :lpologi%ing apologi:l:ing for their rheir scientists choice of employer in professional fora. Like a mythic demon in a rribe's collective negarive image in the symbolic symboliC [ore, Bill Gares Gates has been turned into an important negative lore, economy of online culture. 15.1 152 Source, lhe the Exprcuivc ElI"pressi"e Progumm"r, Programmer. 'lnu Property Open Source. and the Problem of Propc:ny

%y Gates~ Significantly, Significanrly, Bill Gates Gares Why this intense focus on the person of Bill Gates? not from software rhat that he :lcrually became rhe the richest person in the world, nor aCtually wrote, bm basiGl.lly other sofrware carefully but basically by managing the labor of orher software writers and carelUlly their work. Gates did do subsub distribution and marketing of theit manipulating the distributiOn progr:lmming in the company's early carly entrepreneurial years stantial amounts of programming 1970S and early 1980s. But rhe produers thar of the late 1970S the products that became the foundation ro dominance-MSDOS, \Vindows, Windows, Excel, of the company's spectacular rise to Word-were created and mainr.ained maintained by others. \Vord-were in the annals of corpor2te corporate America, Microsofts Microsoft's business srrategy is hardly In that Gates once journ;llist Roben Robert Cringely Cringdy claims th3.r surprising. Silicon Valley journalist mOnty in the computer business is by selting setting rhat ~the way to make money told him that de factO facro standards.~" srandards.~" Insofar insofar .as as computing is .about about communication-which, communic:ltiOll-which, as the case since about 1970-having 1970-h:lving the same sysrem system we've seen, has been mosdy mostly rhe its own reward. A better system th,:I[ that is different from that everyone else has is itS IlOf bener. better. Call it network externalities, everyone else's is, in an important sense, not c:lll it the fundamentally fund:lmentally social charactet character of human call it parh path dependence, or call Microsoft's core strategy has existence, there is much value in commonality, and Microsofts to exploit that fact. Sct. Become the norm and then charge for it; all other goals been to are secondary. MSDOS was probably nOt tlot technically better than other available 1980S, but Microsoft did e"erything everything rhey to operating systems of the early eatly they could to :l5 if it spread everywhcre. a cycle was estab~rab insure that it was everywhere. And as sptead everywhere, manufacturers of hardware hardw:lre and SOftware to create rhings things software ro lished that encouraged manufaCturers openting system, and 3nd as they rhey did so they rhey further widl Microsofts Microsofr's operating that worked with cycle continuu continues to this day. dar reinforced Microsofts Microsofr's position; posirion; this self-reinforcing crcle poim of vie....., view, this is not all thar that troubling. 'The Tile From a business management point EcoIJomist calmly noted th2t, that, in spite some sOllle of his claims to the COntrary, contrary, Gatu Gates is Eco'lomi51 further ahead :lhead than th:lIl others or builds unique not a technological leader who sees lUnher "making money in the slipsrream slipstream of and pathbrCllking pathbreaking products. produCts. His skill is in Hmiling 2nd people's technological rechnological vision~ vision"-and its own is perfectly reasonable, Other peoples -2Ild this on irs The ECOIlOmiJf as far as ~ .as Ecollomi5t is concerned." rhe acknowledgment :lck.nowledgmenr Bill Gates is uniquely a problem only if you think that the crtativity is of overriding importance -that -rh:lr and reward of individual effort and creativity poinr of view. From this point is, if you are attracted to a romantic individualist point galling.. panicularly particularly [0 to someone who actually does of view, Microsoft is incredibly galling. managing or making software. softw:tre. As Microsoft's dominance steadily rhe work of m2naging do the 1990S, the growing world community cOlllmunity of progr2mmers programmers and other grew in the 1990S, computer experts regularly experienced visceral annoyance :It ar the tlte success of Bill Gares; rewards, nuning mrning those Gates; he was reaping the rew:lrds, rhose rewards ro his further advanir by building:l building a better benet mouserr:lp. mousetrap. and he wasn't doing tage, but he wasn't doing it what they saw as rhe the real work. He wasn't creating much thar that was rruly truly new or
ISJ 153

Open Source, the tlte Exprtssi\'e Expressive Programmer, and rhe Problem of Propc:rty Property Opc:n

better. If the most fundamental of all rights is, as Ayn Rand put it, "[0 think, to work and keep the results," there was something wrong; the people who were doing the thinking and working weren'r keeping the results. This situation was not enchanting. The Creation of the Open Source Idea One of rhe difficulties for Bentham's premise that people are rational and selfinteresred is that, on the surface of it, they somerimes are nor. Most people at rimes clearly like co do work for something larger than rhemselves, for example. Soldiers, athletes on reams, mountain climbers, family members in moments of celebration or crisis, and law students on the law review ofren recall rhe intense energy and feeling of solidarity thar comes from working on behalf of the group, frequently with an amount of effort rhar is clearly not in one's obvious self-interest. People will often say, in fact, they have worked harder in these situations than in contexts where they were working purdy for their own gain. It is only because utilitarian reasoning has become so raken for granted in our culture that the same people who speak fondly of such moments of working for the group can tum around and say things like "everybody knows that welfare discourages initiative" or ~if people can'r make money from ir, it won'r ger done." Yet more than a few computer engineers know from personal experience that sometimes people will do things even if they could make more money from doing something else, and, as we saw in chapter four, a number of those inside the interner engineering community saw computer networking as a case in point. There are rimes when some of the best work is done, not to maximize poim. profit, but out of passion or commitment to something larger. In the early 1990S, pront, as the interner spread like wildnre wildfire and became coupled in the popular imagin;limagin:lcion to an unregulated free market, some of these engineers started to raise their H:luben, for example, published Nctizms, voices in protest. Michael and Ronda H;luben, an important book that compellingly detailed rhe numerous ways in which the internet was born of and embodied, not capitalist self-interest, bur forms of spirited and deliberately collective action. Unix, they showed, was designed from the ground up to enable collaboration and the sharing of interoperable software tools so as to encourage collective improvement of the system. l11e internet appeared, not JUSt because of various nonprofir arrangements, but because of its deliberate design, on both a technical and sodal level, as an open system nonprofit collaborative combuilt for shared collective clfore. Usenet and other nonpront munication systems both spread much of the knowledge that made the global interner possible and taught a generation of technical professionals the value of online, citizenly collaboration. 154 Open Source, the Expressive Programmer, and rhe Problem of Properry

It is perhaps because of the overwhelming dominance of the taken-for-granred utilitarianism in American society that those wirh different views sometimes feel compelled ro leap to the other extreme. The Haubens took their crucial observation-that some of our mOSt advanced technologies like the internet did lIot emerge solely from self-interested. profit-motivated contextS and logics-and used it to then insist that Ilonprofit behavior is obviously morally and technically superior. They defined and valorized the "nerizens," nor as people who merely used me internet, but people who "understand the value ofcommunal work and the collective aspects ofpublic communication ... people who care about Usener and the bigger Net and work towards building the cooperative and collective nature which benefits the larger world:" "The so-called 'free marker;" they argued, "is not a corbenents rect solution for the problem ofspreading network access to all:'.. Never mind the ideologically blurry tradition of Vannev:u Bush, with irs rechnocratic faith in the ability of experts to elegantly mix public and private efforts or all the back-andforth movement between private and public contexts characteristic of many of the engineers that the Haubens lionized. In the first half of rhe 1990S, faced with the spread of the bizarre claim that the triumph of the internet was somehow a triumph of free individual initiative and of the market, the Haubens seized on the opposite claim: NetiUIl$ presents a picture ofcomputer communications as a nonprofit communitarian utopia, threatened by ignorant capitalist managers. This stance of reacting to utilitarian dominance with communitarian purism is shared by Richard Srallman. Today he is a hacker hero, bur in rhe early 1990S his effort to make a free and open clone of the Unix operating system was known only to narrow computer engineering circles (and those readers of Levy's Hackers that made it all the way to the end). Stallman, upset by the restrictions that ensued from the commercialization of systems like Unix in the bte 1970S and :llternative soft1980s, set OUt to create, not just another version of Unix, but an ;llternative ware universe in which the free sharing of software code was reqllitt'd by those using it; towards that end he created the Free Software Foundation and a unique specified that form of copyright license, the Genera! Public License or GPL, that specined a piece of software could be freely shared and used provided that whoever dismodifications to that tributes ir also freely distributes the source code and any modincations SOurce code. Instead of, say, releasing software code into the public domain, copy:lnd open distribution, right was retained, but for the purpose of maintaining free ;lnd not for the purpose of preventing others from selling the software. It was less a nonproperry or public domain approach than a kind of antiproperty. In 1991, when a Finnish college student named Linus Torvalds, as a way to learn about operating sysrems, began building an experimental operating system kernel, he early on copyrighted it IIsing the GPL, so that he and collaborators could also use sofrware tools created by Stallman and his colleagues." 155 Open Source, rhe Expressive Programmer, and rhe Problem of Property

ry urity sec uri srige and job s nments, where one's prestig iro onm env vir d n kin tai cer ain In research and academic ell a n, , this ma de cen tio ion ora o~r collab lab ion cat on and col ari publi lic pub en op y on s hno log dep end bigh tec ofren oft th hig rld tha t was bo th in love wi wo l era lib neo in a r ang g spr~n on n only sp of sense. Bu t ovati tio the assum pti on tha t innova ck on rhe stuCk y snI tely to as ent rhat see me d complerel em fer and tha so dif was fit. Stallm an's app roach ~s rsuit of profit, dried article cle titl from rhe un fet ter ed pu run an ani did rt'd Wi red e in 1993, issu ue iss ond sec its In hor le. aut tho inv e isib aU ch. TIl ost ch, be almosr tiz ed Sta llman's approa summariz y eR efly bri t df tha lle d~ro Sta t lle St;lllm llman Sta ~Is Sta mi ses no (0 -Is people sho uld eve r make pro t rha nk tha rhi thi 't ~I don an, n, -, llm ma Sta 2l1 otes ST quOte qU rhe article discussing f of the hal 1f se to h:L s clo nd spe n the ~ and or, ghb or, h the ir neighb wit th rhe article n," : the dow sha re wi wn bave bogged do to hav . "Things seem ro ort 's eff :m s an' Sm llm h TIle Sta . Th wir th problems wi wi th financing, produ cti on and pro blems lre rw; re twa sof in ;lys lt del ays adu ulr :.Id tes, no tin g staltes Sto rime, is that of the knowing red at the tim \Vi ~Vi t of tl:x xt con nte the CO in rly ts, it ly ula gestS, lat partic icu icle e sugges tone, pan .articl cess here, the art tic child. If the re is any suc alis ide ort . an pp s of Su aki ng spe Cygnu t[ Stallman's programs, like to suppo rt to s on eff e t tur ofi for Fu -pr a w Saw is in the rS Alive Sa ers me I11 mm gra St Progr:l eSt ;m: eat Gre Gr the of ne ~O ed, st titl mu sub r re;lde der ,~ Th e article is ity : the rea ity In.~"R eal ~"Real en Realir ality Se t In, Th en are Was Free. 111 ftw All So a naive is \,\,/ e lrin g her sh; rin V\' nu rke rket; sha est, pro fit, and the ma of self-interesr rld wo the e; the is her see um e, ass \'e on, no thi ng to s..:e mO\'(' n to mo de ni rea d": its rea ing tell teU ect eff s in wa wu red \Virtd ideal. ~Vi isln ial sm of sta rt-up s. ali eur uri ren ene entrep epr ion is all in the rom ant ic enn actcion ml's adm on ition :.Ic ss com mu nit y too k Wired ine bus ;lS the as yea rs, tho se wi th In the nex t few )'ea y int o the stock bubble, fi)' nom .an ecollof erican Americ the ed ng plu and ine rt to hea ur the ir bus ss, while Went abo ut erly r we quiied y" manrra qu nom my no w eco ~ne ew er ~n the our ut ;lb do ub ts abo lds, and ma ny oth cr rva.lds an, Torva Sr;ll!m llm;ln, m rush. Sta rco tco do the at ple y hel ssl sig g and Boyle Les ssi looking on like e Le s. Sc ho lar s lik tinkering wi th the ir system ued ed tin inu con com ret hin ktify ers jus eng ine cng simati on to rhe new technological situ use the ro to ys mwa for g ers loo kin och enaJnkep t en s and oth TIle Ha ub ens . Th ieq'. ;lnd sociery ur law 3n ut abo s ple ir nci the pri g cor e ing som e ts kep t pro mo tin rOOts et's roo ar the interner's nrs at nts me mo an ari lllu nit rhe com mu med completely see:me ore d of the But the world still se.. lf. lf, itse et ern int on the ces often es St ofT practi CtiC et mo sr t pT2 m;lrk vision, 1ll0 rke :lnd ma to rise, and e stock ma rke t con tinued to ts. Th rs, ma rke ore of red bef nev er ces plalces ena mo sfully in p1: world, appearing succes rated wildly across the telecomm unicaproliferar like rie s China and in ind ust and a ssi Ru like e le lik ted ht possib rhoug hr ged d the regulatcd tho rog g..: p-frog e rapidly leap-f ph on e bil .: bil. mo en td riv rke t-d marke tions, where the ma ts of the world. Th e ma ny par ns lll;lny ny pa. teleph ph on e systems in m3 tde line e lin d ely lan y gel ow ned ed larg teor sta Tllet, therefore, rem ain lar inte ern ts s of the int ;lSpec eCt 3Sp y tar rie rop np l his et's no and crucia tile Haubens , the intern like e the s of tho se lik ort eff t bes the te ed of ol\'ed lt tha t involv pnlel ent ignored. In spi many aspects of its develo pm rhe m3 ent, the .~ ces s had suc ces suc tory of nonprofit dev elopm rap id its ch of irs t1lUch th;lt t mu the fact tha r;lte openness, rhe iher.lt dcl ibe del notof s ld nor ree s deg iou cou var :ll1d design: all these details uct ure and ng str mi lco we en, irs op h its wir to do wit to 0$. s of the early 1990S. sm ms !msi;l siu entthu are the fog of the ma rke t en penetr.lle

, dorni.nance w:u Still t. crosoft's of Mi m of M icr ost. l int h t m the po int of view 0 the of t I' pro gra mmer gallmg fro d [0 believe tha wante w 0 itio ble, ' of rec g;llling from the po d n. The stock bub .. Ik art ogn ing eth som ing llg S le erv rvl W;! bb bu ese des ing mm I ca rt Th e srock pro gra oglllnon. S sOlllcthing like . d . ho ut rec programming WOl ive of the rOmanric' . narr;lt theh ld no t h witthour t d e seen, cou Wi exi ste ant ic e exl h:lv as w..: hav r :.IVe the no ld of e narrattve e thout all wirom off 11' as we have seen, cou nor h3ve beell com pel g enougll to tak lin all uld ur com wo ho n it wit bee er; e off e mm hav t gra pro h to rak would no eno ug hope of pe mg I'k An programmer; itelich ~ered the g" ell, wh h off P'o css h' o dre her se ~s reb of like dr of pe ers s An ho e tale mm I dle tales of rebel-hero programmer'S Ie ou ere d the n, wess . the. and rebellion. Yet, h pu rsu ion r: . "h the xpr h f-e alt we fof sel it of it rsu Yet sU pu e%pressiOn and rebellion,emt_, Witll t e pur ruslng the of wealth \lIt Op . fusing rhe pu rsu it r. . COntrol over the Sed irs d M eOIsed ssed, incrrea y Inc progre t onl operarsof rt 1990S cro OSO Mi ICr as the l Overothe ' sse ntro gre CO pro Its 0S apes 199 tsc Ne the L' _ as d . " inroads int m;lric by "" 6 starte dra g and d t kin rke ap" ma <m d tse ma miU Ne tem o ne inr sys s 199 mg system m;lrket and by C mr oad IB M and Apple ;!tl tam . ing k like s rk r;lriOn w rpo . bro CO et po ern cor int jor et. the pl' h lrk Ma of Ap m; et, er ma r s arc of the int ern et brows IBM ser I'e ons rom ce. nanand share domi t's h c_ sof h' cro Mi ft' b of e (0' f.,c ng the p; ofM e in ~s lac es ;lth e Eo un d [he rear In t I minance, gasping for bre eh'es emseh' ICrosa ons do thems found dl inter_ ' . between . iati er th, d ' aSSOc e's tUt tur Cll cul too k to Sev r nr e inter_ ma nan we en the mi am Wh ar i[ bet do n the atlO er 0Cl Sev 3SS to cs k roo tinkerers ir at ow L. Wh fell and s rk rld tv; ma Id To r.al 4, To libe 199 tin ker ets ux. x By 19 Inu net and the neo t was Lin san d feIlo w .., liberal marke _ 94, Otva wh '- _ . net and the neo . ' could be com h ere it int "'rann po O" . the new ir th nel to the l ker 'rne be COm. ved II.C ld tem pro Im cou It sys uin g ere er: II' op m[ r/lew po e ;lre ir ved dle pro plete SO!Tware . im ' ' k to mak 'J ns her effective com har d S,ke a rath hw bme d With Ric rk complere sO ou III an's wo r llma er effective fes rat a Richard Sta e . nals. On me sio bined with ich pro k rloo are to tw an sof IT beg me s e SO On the system, wh ich began to look attractive to som 0 ware proressionals. y systcm, wh was a familiar 'y . ers ;llread workd engine ,enced eri c U:p exp ny ma workd, ir y to m ead rem one han alr ste sys ers engrne a familiar Oence U. one .Iland, it was . Overcame some of er, it ived fi oth . der the s h wa On it ix. as the Un .a, e of On m arc som fro rhe IllX rcame 1I1g III It ove it was derived rom at er, Un {" gmelltatio ing in the area, as ix into competing " g fr;l of I U n f h wit . d iate .r OC me aSS h rrag b s stin lem n 0 exilsrm o com pet ing le eX t e pro nix int ared with trhe ltan.o ker > Eo improvement. the problems associ II . d and . ing " d 0"' tin s y wa ' eas it k e for , aus we . allo ita C(l rea sy In eo ng an improvement s, and ,, bec n, OW Systems, ,lt ,.n because it was ope the . system ( II and 'ad of improvements at F cal gh ;l period hni I' ou tcc . thr id h nt tec rap we pld the ux lOI at s Lin 0 y, ent mOl. provem llt through a pe o r a Im Illcbec . nance Finally. LillUX Wecro ame $0 complete rha t' g system d eratin Opua mi soft's do t ma n be t Mi te rha am ple e tha tem com e tim op sys so t's e same mg sof cam cro Mi ce it t time tha sam Id in areas where it h t was merel ugh eno tw h' , od sof go e y eas d rel to yg ere ord to rele;lse softwa dla as wh re t ar was me rel 00 enoug In areetit lr cou ld aff arc it cou . afford had COmp ion, like . h h ere it us irs V;lSt resources on areas wh d omllla ted and foc ion, like etit mp r Co us irs vas It ad .11' ere Wi s 95 would no t ow dOlllin;lted and foct. tit ,COnSUmer boo up W;nd g' ng era d oti ;l\' e bo Th g rke tm no t m3 e er r.lg er ws wo ;lve ..: bro onSUm 10 Oil'S 95 er uld marker. The up ing hni_ . beg rile th wi l browser . Co mp ute r enoinee h ever. h she tec , Jke inn ; " did beg _ ' hni dId tec r how ice er , ow ineers rs, J Y not WIt sheita O' mptlter eng nmg "l I1 ly nor lim tions of . ice. CO like cal hni led tec co the h' ux th wi Lin ce th fOr J h of ,ali ns allllo/ to ann oy anc e wir pled to Q ad ml rat ion for Linux cou e tC'C IlIc all im ita tio up ry was r;lrion ;ldmi cal . the moralJ of thi's sto y'" n b whar th er wh nd are the wo was M to er ry nd an frs sof tw sto wo beg to thIS ICroso n the of y ega dle re, e n f c.. at e mo ra . on. , Micro Cti h softs softwa fi prodU tion are <:a rw alli sof . org of on l ic ctI tiol du nom :o:a pro eco ani e are org t or the economic 0 SOrrw for S. n;lmed Eric Th ' aU er and gadfly ich wh t in ix programm tel( d Eric S. Un' me con a : n:J rh.. ich s fly wh wa gad in IS [ and tel( er mm con ogra the: Baza;lr," which he deliv_ This was thc an CSS2y cal let rT h ~'l(:r Cathedral ;lnd d wrote an essay called he deliv_ Ra ym on ar; which the Ba<:a nJh',nhd we edd 31' culate beyond " Raymond wrote cir ine to es on enc nt fer con ich e ing wh w d ;lna n w l C 77 gra mm d be)'On ered at pro ate ferences in 199 9 cul Cir on to s, ntand . s r lawyer gh yri ered' at programming con cop i ss executive bu ke rh of s y,n ice law off t ine gh the yri bus o int cop key et of aad ern .e Int cutives ,the o the offices Y s ness exe sed around at' int ern et int . I was pas un d shft- . COrpo 111'is arride gy Th Strategy. srr rate initiating a gro e rat sed aro un d at po pas in cor s ft In wa shi e I d lc un art IS . initiaring a gro run -up to its d '. N in January 1998. er ws bro its b . rce sou rc en the sau et5C.ape in the run -up to its dec n to op isio uar y 1998, ISJon Jan ":C e Its rowset in . . n operating I ape in 'd to b Netsc d ide N would irs ncxt gener:ltio e Its bas Apple rhat, ase g dec to aft er tin c uld ong wo eel op n Ot ple tiotem Ap era uld t gen wo s era sys Not long after that,sou d IB Micro Stln on, and sy ati and nex nd fou IBM rce uld wo on en s ati op nd tem an sys fou m on Ste Su n Micro ies like Red M. and on an open Source tem ~a; sYS at ux-based compan a key str d rci ng as ;ltegy. So on , Lin op en sou Str key ado pt a as sed Companies lih Re ng -ba rci ux sou ,' gs. OOn, Lm adopt op en ome stock rna ""', d ,k" lin dar t rke ma bec ar lIlgs. Ha t would e was stilr blem of Microsof . Ml cro sof ts do mm anc proble elle pro ed the ained ~Ut remain e tha re rem there But the (h of er who wanted ro believ

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'57

perty Proper of Pro d~ blem Proble ty g= rhe Pro and er, m of mm Progr:l :, ive Pm Il u,e ressive r,2. Express me Op die Exp . dIe rce Sourc.. en Sou Open

Ir is significant that the arguments of"The Cathedral and the Bazaar" are nOt communitarian. In COntrast with Stallman or the Haubens, Raymond dismisses appeals to altruism our of handY The central rhetorical accomplishment of the piece rather is to frame voluntary labor in the language of the market: the core trope is to portray Linux-style software development like a bazaar-the arche_ type of a competitive marketplace-whereas more centralized and controlled software production is portrayed as hierarchical and centralized-and thus inefficient-like a cathedral: static, inefficient, medieval. (While Raymond seems to have had previous effons in the Unix world in mind when describing cathedral_ style software development, it is a safe bet that many readers thought of Microsoft.) Raymond thus disarticulated the metaphor of the market from conven_ tional capitalist modes of production and reconnected it with a form of voluntary labor, of labor done for its own sake. Parr of what makes this curious reversal work is Raymond's focus on program_ mers' motivations. For an essay about such a dry and technical topic as the management of software development. there's an awful lor of reference to the internal feelings, psychological makeup, and desires of programmers. (Subsequent discussion of open software seems to have maintained some of this focus.)" Almost like a hip ElJtwicklullgsromllll, Raymond presents a first-person account of his own experiences in software development, during which he tells the story of how he became converted to the Linux software model. This narrative of personal revelation is interspersed with numbered principles or aphorisms, the first of which is: "Every good work of softwllre starts by scratching a developer's personal iteh."'.. Because Raymond's audience is in the worlds of business and law, he immediately sets out to reconcile his psychologically tainted portrayal of motivation with a utilitarian one. "The 'utility function' Linux hackers are maximizing," Raymond continues, "is not classically economic, but is the intangible of their own ego satisfaction and reputarion among other hackers." Raymond goes on to draw analogies with fan subculrnres, wherein the enhancement of reputation among the other members of the community is understood as a key motivation.10 Much of the piece is devoted to explaining why a wide-open approach to software development involving frequent bortowing and sharing of code, early and frequem releases ofupdates that have the effect of involving users in development, and attention to maintaining positive social relations among participants all combined in the case of Linux to create better software. But it's crucial to the essay's effect that Raymond frames the motivation to write software as something born of a not entirely rational fascination or ambition (an itch), of a desire to have one's accomplishments recognized not with money but with the psychological satisfactions of acclaim. One could of course criticize this as both an empirical description and as a philosophical argument, but what's significant is, first, how the dream
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of having one's "itch," one's inner passions, acknowledged by a community of the like-minded is a characteristically romantic structure of feeling and, second, how much Raymond's statement of the problem, whether Ot not it is philosophically coherent, resonated with the computer culture at large and had some impact on the larger business culture in a way that communirarian or managerial arguments have not. In the minds of quite a variety of people, this vision of passionate programmers provides a much more appealing way to deal with the perennial industrial problem of monopoly than something like industrial policy or antitrust law. Raymond publicly presented 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar in September 1997, atter which the essay began to circulate. At the time, the execucives at the Nerscape corporation, after riding high on the early srock bubble, had been sensing doom. In 1997, they had been watching Microsoft's share of the web browser market rise from negligible to almost half of the market, while Netscape was making almost no income and Microsoft's profits ttom its other software was setring records." So in January 1998, they announced they would publish the source code for the browser for free distribution, and in February they invited Raymond and several others to a meetillg to help them plan their new strategy. Those in attendance at tbe meeting saw this as an important opportunity to get rhe corPOtate community to take the free software community seriously and rewards that end chose to follow a pragmatic path of using the term 0P~rJ source software (instead of Stallman's term fre~) and of emphasizing technical advantages rather than ideals-which qualifies as an act of rhetorical genius. A few weeks later, Raymond and others would found the Open Source Initiative to suppOrt these efforts, and the organization would be involved in strategy shirrs at Apple, IBM, and other companies." Today, Linux and other forms of open source software are central to many different businesses world wide and can be found on everything from cell phones re massive research computers. If one had predicted this chain of events in 1994, one would have been dismissed from almost all directions as hopelessly naive. The argument here is not that this single essay by itself directly caused major corporations to adopt new strategies; rather, Raymond's essay helped promulgate a way of understanding software development that played a key role in the corpotate shift.1c was a necessary but not sufficient part of the conditions of posSibility of the move towards open sorrware. Of course, these companies had an eConOmic interest in the new strategy, especially given the MicrosofT monopoly. But the economic conditions behind the change had been in existence for several rears; an economic explanation alone cannot explain why these companies made their policy changes all within a roughly one-year period (1998). In different times, open source might have seemed unremarkable; when Bell Labs gave up its patents on the transistor as a result of a consent decree in the
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[950S, this was viewed as a reasonable solution to a :1 complex problem, not nor egre1950s, /irst half halfof sometheft, But Bur in the first gious theft. of the 1990S, paying for labor that produced son1e_ :IW:1y for free would havc thing that could only be given away have been considered deeply modes( as it was-marked a irradonal. irrational. In 1997, the embrace of open source-as modest U.S, poljtical pol ideal economic thinking in the profound shift in the common sense of u.s. the open source movement, the neoliberal high-tech realm, After the arrival of the hightech realm. assumption that more-property-protection-is-better more-properry-pro(eetion-is-berter was no longer un;llss;llilable. unassailable, usumption happen? Traditional economic reuoning reasoning does offer expla_ So how did this happen~ nations of why ;lI a company might use usc open source software. software, A consumer device n;lltions Tivo makes its money mOlley seiling selling devices, not software, so using manu&cturer m;llnu&cturer like Tiro nOt only because the (he software is free ftee but because its open Linux makes sense not Tivo to euily easily modifY modify it according (0 to its needs and to draw on character allows Tiro characrer the global support of the Linux community, rhe community. Companies like Red Hat or IBM can m.ake make .a a solid profit by offering technic:ol suppOrt to to companies using their c.an technical suppon soltw..1re, while .allowing :.lllowing the software softw:.lre itself to be freely fredy copied and shared. shared, And .softw.are, l:.lte 1990S did, with the huge faced, as many high-rech high-tech companies in the thc late when f.aced, taking:.l g:.lmble on open .source source soft softm:nket power of a company like Microsoft, taking m.arket a gamble W:.lre might have h:.lve seemed like the only alternative. altemative, The only w.ay W:.lY [0 to compete with W2re thn wu was free [0 to consumers and :lnd Microsoft's market power was to offer a platform th:olt that, beC2Use because of its free .and and open character, front among m;llt, characrer, could creare create a united fronc Microsoft's competitors. competitors, rusons for turning to open source cOInnot cannor explain why the But these economic re250ns factors were in place in 1994, [994, happened when it did. did, All of these economic f.aetors shift h.appened yet 1\0 Rirted with the idea of open software at and ret no major company even briefly f1ined unti! the fall f.111 of 1997, with the circulation essay, the time, time. It was not until circularion of Raymond's es~y, that the idea could even begin to get attemion, and then in 1998 and 1999 the thOit to anention, all of a sudden became relarively mainstream, It took rook Raymond's :ltticuconcept .all of.a relatively mainsrre.am. amcubtion of free software :\ rom:\nric individualist struCture structure of feeling-and teding-;lI\d softwOlre within ;lI rom.antic individu.a.list Iarion its appearance .against against the bOickdrop backdrop of the Microsoft problem-to lOly lay the condiitS .appe.ara.nce idea, tions for m.ainstrum nlainstrearn .acceptOince acceprance of the ide.a. 11le .accept.ance acceptance was not inst.antaneous, instantaneous, of course, and as of this writing is The Libertarianism of whatever v;],riety variety is premised on the ide;a ide:e of not universal. LibenariOillism f.1ith pri\'ate property, 2nd and so it is nor surprising that many of the libertarian privOite propeny, liben;arian faith at first s<offed ar open source, For example, in late 1998, once open source had scoffed at source. gained some sorne .:mention rhe media, Wayne Crews of the rhe Competitive Enteranention in the movemenr (as part of prise Institute Instimre published a critique cririque of the open source movement a series titled "C:\spin: An Occ;asional CXcasional Commentary Commenr:ery on Regulation of High Perspective~). Arguing that thar "like ~Iike Technology-From an Undiluted Free Market Perspective"). nOt a way w:ey to ro run nm the world," world,~ free love, open-source code is fun, but it's probably not wrOte that, Crews wrote
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for the most pan:, rhe prospect" ofbuoming deliire to rhe mosr part, the prospect of becoming fabulously wealthy, wealrhy, not the desire ro give things away, so~are innovation, Nearly all"fruware aJl"frtew,tre" programsprogramliawa)', drives som:..are editors, games, or browsers-pale btowsers-pale beside be,ide superior liuperior whethet word processors, wherher proceuors, image ima~ edirors, commercial veuions. versions. Even E""n Netscape's Nets<:ape's release rdease of the Jot.lree code coUe for N~'~g~ror NavigatorcommerciOiI rhe sourer applauded by the opensource open-source advocates-wasn't a fumumenul fundamental embl':lce embrace of applOluded rheir doctrine, docrtine, bur but an effon effort ro to creare create a pipeline pi~line for offering orher, orhet, more mOte profi[:lble pro~table their services, Conveniently ignored also was rhat thar rhe tbe NeTicape giveaway occurred after seTl'ices.. Nerscape g;,,,awOIy rhe 11'0 rhal made mulrimmionaires multimillionaires out of iu founduJ," the [PO thar irs founders." circumspect, Bill G:ltes Gates and Steve Ballmer ar differOther critics were even less circumspect. Ballmer:lr communisr about abOUt Linux." Linux," Forbes ent times insinu;ated insinuated that there is something communist maga:;:ine scoffed at the open software -movclnent's "movement's usual public im.age image of happy maga.;:ine the''lnternationale' Internationale' while freely sharing proles linking.arms linking arms ;and and singing rhe software prolts their rode-writing code-writing labor: labor,~" the fruits of meir came ;across across as shrill and tinged ringed with despera.tion. desperation, They 111ey But such dismissals GlIne e:erlier in rhe the same urne hOlvc had anier did not have the same kind of force that they might have was a sophisticated operating system that thar in .some some condecade. Here W:.LS 01 technically sophisriC2ted products, As Windows users grew :ectUStexts seemed better than Microsoft's products. accustomed to the "blue ~blue screen (If of death"-the death~-the end result resulr of a system ct:lsh in Wincrash [nid-1990S-the sheer technical quality of dows, a frequent occurrence in the mid'I990S-the glaring refutOition refurarion of one of the centra.l cemral claims of the Ihe neoliberal Linux stood as a guring w:es better bener software cre.ared created lVilhom lI';t/'(ll4t argumenr about imellecmal ;argument imellecroal property; here was the incentives of property protection. protecrion, And, ;after after elevating disheveled programStatuS of cultural heroes in the nrlier earlier 1990s-remember thar it was mers to the status 1990S-remember that strategy to foreground its young progra.mmers programmers :.LS as opposed Netscape's publicity srra.tegy managers-the culture found it was exaccl)' exactly those heroes who who were now to its manOigers~the increasingly celebrating something sometlling that seemed to to poim point in ill:e vcry diflcrellt 01 very different direcWir~cI, one h.ad h:ld tion, In the intellectual space crtated cre:lted by readers and writers of Wired, tion. recogni:;:e in Raymond's rendition of open source much of the the: same S;\rlle Byronic to recognize t(l m:ega:;:ine's rheroric rhetoric in its earliest e;trliest d;ays; days; scoff scoff;tt that had driven the magazine's attraction mar at open source and you might stan start to to look like one ofJohn Perry Barlow's dinosaurs, one didll't get ger it. 11,e W;lS tOO alluring to of the old suits who didn't The romance rom;al\ce of open source was t:.lught the culture that this might not nor be a ignore, and the previous few Ye:lrs yatS had nught trend; the rile romOintic romantic allure of the hacker Ilacker had aire'ldy already influenced inRucnced the global Reeting [rend; way of its role in the stock bubble. bubble, economy eConomy by wOly lhe poim of view is often revealed, not nOt JUSt jusr in the fUll intellectual imellcctual structure of a point The full srarementofhigh but in what people define as pragmatic-in those moments statemem ofhigh ideals, bur m:eke compromises, to to take a when someone claims that it is time to be sensible, to make middle road. So, for example, in response to Wayne Crew's marker-based dismissal market-based of open liben:arian Esther Dyson offered :e row:erds reconciling Open source, fellow libertarian a p:eth path towards wrote, with the mm'emem. movement. "There's a fundamental misundersr:lI\ding misunderstanding here." here;' she WrOte,

or

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Opcn lhe Expressive E~prusive Progr.nnmer, Programmer, and Property Open Source, rhe ~nd lhe rhe Problem of Properey

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Opcn source SOU!'C( softw~rc software: may b( fredy fre:dy ~~ilable, availabl(, but somwn( 'is responsible ruponsible for it. il. Open m~y be someone 'is' Most lhe support for OS sOhware lofrware: is paid p3id for; th~t's how (many of) the hackers' h~ekcti MOSI of the for, that's arc funded. 11lcte il a lor value-~nd money-floating money-f1oaring around the paychecks are There is lot of niue-and OS, And yes, rei, NCTscapc's Neneap('s UK of OS to ro make mah irs orher Sl:'mcrs s(l'Vk(s attractive world of OS. uSt: ofOS i[S other unsibl( blUiness husin(JI model modeL ... .. , (It scems I((ms to ro lIle is a legitimate, acknowl(dged acknowledged and sensible me
lh~t there are arc religious re:ligio\ls uTremiStS CJ(trclIlisu On on both bolh sides of wh:lt whal ought to be an argument that businus modds, ",odds, not morality.)" about businclS years earlier If twO ye.us urlier Dyson felt con1fortable comfortable stating that the market simply"works simply ~worlu and is monl; moral;' no....., now, in her mind, it was time to move aw.:ay away from blanket st.lU:_ SUte_ .:and

ments .lbout about monlity. mOr.llity. Now it was about business models, about being sensible, ment.S :.tbout striking:.t tone of moderation moder:.ttion would allow someone of .:about striking a middle path. 111is This lOne to maintain m:aintain .l a friendly public st.lnce stance towards open source. soutce, Dyson's convictions lO
But that tone of moderation would also allow the loosening of the link between the romantic view of individual freedom and market libertarianism. For than a decade, it bcc.tme became possible in business culture to the first time in more th.ln g1amotous position of rebellious high rech Tech while also supposing that, seize the glamorous nOTwithstanding. pcrh.lpS perhaps there is an altern.ltive alternaTive to the marker. markee Thatcher norwithst:lllding.

Slaslldot and "Code "Cocle Is Law" LawN Slashdot late 199OS, 1990S. the website Slashdot did for open source what Wiud Wirt'd magaIn the hue zine did for computer entrepreneurialism in the e:lrly 19905. Created compurer entrepreneurWism me early 1990S. Cre.lted in 1997 Linux enrhusi:lst, part-time commercial website developer Rob by Linw: enthusiast, student, and pan-time Malda., Slashdot e\'Olved evolved from a small website website for listing liuing .lnd and discussing distussing techni rethniMaida, Sluhdot leading forum for open source cal issues mixed with personal anecdotes into the lC.lding enthusiasts. pl.lying playing no small ~m;lll role in esr.lblishing establishing a cultural tone for the mO\'e' moveenthusiuts, ment and :md helping to communicate that thar tone to the test rest of the constantly expandSlashdot's tide title banner describes desctibes it u as ~News "News for Nerds. ing web-surfing world. Slashdor's H Matters (u (as if in mockery of the self-confident grandiosity grandiosiry of the New Nrw SruffThat Matters~ York Times Ti"U5 subhud subhead ~AlI HAil the News That's 111at's Fit (O to Print~). Print"). CrC3ted Created before b/ogging bloggiug entered the lexicon, Slashdot presented itself as self-consciously eccentric and :liS as eaeh frontan entry-point into a labyrinthine world; updated around the clock, e;l,Ch p:llragraph of~news~ ofHnews" follOwed H followed by by:Ul srory" on Slashdot consisu consists of a shon shorr paragraph an page ~Story~ :IIlways ste:ldily growing train of postS posu from reader/contributors. Scrolling is :I a always srC:;Idily necc.ssary part put of the experience, as is following links; the familiar slashdor-eITect siashdot-effeci necessary refers to the highly predictable overloading of external web sites within minutes l1 Slashdot stories. ofSlashdot's after their URLs are ate posted in Slashdor stories." While much of Slashdot's concow tent concerns open software fairly directly-new Linux software releases. develCOncernS opments in intellecrual intellectual property law-a l:lw-a good deal of the content is more general, optnents reflecting the interests intereSts and spirit of its young coding-adept or Technologically technologically reRecting
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fascinated producers and readers: intriguing developments in science, reviews of science-fiction films. films, amazing things done with Lego. before, much of the thrill of Slashdot comes from the Like Wired several years before. Slashdot reader, stand apart ap:lrt from despised others implication that you, the clever Slashdor world-from the ehe drones in suits who work for Bill Gates, for fot example. The TIle in the world~from implication, then, is that ehat by reading Slashdot, you are part of a distinct cadre; the community is very much defined in terms of its opponents. While enamored of open source, the ethos is not particularly communitarian or somberly political. It 5wshdol derives from the keyboard comis perhaps not accidental that the term slashdot mand"/." that takes the operator to the root direcrory systems, a privilege mand~/: directory of Unix sYStemS, o\'er a mulonly available to system operators with absolute superuser privileges over techniul setup sewp tiuser system. It's a common command if you're fiddling with the technical rype ~/.~ "/.H on a Unix comof a Unix system. But it's also about power. If you ean can type puter and get gec to TOOt, root, you can get into and modify anyones anyone's account on the system. purer erase the entire hard hard. disk, or read other people's email. email, or You can do things like er.:ase change their passwords. You are, in tbe the narrow world of that computer, omnipoSlashdot feels more like a b:lnd Quaker meeting. tent. Sluhdor band of misfit heroes than a Quller While me open software movement had been quietly gestating.leg:ll gcsaong.legal intellectuW'hiIe the intellectual als like Lessig and James Boyle had been exploring the intersection of intdkctual way to bring fundamental fi.lndamental questions about property concerns with the internet as a w.ay about the law into broader recognition. Boyle, for example. example, moved from law journal articles broaderreoognition. about theories oflcgal oflegal interpreuoon interpretation to a series of pieces about internet issues such intellectual propertY. property. Well schooled in me the debates debatCll about as privacy, censorship, and intellecrual the ambiguities and limits of the caregory :luthorship, Boyle tended towards me category of authorship, an emphasis on the limits and blind spots of a scricrly strictly individualist, rights-bued rights-based approach to law and technology. Early in his areer C;lreer he pubJish~-d published an essay on the limide:l of individual individu:ll subjectivity, bringing Foucaults Foucault's critique of the subject its of the idea criticallcgal idea of subjectivity itself is an unsuble unstable into critical legal theory by showing how the idu so In his 1996 Sll4lrlUlIl5, category, an effect rather man than cause. C:luse."In S/'ammls, Sojtv.'Qu, Softwan:, Illll! Spluns he category. and SplallS dCllcribed [he ~ usc ofthe of the romantic author construct in intellecrua1 intellectual properry property hw law as an described rhe author ideology~ ideology" that blinded its adherents to the often collective sources ofcultural "aumor assumptions of innovation. In 1997, he published an essay criticizing the underlying :lSsumptions \Virrd-sryle digitalliberrarianism; digital libertarianism; c:tlling calling for an internet analogue to [0 the environWiud-sryle mental mOl'ement movement that mat rocuses focuses on the srructures structures :and srrictut'CS ofemerging intellecintdlecand strictures rua.J. property regimes, he has sought in various ways ro to emphasize impomnce of rual emph;l,size the importance actively supporting the public domain and sh:lred broadly.1t In ill general, shared culture more broadly.'9 to what he portrays he pointed towards kinds of civic republicanism as an antidote [0 as the blinkered blinkcred and short-sighted radical righrs-based rights-based individualism that motivated both trends in intellectual property law and much of the thinking about the internet there is more to lif~ life than dlan Emerson's autonomous .selfafter t990S. Maybe There selfafter all. in the 1990S.
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Open Source. the Expressive Prognmmer. th( Problem of Property Programmer, and the

Larry Lessig Le~~ig st:med started our Out on a similar trajectory, moving from theories of legal interpretation into the worlds of internet law and intellectual property, ptopetty, similarly simibrly tights can be as constraining bringing with him a sharp sense of the way that legal rights freting. Lessig's best known book, Coele Lilli'S ofCjbe:roj Cybcr_ Code IWel alld Olhcr Other UlI4'S as they ,an can be freeing, Spll((, maneuvet; by pointing to space:, is i.s based on what looks like a classic legal realist maneuvct; anivities-in this case, coding-one the regulatory character of various private activities-in undetmines the common assumption th:u thar narrowly defines freedom as the oppooppo_ its hands off site of government action. A simple demand that government keep irs Ilis internet-fascinated internet-f:ueinated readership, was the internet, Lessig patiently explailled explained to his no guarantee that the internet would remain free. In this Lessig was in keeping thM also inAuence:d influenced Boyle,J:uzi, of legal realism ~alism that Boyle,Jaszi, and others. with the tradition oflegal nOt pursue the FouCluldian Foucauldian critique of the Unlike Boyle. Boyle, however, Lessig did not subject and its interest in the limits and conditions to the idea of a free f~e individual. free individual was scill still very jUst Fot Lessig.. \'Cf")' much the goal; his ugumcnt ugument JUSt Lessig. the lTee go\'ernment efforts could limit frccpoimed pointed to the ways that privne private as well as government lTeedom. Open source software isM:. is ~a check on arbitrary power. A structural struCtural guarantee of constiturionalized constirurionalized liberty, it functions as ali a type of separation of powers in the substantil'(: protections, American constitutional tradition. It stands alongside substantive fundamental.~60 If like freedom of speech or of the press. ptess, but its irs stand is more fundamental."'" Boyle was calling for his readers readets to abandon an obsession obses.~ion with the :.bstract abstract free fTtt start thinking more complexly aOOm individual and Start about the social conditions that suppOrt innovation and culture, tulture, Lessig presented the choice stark support choice: as a simple. simple, static essay, ~An ':An Infonnation Information Society: Free or Feudal:"'" Feudal!"" \Vhile \Nhile titled one essoI.}" one: Lessig tided standing alongside Boyle in atueking anacking the libertarian notion that markets and m concede private property are the sole guanntors guarantors of freedom, lTeedom, Lessig seemed to liberrari:llls one thing thar nor: the idea that freedom itself that Boyle did not: to the libertarians consrraint, the ability of individuals to do is a simple condition, an absence of constraint, rheir creativity. crearivity. Boyle what they want, especially to express themselves, themselH~s, to to engage their approached the romantic ideal of individualism skepriCllly. skeprically. Lessig embraced embnced it. laSt decade of Slashdot poStings postings for the name ~James "James Boyle" Boyle A search of the last turns up about fifty hitS. hits. Le.s.sig Lessig turns rums up over one thousand.' thousand." Lessig's large readproducr of many f.aCtors, factors, not nor leur least of which are arc his immense talent, ership is the product persistence, productivity, and characrer. character. But he also writes and speaks in ways thar [Ilned ro Sbshdor, for whom the free individual is th:lt are c:lrefully carefully tuned to audiences likc like Slashdot, understood in romantic terms: as 110mcone cre:nivcly expresses themselves, themselves. someone who creatively often against the powers that be, and gets acknowledged for their accomplisharguably wise in asking his readers ro obsessll'e ments. Boyle is argu:tbly to think be}'Ond beyond an obscssil'e focus on an abSttact surtabstract individual freedom. Lessig.. Lessig, however, by choosing as a sraning point ro individu;tlism and the utilito emphasize rhe the gap between a romantic individualism tarian one. wirh a larger audience. resonares with one, has found a framework that resonates
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Conclusion In a crisp essay, Milton Milwn Mueller has neatly nearly debunked the grandiose claims occasuppotrers and opponenrs opponents of open source software, sionally made by both the supporters gelleral. Mueller argues for a more rhat it is somehow a threat to that to capitalism in general. pragmatic approach, which focuses on open source as a means to the end of indiitself.' This is entirely reasonable, But the very entirc:ly reasonable. vidual freedom, nor not as an end in itself!' f.tct that Mueller can be effecrively ro effectively making that argument today is in part due to fact rhat became attached to the romanticism, with all its grandiosity, that to open source in the second half of the rhe 1990S rhus propelled the phenomenon into the lime19905 and thus wriring. the rhe world of intellectual property law remains turbulight. As of this writing. contesred. But this rhis contestation matks rhe lent and contested. marks a remarkable change from the legal and political atmosphere of the early 1990S 1990s in which intellectual property powet as inevitable and self-evident, as expansion was imagined in the halls of power not worth arguing about. symp:lthetically expoundmovement, essays essoI.ys symp:nherica.lly Since the rise of the open source movemenr, Lessig or appeared in mairutream mainstrt:l.n outlers ing the ideas idc:a$ ofsomeone like Les.sig Ot Boyle have appured induStries express an interest in TIx EWllol/list." &onomist." Business executives execurh'cs in many industriC$ like ~ parem system. Ellen Even the recording industry-once the a major rethinking of the parenr to copyright enforcement-is substantially softenleader in a hatdline approach hardline major record ~cord labels, for example, are now offering much of ing its position. Some ma.jor theit coment fot download in a noncopy-protected MP) format, an act that in their content for 1995 would have been seen as childish folly. Open source software is now underreasonable technical oprion stood as a rea.sonable option in many contexts conrexts worldwide, and Linux continues to to quieti)' quietly spread, running on servers at web search firms like Yahoo, on cell phones made in China, 011 playets made in France, and on 011 OIl digital music pla.yers personal computers sold at Wal-Mart. In 1999, the original romamic romantic copyright "in c.debnc.clebnprotectionist, Ted Nelson, open sourced the ongoing Xanadu project, ~in tion of the success and vast human benefit of the Open Source movement:' movement..... ideas, moreO\'er, moreover, has been The language of open source and its associated ide:ls, 0J"1l to refer ro other domains. The use of the term Optu to nonprofit decenseized on in orher seized on in 1997 by a handful of programtralized efforts-the construction nrst first prognmmers mus as they groped for a terminology that would help legitimate nonproprietary practices to business management-is now spreading throughour throughout the software pncrices rhis trend began in teelmical 1001, with much polity. Not surprisingly, this technical areas. In 1001, rrend in higher education of trying to commerfanfare, MIT reversed the 1990S [990S trend cialize educational materials and courses on the web by announcing what it called irs course materials Open Courseware, an initiative iniriative to pur put ;ttl :til of its matetials online in a way that was free of COSt to the rhe worldwide public. A group advocating advoc;tting cost and available ro T:1dical OP(/) spectrum management m:tn:tgement adopted the term Opell radical new approaches to radio spenrum 165 Open Source, Source. the Expressive Programmer, Progr.lmmer, and the Problem of PrOperfy Property

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spectrum. its first nrSt line: Sptlfrum. (A White Paper describing the approach echoes Barlow in iu wrong.")" But the "Almost everything you think mink you know about specrrum "AlmOSt spectrum is wrong,~)" juSt :about about technology, technology. AdVOC:l.tes Advoc:uts imo are2.S areas where it is not just trend has expanded into decenrralized, gnssroou grassroou politiea.! political :action action crow :about aoout the rise ofMopen-source of~open'source of decentralized, politics" during Howard De:ar's Dean's run for president in ::1.002 1001 :and and 2003," 2.003" Critics of politics mainstream media ;ld\"OGIte advocate and explore M "open source joum:alism":as journalism" as a more dem_ m.:ainstre:l.m Open rource journalism.6t Br4Zirs Brazil's minister of culrure-:a culture-a ocratic alternative to conventional journalism." former dissident and popular musici:an-cites musician-cites both Lessig :and and COUntryman coumryman fonner Unger as influences in his Culture "Culture Points initi:ative.~ initiative: which gives gnntS grantS Robeno Unger:as CO loea.! loc21 arnsts cultiv;ne emergent loc:al genres such as Brazilian to anists in poor areas arc:as to [Q cultivate lllusic." rap music." abour Someone like Esther Dyson might argue that these trends are simply about the free distribution of information another business model or that calling for rhe h:lfdly a new idea. She'd have a ;t point. Universities and libraries have olTen is hardly often in as a m.mer matter various ways supported the free and open distribution of information 2.!1 organizarional principle. And open source $Ource by itself is hardly a threat ro to capit:lle:.tpiulof organiz:arional as a whole. Any thorough look look:lt tile history of C:lpitalism capitalism shows th;lt~pure that"pure" at the ism as:a markets have at best been temporary and fleeting events; evenu; C:lpit:llism capitalism h:as has generm.rkelS extra-marker political and institutional ally thrived rllrived only in the comat context of various Cxtn-m:arker 2IIy properry amenable to exchange ;and ;tnd underpinnings. with rome some things trc;tted trellted as property underpinnings, 1O economies, it rurns turns out, Out, are mixed. If, other things not. not.'" All economics, IF, say, operating systemS become b:ome all open source, if they are lIre mm'ed moved from the C:ltegory category of things thai th;tt tems inco the c:ategory category of noncommodified things mings that mat enable other are exch:a.nged arc exch;anged into exchanged, capitalism will not come crashing to to the ground. things to be exch;anged, politic:l1 economic object lesson cannot be But the role of open source as a political markers or crystalline property rebreladismissed. Capitalism may not nor require pure markets but it does need some kind of legitimacy, some mechanism by which it tions, hut call be made to Jed right. or at least worth acquiescing :acquiescing to, ro, among bro:ad broad swathes can ful right, individualism, understood as a structure of feeling of the population. Romantic individualism. OntO a mix of experiences experiencts with computer us.e, use, is, as we have Sttn. seen. ;a a permapped onto:a specinc chanccbar:tcculture, one that has iu own specific sistent phenomenon in American culrute. the early 1990S. 19905, \-Vin'as Wirrd's version \'ersion of rom.mtic romanric individualism ter and VOI.1enccs. valences. If, in rhe ter:and neoliberal market matket enthusiasms. bter later in the decade that same was harnessed to neoliber:al feeling.:a.s articulated by Eric Raymond. RlIymond, Larry Lessig, Lessig. and Slashdot, Structure of fttling. as anicul:ated strucrure element in :a :t countervailing dfon. effon. At this poinr, point, the det:lils detlIils of [hat th:lt became a key dement beca.me that dominated assumptions mat object lesson remain confused and blurry. But the assumprions managcri:a.1 circles decision making regarding intellecrual intellectual property in legal and managerial cirdes co 1997 have changed; it is no longer automatically auromarically taken for gr;llued granted [980 to from 1980 beu or only incentive for technological innovathat property protections are the hest better, and that a thar Stronger stronger and bro...der broader property protections ate are :a.lways ;always better. tion, that
166

digital economy could or should rest cennally centtally on the commodification commodinc2tion of infordigit:al macion. Before 1997, critics of this common sense were not so much rebutted as AlTer the rise of the open source movement backed intellectual ignored. Alter b:acked by the intellectwl ignored, be, and that shift shilT happened, h;tppened, in cyberscholars, they no longer could be. work of the cyberscholars. because of the Widespread widespread circulation of the romantic celcbruion celebration of softpart, becaus.e form of person:al personal expression. ware creation as a fonn illtdleC/wll property. Property itsdf, itself, as Carol Rose And this may go beyond intellectual pUt traditionally h:as has functioned as Mthe "the keystone right,~ in the American legal pur it, mldition2lly tradition, serving :as as rhe che model for the very idea of liberty." As a consequence, consequence. to trump all other rights. rights, such as free speech rights; righu; property rights have tended ro righrs of the owner of the shopping mall or the newspaper generally outweigh the rights or working the rights of an individual speaker who is visiting the shopping mall Ot 111is p:mern p;tttcrn has been embedded in legal decision making in for the newspaper. 1l1is Uniced Stat~ States for most of the twentieth century. Yet, in the !:aSt last decade, deC:lde. the the United hlIs occasioned a tethinking rethinking of thar th2c impulse by demonopen source movement has strating in vivid ways how overly sma strict prorection protection of property rights c:an can condict conflict Smiting me rights of speech and self-expression. In time,. time, the che open source movement with the m;ty be the starting point for a significant loosening of rhe the link between property may Amerie:ln psyche. ;tnd other fonns forms of freedom in the American and

Source, th", rhe Expressive Programmer, Programmer. and a,\d rhe Problem of Prop<'rty Properry Open Source.

167

Source, the Expressive ExpreS$ive Programmer. J;nd and the Open Source. th", Problem of Properry

Conclusion
Democracy Capitalism, Passions, Democtacy

B AC KIN 1994, towardstheendofthestock-bubble-inspiringWirtd tow;mls the end of the stock-bubble-inspiring \.Vired BACK IN 1994. M;lrc Andreusen, Andreessen, interviewer Gary Wolf pressed Andreessen interview with Marc eX.:Ict difference between what he was doing and the efforts of to specify the exact Microsoft, whom Andreessen saw S.:lW as -the "the rorcu forces of darkness.~ darkness." Is not Nerscape. Netscape, Microsoft. Wolf asked. asked, also a for-profit software company compallY seeking to dominate a market by proprier:lry standard: standard! (Ne=pe (Netscape was giving away the rhe program. progr.l.m, still establishing a proprienry time, but not nor the source <:ode. code, and it was rapidly r.l.pidly crearing creating called Mosaic at the rime, conrent.) \hen When Wolf Wolf pressed Andreeuen Andreessell proprietary new standards for ror web COntent.) issues, after afrer some waffiing. waffling. Andreessen replied.: replied: Ille on these i.uues, the overriding danger to an open srandard standard is Microsoft . ... (hur} [bur] one way W:lY or :mother thillk that th:lt another ... II think Mosaic is going to be on every computer in the world." Wolf waited for more. Mouic world.- 'Nolf fot repeated himself, himself."One W:ly or another."' Andreessen repated -One way anothl'r.~ credit that he ends the anicle article there, with an ambiguity. ambiguity, It is to Wolf's great credir Andrecssen's repeated one ~one way or another:lnother" hanging in the air. This is a leaving Andreessen's telling mOment. moment. To be sure, it is not a mopian utopian one. The -nlC: young Marc Andreessen, fuJI ofbr:;lvado of bravado and brash ambition. ;t,mbirion, can hardly be seen as a proponent of alternaaltern:lfull production, But it is not a GlSe c:lse of false f.1lse consciousness. consciousness, either. \har \N'h:lt tive modes of production. signific:lnt about rhe the passage pass:lge is that (I'(n eVt'l Andreessen, the man:It is signific:lI1t man at the center of the srock stock bubble. bubble, speaking at the beginning of an hisroric historic moment of astonishing :monishing triumph and ideologiClI ideological h~emony hegemony for free market global capitalism. c:lpitalism, would feel ~one way or tlnolher," auofl,er;' would so easily take for granted that compelled to say "one that there could be tl/loflJtr (lIJother way. This is another bit of evidence of the fact that the fabric of American cultur:;ll cultural common sense, with its romantic threads. threads, is open to alternato the market, Jilarket, even at moments when America's dominant ideologues are .:Ire tives ro

attenrion, though not the approach of this book: to give romanticism respecrful attention, uncritic:11 acceptance. The significant thing in the firsr first instance insrance is that romantiuncritical effectivencss in U.S. culture culnlre that matters. nl:lttcrs. cism has both a persistence and effectiveness True, the hacker ethic does not add up to a coherent ser set of principles principle~ for organi::ing software production, and it was folly ro to believe those who claimed in the nizing Yct there thcre would be no 1990S that the internet had changed the laws of economics. Yet internet,l [he the par.uneters paranleterS of intellectual intellecrual property President Ob.:lma Obama without the internet,! dramatically since the beginnings of the open in law and politics have changed dramatiCllly 1997, and the idea and practice of ofgrassroots democr;lcy have source movement in 1997. grassroors democracy g:tined a new cogency in U.S. and global politics in association with the thc internet. gained The necessity of and problems wirh with supporting private media wirh with advertising have been more widely called inro into question than than:lt 1960s, And at any time since the 1960s. has been distanced from property rights righu in new and sigthe very idea of freedom h:lS disranced ftom nificant possibilities in the United Sura Srates that ha\"C have not existed nific:mr ways, opening up po.uibilities since the Progressive Era. No. No, this is nor not rhe the revolution. revolution, and. and, res, yes, in ill the midwas 1990S it .... <15 all harnessed to breathe new life into neoliberalism. Yet the internet has been at or or near neat the center cemer of some of the most mosr significant set of ofground h:u ground shifts in American political practice since the Reagan revolution in 1980 and the dissident mm'ements movements of the 1960s (which weren't either, bur but which did denr weren'r the revolution either. change the country in a variety ofJasring ways). This concluding chaprer, chapter, rhen. then, explains how rhis this could be so by summarizobscrvations about abour what the past paSt ing the findings of the book and offers some observations decades can reach teach us about the relations bet......een between capir:;llism. capitalism, techno!og)" rechnology; culture. culture, make~ the case th:u that the internet is open and disruptive, not and everyday life. It makes inherent in the technology. technology, but because historical circumbecause of anything inherem natt:lted as open, because the Stories stories thar r11:1t have become stances allowed it to be narrared common ways of making sense of it hal'e have represented it as open. open, and in tum turn those 11le interner internet is stories have shaped the way it has been embraced and developed. The that potentially open because people have made it so, and rhere is a lesson in thar simple fact. Cenrnry Romanticism in the Twenty-First Century

not. to the "or general or :morher anothet" in the genetal Like Wolf, critical thinkers need to listen ro di.scourse, to suy arnmed to the tensions in various narrarives of technological discourse, stay attuned and rreat treat them them:lS reality of the moment, not merely merely.:ls liberation, ;lnci as part pan of the lived realiry as rhe only choice is celebration or denunciation. denunci.:ltion. Wolf's obvisomething for which the not be reduced reduced. to ro some kind of ideology ous love for computer romantics should sbould nor .:Ind yer his sense of irony is worth pointing to and serves as .:IS a useor foolishness, and st.:lrting place for putring COntext.' Thar That hu h:ls been ful starting puering romanticism into a larger context.'
N H

WI,y Rom<1ntic Romantic Individutllism Individualism Persisrs Persists 'by


gestures discussed ill in this hook book keep resurfacing across .:Icross Why do the romantic gesrures at the 1968 Engelharl Engelbart demo, the (he hobbyist readers of Ted decades~ The attendees ar ofTI'd Nelson in 1970S, 19705, the rhe journalists celebrating Steve Sieve Johs Jobs as a rebel entrepreneur in the 1980s. 1980s, the Wired \Viud readers of the early 1990S, 19905 and .:Ind the open source advocates advoc.:ltes of the late 1990S all shared an enthusiasm for romantic gestures and interpretations interprctations fundamcntal role in the evolution of computtr in a way that played a fundamental computer commuJ69 169

,68

Conclusion

nicacion technology and how we use it. What does the history of the internet'S development tell us ahout the petsistence and effectivity of romanticism :as :a soci:al formation~ The Weherian narrative of disenchantment with the modern (with which I began the discussion of romanticism in chapter 2) provides a compelling genen.1 sense of the draw of romantic posrures and na1"r.l.tives; in Weber's terms, faced with life in the iron cage of modernity, we despair at the lack of enchamment and seek for ways to bting it back. Alan Liu, in The Laws of Cool, encapsubtes what he calls the -culrure of information~with the line, -We work here, but we're cool."< This nicely capmres that sense of distance people sometimes want to create between themselves-their sense of who they are in the world-and the version of themselves that gets expussc:d through most forms of work, in which they often feel like a cog in a machine. That disrance can serve as the platform from which one can take off in a romantic direction. But the Statement explains the meaning of ,001 in renns of what it is nOt, by way of exception to what is assumed to be the uncool identity associated. with working in a particular pbce. Similarly. the \Veberian approach defines enchantment largely negatively, in terms of what it is against (the lifeworlds of modern instrumental n.tiol1a1ity) and explains it in ... compensatory manner, not in terms of its positive content. And to the extent that Weber does provide a sense of the positive content of enchantment, he tends to define it as operating nostalgically, as a backwards look towards what it is that we seem to have lost. Yet the technology centered kinds of romanticism discussed here are in the first instance forward looking. \Vhile there are occasional gesmres towuds a restoration of cert:l.in p2St conditions lih the global village, wh.at internet romanticism has established without a doubt is that romanticism can be constructed. within the very technology-centered world that Weber imagined. to be ench.antment's opposite.' So, how is rhis pattern beSt explained~ First, it needs be said that in m:any cases, it was not digital technology itself that transmitted romantic ideas. Romantic tropes, in fact, were largely picked up in printed texts. Most of the romantic habits of rhought surrounding computers, especially before the mid1990S, were made available ro individuals by way of traditional print (and even Wired maga%ine, ar the moment of its greatcst impact around 1993-1994, was stilllargdy encountered in print). Jusr as the sport of Alpine mountain climbing would nor be what it is without all the book shelves full of writing about it, rhe sense that the experience of using compUterS can he understood as unpredictably thrilling and creative would not exist without all the writing and re;lding of printed magazine articles, essays, and books about romantic creativity in the field of computing and more generally.
170

Second, computer coumercultural romanticislll had a specific history, a cultural COntext. John Perry Barlow, Ted Nelson, and Stewart Brand had read and created reams of 1960s countercultural literature, as had many of their readers. And, by the late 1970S, computer engineers in gener:al, even those without obvious countercultural proclivities, had encountered enough of thcse practices that someone inside the Pentagon research establishment like Lynn Conway could describe a giant technological project with gestures towards the infonnal-~we don't have to form some insrirute~-and the gesmres would be legible. Third, romanticism was reactive. Romanticism should not be o\'ergeneralb:ed to the spirit of the timcs in the Hegeli.an sense, an essence that penneated aU aspects of sOOeer and culture. It made sense only if it had something to be against, somerhing with which it could be contraSted.. In the elSe of the computee counterculture, it gained traction as a response to other specific modes of thought and their contradictions. \hen Licklider and Engdbart sought justifications for using computers in an interactive, open-ended way, they were working their way out of a COntext dominated. by instrumental reasoning harnessed to burgeoning corponte and miIira.ry bureaucratic structures. The dominant logics of systems science and the office automation movement wanted to eliminate the unptedict:wle, wheua.s Licklider and Engelbart wanted to explote it. \Vhen journalists 00ebn.ted. Jobs and \V<nniak as romantic rebel entrepreneurs, they knowingly did so in the context of a society where enrrcnched corporate bureaucr.tcics. monoronously uniform national name-brand consumer products, and dry, pred.icuble, profit calcul.ations were the norm; it was precisely the app2renr difference from the nonn that made the [WO guys in a g:arage Stories worth telling-to the poinr where those srories were systematically exaggerated. \hen \ired helped launch both the stock bubble and the internet into everyday life, it arrested our attention precisely because ir stood out against a backdrop of routine career paths, political behavior, and capitalist processes. It did nOt matter much whether or not the Day-Glo graphics and innoVlltive layout of the mag:a:tine were readable; it mostly mattered that it stood out fTom everything else. And when Eric Raymond convinced various corpon.te chieftains thu the best programmers would rather write programs that they were passionate about than programs for which they were well paid, this was made compelling when set against the seemingly intractable MicrosofT monopoly and the relatively colorless software it produced.
Computers as UtJpredictability Machj/l(~S

Conclusion

171

Conclusion

o Ji.

Yet there remains the question of why computers-of all things!-seemed receptive to being articulated wid, romantic tropes ro such effect. Given their initial construction as the embodiment of insrrumental reasoning. how could

instrumental reasoning's prithey come to seem to so mallY mllllY a locus of one of instrumemal mary anragonists~ '111is is where the compulsive quality of interacting with :I. This a computer played a role. Most computer users have hal'e had the experience of getting absorbed in web surfing or programming and then finding themselves loosing track of the passage rime. and ending up in a place they had not intended. We have of time. ha\'e seen how this me:l.nings (for example, addicexperience can be assigned any number ofdifferent meanings e:c.mple, addic ofT tion, exhilatation), exhilaration), and can be (and probably most often is), simply sloughed off as an oddity, as meaningless. Yet, for a significant minority, it does allow for all with two key elementS elements of romanticism: the assertion of unpredictarticulation wirh experience. ability, and the rhe daim claim to the distinctness of inner innet expetience. rhe great strengths of the rhe romantic One of the romanric critique of various vatious rationalisms predictabiliry. The Enlightenment hypothesized rhat,jusr rhat, jusr as involves the limits of predictability. the motions of the planers were discovered planets wert discovertd to be mathematically predictable by the $:lme that made apples f.dl :all from trees, so might other aspects aspectS of life, same rules thar life. such as hUIll:ln humOl.n behavior. Romanticism's reply is that, at least in the rcalm re<I1m of human humOl.n art, and affilits, affitirs, this is not so. The romantic thinkers were fascinared fascinated by language, an, OI.nd hi~tory beC:U.lse are historical sysrems intemal to themselves, history because they art bistorical and driven by systemS immanel1t, necessarily conringent comingent processes that will travel paths that by immanent, th:n cannot be predicted ill in advance. Interacti\'e computers offer rhe Interactive the person at the keyboard a world of relatively resulcs of using a :a computer are :l.S uncertain outcomes. The results as often as not less prem:achine or a lawn mower. dicuble dictable than turning on and using. say. a washing machine 11ILs ir This can be interpreted as a flaw or error (why won't the d:lmn damn thing tbing do what it shouldf). shouldn. Yet there are short seeps steps from noting,the noting. the unexpected "flaw; "flaw;' to inputting something in tesponse, response, to a steady. steady, ongoing interaction in which one goes beyond seeking ro to get the behavior initially iniriall)' inrended intended :lnd and goes in unintended directions. dircctiolts. unpredictability Used interactively. inreractivel)'. computers can become, become. in a specific way, ullpredictability machines. It is a limited unpredictabilit)', unpredictability, ro to be sure, more akin ro to reading a Story abour actually being a p:miciabout a dangerous mountain dimbing climbing expedition czpedition rhan to actuall), panicilimittd uliknowl1biliry, unklloll'ability, of web surfing or pam. The safely endosed enclosed experience, the limiwl hacking can draw one in and then become articulated with rhe the romantic value of being involved with something beyond the bounds of full)' fully predictable, calculable hcing predictable. calcub.ble initi:l.1 intention is assumed to be fixed. The experience rationality n.tionalit), in which the initial of drifting while interacting with :l. a computer offers an experiential homology to sclf-sh:l.ping process that rhat the romantic sense of exploralion, exploration, an experience of a self-shaping grid.' unfolds according to its own logic, that cannot be mapped to some external grid,' soci:llly, however, when it is That homology homolog)' becomes parcicularly particularly active socially, rationalize. mapped on to resistance or skepticism towards efforts to predict. rationalize,

:and and control human behavior. As we have seen, many man)' of the first encounters contexts where bosses or colleagues with interactive computers occurred in contextS were proposing co to use instrumental logics to manage their way out OUt of hurlla" human warfare. to industrialize dilemmas: to somehow control the horror of nudear nuclear warf.ue. calcul:ue one's wa)' way out of inner city strife, scrife, to win the rhe Vietsectetarial work. work, to calculate secretarial \.1.r b), by compmerizing turn schoolchildren into studious :lnd nam War computeri:cing it. it, to tum and obediencydopedia~, or to resolve the aching political tensions ent users of electronic encyclopedias, between democracy and the for-profit corporation with tidy committee Strucstructures manned by experts. In a life punctuated both by periods of loosing oneself [Ures encountets with misguided instrumental insrrumental reasoning. in a m:J.chine machine and regular encounters juStify and celebrate the former while tradition offered a way to justify the romantic tn.dition btter and, most importantly, giving voice to one's suspicions sllspicions abour about the laner importandy, a way to to connect with others with similar views by articulating a shared experience using learned conventions. Finding oneself as :l 01. unique expressive individual meant way. creating finding others who also liked to think of themselves that wa)'. crearing bonds around perceived difference, difference. whether they were dor-commers dot-commers recommending to the wind and talcing taking the start-ups or throwing caution caunon [0 rhe plunge into incernet internet SUrt-ups advocares calling for contributors to the Linux kernel. And. And, as time open source source. advocates went on, this altemati\'e alternative discursive uni\ocrse universe developed. developed a crack track record tecord of relative wenr :accuracy; already by the early 1980s. r98o~. Ted Nelson and Stuart Brand had h:ld:l accuracy; a better mallagers track record of predicting the direction direcrion of computing than the many m.llly managers [ike Xerox's McColough who imagined computers as tools of prediction and like order. As microcomputers made the experience of interacting with computers widely accessible. more and more people would h:ave accessible, have the opportunity to map the expeonto a romantically rience of compulsive interacrion interaction OntO romanticall), inflected interpretation of themselves and rhe world around them. rhem. Someone working with computers, while coming to a dawning realization :Ibout about the impossibility of one or another example of ration:J.lisr rationalist overreaching. might then reinterpret the act of computing as instrumental-ro sec they were doing as expression. expression, sonlething something other than instrumental-to see what the)' artist, rebel, or Ot both, and to find commuexploration, or art, to sec see themselves as artist. nities wim with similar experiences that would reinforce that interpretation. interprera.tion. In a culrWo-celltury habit of celebrating Emerson's dictum that ture which has a nearly two-century rrllsr the self ~elf as "that srar ... without we should understand :lnd and trust Hthat science-baffling star virtue. and alld of life, calculable elements Iwhich [which is) is} at ollce once the essence of genius, of virtue, which we call Spontaneity;1 rhe experience of interacnng Spontaneity,H1 the interacting with a computer, in the reaerion against instrumental inStrumellt:l1 reasoning turned rumed pathological, parhological, could Context context of a reaction constructions of and did work repeatedly as an OI.n erl:lbler enabler or reinforcer of romantic cOnstructions the self.

172 172

Conclusion Condusion

173 17 J

Conclusion Condusion

The Effects oj Internet Romanticism


How did this matter~ Romanticism did not cause the internet, certainly nOt by itself. Many very unromantic, traditional human proclivities and economic and political forces have profoundly shaped the innovation and global adoption of internet technology. For example, the routine human desire for and interest in efficient and rich forms of communicarion atcounts for a large pan of the long arc of internet development. The capitalist imperative to develop new producrs_ one can attribute it to cteative destruction, the tendency towards overcapacity, or the crisis of overproduction, depending on one's theoretical allegiances-cer_ tainly has played a key role in conrinuous technological exploration and develop_ tcchnological ment. Direct and indirect state encouragement and cultivation of technological innovation, alongside the state's role as a stabili2;er of market relations and regulator of market forces, has also played a crucial role. Romanticism did help determine when, how, and in what context the internet was adopted and, in turn, the expectations we have for the internet and how it has been integrated into human life. The broad shift from a vision of compllters as calculators to computers as communication devices was at the OUtsct driven more by encyclopedic, rationalist visions than romantic ones. Licklider and Engelbart were for the most part rationalists, though their search for ways to find legitimate reasons to develop open-ended imeractivity pointed rhem in counterculrnral variant new directions. By the 1970S, however, romanticism in its counterculrural did much to encrgi2;e, spread. and cement that change. In the 1980S, the romantic respe(( for informality played a role in enabling the culture of"rough consensus and running code" that shepherded the internet into existence as a widely available, robust network of netwotks, and in its different, entrepreneurial form it gave legitimacy and energy to the spread and triumph of the "personal" computer that would provide a necessary part of the technological infrascructure for the incernet's explosion the following decade. Romanticism was one factor among many, but it seems plausible that tomanticism's influence could have provided the edge that allowed the internet to surpass competing technological efforts couched in European corporate liberal efforts, such as Minitel and OSI in the 1980s. In the 1990S, romanticism in its Wired variant was at first more aboU( reception of the inrernet than about its construccion. But, as the 1990S progressed, the rnm Wired vision played an essential role in inflating the stock bubble, which in rum caused the huge and rapid influx of capital into internet-related efforrs. As foolish as much of the bubble was, it enabled the rapid build-oue and adoption of rhe technology while quickly swamping alternative possible directions for compurer communications. From the machines on our desks to telecommunications backbones, massive, sociery-wide investmenrs in infrastructure, interface technolo174 Conclusion

gies, and computer graphics hardware and software were powerfully fueled by inrcrnet into our homes and workplaces, providstock-bubble energy, driving the internet ing the internet a material base from which it would launch itself into everyday life across the globe. But in playing a role in creating the conditions for the internet explosion, romanticism went on to help establish expectatiollS of the internet, especially in the United States, that have in turn shaped its furrher development and integration into life. Our society has been flooded by stories of unpredictable actions by individuals using computers to throw established authorities into disarray: Stories of surprising computer-related business start-ups, from Apple and Microsoft around 1980 to Google today; of peculiar digital inventions taking the world by storm; of internet usc by political rebels from Jesse Ventura to Howard Dean to Barack Obama; of disruptive events that throw entire industries into disarray, like college students downloading music or uploading videos. We have come to associate the internet with narl":ltives of appealing unpredictability, so much so that we now usc those narratives in making choices about regulating and further constructing the internet.' We regularly imagine the internet as a space of free exchange beyond regulation, for example, despite all evidence to the contrary (see, for example, China), and, as a consequence, we tolerate quantities of fraud (for example, spam) and pornography that the polity would find unacceptable in broadcasting and telephony. The habit of throwing money ar internet-related businesses in rough proportion to their air of rebelliousness persists, even if dampened by memories of the stock collapses and scandals of the early woos." One of the most powerful forces maintaining the internet's open, anarchic charaerer, in sum, is our memory of the all the romantic stories about the internet; character, expeer the internet to be liberating and unpredictable, unpredierable, those stories taught us to expect and that expectation helps keep it that way.'Q The internet is open, not because of the technology itself or some uniquely democratic potential hidd~n inside the technology, but becanse we have narrated it as open and, as a consequence, have embraced and constructed it as open, The sudden rise of the open source movement works as proof that romantic individualism is not just an epiphenomenon of or apology for the market but in fact has its own relative autonomy. A romantic narrative of organic communities engaging in programming-as-arr and individual expression managed to play intellecrnal property in the a key role in shifting the broad discourse surrounding intellecrual United States in a way that changed the received wisdoms operating in industry and-gradually-in law. The open source movement did what other critics of neoliberal trends in internet policy making (for example, the Haubens' comrnunitarianism, the civic republicanism of critics like James Boyle, the blistering munitarianism, neo-Marxist critics," or Thomas Hughes's support for the Vannevar Bush school 175 Conclusion

of rhought thought in the form fotm of the military-industrial-university complex) could not: nOt: loosen a linchpin of the che maill5tream mainstream dominance of the neolibcral neoliberal myths about the internet as a triumph of a Lockean marketplace. matketplace. In the broad scheme of things, it is too soon to tell teU whether the internet will turn OUt in place rurn our to to be:l be a truly epoch:ll epochal technology or whether it will simply take its communication technologies that have been elaborating the in the long line of communieltion possibilities of human interconnection across time and space fOt for the last five hundted years. ye:lrs. But what will probably prob:lbly stick out our when hisrorians hiStorians look back at the dred inrernets "'~I(/pllOriclll power powet of the interimernet's role in the 1990S and 1000S J.ooos will be the mttaplJOriral net in that decade, the degree to which the perception of the internet as something essentially unpredictable unpred.icr:illble and tied to ro expressive freedom Freedom spilled over into other issues. In the United States at least, le:lSt, one will not be able ro to understand the larger b.rger trajectories of industrial induStrial regulation, of antitrust antitrusr enforcement, of first amendment law, of intellecrual inrellecrual property Law, law, of property Law law itself, without referinrernet embodied a kind ence to the public's and policy makers' belief that the internet eonfOUllded dominant dominal}[ hahiu habin of thought. If the of new energy on the scene that confounded internet had been received as simply sinlply anothet another embellishment on electronic communication,:IS filx m:lchine pl:lyer, events in the munication, as something akin to the fu: machine or DVD pl;lyer, worlds of business and government would have played oUt out diRerently, differently. As ~ often as nor, as we have seen, these perceptions were not parricubrly particularly subtle or e\"W even accunot, I<Ire, but they would not have the power they did without the internet as material rate, object functioning funcrioning as a historically important resource for fot collectively thinking The connection between romanticism new thoughts about how to govern society. society, TIle nOt been been:l artifilCt, hut but it has been a and the internet has not a relation of blueprint to ro artifact, Olle nonetheless. materially significant one matetially signincant

communicate! It is one thing to argue, say, that communicate~ chat requiring telecommunication companies ro allow access ro competirors' hardware would be reasonable, or efficient, to ;lllow to competitors' or perhaps even helpful to an open democratic society, society. It is anothet another to demand, as some have, frecdom freedom for the iPhone or to claim that internet regulation boils down to a battle between bctween the forces offreedom rhe forces ofconstraint." ofconstrainr.'l of freedom and the But part of what makes romanticism compelling is precisely its irs extravagance. Vlhen VVhen Ted Nelson boldly proclaimed in 1914 1974 that Mthe "the purpose of comput[he claim compelling then was not thar that he ers is human freedom,"" freedom;" what made the offered a specific argument about the nature democtac)' or that he offered. spednc of fteedom freedom or democracy described any ditect compuring; those were still decades direct experience with public computing; away. Rather, slapdash extremity of the claim, the way it R;lther, it was precisely the slOlpdash caution to the wind while completdy completely in\'erring inverting the received threw all elution recei\.w wisdom, that caught one's attention. For the small nunlber rhat ;lttention. number of individuals with wirh experience with compmers computers at ar the time. time, one's susceptibility to to the argument came less from logic than from experience-from a pleasure in working with computers, perhaps mixed with some doubts about the boss's misguided managerial f.mt1Sies fanrasies about computers as command-and-control devices. Nelson's rhetoric gave that mix of command-;lnd-conrrol pleasure and doubt a framework fr.lmework in which one could see one's identity as someone light, The humor in Nelson's writing worked who works with computers in a new lighr. to soften its gr:mdiosiry, to personalize it-without introducing the compleXities to irs grandiosity, complexities of reasoned argument and ;lIIld empirical proof. dear appeal and power of such mOmentS extr:lVagance is The clear moments of deliber:ue deliber:lte extravagance conrexts, simply dismissing it as foolish often will only write wtite undeniable; in many contexts, onc ill the debate. And romantic n:lrratives call sometimes one out of patticipation participation in narratives can work as a corrective to bureaucratic grandiosity. Ie It was W:1S not the rhe Pento varieties of buteaucratic thar invented the internet, and the rhe internet did not emerge automatically :lutom:uicaJJy tagon that a few bits of legislation or NSF progt:lms, stock-bubbleas the result of OIl progr.lms. But the stock:-bubblelaunching story that Netscape's web browser btowser was revolutionary and that young Andreesscn was its genius crearor turk programmer Mark Andreessen creator worked to obscure important aspects as the merely incremental contribution aspectS of the sitll:ltion, situation, such .:IS Netscape's browser or the nonprofit origins of so much of the inrernet of Netscapc's internet platform that was in place at the rime. Similarly, the idea that open source software is pl;lce time. the creation cteation of passionate anist-programmer artist-programmer communities freed from the dIe chains c11ains mnstraint obscures che of corporate constraint the fact that rhis this kind of progt:lmming programming activity still needs institutional support-academia, for example, or corporate consonia-not to mention social infl<lstroctures; infrastruCtures; Linus Torvalds, who programmed the first drafts of the Linux kernel while an undergraduate in Finland, has h;15 said he would not have taken the rime ro to get Linux going had he not had the reassurance of a Scandil~avian Scandinavian social welf.1.re welfare state providing basic needs while he worked for no income." 177 Conclusion

TIl(: Limits ofImernet of IIlUnlei Romantic Romlllltic 1",lillidlllllisl/I TI" Individualism

Studying romanticism as a tr.tdition tradition of necessity calls into question ronlanticism's romanticism's iuelf a tr:ldition, tradition, self image: the claim to be the overthrower of tradition becomes itself discovered, L:lW something learned as much as it is discovered. Law professor Yoc.hai Yochai Benkler, discussing of internet -based pccr-production, wssing the value ofinternet-based peer-production, once cautioned caurioned about what he called M "the freedom."" 11,e The point pointis is well taken, in tile eXtraYaganceofsaying extr.lv;lgance ofsaying this is about freedom. large part for empirical re:l5ons; in a COUntry ofc:itiuns are empiric;ll reasons; country in which large numbers ofciti;:ens faced with the aching Jack lack of nutrition, nurrition, health care, and other necessities, in which noncitizens and even some citizens rhe mosr most basic protections prorections of citi;:ens are deprived of the the due process of law, in which large concentrations of wealth wealrh systematically sysremaric:llly undermine democratic democr:ltic processes. processes, how important can convenient computer comundennine munication municarion really be, especi:llly especially in a world that already has ubiquitous telephones and photocopiers, cheap video camer:lS, cameras, filx fax machines, and countless other ways ro to
M "

176

Conclusion

So, U fr:l.mework for soci:tl as :t a framework social ch:tnge, change, romanticism is, by itself, itself. unsusuin:tble. unsustainable. gre:at strength is its critique of rationalist r:ationaliSl fantasies of predictIf rom:mticism's romanticism's grear predinability, hislOrical comen, abiliry, its blind spotS spots concern social relations and hiswrical context. With its bro:ad social soci:tl relations that focus on heroic narratives, romanticism rom:tnticism obscures the broad m:ake those ~heroic "heroic~ ans acts possible. possiblc, feminist Feminist technology writer Paulina Borsook, make the enthusiasms that were driving the slOck srock bubble, has described in criticizing me what she c:tlled called the diaper fallacy: b...bies, or thinking babies ... is fun. Considering ConSidering me the rality reality making babiu, minking about moot making bWKs of how m.>.ny many rimes nmCll you will rnlly really haw: have to ch:mge their dtipen diapers (or buy them or ofhow chm~ chdr wash dispose of them or manufamrre m:muf:lcrure them or ~ pay for mee those diapers), is w~ them or dil.pose nOf.... It's [t'S much more fun to think (Divine~) nor.... mink Grand AbstTaet A~moCf Thoughu Thoughts about (Divine) Providence providing Prosperity-than to bomercd to think about who wipes ProvidtfK"e ro br: ~ bomered the nOleS and picks up the garbage and absorbs the collateral rosa C05rs and damage for me noses garba~ .md me coIJateni the me ourlir." out6t." h:lnd, Botsook's Borsook's notion of the diaper fallacy works on two levels. On the one hand, diaper changing reminds us of all the unglamorous ungb.morous work needed to sustain human life that is both uncelebrated and that goes largely un- or ill-rewarded, wllile managers, investors, and other mostly male leaders take all the credit. On while the other, it points to a theoretic:tl theoretical problem of political economy: the problem of unwaged, reproductive labor that thar has been so usefully discussed in the wake of the critique of Marx's (and others') labor theory of value. As feminist rhe feminist ctitique OUt for Some some time cenain sense, capitalism has economists have pointed poimed out rime now, in a ceru.in aR.oat on a large I:.trge body of unwaged labor; for men to leave the home always been afloat factory. whether whethtr as managers or laboren, laborers, someone someOne has to raise the and go to the faCtory, nlere mechanical usk. task. Nec~ry Necessary wOtk work typically done kids. And this is not a mere f.1mily by women, WOlllen, from diaper changing co cteating rhe family within the to homemaking to crating and reproducing a culture culrure and institutions-that instirutions-rllat is, designing social teluionsrelationsthat nurture rhe nat next generation, has for the most mosr part syStemS nurtUre the pan happened outside systems of market exchange.'? exch;mge." With this in mind, the fact fact that rhat crucial work might be done for purposes purposeS \Vith orher than profits, :md with attention (0 structures that facilirare cooper:l.tion. other and to facilitate cooperation, is Free and open source software production is only surprising hardly a revelation. free in that it emerged in the male-dominated world of engineering against the backleg:al and economic regime that tried to to harness a radical individualist drop of a legal Borh the rhe celebrants cclebranrs of the free market system of ideas to the horse of high tech. Both producrivity of voluntary volulltary peer-to-peet peer-to'peer labor" and their neo-Marxist critics" arc are productiviry tOO astonished that thar threads of unwaged work done OUt Ollt of passion perhaps a little lirtle toO inro the f.1bric fabric of contemporary or commirmenr commitment are woven into contemporaty global capiralism. capitalism. It is not rhat sofrware nOt that software engineers discovered a radically new way to make things wirh with rhe internet; inrernet; it is that programmers stumbled upon something that is routine the rourine to
178

wr:tpping that much of the world bur but ignored by the dominant ideology, and by wrapping tedlllological triumph-in Byronic mirror discovery in romantic clothing :tnd and technological spuk-the progranlmers shades, so to speak-the prognmmers were :lble able to ~netrare penetrate the worlds of law thar others had not. nOt. and politics in a way that But that thar success comes with blind spots. Borsook was writing specifically about markerplace principles, the mid-1990S moment that fused romantic with radical marketplace but the rhe met:lphor metaphor is generalizable: tomanticism romanticism personalizes and in a parricular particular bur ro colorful individuals while obscuring way. On the one hand, it draws artention attention to 11,e individuals at the center of the role of institutions and broad policy making. The moments of innoVOIrion innovation who for re:asons OUt from those reasons of style or power stand our them~Lidclider, Engelbarr, Engelbart. Nelson. Jobs, Andrcesun, Barlow-ge[ the around them-Licklider, Nelson,Jobs, Andreessen, Barlow-get sporlight, while the important work of the many less colorful individuals who spoclig~t, al~o involved, like Van Dam, tend to become invisible. were also On the rhe other hand, rom:tnticism's romanticism's focus on spontaneous spont;meous creation-fromirs own explanation. nowhere, its presumption that thar cteativity creativity is its explanation, and its celebration ofrhe overthrow ofrradition. obscures histoty history and social contexr, ofthe of tradition, obscutes context, such as the social instirutions developmentS, like school and institutions that provided necessary sustenance for developments, healrh health care cate systems. systems, government funded research, reseatch, and all the many infrasttuctural inftasttuctural rhat nurture rechnological innovation. It is about systems that ntlrmre scientific scienrilic research and technological the social context comex[ that allows people to devote energies to experimenting ex~rimenting with jusr about the genius of a young Steve Wozniak or Linus Tortechnologies, not JUSt capiralism, not the valds.ln valds. In the end, it is about the tendency towards monopoly in capitalism, occasionally arrogant behavior of Microsoft executives. It is about building a socigeneral, not <lIbout about relying on cry in which exploitive behavior is not rewarded in general. ety enrrepreneurs like the founders of Google, who, with wirh great dramatic R.are, heroic entrepreneurs A.are, said that one of rheir "don'r be evil: evil." Celebrating the unprerheit governing principles is ~don't rhe now:l novel is one thing, rhe expense of an awareness of dictable and me dict:lbJe thing. but doing so at the anorher. all the diaper changing that th<llt keeps us all alive is another.
Capitalism, Culture, Selves

Yer for all its limits, romanticism keeps resurfacing as an oi]anized organized force, someYet \Vhat does this suggest about the nature ofc:apitaJist times with impact. 'What of capitalist societies in generalf generaI~ As of this writing. it can be difficult to recall what it was like in the mid-1990S, rreated as pathetically our OUt of touch if when, for periods of time. time, one would be tte;l.ted one wondered aloud if the AOL/Time-Warner merger W;lS was ;lbsurd absurd or expressed doubt that the internet had profoundly changed the rules of economics. These rime ago, with the roughly bits of dominant common sense evaporated some time of the dot com stock bubble and rhe World Trade Towers simulraneous collapse the simultaneous
179

Conclusion

Conclusion

in the terroriSt anacks att3cks of 1001.1lU: 2001. The ensuing ideological shift allowed these beliefs to seem srrange strange and thus much more amenable to analysis: analysis; that historical situasitua_ tion formed the context in which whidl this book was largely conceived and drafted. draned. anothu set of changes in dominant modes or thinking is ~foot. Now, anOther of minking afoot. As this rhe linal nage.~ or completion in the full of 1008, some of the rhe ideobook was in the final sugcs of fall 2008, logical f.1brics f.a.brics rhat that this book has spent much efforr effon accounring accounting for-neoliberal nlarket policies, policies. especially-were rorn deregulatory and market torn to shreds. An economic ecocrisis in the U.S. housing mOl'tgage mortgage market expanded into imo the worst global glolnl eco nOmic collapse since the Great Depression. In response, under first lirst a Republinomic can and then a Democratic presidential administration, the U.S. government govemmem has or actions that rhat would ha\'e have been unthinkable in the preceding thiny thirty taken a series ofactions years, such as effectively n3tionalizing nationalizing a series of core institutions from l"rom banks to major mortgage lenders to to insur:lllce insurance and Clr Gl.r companies. Almost overnight. ror the moment, reignillg Keynesianism rose from l"rom rhe the dead and has buome, become, for momellf, rhe the reigning common sense among amollg policy makers inside Washington. Washington, DC (and in a surprising boardrooms). But as :as of or 2009 it is by no means cle:n number of corporate boardroorru;). clear how lirst stages and by what me the old ways of thought will be replaced. We are in dIe the first or shift in the conliguration ideologies. in the relations between of anodler another shin configuration or of ideologies, berwun ideas idea.s the old is still swirling around us and power, power. but bur the dust from the collapse of me and obscures the outlines of the future. the decades that ate are the focus of this future.. So rhe book now mUst musr be peered at through the refractions of yet another change of dominant weltanschauung. nle e\'enu events discussed in this book need. need not be seen as merely of historical The of past mistakes that seck howevet, or merely cautionary tales interest, however, C2utionary rales ofpast th.:u we should seek to avoid in the future. Looking back at the dying embers of previous ideological to ideologiC31 rel:ltions berween between culture, politics, and ecoframeworks offers lessons le.ssons abollt about rhe the relations prove useful llseful no matter what form the future takes. nomics that could pro\'e assoTo stoUt start with, the fact that romanticism romanricism persisted and at times thrived in .usofor the claim that culture is not nOt simply simpl)' cOlnputers stands ciation with compUters srands as evidence fOr re.Aection ofor ftom economic forces but has its irs own relatively autono-. a reflection of or separate nom irself. Culture matters. norjust mous role to play in macrostrucrun.J macrostructural events. Culrure matters, and not just to itself. Romantic cultural habits were were.a a necessary condition for the largest stode. stock bubble hUffi.a1l history, shaped the design and organization of whar what is becoming the in human technological fabric fubric for fOr e1ecrronic electronic communication worldwide, and h:u has played .a a freedom in our age. role in the enactmenr enaCtment of the legal and felt meanings of offreedom The stories of interner romantiCiSm. moreover. internet romanticism, moreover, suggeSt suggest a particular way in h:ld its irs imp.act which culture maners; rom:lIlriciSlll had matters; romanticism impact by offering forms of sellhood. selfhood, w.ays underStanding one's own rclariOll reluion to others, to work. ways of understanding work, and the world, That char can be .articulated articulated both with various economic behaviors (for ex.ample. example, programptogramming a user-friendly interface or st.arting starting a business) and with macroeconomic
180 J80

philosophies (for example, neoliberal policies or open source policies). By offering .a sense of oneself while legitimizing a collectively articulate, articulare, differem different SenSe legitimi:l:ing doubts about the wisdom of authorities, rom;llltic romantic practices take inchoate incllOate lived experiencesinteractive computing or annoyances for example. cx:l.mple, the compulsive draw of intel":l.ctive anno)'3nces with the limits of rationalist plans like office automation-and :l.utom:l.tion-and connects them to a truth, compelling and meaningful system sysrem of understanding; pursue one's inner Truth, and one might mighr lind find the satisfactions satisfacrions of self-expression or triumph over the powers that thar be, over mose those folks who don't don'r get it. This pattern, we have seen, helped create conditions that shifted the direction ditection of major political discourses and emire economic secTOrs.... sectors.''' entire The idea of the market, in a certain sense, sense. then, then. fOr for all its inadequacies inadeqllOlcies as an conditions. captures a cerrain descriprion of economic conditions, empirical description cert:.Lin kind of utopian hope-the ~Lockean Lockean~ dream that thar a crystalline system of property rights will projust rewards and that ir's vide us our jUlit it's possible to ro do this in a way that works for all descrving folks existing deserving folles in all times in places in a way that transcends history and erisring inequalities. \Vhile Ayn Rand formally celebtllred celebrated the abstract, selfish. selfish, calculattradition. it has been 2rgued that she was aCtuactuing individual of the utilitarian tradition, argued th:l.t romantic~; the nctional fictional and rcal ally the ~last Iast romantic; real characters she celebrated were often artists and archiu:cts. architts, expansive erpansive and exploratory erploratory in culture and ideas, ideas. nor not JUSt in \Vhile Rand's easy conflarion conAation of expressive romantic indithe pursuit of profits." Vlhile vidualism with utilitarianism may not experts in neoda.ssical neoclassical economic nOt matter m:l.tter to expertS theory, it may help explain why their theories are attractive to the culture at large. to somerhing The idea of markets markers is made more atttactive attractive when it is harnessed TO something scllhood. other than the rhe profit-maximizing idea idca of selfhood. Yet the linkage of markets to contingent. It is an all articulaTO romantic selfhood is contingem. Stuarr Hall's sense, not a logical necessity." We have .seen seen that the articution. in Stuart tion, Aexible; sometimes romantic lation of romanticism with capitalism as a whole is flexible; discourse works in concert with capitalisr 1980S, and capitalise expansion. expansion, as it did in the 1980s, capitalism, :IS as the open source sometimes romanticism pulls against aspecrs of c3.pitalism, againse aspects Framing this process in temlS terms ofa movement did in the rhe late 1990S. FtlIming of a binary of resistOO much coherence and agency to tance versus cooptation grants TOO to the abstraction of.a called capitalism; C:l.pitalism capitalism does not nor need :.mything. anything. it is an accumulation :l.ccumulation of a actions. not nor an entity unto Ir is not outside of Iluman variety of human actions, umo iTSelf. itself. It hUlll:l.n spe.ak of capiulism's agency. And ir it overstates the universality of the problem to speak capitalism's cultural contradictions, a.s as if c.apitalism capitalism simply had twO, conAicting conflicting needs: the bur. need for us to work hard and save and the need for us to to be hedonistic and buy. When. Max Weber discerned an elective affinity between colonial Protestant cul\\'hen emergent eighteenth-century industrial capitalism, ture and the requirements of emergenr he W:l.S was arguing that it was circumst.ances peculi3r to circumstanCes peculiar co that rime and place thar that helped get capitalism off and running in North AmeriC2, America, not that there was some
181 18J

Conclusion

Conclusion

at all times. kind of universal bourgeois subject that capitalism needs in all places at:LI1 the question of what omer other kinds of cultural reb.tions to Weber. in fact, lefr rel.ations to Weber, left open me What me the Story tomanticism sugcapit;llism devdoped developed in later eras. Wh.at capit.alism story of internet rom.anticism gestS is mat that the relationship td:uionship of rom.antic romantic oonsuuctions constructions to capitalist capinlist ones is tangests gential and historically genti:LI historic.a.l.ly shifting. r;lther that there is a gap berween between how many people Perhaps the larger point is rathet expetience relarions and what experience existing systems of production rooted in property relations they associate with a meaningful life or with freedom. Market relations as many Matket lllld economists imagine them and ptoperty property relations relacions prochem are not fully livable. Market approximation ofhuman desites desires for things like freedom, freedom. justice, vide at best a crude .approximation con Auences ofevenu ofevents thac thar allow and expression; it is only certain circumstances and oonfluences sense. It is not thar approximation to make sen.se.lt notjust juS!: a morality talc t:LIe to to 5OI.y say th.at that life needs that it is not enough to to be offeted merely monetary to be meaningfuL meaningful, th.at moneary rewards. rew.lrds. life. :IS as a complete principled syStem. then. capitalism Conceived as a whole way WOIy of life,. system. men, capit:LIism Conceived:lS is unlivable un!ivableover calculated drive me long term; tenn; something more is needed than the thec.a.l.cul.ated over the wh ich is why people will seek alternatives or seek to .arncuarticufor profit maximiution, maximization. which wiU altematives .seek late generalization lace the profit drive with other formations. It seems a safe historical genenli<:ation to co say rhat. th:u, over time, large numbers ofpeople of people will articulate and seek out forms of life that offer something more or different, forms that chat are not always nostalgic or backward-looking. forms that can enthusiastically embrace rhe backwardlooking, enthusi3stically the latest technologies. ofthat articulation c.an can be hugely consequenti:LI. consequential. 111eexaet The eX3ct modes ofthu capitalTIlis does not mean that thM capitalism is in crisis. It metely This merely means that capit2l ism and iu irs inner workings are neither inevit2ble inevitable nor perfunctory pcrluncwry (in the sense of unthinking or auromatic). c2pitalism will continue to rely on and be shaped automatic), that c:apinlism by modes of social organization organiutlon that are themselves nOt c:lpin.list. capitalist, and that how m:l.ITer. The quandaries qU:l.ndaries rhose rdations with noncapitalist structures struCtures are dnwn drawn m3ner. those relations within :l.nd capitali5t apparatuses th:l.t that h3ve h:l.ve accompanied the and struggles suuggles over capicalist che develwichin of imemet technology-struggles over the very ide:lS of ownership, or opmem opment internet ideas law. law, or the organization of power-tell us that the variety of human desireswealth, of course, but also desires for respect, justice, justice. expression, expression. comdesires for wealch, self-transformatiOn-have at best an awkward and tangential munity. love. munity, love, or self-transformation-have relationship to to the che forms of selfhood offered by the worlds of money, comracts, COntnCfS, property. global oorpor.ttions. corporations. property, or the power pyramids of ofglobal (Re)Discovering the Social (Re}Discovering lleed richer understandIn that chac awkwardness may lay seeds to to social change. We need terms of freedom to, not JUSt just freedom from, working conings of autonomy in rerms not srructions people, nor structions of freedom that understand it as a relationship between people. of relationship. How to come up with a workable, positive undersimply as a l:l.ck wich lack
182
Conclusion

standing of freedom is of course difficult and uncertain; define positive freedom abstr:l.ccly or tOO coo strictly, strictly. and you define it away into just mote more oonstnints constraints or tOO absrracdy rhe internet might give bureaucracy. But me the experiences of the development of the bureauct'2C)'. us radical individualism associated with internet. it US some clues. dues. For all the radic.a.l. wim the internet, has also occasioned some public rethinking of the narure of democratic nature democntic social relarions. relations. clut the technology itself It should be noted that the argument argumenr here is neither mar is somehow democratic nor that the many momentS horizontal cooperation moments of hori<:ontal to some kind of democratic revolution. rhe like amounr among programmers and the amount TO the naSCent naKenr democratic efforts dforts and hopes around the It is common to speak of all che Ic internet and speak of the democratic democntic porential potential of the technology. While this chis way of framing the question usefully allows for human agency-we have a choice, choice. ir it is that potential-it still assumes that TO engage th.at th.ac democracy democr.lCY implied, whether or not ro not made that inside the technology iuelf. itSdf. But I have nOt thac particular dodge. is somehow i"side 11K approached as a The Net Effect, by making the case that cyber rhetoric is not best approached.as bur as a rich set hisroric:l.lly set of naive or pernicious political econOmic economic claims but sec of ofhiscoric:ally embedded cultural'discourses with varying political articulations. articulations, provides both :l. lirtle bener sense of a w.ly a more precise picture of what's going on and a litele bit becter way forW2rd. thac, because ward. My claim is nOt that the internet is inherently democratic but that, of a ser has opened of:l set of historical contingencies, the encounter with wich the che internet h3s democracy that rarely enter and focused attention on questions of democl'2cy up .and chac otherwise nrely public discourse. 111at That encounter encountet has succeeded in enlarging enlai]ing the deb:l.te debate where those of us in critical academia have noc. nor. When Lynn Conway cultiv:l.red Conw.ay cultivated an awareness of how m:l.nufacture involving forms ofhorito design methods of design in microchip manufacture to fonns of hori:tontal the creators crearors of Unix promoted the idea of a programmntal collaboration, when me shared tools and a consciously cultivated, interactming environment based on sh:l.red ing communicy, community, when early internet interner developers gravitated towards the principle of end-to-end design, design. when these congealed into the colleCtive collective habits of "rough consensus and running code" for internet development and governance, there :l.bout these practices. Bursts Bursrs of technical innovainherendy political about was nothing inherently bctween tion had often before been powered by moments of intense cooperation between communities. to memhers various engineering oommunities, to various degrees deliberately members of V:l.rious correct thar that against established hienrchies. hierarchies. Fred Turner is correct" working around or .against energetic horizonnl horizontal collabontion collaboration .among among engineers is neither new nor necessarily the utopian moment that open source romamics sOrneti111eS .~eem romantics sometimes seem to imagine; as Thomas Hughes observed in some det:l.il. detail, the engineers that built the ICBMs in the 1950S also operated in a highly cooperative, informal mode, energized in that enthusiasms rnther rather than by any enthusiasm for grassroots chat case by cold war enrhusi:l.sml democracy." Previous such moments momentS had typically been occasioned by wars (hot democracy.J
183

Conclusion

or cold) or similar rypes of crisis. The political valence now associated with what has come to be called nerwork-based peer-to-peer production is contingent; it comes from the historical circumstances in which these particular practices emerged. Those historical circumstances, then, have been crucial to creating the widely shared feeling rhat something abom the stmcrure of the internet is associated more specifically with the political values of openness and democracy. The temp_ tation to pin those values on the technical structure of the interner is strong. As of this writing. for example, we are faced with a political debate about "net neutrality" in which one side rests its political case heavily on a technological argu_ ment about the superior nature of the internet's end-to-end design, where the intermediate pieces of the network are kept as simple and elemental as possible and the control over what goes over the network is left to the devices connected to it.... The technical principles upon which the internet was built, we are told, mean that efforts to ration bandwidth-that is, ration flows from within the nerwork according to ability to pay-is, not only antidemocratic, but technically naive. Democracy; it is thus implied, is technologically superior, and the internet is a superior communication .technology because of its democratic characteristics. This is an immensely powerful argument, as it associatcs democracy with the "hard" values of superior technology instead of mere morality. Yet, for all its power at this moment, the argument rests on a frail foundation." For the last two decades, the temptation to read political mot:llity tales into the story of the internet's technical success have been almost overwhelming. but they have as often as not dissolved under the weight of experience. The mid-1990S libertatian claims that the internet represented a rriumph of the free market dearly ignored all the nonprofit and government-sponsored research rhat helped create ir and the cenrtality of the often nonproprietary shared standards and protocols that made ir work. The oft-repeated slogan "the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it"" has been disproved by the efforrs of, among others, the Chinese government. (In the broadest sense, it is probably the case that a fully internet-connected society might make authoritarianism a little more diffitult to maintain, but by no means impossible-something which could also be said about the printing press, the telephone, and the photocopy machine.) 1he internet is not a technical fix for the principal social and political dilemmas of democracy. U.s. society is rife with well-organized, respecred, and established non- or extracapitalist institutions, from municipal governments to rural electric cooperatives to parental diaper changing. 'NIJat was historically unique about the work of the network pioneers of the 1970S and 1980s is not that they cooperated or worked outside of proprietary formats but that that particular set of extraca184 Conclusion

pitalist procedures appeared in the heart of an emerging high-technology sector in the absence of a military emergency, associated with various counterculrural allures, and at a time when American public discourse was aggressively moving towards a universalizing promarket discourse. The utopian character so many sec in the history of internet development is not JUSt about the specifics of internet development; it springs from the fact that the specifics stand in such contrast to the dominant discourses of the times in which they emerged. III contrast with sPOUt the descendants of Vannevar Bush, the internet pioneers did not proudly spOUt acronyms or appeal to a sense of national emergency, and at crucial moments they had the wisdom to remain informal ("request for commentS;"we don'r need to form some institute") and to decline federal funds when it was strategically useful to do so. And in contrast with the ~age of the entrepreneUt" rhetoric of the mainstream political culture of the 1980s, the internet pioneers knew from experience that exclusively profit-maximizing behavior was not enough to create a thriving network system, that a cettain amount of political compromise, a carefully cultivated culture of cooperation, and an enthusiasm for the technology for its own sake were all necessary or at least helpful to getting the internet off the ground. So when rhe internet took the world by storm in the early 1990S and the likes of Republican leader Newt Gingrich tried to claim the internet as evidence in support of his radical promarket philosophies, activists could look back on the creation of the deep structure of the internet and find compelling object lessons that undercut Gingrich's claims. took the loose outlines of the story of internet The open source movement rook development and crystallized them into a dramatic narrative that drew sharp lines between open Gnu/Linux and closed Microsoft. One could make the case that rhe true success Story of open sour<:e is the internet itself, not Linux. The internet, however, is more a mix of proprietary and open systems that emerged from a decades-long accumulation of small practical dedsions. It involved a lot of diaper changing. In contrast, Linux. coupled to the clever purity of the Gnu General Public License, appeared on the scene at ptedscly the moment of Microsoft's rise to complete dominance of the operating system market, which was also the historical high-water mark of the drive towards ever more proprietary conditions in the world of intellectual property. If the history of the internet invites a thoughtful, ironic reading of the political economic derails, Linux invites a heroic, David versus Goliath narrative. That narrative, to be sure, has had a powerful effect. We have seen that, while the romantic impulse can blind one to the diaper-changing aspects of life, its iconoclasm can loosen the bonds of existing assumptions and institutional hierarchies and provide the conditions for new forms of social experimentation. The case of the internet has provided compelling models of how to organize collective 185 Conclusion

work. \.Vhar the pioneers of computer networking rediscovered and institutional_ ized in the 1970S and 1980s, and what rhe open source movement seized on and turned into a popular movement in the late 1990S is that hotizontal. informal cooperation can be simply effective, and in some circumstances it can be more effective than property relations and market competition. The sometimes non_ proprietary, sometimes nonhierarchical ways of the internet are no more and no less anarchist or socialist than city governments or rural elecrric cooperatives; the simple endurance of ciry governments and cooperatives-and the internet_ belie the claim that for-profit structures are always more efficient, and, by the same token, none of them are inherently utopian or necessarily free from oppres_ sion. But the example of the internet's creation has provided a galvanizing set of symbols and social thought-objects that have advanced the discussion of how to do democracy in the broader culture. If one wants ro make the case for nonprofit institutional structures, the internet is a valuable rhetorical rool, a starting point for discussion, if not an ending point. None of which is to say that the specifics of internet development arc not still worth learning from. The development of computer networking over the decades has repeatedly provided useful objecr lessons in how the activity of getting groups to communicate effecrively horizontally brings social relations to the front of consciousness; whether the task is something small, like calming the waters on a discussion list, Ot something latge, like catefully steeting a fragile technological coalition thtough the shoals of beltway politics and competing corporate interests, working on networks can encourage an awareness of and concern for social relations of a type that goes beyond crude, top-down command hierarchies. The development of the internet provides distincr examples of the ways in which exrracapitalist social relations can emetge neither from business nor from big government but from mixed spaces in between the two. Those relations, furthermore, because they operated at the heart of curring-edge high technology, market failures or need not be seen as somehow compensatOty, as teactions to marker something that happens at the matgins of society; they were at the centet of one of the more important technological innovations of the twentieth century. Exrracapitalist ways of doing things operate at the centet, notJUSt at the margins. Yet if those lessons arc to endure, the discussion of them eventually needs to be taken beyond the romantic individualist narratives that have been so useful in bringing them to broader public attention. Linux is not revolutionary; it is an excellent object lesson that disproves the claim that significant innovatiOn comes mlly from profit incentives. The technology of the internet is not inherently democratic, but interesting and rich experiments in how to do democracy have happened so frequently on the internet that we have come to expect tllem there and have been building that expectation into its legal regulation and under186 Conclusion

lying code base to the extent that it is now a tradition. Throughout the history of the internet groups of people have brought various sets of social and political concerns into rhe discussion of the technology in its formation. a discussion that has since shaped how our sociery has embraced and continued to develop the internet. Much of our embrace of the internet is driven by longstanding cultural tradirions that we have brought to the internet rather than what the interner has brought to us; the internet as a technology is inscribed with tradition at least as much as it marks a break from it. It is not the technology, but how we embraced it, that has made ir into the open, loosely democratic institution that it is. into today's favorite model for forward-looking. small d democratic practice. But this is a good thing. It tells us that people-not technology, not big institutions-while going about their lives using and creating technologies, have created some new conditions for democratic hope and experimentation. And, as a result, the internet has occasioned a COnteXt in which an ongoing exploration of the meaning of core principles like righrs, property, freedom, capitalism, and the social have been made vivid and debated in ways that go well beyond the usual elite modes of discussion. Internet policy making has brought to the fore questions about how we imagine creativity and production in organizing social relations. How does cteation happenf What social and legal structures best nurture creativityf Finally, the inrernet offers important object lessons about the impottance and difficulties of imagining social relations and making them available for discussion, lessons that we would do well to learn from. The internet, in other words, is a socially evocative object. >7 Tt does not by itselfguarantee democracy, bur the last several decades of internet evolution offer a set of shared experiences that serve as political object lessons about democracy. Those experiences have played a key role in casting into doubt the certainties of some of the reigning ideas of the last fifty years and widened the range of possibility for democratic debate and action, bringing to the surface political issues that have been dormant since the 1960S Ot earlier. As a result of this historical CJ(perience, the internet's history has become insctibed in its pracrical characrer and use. Bue Bur this efflorescence of openness is not the result of underlying truths about technology (or aboUT progtess or humanity) breaking through the crUStS of tradition and inequality. It is the result of peculiarities of history and culture, of historical contingencies rather than technological necessities. 111e larger moral of this Story, perhaps, is that democtacy is a historical accident worth cultivating.

187

Conclusion

Notes

lNTII,00l1CT10N

I.John Durham Ptt"'l. P~t~rI. ~i"f Spt~ki~iI illlo i~IQ tlw Ill< .... Air:" HmQr, Qj tilt 10k.> IJt~ of QjCQIM",u~ic~liQn (Uni""l"$iry I. John Durium ir. .... HulQ'J '1/ rbt CAm",...." ..titm (Uniwrr.iry of Chin go Press, 1001),:1JOOT), a. Chicago 1. Set: ~e Mary Dougbs, DougW, HDa,'nstiMlOl'IJ How IH~tilu/iollJ Think (SyrJCUU Unn"a'liry Uniwrliry Prus, PIUI, 1986). :ITho".\: (Syrarosc $<:e Walterlknpmin, Ihescs on the lhe: Pllllosophy PhilOiophy of History; Hi~tory" in fIIu",i",,/iollS. ed. HannJ ). S )Walter Benjamin.lhcKs lD"",iMlwl'lJ, cd. Hann.> Arendt. tnns. trans. HUT)' Br.1e & World. World, 1968). 196'), JSJ-64. HarT)' Zohn (Harcourt, (H.1rCOUrl, Bna ~5J-64 Arcn.:!I, 4. ,"'hile th;~ book does IOUlUl. il it is il more.t mOre a .. work of himmal imer imc:r docs cOlUuh colUulc SOme some primary !IOU=' wI: ofh,scoric:U ... While this pretuion chan than of original an:biv:l.l nchival ruurch. rc:surch.lhe il\lerl(Crion of scirnct ,dence and ptTt:ltion The book WOrkl works al at the imc=rion lecllnology studies, studies. policy srudies. INdies. and culNralllUdiu.It 1I1he Ihnology culrural mulics. It looks broadly ac the lOCial ronal conmucnon conmuccion of inrernet thnology t(Chnology while ,Iso afield than is il typical rypical for sdence technology ofintemet ilia going f,rrhu farlher .field science and thnology srudies culmral trends, lr~nd,.likc like romanticism, romanticism. .nd and it finds Ihe the connlion conneclion ooween between culcu", culmre Jtudie$ into broad culrural and technologycon.lTUClion rechnology construcrion in cerl;lin cerlain kinds kind. of law :rnd and policy formalion. formation. S. S~~ Thoma. Slrelmr, Slu~r~r. Sdli"g ,s.,ilinil Il,r lIlt Air: A Critiq"r Criti'l"r "j oj Ill< Polity "jC"",,,rr'ti.. ofCt""IIItrti~iJ B"".. Br<lll,I(~llinK in 1M til< s. See rM P"liq <It..lri"g i" Uniled SMIN ofChic:llgo PrUI. Potric~ Flichy's roeendy recently lransloted Unired Srmco (Uniwniry (Univrrsity o(Chicago Pro$$, 1996). Parrice tnnllned 111t 'l'J" Immltl Im...,r' I"'~gin~irr ~lIi"g 1M til< Ai,. Flichy argues ngue. that lhr the VlIrious various I"'''gi".. i.. in a way picks up on On the approach of Selling ,h~ inrcrnct in'~rne, need not nOllO rerms themrics rherori" surrounding surrouoding rhe to be merely debunud debunked bUI but abo also Undtnlood understood in terms co"slruCl;on, broadly COllstrued. \Vhereu Flichy's Flichy'l work is quite quit~ of .heir rheir role in .he rhe internel'l intcrnet's eonuruaion, cOn.5rrucd. Whereas "'ggesri"". Thr N~l Nel F..fftft E.ffw d"'elops d~"elops a much more moro specific lpecific and grounded look ot at pa.rticula, panicular points suggesrive, 1hr conract berwttn bt'Wtt" culruro cuhun and policy fottnarion formarion and docs so uling somcwhl< argu of conrul SQ using somewhac more moro focused argu' ments (foruample, (for example, aboullhe about the role of romanticism). Sec Palria Pamcc Flichy, Thr Tbt Jllltmrll",..gin..irc, Imrr"ell"'''Ki"airr. rr..Ul$. Li~ Carcy.Libbm:hc Carey.Libbrecht (MIT Press. PreiS, 1007). lrans. ROnl~l1lic Clw.m': Chasm', Libcnarianism. Liberlarianism. Ncolibcralism.. Neoliberalism, and ,he Com6. Stt See Scrttror,"nul $rreete<,"' That Deep Romanric che Com puler pute. Culture, Culture," in Co",mlllti.u,OII, COllllllu"ical;e". Citru"sb,p-.and Citiu'ul,ip. alld Soda/l'olifY: SiaI f'Qlig: Rethinki.., Rrtl,i"kinK rbt Ilrr Limiu Li",us of u... lhe Wtlf""" S.r..u.cd. St~le, cd. Andrew <:.abb<uc Cal,brei<: andJean andJc:an Clauck Claude Burgdman (Rowman & &: Limelidcll999), Li.rle~dd, (999). "",elf"""

49-64. ...-

7 This would Ihus thUJ in some sense bt a conm"bucion com<ihurion to rype of media his.ory ,hI< Liu GiTC!. Gi,el. ,. srnsc ~ co the f}'pc mcdi~ hisrory elm LW nl.:In dcscn'bcs dcscribcJ 15 about"the: ways that pcopk people apcricnc~ upe<iencc meaning. muning. how ,hey perceive ,he man u aboul'the "~ys llul chey pctttivc the world and communicate with each OIna, OIh<:l". and how they dil1inguish idenrify culrure"(Lisa :and communicace wich distinguish the pat. pul and idcnrify Gitclman, AI,.,,"", Nr"" New; Mtdia, AlrJi". HUlery, Dala "jc..Jlllrc efCu/I"" IMIT [MIT Press, PreliS, 1ona].I). ao08J, ,). Gilelman, AI.....p AI...."'] Hist""], "",Itlw and thC' Data . EWlnc D"a"'l DoYams (Ne... (New Yorir. York Unm:niry U"iveni,y Prus, Prcss. wo<;). aoos). 8. Sec See for cnmpk. example, Ted Tt<I Friedman, EWITlf Throughom chis this book. book, I will ...ill orouion.ally occasionally uK uSC Lodua" Lorkr"" al Ihonhand term ro ~fcr refer co a scnK sense 9 Throughour as a shorthand o(legit;mlIe propc:rq' property righu rights deri,..d derived from /Tom an individual's individual'llaoor aJ 1I1C a jUI1 sociery, ofkgilimare bbor as the foundalion foundation of aju.. socicry. refen 10 a popular theory lheory of righn rhar ignores much of wharJohn lhat this refers rights chac w!lacJohn while knowing ,hat Locke:' actual aCUlal wo,ks wo<ks were concerned wirh. with. For an ""ample eumple of the way his work continucs conlinues (Q m be locke's panicular Ihcory theory of property properlY rights, righu. sec rllele essays esUYI by rupecred uscd (Q m snnd stand fo' for a particular llltd see these respected legal au.hor auchor ;nes: Merges. "Locke for the M"ses: Products ofCollrivc o(Coll(Cri"e Mas$es: Properry Property Righll Rights and lhe Ihc Producu itics: Robert Roberl P. Mrrgcs,'Lockc aOO9. papen.slrll.com!soll/papetl.cfm1aln,racr_id= IPH08, Creat;";!}.; SSRN eLibrar]> Croativity; rLib...ry. 5Jan. 1009, papers.$srn.com/soI31 papers.cfm!absrracr_id="313408, and William W. Fisher III. III, "Thcoriu ~fhe<lri .. of Intcllcctual Intellectual Propeff)': Property: in Nrll.l Nrw EllaJl EIUlYI in lbe rbe UgilI Lrg..I.."d ~nd Polnical1hcory oj af Pnrprrly.t<I. (C~mbridge Univeniry Press, 1001), lOOt). 168-99. Politic..l7hrory p",pmy. cd. Stephen Steph~n R. Munur Munzer (Cambridg~ Univ~rsity Pross,

...

""""')'I

'8, '"

For the classic critical analysis of Locke's theory of properry, sec C, B. Macpherson, TI", Political Theory ofPolSmive Individualism Hobbfi 10 L",ke (Oxford University Press, 1965)' For a discu,sion of the [imits to this way of reading Locke, Sec John Dunn. "\\'h"t Is Living and \Vb"r Is Dud in rhe Politic..I Theory ofJohn Locker Interpming Political Re,ponsibility, Essays '98'-1989 (Princeton University Press, (990), 9-", 10. See Erkki Kilpinen, "Memes VerS\lS Signs: On the Usc of Meaning Concepts abour Nature and Cultu...:; Semiotira ao08, 8, nO, '7' ('008): 2',-]7. II. The &tuting poinr foe this discussion in the sociology of science is typically Rohi:rt K, Merron, "Singletons and Mulriples in Scientific Discovery, A Chapter in the Sociology of Science; Pror~ding. ofthc Alt'erican Pbilosopl,ical Society (1961): 470-86. I2. These arc ireta,ions of a broader question raised by political scienrist Langdon \Vinner ,wo decades ago in a famous essay tided"Do Arrifacrs Have Politics?" The Whale and tbe RI<:lor: A Scorch for Limits i" an Agr of High Tech"ology (University of Chi ago PCC'ss, 1988), 19-39. \\'hen he wrote mis essay, it was popular in environmenral cirdes to daim tha' nudear energy was inheCC'm[y centr.>li'ing. authoritarian even, whereas .obr energy would be inherently decemra[i,ing and democraric. Winner concludes that sweeping claims like this are roo .imp[e, but, after discussing a variety of case studies in which it could be s"id that in various ways technologies do seem to have politics, he concludes with whar he calls a "both/and posirion." He wants to look doscly ar both specific rechnologies and the .ocial contexts in which they are implemented and, in the process of reasing our me relations be,ween co,uens and technologies, '0 develop a better understanding of wb, exactly is at stake in ,he dforr to build a mOCC' democra,ic life. Winner', question remains, then, unanswered in full. ,). Among rhe works in eu[rural srudies of the in,erne" Fred Turner's Fro'" Coumerculrurc 10 C)'b"cul'uff i. One of ,he few 10 take seriously Roy R05Cn~wieg's call '0 explain the seemingly odd confluence in compurer culture of 1960s counrercuhut:l.l.ryIeand idc:l1ism wirh ,he cold war military ambirions ,ha' drove much of the early rcsurch that produced rhe intcrnCl. The Net Effea offers furrhcr explanation of this confluence, drawing substantially On Turn.,'s work. Sce Fred Turner, From Counte....ultureto C;rb'rculrure: SU....Mt Brand, the Whole EMth Network, and the Ri.e of Digital Utopianism (University of Chicago Press, 2008), and Roy Rosenxwelg. "Wi~ards, Bureauct:l.ts, Wardors, and Hackers: Writing rhe His'ory of the Internet." American Hi<toricaJ Re~i.w '03, nO. S(Dec. 1998): 'HO-Ijl. '4. Works ,h"t set the standard for ,he hisrorically oriented study of technologies as socially cons,ructcd include Wiehi: E. Bijker, Of Birycb, BaIu:Jit<>, and B,,11>s' Toward a 7J"'or;r ofSoriotrch"i. cal Cba"g. (MIT Press, 1997); The Social Con'trurrion ofTrdmological Spill"" N.w DircCl;olll i" the Sociology a"d History ofTech"ology, cd. Bijker, l'hom~s P. Hughe., and Trevor Pinch (MIT Press, '989); and Pinch and Bijker, "'The Social Construcrion of Far.. and Arrefacts: Or How rhe Sociology ofScience and the Sociology ofT"hnology Might Benefi, Each Other; Sociar Studie'

ofSciwcr '4, no. J (Aug. 1984): 399-44'


'5. For ex"mplc. the computcr industry and ,he U.S. Department of S,ate .quabbled throughout ,he 1990. over whether Or nOt '0 resrrier ,he export of microprocessors, which '" times CC'su[red in situations where computer game console.-a machine inrendcd as a roy-weCC' threatened wi,h restrierions because of their porentia[ military applications. See William G[an~, Clinron Seeks ro Ease Computer-Export Rule" GOP Lawmakers Cite Securi,y Concerns; IJU[Y '999, Wa,bi"gIOIl Time" AI, 16. Donna Harawa),,"A Cyborg Mlnifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s;Simia"., C;rb<lrg" a"d Wo""n: TI", R,i"",mio" of Natu ... (Routledge, 1990), 164. Richard Ohmann says something simila" "T"hnology .. is [..elf a soci..I process, .arurared by ,he power

relations around it, cominu"lly re.haped according to .ome pcoplc's intcntions" (Richard Ohmann, "Literacy, Techno[og)',and Monopoly Capit"t"CcIJege E"gli'b 47 [Nov.198S)' 681), though, [should ~dd that Haraway's full quotarion contain. a qu..Iification' "Techno[ogies and sciemific discourses can be parrially undcrsmod a, formali~arion" i.e.. as froun mome",s of the fluid social i",eraclions consri'u'ing ,hem,"bur tha' ,hey should also hi: viewed as insrrume",s for enforcing munings: 17. Ano,her way '0 pu, ,hi. would be to say ,ha' ,he question is, \VI,,,t is society doing to i'self when engaging in the SCt of prac';"s we call the inrernet' 18. Sherry TurkJc, Tbe Second Self, Compu/Crs and ti,e Human Spirir (Simon and Seh\lS'cc, '984), 19. IhrS! Came up wi,h rhis tide in "'The Net Effect: Thc Imerner and the New \\'hi,e Collar Style," a paper dclivered to the Information Technology, and Society \Vorkshop at rhe School of SOCil[ Science or the Institute for Advanced Study, 8-10 J"ne 1001, www.5Ss.i~s.cd .. /pub[icarion./p.1pers/paperI4.pdf.lt should also hi: acknowledged that Gi[ Rodman also independemly came up wirh the tide"Net Effect in Gil B. Rodman, "'The Net Effecr, The Public's Fear and rhe Public SpheCC'; in VirrulII Public<. Policy and Cc",,,,",,ity i" 0" Elretro"i. Age, cd. Beth E. Ko[ko (Co[umbia University Press, 1003), 9-48. 10. Ian \Vatt. The Ri" of rhe Novd, SlIIdi" ill D4o" Riehl/ra,,,,,, a"d Fiddill}; (University of California PCC'ss, 19S7), 60. 11. Christina DunbarHester. "Gcrks, MetaGeeb, and Gender Trouble, Acrivism,ldemity, and Low-Power FM Radio." So<1al Studi.. of Sci",.. 38, I Apr. >008, '06. 1<>.John Frow, Ti",e and Commodiry Culture (Oxford University Press, '997), ,87. 13. Ar any giwn time and place, it's easier ro adopf some forms of personhood than olhers. TIre PCC'SSUfCS one fecls to aer as, say, a marryr for Allah, a profit-maximi,ing businessperson, or a self sacrificing parem vary according 10 rime. place. and co",ex" ,hey Jl.re not dererminare in a mechanical W1Y, bu, are deeply shaped by forces ofhis,ory and social rcla,ions. 14. Sec E. Gabrielle Coleman and A. Golub. "Hackcc Practice, Mor~l CenCC's and the Culrural Articulation of Liberalism: A.. rl,ropological Theory 8, nO. J ('008): ass. 15. Ellen Ullman, "Come in, CQ' The Body and ,he \ViCC': in Wired Wome": Gc,,,lu alld New Rfariri.. i" Cybmpace, cd. Lynn Cherny and E[izabeth Reb~ Weise (Seal Press, '996), J-4. ,6. Sec Norris Dicbrd .nd Di.n" Schneidcr,"'The Digira[ Divide: INhere \Ve Are Tod~y, A S,a tuS Report on the Digital Divide: Edl<lopia' W1,at Works i" Public Education, 1 July 1001, www. eduropia.org/digital-divide.where-we-arc-todlY. '7. Sec Jane Margolis and AII:lll Fisher, U"lockillg rl,. Clubhouse, Women in Computing (MIT Press, 100l). Also see E1[en Spertus, "\Vhy Are 111CCC' so Few Fema[e Computer Scienti.tsr '99', dspace.mit.edu/hand[e/l711.117040:J"net Cottrell,Tm a Stt:l.nger Here Myself: A Consideration of Women in Compuling." in Procrrdi"g' of lhe 1"'e"ti,lh AIlllual ACM SIGUCCS Confer. .ltCe 0" S.,~iw (ACM, '99')' 71-76, porta!.acm,org/citation.drnldoid='43164"43Z14: and Joel Cooper and Kimberlee D. \Veaver, Ge"d.. and Ccml'utm (Lawrence ErIb"um Associarcs, '003). .18. I \lSe"we quite delibet:l.tely, not bec"usc 1 think there i, .. larger"we th~t was im"Olved in pcc" vious decisions, bm because alarger"we" ,I,o"ld b, i",'ol\'ed in such decisions in the fumre; I write with the political goal to open such struggles up to the whole of society, '0 take them beyond ,he narrow circles to which they have hi:en conlined, whether those circles are created Out of dass privilege or technocratic, urilitarian, or romamic forms of idemity, a9 E. P. Thompson, l\ofaking of Ih, E"gri,b Working Cia" (Vimage, 1966), ". JO. Ibid., 9, 3', Sec Ullman, Close to Ih. M<lChi"" li:cbn0l'bilia 'l>Id It, Diua"rwl< (City Ligh" Publishers, '001) and 71" Bug (Anchor, 1004).

U,.,

""

Norcs to the Introduction

'"

Nores ro [he Introducrion

CIlAPTIIl CHAPT~R I
I. I.J.

J. C. R. Lick!idtt, Ucklid~r,~Compulen "Compu!ers and nd Govctnmem; Go~mmenl; in Tbr Tht Coml"dff C"mpu/tr Ag<" AI'" A T.....nly-Ye.. nl1YNf r Rnoiew, Rtu;rw.

ed. cd. Michael Mich~el L. Drnou:ws DerlOu='l1 andJoo:I :ltK1~1 Moses (MIT Prt$$, Pr""". 1979). 197\1), 116. I. Quoted QUOled in K:uit K~lie I-bfner ~nd ~blUxw M~tthew Lyon, IVbtT(" Wiz,>nU Wit<lrth Se"J Slay uI' Lal" 11H' tlH' 1. H~r and Lron, \'lh.-rt up Lare: Tht Origins Origiru of oj 1M ll1le....,1 Imrmrt (Free PnM, Prell, 100l), lool), 17. "7. ). See Turkk, Tutkle. "V.&o "Video Ci3InCS Games and Compurtt Computer Holding Powtt; Power; The11H' SmrJ Srro'u/ Sdj, &!f Campllrm Co",,"'tm .. ROl,III" ..d rht

Hum,,., Spiril. ~---9a. 64-9a. H ......." Spirit, 4. ~nd Lyon. LyOll. \VIottr Wh<rt Wiurds Wit,,,,,ls Se","p Slay lip u.lr, Lat H-34 4- Hafner and s. 'Ihe Ktw.I >'Iual usefullVS$ ulefulness of computen imerestingly remains mam. of deMtt debate among uno" S. 1he romputen inte=ringly ranaiNi a In3tut" <conomius, often ollen atried carried our OUt undtt under !he die he:ading thaI rniJu, heading of tlK the productivilY producmiry p.>r:>dox pandwr based bued on research ~ du.t OY~r:>J1 conmbulion compI>!en to to producririry productiviry is undur, unde.a. and in somc lindl. in aggn:gare. a88reple. rlx lhe 0Vft21l finds, corllriburion of computen SOl<>" M Mgtibk.. n~ible. Stt, See, for example. 1hom>.s Thomu K. Land..utt, Landau.".. TheTh< Troubk w;lh CompUltll' cales may be casrs m.>y T.....bk with Camplllrn: US<' lJuo-

Lipaniro."Picrn...phone Ihe Infonnalion l11e Social F~ilure: Th""logy Tbll(l/"gy Liparri!o, "Picrurephone and !he Information Age: The Sociil Muning Meaning of Failure: and CIl/Illrt 44 (Jan.aoo]): (Jan. 1(03); SO-81. ,,"d ClIltun 50-81. '7. Hafn.". and Lair. 10. r? See Hafner md Lyon. Wbrrt WiUlrd, Wjz"rdl Stay Se"y lip u.tr. ro. 18. See ibid. r8. Sec ibid., S4-6). S4-6]. P.asc~l Z:ochary, Z~chuy, EndjrJI Fromi.r: V"nn....... Va"n,v;E( ElIg",ur rflhr A_rir"n A....rica" Omu". CemurJ '9. See G. Pasc.a.I Elldku Fro"tirr: r Busb. BoJo. EngJnT (MIT Prrso.l999). Prm, 1999). Sta,,~ Office of$rientilic ofScicnriJic Ruurch Resurch and Dcvelopmcn[ DeveJopm~llr and ~nd Vanl>Cv.llr V~llnev.. Bw.h, Bush. Srirnrr, ,m 10. United Suus ao. Unircd Scimu, rht /;"dlm mil/itT F,,,mi.r (u.s. (U.s. Gr>vttnmenr Government Printing Pri"rin& Office. 1\145), '94S). chap. eh~p. ).1. www.n.f.gov/about/historyl EnJ/m ).1. www.n.u.govhboul/hisrory/

"f,"e

fulnm, u...bilil]", lhabilily. and alld Prod... Pr1l<1"wu;ly Prcu, 1996). '996). jllW>S., n";!J (MIT Prrso. documented how, how. in rlx the b[r late nineteemh the introduction 6. Carolyn UroIyn Man/in Man';n hu has docu""'nted nineteenm century. cen[\lry. rlx introducrion of Ihe ekctric elc<tric light lighl and the lelephone accompanied by various varioul effo.la 10 explore how mese lhese [IK reltphone were ucompanitd efforts to social relarionl. Sec Carolyn Marvin, lechnologiel Ihould reble relale to the lhe body and soci:ll red>noJogics could and Ind should rdarions. See N,w: Thinki"g Thinki>tg aboul Elmri. Commu"icmio" in II" Lair Nilttl~"rh Nin.I",,,h Whrn Old Ofd Y...:hnologics 7i:rlmofogi.s Wcr. Wert N..." a[,olll Elmri! Commll"ir<>li"" i" rm Late Cr"n,,')' (Oxford Uni"rrsiry Univeuity P"'U, Press. 1990). Similarly, Brp.n Bryan Pf.affen~rgcr that"to s[\ldy smdy unw')' pWfenberger has argued ugued that"[o technologiel art: are made meaningful me.aningful is 10 sludy ~n Pff)(eUU by which new ",chnologies the proces",s is!o study Wllat what i. is arguably an
indilpen.~ble component economic grow,h:and (Bry:>n Pfaffenbergcr. indispensable componem of uf ....pid rapid ""anomie growrh and developmem" (Bty.ln Pfaffenberger, -Ole Person~l Computer Revolution R~vohlli(ln the Social Soci.a.l Meaning of lhe the Personal Computer: Computer, Or, \Vhy the Personal Was No Revolution: AllIllroJXllogical Aml,rol""ogi.a' Quartrrl,61 Wu QuarterlJ 61 (J:an.1988): (Jan. IQ88), 41. See Rosenzweig.. ROJCn~w~ig. "Wiurds, ~WiurdJ. I}ure"ucrau, Warrion."nd H.ckers; 15]0-sa. tUO-S:I7. S", Bureauer.lts, Warriors, and Hackus; LiddidnanJ 8. M. Milchell MilChell Waldrop, Wildrop. Tilt The Orr"m Dn-a,n M<lfb;n~:J. ,\{<Uhin,,). C. C R. Lirltli.ur "nd Ihr R,,'O'ulj01l Rt""lulio" That Th..1 M,.J~ Mad. Campuli"g Compulj"Z 1'e,.."",11 (Penguin, (~ngllin, "001). 1001), 1?5. 17S 9. Ibid .. 116 176. Ibid., Edwo.""', Tht Th< O_d aOI.d World, Wo,M: Compu!.... a"d rb.Ibr Poliri" Poli/irs of Dillou,S<' in CoIJ Cold War IVa, 10. Paul N. Edwards, Comrultn "..d ofDisr,,"~ A""rir.. (MIT Ptns, p~u, 1997), a66. 166. A_ric.. 11. .. n7~. n. Ibid Ibid.. I~. Sn See f,.ittmn, MertOll. "Singkr:ons "Singl.ton. and Mulripks Multiples in Scimrilic ScientiJic Dis<:cM:ry: Disoo~ry' A Chapter Ch"ptu in the SocioIogyof Sociology of u.

\ixulll'}4s.lmnlch vbu~hI94Sh[m#chJ." J.1al. has been becll an ongoing discw.sion discullion of the limi.. Iimill of"dle of"I he linear Iinur modd"; model"; it ir USUIlV$ assumel" I'. 111.,e lbne hal; of!he a perh~ps perlups o~r1y dean clulliinuriry from bJlsi<: bask research rcle~rch 10 rClC~rch [0 l(I devdopmellllo technologicaJ O\nfr linearif)' &om ro applic<l applied ~rch devdopmcnr 10 rechnological diffUSion, which is ohm ollen said to to have originated in ill Bush's Bush'l Sf'rllu. Ibr Wim Endlw F..... Fronti.r. Karl diffiuion, Scicn, tM tin-. Stt Sec)(ad Gr:>ndin, Sven Widm.aJm. and Nina Wonnbs,Scicrt.I..JKUry Wormbs.Srirnu.Il,JUJlrJ Nl'SJ<J: NUIII' Hutory, Hmo? Paltry. Implieal;om Grandin. Sva1 \V'ldmalm, l'obry, '",plk""o>lS Publicnions, 1004). (Science History PubliClIrions., n. For an OVCt'View, overview. sec see Ellis EIli5 W. Hawley."'Th~ Disco~ry and Srudyof 'Corpor:>le Liberilism..Liber.aJI~m. 11. \v. Hawley, "The Discovery Srudy of a a 'Corporale

Pc""",,,

tm

BUI;,,<II Hillary Rtvirw 51 S~ (Aurumn 1978): 1978), l09-lO. l09-IO. The 'nl<' theory of corporale liberalism il generally BUJi".u Hi,tory Rnoirw is genCtllly hislory as.soelued alsoci~red wim with William Willi~m Appleman Wil to the "rcvUionist" "revisioni5t" uhool school of American history \Vil credited 10 1;1ms Martin Sldar. SId~r. See Willi.m Appleman Apl'Jem~1\ Wtlliaml. Williams. CO"'"u''' A",.rican Iiams and his srudenrs.lih srudents, like Marlin Sec William Contours of ojAmerican Hillo? (W. W. NOrlon. No.ton. 1\189), (989), and ~nd Marrin). M~rtinJ. Sklar, The 7'~ Corp"""lr Cafl"'lllt' Rrr"nllrllCrion R,rollltrurlio" <>j American Am.rican HiJlo')'(W. C"pil"lis",. TI~ M"rlr.l, Ma,lIrt, the II~ Lall'. [,aw. ",,,I Polili" Polili.s (Cambridge Uni""rliry Press. Pre", 1988). c..l'iralim" 18911-1915: ,890-'9,6: The (Cambridgr Univeniry 1). Se~ Streerer. AdVQC:Icy Grollp, Groul" Anyway;" Anyw~yr in Ad"O{''''J ,1,<11'11<""1 Groupl Emor/"i,, I]. Sre Slreeler, "Whal Is an Ad<"OCaey GroUl'1 ulld,m rb. E"",I,,;,, ",,,1I !JU'U"? td. Michael Suman Sum~n and ~nd Gabriel G.briel ROIsm:m Ronman (Praeger (Pr..eger Publishers, ""'" /rUIU'lry. ed. Publishers. 1000). 77-84. 14. One Cllceplion UceP';OIl is il the ,he academic ua.demic Left, Lefl. where .hose parternl were wert: a ~ principle inlpir:>rion tho'" pauCln. inspilliion for the slarc theory, theory. whieh which rewrole rcWrol:e Ihe bu.in... history hiltory of or Ihe lradirion tradition of critical criric>lStalC rhe ltand.rd Ilandard husiness the twentieth" twentieth mUlual imerdepcndence buliness and ~nd biggovem. big gonm cemury Unitt<! Uni,ed Statcslo Slates to emphasite emphasize the mUluil in'erdependence of big business

"".I

"".I

Science: 470---36 470-86. SciaKe,* I). For Ihe many rnrttributon ~onrributorl to to !he lhe ckvdopr=nt development of of....dio Ice George GeorgeJeff'rey ,). For- rlx ndio communi",tion, communic:"..... see Jdfrry an,1 Spm.: Sf"lrll; Oripu Oriti"s of of Radio (John Wtky Ill: Son. ~ thorough tholOUgll discusdiscus Aitken. Airhn, 5,,,,ony S1"'''''J "nd ~ (John Wiky '" Sons. 1\l76). '976). For For- a of Wh~llhe brod~rs did did:and not conmoole conttibule to to the dcw:lopmcnt <kw:lopnlenl of the airplane. airplane, lion of..1ur sion <he Wright bnxhen and did no( s Tom D. Cmur.h, Cf'OIlCh, Till' Bilhops 8op' Lif. ojWi/buranJ Writ'" (\v. (W. W. Nonon, 1959) 193\1). see Tbr Bishop's Boys: A Loft ofW-./botr "nd OrIIilk 0r1IilIe Wrigbc \II. Norron,
'4- fell' For- rlx the dm:rir: eleclric light, lighl. lOr for ClWllplc. eumpk, in 1878 .878 joseph Sw;m S"""" receivd" received a Brilish British palent p"lem lOr for an In incandClC~n, ~n evxu~red carbon filament Jilamenllamp before inc:l~cn[ lighl light bulb based on an ~tcd arbon lamp "lmosl almosc a year )Ur befOrt

'4.

Sw~n: Brir""";,,, Bril..n,,;ra o..fi". www.le~rch.~b.com/eb/ Edison. See"Sir Joseph Wilson Swan," o../inr &lqdop.dia, Enrydo~di",www.Karch.cb.comIcb/ anicle907Ds87. arride907os 8 7. IS. See Diana Di~n~ Crall', j"visibl. COU.g,,: uJ Knoll'lcdg<' Knc...ledg. In i" Sciellt!fir Sd",,!fir Cammullil'N Com'llI",ili.s (Uni,... (Unl,'er' '5. Crane.ln~ili&k CaUtfCS' Diffusion Dijfll.ian "j .ity Chicago Pres... Prell, 1971); and Tbror] 7htcry Gro"pJ G,OU}!,;01 CCIIW"I><lrol? siry of Chingo 19?1); Nicholas C. Mullins, 7htcries TbroriCl "lid i" Canrenlpor..,), A",rri.all (Harper &: Row. ~nd Daryl D~ryl E. Chubin, Chubin. Scciclllf1 A" lI"no' A""p Amuk"n S(I(iolOl1 Sodo/V (Harper'" Row, 1\l7l); 1973); and Sori,,1ogy ofSd.nw: ojSicllm, An lal'" Bibliography ElibUotnlpby 0" CoII.fts (Garland, (G~rl~nd.1983). t4lrd on Inl'ilihl, In,'i,;ble Collrg<'s 198)). 16. Thil lomelimel called, called. following ,he ~J[rong" program in [he the sociology of science. lcience.lhe prin. This i. is sometimes the "strong" the prin of symmetry, where whe~ ideu idcaJabou! ~bout scince science or technology arc ~re approuhed appro.ched at Iusl IcaSlat ~llhe {he outset OUlSCl ciple of.ymmetry, II<'Ul ....Uy. rcg.>rdku rhey ttiumplted the end. For an aample.1 Kennelh nemrally. rega.rdJess of whether or nor not Ihey triumphed in [he Cllimple, sec Kenncrh

menl. ment. See, Suo for uample. example, Bringo"g Bri..gmg Ihr Slarr Se.. /t &fir &ell /", Ill. Perer Pcler B. Evanl, Evans, Dietrich RucschenlCfC'r, Rueschemeycr. "nd and Thtda (Cambridge University Theda Skocpol (C:ombridge Uni~ersiry Prell, Press, 19S5). '965). 1S. See Hafner lVI>rrt Wizards \Vitardl St"y ul' lAtr. L.alr. l7-}8. )7-)8. 89. 15. H~r and Lyon. \Vbrrt SeaJ up Se ibid .. S6. 16. Sc ibid.. 86. ~7. Thomn 1110mas P. Hughes.. Hughes, Rae";111 !k"u;ng Pro_theUJ Prom./IH'uJ (Pamheon. (P~l\theon. 1998). 1~94). 10. 1? 18. Duccn<hn.. Descendants of Gr.lmsci Gr~msci often oft~n focus wayl du.1 tim popubr popular X<juicsccncc acquiescence to ro dominan. dOnl;nant i<lcu ,deu focw on ""3)'1 ilachieved l.argdy by rnnsmitting 'r:>nsmitting or :uricuhring ~.ticul.ringideas idu. from those wim wilh power !O to chose Ihose without wilhou[ is :ocbitwd brgdy rn~r become popular popul.ar"common senj.t; however. howe""r. a", are somerimcs sometimes only a subsel power. The ideas du.t p<nITI".1he "common scnse"; subset of ~ruling ideu; ide~s: od>et orner modes of thought rhoughr imporunt imponanr to raining dominanl domin~m W1YS "ruling" ro main maintaining wa)'l of doing things mings ~re kqx Ir:ep< OUt OUI of the limelighl made popubr-in popular-in mis Ihis CIiC in ... ..... rious W2ys wzys an olin.. limelight inllead insrex! of tn2dc cue by meanl means of lhe apparari ~pptt:l[i of apern~ upcrcise. the Sc.c Hughes. HUglICS, ~i"l Rrsruing Promr,hrlls. "9. Sec 19. Prom."hr"s. )0. N~tional a Rr-,...wr;"n, Rn'lllllficn, Govrn._111 G".......'....."I SupJ'Onfor Sllpponfor C,mputi"g Om,pllling )0. Narion.a.l RC$C:I.rch R~ Council, Council. Fundinz F,,"di"l .. Rmarrh (National Academies ACldemiel Prell, 1999)' Online at www.na.p.cdulreadingroom/books/farl www.nap.edu/rudingroom/books/farl Rt....",h (N..ion..J Press. 'm). )1. In 196a, 1961, for Cllample, ex~mp!e, Engdbar! Engclb~rt argued ~rgued Ihal"Ux ,h., ",he srr:reorypcd stereotyped image of Ihe cOm pUler lU as only )'. the computCT ~ mathemarieil mathem.alical instrument in~trumcm is illOO limiting-enenriaUy, a ~ computer can manipulate manipubte any symbol 1 roo limiring-cucnliilly, rompUlercan Iymbol d~scrib.oble way.lr;s JUSl mathemaric>l 'mlhen\'lic~1 or other formil forlll~l melhods mcrhodl that tlm art: are being concon, in any describable way. It is nOI JUSt m~nipulating any .ny of the cOnCepti rhal the rhe individual usefully tidered. Our aim is 10 .ide",d. [0 give help in manipularing concepts that indi"idualu",fuUy wo.k. of which lhose or ma{helllilrical "1~lhe"lJItical nature bur a limited limired portion symbolites in his work. .ymboli:zes rhose of narute comprile romprise bUi in mosr re~!,life inslInces* inmll\ccs~ (Douglas C. Engclbut,"Lener Engclbut, "Lett~r to 10 V.nnevu V~nnevn Bush BUlh and Program of mOlt real.life Hum:l.n From Mrm .x III ~",I the Ibr Mi"dl MiNd's Ma,hi"e M",hi". Human Eff..,rivcn"",,; Effecriveness: in Fram Mrm." ro Hyprr,ut: Hy~rrt"t' Vanncll<lr V4nn'~M &ib BlI,h 4nd [Andemic Pt-ct.s Professional, Profession~I.1991J, ~39. [Academic Press 1991j, 1)9. Notes 10 Ch"pter I

192

'9'

Nm:es Ch;l,pter I r Norci 10 to Chapfer

'93

Jl. Andries V~n D~m, "Hyptrtext'87 Keynote Address (Tr~nscrip'): Co",,,,uni(~rion' of ,~.

ACM, IJuly Ig88, 890.


JJ. SeeJennifcr S. Lighr, Fro'" 1V~1~r. ro W'lf~rt', D'f"'" D'f"'" Intt11.cw~!J Intt11.cw~!J alld Urban Problem' in Cold War Amtrim (Johns Hopkins University Press, laos),
See -The Office of the FUll"" An In-deprh An~lysis of How Word Processing \ViII Reshape the Corporate Office," Bu,inm Week, 30 June '975. 56. J5. "Good-bye ro Gal Friday' Can You Conceive of a Huge Offi"e with Only a Few Secre'ar;es' IBM Can, and So Can Xerox and ~ Hosr of Od"r Comp~nies: Forb... IS Dec. 1975, 47 36. Quoted in "A Market Mostly for ,he Gi~nts, IBM and Xerox Will u~"e Little Room for Od,er Competitors to Move In: Rusinm lVuk, 30 June '975, 71. 10 MiTRE; 'n>e R ~"d D 37, See Kent C Redmond and Thom~s M. Smith, From Whirlwind 10 Dcf."" Co",purrr (MIT Press, 2(00), and Hughes. Rmwi"g Pro",c,hw"" Srory of rh. SAGE Air Dcf."" "p. chap. 1. Also ,ee Edwards, II" Clos,d World, chap. 3. \Vork on rhese systems played a role in inspiring '960s work in imeraclive computer graphics, pa"icuJarly Ivan Smherland's pre"edem s..ring '96, Sketchpad: See Iv,," Edward Sutherland, "Sketchpad, A ManMachine Graphical Communication System: C"ml'uter Labomrory Terh"ir~1 RePOrIS; UCAMCL-TR-s74' J Sept. 200" www.cLcam.ac.uk/techreports/UCAM-CL-TR574.html. 38. By rhe rime rhe first iteration of SAGE was complete in t963, ICBMs had supetseded lhe airborne bombers that SAGE was designed to detect. See Edwards, The Clo>ed World, 37-38. 39. Ibid., 181. 40. See Waldrop, II" Drt'<",1 M~(hi"e.'78-79. 4'. See ibid., '58-83. Rheingold describe~ the ideas of the piece ~s "50 bold and immense thar it would alter no' only human history but human evoilltion, if it p",,,,ed to be [TUe (Howard Rheingold, TOd!> for Thdught: 11" Hi<lory and Future of Mi"d'&l'anding 1~chnology [The MIT Press, 20(0), 141}. 4Z. Sec Edwards, 11,.. CfO$,d World,266-67. 43. Licklider et aI., "M~n.Computer Symbiosis; IRE Tran'aaio>u 0" Hilma" FactOr> in Elcctro"ics
]4,

treated ~s part of the canOn of modern computing. Sec \Valdrop, The Drram MlUhine, 185. reports th.t he was w:lS seized by Bu,h', dream when he originally read "As We May Think" Engelbart reporrs one of the ways Engelin 1945 in Tlx Arlamic Monthly. It might also be significant, however. that on. bart's dis<ussion of"As \Ve May Think" is known ro us i, 'hrough a granl proposal. Engelbart was hurt his case to associate his thenodd project with Bush's asking for money. Ir could not have hurr engineering community So perhaps the notion th.t Bush's enortnous aUlhority and power in the .ngineering "memex" was a prophetic anticipation of the modem imer.\ctive desktop computer may owe as much to Engelban a, to Bush himself. Bardlni makes a strong case th.t Engelban's indebtedness to Bush is overdrawn ~nd cites other mOre important sources for Engelbatt. See 'Thierry Bardini, Bootstrapping; Douglas E',ge/bart. COtl'OI,Hion, m,d rl" Origi"s of PmorwI CO"'/luring (Stanford Uni"ersity Press, zooo). Recent scholarship has revealed the work of Paul Otlet from the 19JOS, which in retrospect is mOre prescient than Bush's meme" proposaL See W. Boyd RaY'\'ard, Soeirry for "Visions ofXanadu, Paul Otlet (1868-'944) and Hypertext;Journ~1of the American Socirry b!formatio" S,ie,," 4i, nO. 4 (1994)' 215-,0, and Alu Wright, 'lhe Web That Time I'orgot;' Ti"JeJ. 17 June 2008, www.nytimes,wm!looS/o6h7/healthh7iht'7mund.13760031. www.nytimes,wm!2oos/o6h7/healthh7iht'7mund.13760031. New York Ti"w. Ncw html'pagewanted=oall. Boor>trappins, 33-i7. For a discussion of rhe differences !xtween Vlhorfi2n rela i3. See Bardini, Boor>tmpping, .<ce George Steincr."\Vhorf. Chomsky, universalist approaches to language. language. sec tivist and Chomslcyan universali.t HisMry 4 (Am:umn (Aurumn '972)' '5-34. and the Student of Literature: New Lirrrary History Throdor W. Adorno, -The Concept of Enlightenment: Di~lmic of 54. Ma" Horkheimer and Theodor EMligbr",,,,e,,,, ..-ans.John Cumming (Herder and Herder, '972), 3. E"'igbr",,,,e,,,, 55, Sec Van Dam,"Hypertcxr'87 Keynote Address (Tr~n$Cript): 56.11,. Engelbart demo was probably firsr refened to as the"motber of all demos in Steven

uvy,IMsa"dy Grt'al: The Life a"d Ti"ICS of Maci"lolh, the Computer Compwter Tbm Chm'g.; Everylbi"g Everylbi"S uvy,I"la"dy
(Penguin, 20(0), 42. Sre Turner. From Countereullllrt Cownterewllllre to Cybercultllre. 110. 110. 57. See See. Rheingold, Tools for Thougbt, Thowgbt, 188-8g, 58. See Geenz, "Deep PI.y' Note, on the Balinese Cockfight: II" Interpretation af 59. See Clifford Geerrz, 412-S4. Geertz's Geenz's essay depicted a Balinese wckfight ""ckfight ~s a type of Cull,...., (HarperCollins, (973), 411-S4. public gambling ritual involving stakes that uceed any rational utilitarian justification. Engelbart's risky, radicaUy new vision of compu'ing. computing. had something of the communi'}' community inrensiry demo, in its ri.ky, lhat Geertz round in the gambling rituals of cockfights in 2village in Bali. Although rhe e"perience "self-motivating" compulsive ""mpulsive absorption, has more th~n once of computer programming, with its ".elf-motivating" been compared to the ."perience of gambling. me analogy to deep play would nor be that the demo was like a cockfight but that it embodies a critique of rationalism ,hat is a, stake in Geertz's work; Grertz observed in an in,tance of social behavior mat wl"t what by using Bentham'. notion ofdeep play. Geertz Bentham saw as an uception to the rule could be the rule irsclf. By showing a ca.sc of play with to be a deeply meaningful event instead of an odd pathology, Geet<::: Grenz was irrationally high stakes ro ofBrmham's-and out-assumptions aboUl human rarionaliry ~nd sociery. pointing ro the limits ofBemham's-and

(1960)' 4. 44. Ibid .. 3, 4i. The argument here is nOt thaI there was no playfulness elsewhere in the ""mputing world or defense establishment. The makers of nuclear warhead. may well have taken pleasure in their work. But that pleasure was nOt how they justified their work to others. VVhat was unique abou' Li"klider i. his construction of aj,,,,ijiratio,, of something like a playful appr=ch. 46, Li"k\jder, Libraries of tl" 1'II111re (MIT Press, 1965) 47. Hafner and Lyon, Where Wiz,mil Slay lip L,lte, 36, 34. 48. See Stanley G. Smith and Bruce Arne Sherwood, "Educational Uses of the PLATO Comone of the reviewers of this book poin<ed puter System," Sci", 192, n.s., lJ Apr. 1976, 344-51. As on. Oll!, laptop tou,bpad. and the iPbone and its imitators have bun bringing touch ""reens ro digidecline of th, Engelbarttal communication more generally and rna}' mnk the beginning of lhe d.cline inAuenced compllter interface and a cell"n to Platolike systems. 10 Hypertexr (Academic Press, '991), l370 49. James M. Nj'ce and Paul Kahn, Frem M""cx 10 50. Waldrop. The Drmm Machint',27. V~'''lt<'ar Busb "nd rht' Mi".f, il. Bush,"A, We May 'Think," in From M.""", ro Hypultxt; V~'''lt<'ar Machi"e, ed. Nyce and Kahn (Academic Press, '99')' 89. iZ. LidJider does not cite B"sh in "Man-Compurer Symbiosis." \Valdrop suggeSts thar Licklider had beard ofBush's memex proposal but h~d not read ,he article a, ,he time. It may bave been Engelbart who revived interest in Vannevar Bush's '945"memn" proposal, which is now regularl),

CHAPTER 2

LeC/wrn a"d Poc"" (Bantam Classics, I. Ralph Waldo Emerson, "SelfRehance; Sdtrd E,,~y'. LeC/urn 199o),160-6,. 2. Stewarr Stewart Brand, "Spacew", Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer Bums," 2. 7 Dec. '972, 50-58. Rolli"g Srom. 7 Emerson:SelfRdian; 160-61. 3 Emerson:SelfRelian;

'94

Notes to Chaprer I

195 '95

Notes to Chapter 2

rerm, "",,,mce n",,,mer and ro"",miciJm h~ve beell been ~pplied ro lhe rhe imeme' inrerner alld and eyberculoure cybcrcul,ure by 4. The lerm. ron"IIlIUcum h~"" applied u, wi,h nOl~b1e norable frtquellcy, frequency. Since I wed used the rhe lerm 'erm in ~ conference p~pcT papcr in '!Xl7, '997, foru~mple, for nample, a cOllfc~na: ochers wilh ir ill in the Ihe ride ofhif hi.uol')' of Wim:!. Wirrd. and Pa=>.ris'. P~nurii. dw.ernrion di_n~,ion used used il ir 10 dacribe describe Inc Ihe Wolf uscd il lide of his hisl:ory Mosl of rhex Ihese C2KI casc. usc dK rhe: COllctpr roncept evoc.>tivt:1y evontiwJy r:>.ther r.nher .Iuri than allalytic:ally, analytially, evolution evoI.UOoII of compulers. MOSI aception is CorM'1 Coyne's cknK dense. and phiIooopbially philoaophic~lly orWIIIN oriented Ttcbnorumanticism.1 Ttd",orom<l"ti'ism.1 s1u... ,hau howcvtr. The uuprion howcvn. Coyne'. Ia1SC KnSC tha. thar mallyaitiqu.. many critiques of r:>.rlorWisf rationali'l digir:d digiral diKoufWI"oimply di"our'e'"'imply moW: move ro to a n>mUltic romanlic Coyne's or;enmion. rcwocIr.ing reworking old gro'lIId; ground." :as u ... well a. his hi. bdid" belief ,h.u rim philotophial phllo'ophic,,1 criliqueo critiques of !he ,he implicil implici, -d1 :as orirllr:>.rion. a"umption' ill in digiul digilal diia>ufSCI discour~1 an can hdp help usuruknnM u,"undersTand wh:u whar is i, al a' Jim 'rake in tm Ihe enrerprise enrerpri'e lof {of usumprions concerned, hooo,.cYtt, howevtr. wi,h with thc the IIUrnW muerial dftctiviry etfec:tivi'y of digilal world]." Here I am more OOIlCC'tllCd. building a digita.! world]: Hcu unou, digir:d digital disc:oul'SCl, discourses, meir ,heir specific spec:ifK fullctiollings funClioning. ill in hislOT)~ hillory, Ih~1I rhan I am with wim Co~. Coyne" ~pproach. approach. ..mou. ",hkh tends rend, to t~al tre~1 man:lS them as a SCt set of compcting philoaophical positiolls po,itionl (Rich~rd (Richard Coylle. Coyne. Trch which oompctillg philosopltial Tee". no",,,,omitis," (MIT [MIT Prus, Press, 100'), 200r]. 7, 7. 15). IS). See Gary Wolf. W.mI: A Ro",~"cr Rom<lllrt (Random House. House, """,,,,,,minsm Guy \Volf. Wired:" Georgios Panum, Panum,"Madlin.. ~nd Romances; Ron,anca: The Technical.nd TKhnical and N'mltive Narrative Consrruc100)), and Georgio.t "Machine. ~nd Conmucl003). Platform. 196o-r99s" din., Stanford STanford rion of ofNet""orked Computing a5 Ia GeneralPurpollC ,ion Networked Compuring.s General-Purpose Plalform. 1960-199s" (PhD diu., University. 1008). ~OOS). Univeo;iry. S. The n'e ckbar.. deb..e. about abour whether whother or not nO! ceruin ceTl~in intellectu:U intelleetual ligures hgure5 ue are properly calkd called romamicromanrics. was Goe,h. G~lhe clalSic cla"ic or romantid roman tid Were Emerson and ~nd lhorc:l.u 1110u~u m.rely metely inl.resled inlere5led in Btitish Briti,h and ~ Gennan romantics. romantir or do they ronstiturc ronnitute an AmmQII An'erican version vtrsion of romanlicis.m?-ar. rom.amicism?-are b.>tsed wsed on Genuan the ...... auumption rh"r ronunricism romanrirism is bc$t ,,"I undersrood t.rnu of grc:a' greal ~ WMks .nd and gre.:l' grat ~u.hon.. ~uthors. .I,,: ml"'ioll .11.3., understood in terml Friedrich Kirou.uggr.5rs, Kimer .uggurs, no< nor just jus' m:1.l rhar the rhe Gcnmon German roman.icism romanlki,m should be rcperiodiud-he repcriodizcd-he Frirdridl rud. Goethe'. Goelhe's f,,".Il:lS F"Ujl U romantic roman,ir instod inSlead of KUwiJr-bu. KlIlss,k-but dUI. Ihat, more broadly. One should underruds .... " coI.lrction rolltion ollau of rau or a hisrorial hillorkal period. but bUI u as a a ....... way organizing Irand romanticism, flO< nor II' y of <><ianwng SW\d di"outle through Ihrough JlructUrrd SlruclUled pncriccs pTacrices of wriring. writing. rading. ruding. and ~nd ..wring. relaling. rlul Ihat is, :as as d.iscourw discourse diia>urw l:ricdrich A. Kinler. Kil1[u. V;KQtl~ DilC<lurlt Ner.. NrrworJrs, '8",,/"}oo. tranS. t,ans. Michael Men..... Metrur ~nd and ne!Worla. Sa IICtW'OIb. 5 FricdOch -orh, .IDohgoo. Chri, Cwl.ns Cull.n, (Sanford (Stanford Uni''CIliiry University P....... Prus. 19i1l). Weberllheory disenchantmenf is oftm oflen Chm 991). Mu WtM. theory of disenchantment 10 have inRu.nrcd by various ....rious romantic romamic ..rains Itnin. of thOUghl. thoughl. npec:ially ,erml o( of the Ihe laid 10 wd ha~ be.n influenced especially in nus lou auoci~rcd wirh ....ional.nd rarion~land in<cUccmaliud int.lleClualized mod.rnily. mod.rniry. Sa Grcisman. ~Dit ~Di scnsc of scnse oflolS associaled with See H. C. Grrisman, the: \Vorld': Romanticism, A.Slh.lics, ACithetia. .nd and Sociological Theory; Brifishjo,,,,,,,I1>/ nch~mnl.nt of ,h. enchantment World': Rom.nticism, n,tary; Brili,"]o"r,,~l oj Si1>/OV 17 Z7 (Occ. (Dec. 1976); 1976): 495-5117. 49S-S07. Yet Weber', hrst illlerell was wu ~Iw.ys alw~ys rel.ntlessly rekndes&Jy in ,h Ihe empin Sociology el W.ber's firSI imeresl mpiri al aislenc. aillence of social 5OCi~1 pm.rns. nOr responding ,uponding to 10 in.ell.ctual inreliectu~llradili"'ll: wh~f's signilicant signifir1nt aoom abour c:ll patlerns. nOI t...diriollJ: wha,'s tr.nd h. he was wu perhaps p.rhap' gropingly groJlingly lrying rrying 10 ro describe ra.h.I,han r~th.r rh.n dlscnchantment;s Ihe bro.ad broad soci.1 social crend di~nch.n.mem is th. rhe fact fan rhal rh~t in ch.c Ihal Ut an of description des<:nption h. h.somclimu On f:lmiUar f.miliar lropeS rropel and logicllcam.d logics lcarned th. sometimes drew on rom~ntic poets poeu ~nd imellccm:U1. imellec:lUals. from romantic The Rom~",ic Roma",i, Ethic Elhic ~nJ a"d 1M rbt Spirit S,,,ril 0/ MoJmr Cort'"rllC'riJ", Co",umrrism (Blackwcll. (BI~ckwdL 1987). oj Modern 6. Colin Campbell, 1M d~ UlCful useful upccu upccrs of ofCampbcll thai he: dimnguiw, rom~nrlcism pranKa of One of che Campbell is .h~, he distinguishes rom~nndsm from the p<acrices scxu~l romana rom~nce ~nd and the Ii.eramre lituature on fori:,;dda, forbidden Iovc.loaring IOVC', 10Cllling rom:lllricism romanoosm in the Ihe ~ncc .me'llenc. of sau:U mOre gcncra.Iiud, g.nerali2ed, broadctbroader ddinitionl dehnitions of plcuurt rhal may urnpol.r. from f<om bul bUlare nOr roccnni cOiermi more plusure rlu'lIU)"atr.lpobl. u. noc ROul with the rhe looirionJ Iradilions of romantic romanlic Iovc. love. now Ihe concqn conc.pt of cultu... culture :as as ~ a toOlkil toolkit '"'" lee Ann Swldlcr."Culm... Swidl.r. Culture in Arnon: Acrion: S)mbols Symbols and SenrSltar7. For the egin: Amrric"" A",rri,all SioIogiaI Sociologi,al Rn>Jrw R.vi.w SI (Apr. '986): 1986): a7J-86. egies: J]}-86. 8. 5 See Turner, From COulllm:..lru.... Coulll.reullUre 10 C)'btreullurr. S. 10 CJbc'reodl"J1". 9. Ibid" 161. See Edwards. Edward.. Tht The Closed World, )-S. 10. S 1V0rlJ. 3-5. II. Quot.d Quoted in Pulling Purling th. lhe Offic. Office in Plac.: Place: B",i"ess BlIlmm \Vult. Wrrk. JOJun. II. lO Jun. 1975, S6. la. See Hughes, Rm"j"g Rtsruitlg Pro",erbe..'. Pro",rrbeul. 166-SS, 166-88, 189-95. 189-9S. 11. Sec Hugh.s, Sa Lighc. lighl. Fro'" 10 W.lfarr. IJ. Sec I}. From W"rJarr W~rf~re 10 \V'if~re. 14. S Su Herberc H.rberr I. Schillcc. Schill.r. Muss M<w Comm Co",mulli,ali""1 ""d 1I",.,ir,,,, f:.ml'irr (Beacon (Bc.con Press, Press. 197')' r97r). '4. .."ic"lion' ""d Americ.." Empire

'S. Sr.Jamrs Seejamel W. \V. Carey .ndJohnJ. andJohnj. Quirk,"lb. Quirk,!he Mychoo Myrhol of lh. rhe Electronic Revolurion: R....olution: Americ..n A,,,.rir,,,, '5. s.,ht>"'r }9, J9, nos.. oos.. 1-1 ('970)' (r970), 119-41, }95-4a4.and J9S-414. ~nd Ctrcy."A C~tey."A Cultural Approach 10 to CommunicaCOmnlllllic:a&ho"'r tion; in Q,mmunic"tio" Com",uni'''fio" "I C,,!turr' wIJI EssaY' on 011 MeJi.l Mtd,a ~nJ and Sol'ir1](Roudcdgr, SotirtJ (Routledge. 1988). 1988), 'l-}6. IJ-J6. rion; as Cult"re; 16.5Hiltrik, ~ Deale" of 4li,blnjnl' XtnlJf PARC PARC "nJ "lid 1M the O".. I)" ... n of 1>J tM 1M Comp"ur Co",pultr Age Ate' 16. Sec Michul A. Hil~k. Ligblning: Xrrux n Business, aooo) aooo), ~nd Erica Schocnbrrsn", Schoenberger, 1M Codt.... C"/rur,,l Crisil ofrhr oj the Firm (Wiley. 1997). (Collins Business. nd Ero aI Cn<is
Ih-lOa. IS.-1Cn. r7. See Hafn.r Lron, W~re Wl"rr Wi;:dnU lVi:wrdJ Sf", Sluy up up u.tr, f.",rr, 111-13, 111-1), 1OS ~OS '7.5 H.fittt and L)""", '8. SecJoscpn S.eJo&eph \I,.'rizcnb.>tum. Weizcnbaum. Comp..ter Computer 1'lnwr~"J ElO'l'fr mnl H"m"n 1'1'''''<111 Rr"JII: Reason, From]wlgrrllC'nt Fromjudge,mlll I~ fa Clkulafion c<,Ie"I,ui"" ,S. (Freeman, (F.... m.Iln, 1976). Ibid .. a}S-}9 a38-39. 19. Ibid" 10. aample. "Weizcnbaum is perhaps rhe SrcrcocypicallCII II.rrorypkall9601 n.oL"ddilc" ocaLuddil." (Rich.rd (Richard S. \V:UWal 0. For example,"Wri:cnb.um Eliza 10 ro A.LI.C.E.. (A.Ll.C.E. AI Foundanon): Foundalion): www.aliccbt>l.orglamdn/w.llue/ lace," From Eli:.>. lace, "From A.L.I.C-E. (A.L.I.C.E. www.alicebot.OTg!arrielrJ/w.llacr/

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eliu.hlml). 11. Wei~enbaum, Wci;;cnbaum. Co"'pUlrr Comp"rer Powcr Power 'lIld ulld I-I,m,,,,, RNIM, 1. Hu",~n Rr"IM.1. n.lb;d.. 1I6. as. Ibid.. 116. lJ. Ibid., 1l6-17. 116-17. 1}. Z4. Sr. Se. Levy, Levy; H",ltrrs' Haclrrrs: H."""s Heroes of a/1M Coml,urer Re""lllt;on Rt""IUlion (P.nguin.1oo,), (Penguin. 1001), '34 ')4 1M Computer 14. See Edwards. 7h.! The CIosrJ ClMrd W<Jrld. World. tSI. 181. as. Sec a6. Su Gregory &'CdOll. B.uC50n. Steps SltpS t" fO "n "" &""'v &olt>v of Mind: CIIIWtJ EuoaJ< in i" Anthropology. Alllbn>p<>logy, PJyd';oury Psyrhi"lry. 6. Sec c..slretrJ EssoJl E.",luti"". "nd "nJ Episle""*'v Eputemology (Chandler PTcss, PreIS, 1972). 197Z). EI'Ol.. 17. lhtodorc lhcorlore H. Nelson, Neison."Complu l"forn"'rion Processing: A File Fil. S<ructu..., $[ruauu fo,. for the Complex, a7. "Compl.ex Infomurion Iht lndctmninal.; Indetermin~t.;in PNurJi"fS l'rorrrdirrgJ "j "JrM 1965 T..... T...."liefh Nali"",d Cortfrrnoee COIIJerrllrr of Ihe Changing and the dtc fM.96s "tirth ,'loti."...j rl,. ACM ACM (ACM, (ACM.'96S), IJ7, porraLacm.orgIcit:ation.cfm!doid: porlabcm.org/dl.tion.cfmldoid=800197.8060)6 rhr 1965), Il7. 800197.\106036

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18. Ibid .. '36-n. 1)6-37. 1S.Ibid~ ~9. Sec ibid" ibid .. 141. 19.5 )0. Ibid., IJ6. JO. 1}6. J lbid. }1.lbid. )1. Kathleen Woodward. "An and Technics:John Tec:hniCl:JohnCage. Eketronirs, and World Improv"",ent: Improvem.nf: 1M The }1. Cas., E1tctronirs,.nd AI)'lbl oj 1,10rmOliOll, I"/or,,,alio,,: Ttd"'ofogy Ttdlllology ""d ""J 1'1>Sri",fullrial (lndi~na University Universil')' Press, Prell, 198J), Mylhl of Posli"dullI",,1 C"lru" Cul,ure (Indian. 19S3), 176. 3J. See th.di,nwion rhedi"'lWion in Noah No~h \Vardrip-Fmin \Varor;p.Fruin .nd and Nick NirJr Monlfon,The Montfort, The New Nell' Media MeJi" Rrmlrr(MIT RMder(M IT Press. Pre.... 33. Sr. zooJ),~' ,. TurnrrdiSCUJSC.Ilhe TurncrdiKu55C1lh. New York an orl sc.ne Kene andifs ~nd;ts inAuenceon i"f1".nreon St.wan Sfew~rt Brand: Ur;md: sec see Turner. Turner, ~003).111. From Q,"nlrrr"u"re Co,mltrlu1lurr ro 10 Cybrre"lt"It",45-SI. Cybtrru1fu.... 4S-SI. AIsosa: AI&o sce Tum.r, !urn.r, Romantir Auronutis.m: Aurom,uism: Art, Art, Technology, T.chnology. "Ronu.ntic War A"""ric:ll:j<ltlm,,1 a/Vilual CU!lUrr7.no.1 (~008): (zoo8): S-16. and CoIlaboratiw: Co/bbo"'fM: Labor in Cold \ ....a r Amma:p.malojV;s"alC..1Iure7.no.l 14.5W=frip-Fruin ~nd Monlfon. Monlfort, 1M Ne... New MeJia Mrdi.. Rr...ur. /k...ur. 14S-46. l45 Wardrip-Fruin a4S-~' )S. 5 Su Nelson. Com!"'fer Colllp"ltr LibIDrno", LiblDrNIff MlIChines: M...hil1t1: Nt... Nt.. Frrrokms FrcrJ1>IffJ tbro"gb rhrough COmp,,'er COIIII'Uttr ScTrtm-" Strtc"J-" }S. M",,,roI)' Rtport(Ndson /kporJ (Nelson [a'tlilabk [av.ilable m.m from HugO. Hugo's Bool: Uook Service). Sen'iul. '974). 1974). Complller Comp"rer Lob raill' hf",,,rrt] Lib raisu conven[ional rilltion.ll cillloon.lt hu has two rwo "1Wvcs." "h.lve.; printed hadeIOhade backrobark in !he the sa.rnr ....me OIumc volume "ith with CMh uch ronvt:nrional half i",.....ed ;nverr.d .0 10 the od>cr olher so Ih.1 rhal il i, ellenti.ll hat IWO fronl ro"ers, one tirled Compulrr ~",l ha.!f ntially hu cwo front (tWCt'S, one tided c..",plll.... Lib and y Ih. flip fI;p side tiid. .iOed 'itied DR"", Dre"m M<>cbincs; Machil"S: N New FrrrJo.... Frrtd",>u IhroIIgb rhrough Comp..ter COIllI'Ul<r Scn-rm. s.,rr"". As AI CMh e1ch ha.!f h~lfh~s dtc hu ICl"'rate pagoe page numl>ers, numbers, orariolls citadons below below wilInfer.o will r.fer ro page numbcn numbe.. in Q,m!"'ter Comp"f.r Lib Of' or DR~", l)rr~m separa,. Ma,hi"es, u "ppropri~I" Th.copy The copy used uscd here i. il descnbcd dcacribcd u me First M","'nrs.lI.ppropri.cc. iii th. Firsl Edition,"NINTH Edirioll,"NINTH pRINTING,Scpc. 198J; ~nd and rhul. rhu lhough Ihe ropyrighl copyrighr lis[ed bom first pag.' is 1974. PRINTING, Stpt-. 198}; though m. lisred on bow lint p~g" 1 deKop[ion of events o( of '97S 1975 lik. like Ihe rhe MITS Alnir ~re described. and 'nd in rho appe~rance 'ppe.:lr.nec of ,h. Alt.ir.rc a deKTiprion nf ....ms Nelaon" own biography On on p.ge page 3 J ofComplllrr ofComputrr L,b deKribel activities through 1977- A he.vily huvily NcllQn's Lib he describectivities "''YP''SCI .didon .dition "'II published in 1987 by T.n,pus Ten'puti !looks Book.. of orMicrosofr Preu;:IS r.vil.c:d and rcrypcset was publish.d Microsoft Pr.....; revised lome of or Ihe more mOf. im.crsting inrer.sting historical hilloric~1 malcrial maler;al was removed "'moved in this revision. citations cit~donl below brlow are arc some rhis r.vision. 10 chelint ,h. hrSt edirion unk51 oth.rwi olh.rwise nored. noted. edition unlas

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196

Nor.s to Chapt.r Chapfer" Not.s 1.

197

NO'fCStoCh;lpter:1 NOICS to Ch~pter ,

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}6. Quol~d in Wudrip.Fruin:md Monnon:, -n,.. N~", M~J;a Re..J(T. }o,. }7. S Ndson. c..mpult' l...iblDm.m },f1ltfW,n (Miuosolt Pr, 19.87), g.1 haft personally m.( a( k:uc ON' rompu<cr profession.:d ho told IlK d", urn. (hing. ). S Ndson. Drram Math" p. "X (Ii", KCOnd p"gr of a kllrrrd, unnumbrftd"SprcW Suppkmnu lO m.. Third Prin(ing..AuguSi '97S" du( ....rrs Dml", ,o.1"'hi....). "The pusagr pn" dicls dur X.ro:I PARe's innOV:l.rions-thosc du( ...."Quld Ind to th. CTe:l.Oon of th. Macinlosh las Ihan a drradr later-will kad Xnox 10 domin.:u. th. rompuler fidd. Bu( h. roncluda wilh rhe following prrKi.nt p"rc:nthrlialstal.m.nt:lh. a!xn. prcdicrions arc: Iusrcl. of course, On rh. assump,ion of X.l'O;( manag.m.n( knowing whal i('s doing. Auumprions of (hislypC in th. ,oml'ul~r fidd all tOO oflCn tum ou< lO b~ wilhout basis. BlI! w~ 'an hop~" (Ndso". CQmpUl.r

Lib. X). }g. SjohnJ. And.uon, "Dav. T.lIs Ahl-Ih~ Hislory ofCr.alift Computing (David Ahl's
personal n~r:..ift); emil;,,,, c.."'put;"f (Nov. Igll4), 7" ,,0. Wardrip-Fruin:rnd Montfort. Jh,r N...., M.dia Rrad.r. )01. "I. Lest ther. ~ any doubt llu, Ndson ....':1.5 familiM with m.. Cu..u.,. on Orra... Marhi...., p. lo M wrilel,"of course I'm bWantly imiuring.. in a way, m.. wonderful Wbok Earth Cu",,": of Sl~wa" Brand: H. a110 cira 1M D.>mrbooI<. a popular insnucrian nunu:al on grodaic <iorMs, :as inspinrion. And on p. 69, 0>m1"'1t, I...,b visually quous <h~ \Vbolr ""n:b c..la/eis CO'.. r (and most famous imagt) wilh a lUll pag compu,.r-g.n.r:lfrd imagt of arm from Ipa, ap<ionrd Ih~ Hoi, ~t(h Coulog; ,,:to Nd~n, Compulrr U&.), ,,). Pr~sumably. N~1son waS r~ferring fO fh~ comically inaccura'c"A Marhl Mosdy for ,h. Giants: IBM and X.ro:< \ViU Lea'" Li,<!, Room for Omer Compcd(or. lO Mo~ In; "". Nelson, c..mpule, Lib, X. "s. Ibid., n. ~n Hobbes Zakon's"Hobbrs In(=[ TImeline" an:ribura me lil'Sl UK of Ih. ltrm sury", '0 jun Armour Polly in l\I9a. S Robnt Hobbes Mon. "Hobbes' IllItmrt Timclinr-lhc Defini';'.. ARPANET ~nd In.emtt Hisroty; ............~n.ot-gIroberr/incemtt/

~-

S7 See Levy, Hlltkm, lSot-a,s. See also ~ X. Cringely; Arri.unl,,1 Empi...., H_Iht Bop pf Mm Thrir Milliolfj. Baltk FMtign c.....pctifion. "nJ SliH c.,,'t Grr a Oat. (Collins Business. 1')96); Paul Srn.\he Triumph of me Nerds: "The Rise of Accidenlal Empires" (PBS, june 1')96), ............. pbs.ofgInrrds/; And Martyn Bu<l<e, Pinllrs pf5.lllon V.:l!g, VHS Tapc (Turner Home Enl.ruinmcnt, woo). Sl. See Lrvy. H"'lrm, no. S\). "IBM Enlrtli'me Office of [he FulUrc:.~ &s"' .u Wrdt, '" Fdl. Ig77. ,,6. 60. Wilh "KB of RAM, i. COSt $1198 and u6)8 with 48KB of RAM; Jet th. original prilin displayed a,"Apple II ,ompulrr; oldcompu,ers.nrl/appleii,html. 61. Apple'.lirs, disk drive was nor av::lilable until july 1978, al whieh poi'" Ihc COSI for drives had dropped d,amacic:illy. h. See Vic.or K. rvkElheny, "Compu(er Show, Previ~w of More Ingenious Models; Compu(rr Show Confirms Trend in \I/idening UK ofTedmology; Nrw York Timrs,'6 june Ig77. H,g. 6). See Richard \\~ Langer. "Compurrtli Find" Home (Youn): Nrw York Tinsa, as Aug. 1977. C41. 64 S !..ev}', H..d<er1. 26S. 6S. Ibid.. 167. 66. See"TlME r.uga:rine C<wtt,"The Compuler, Mxhinr of rhc Ye~-jan.), IgIl-Person of lhe Yur-Sciena md Tcdlnology-Cornpu[ers-Machinu," 'l\'WW.rime.com/rimr/cov_ en/o,166,,1,1g.l!)0l0},oo.h,ml. 6,. Sec IBM Informarion SY5lems Division. Enuy Systems Busincss,"Preu Rdc:ose' Per~nal Compurer Announced by IBM: 11 Aug. 1981), IBM online archives, www-l.ib",.cOln/ibm/hisloryldoc:um.nl$l pdfl pcpress.pdf.

Silk,," Va/lry

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.imdinc/. 46. N~lson, c.."'pJl'U /...oj" sl. "7. Ibid. 41. Nelson, "KI<}"TIoce Addras pl'ClC'ntrd~, ,h. A<sociolion of Imtmrt Researchers Finh Annual Confc(encc, Sussex Uni~rsiry, 21 ScI'" aoo". 4\). 'S~e Nelson, CQmpu((r Lib. 2. So. Se~ ibid. S" S.., ibid.. 6}. S1. The Amish ,hemscl.'CS arc nol ~ moch opposrcl (0 (cchnology in gcnCf:l1 as ,hey ate opposed 10 IOrms thai CTe;{[e dependency on ... h.1, mey virw as the F.aIIen ronlrmporaq' world. Their Mak with modem .echnologial forms. in any cur, is more l3dinl and differently fnmcd than ma( of romantics.. S). Williom Wordswonh, Jh,r C..tlrrc.J Pms ofWilJi.r... WorJnooorrh (Wordsworth Edi.ions, 'lWB), S69; Wall Whirman. Thr c..... pklt Pot...s (Penguin, 10G'l), ,,81-I}. Sot. See Robert Dalmon. "Rndrn Respond Co Rouurau, The Fabric:lrion of Romamk ~n.iriv iry; -n,.. Grr~t c..1 Ma"a,,. and Olher EplSodts in Frrn,n C"lt"r,,1 HisMI')' (lg8,,), als-s6. ss. Ibid" 118-ag. S6. See"HomeLib Issue' BYTE-J..u~ Il (Sep(ember, 1916): www.dr.vili.iki.li/library/i~surl.s8.

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I. Sen,1hr Triumph of It.. Nerds: The Transcripts. Parr 11I"(PBS,June 1')96), .............. pbf;.orgl nrrds/par<J.honL Sen, \he triumph of m.. nerds:-Triumph of Ii.. Nerds: "The T nnscripts. Pan III; hrrp:/Iw-,pbs.orgIncrds/pan}.hm"1. In :Ill in.trYie:w Wozniak oaid,."1 grr man: mention than I dcstn"C. For somr reason I gcr this key position of being One of twO prople lhal sl:lnrd the comrant thaI Sfanrd ,he revoIu .ion. S.e'.. and I get a 101 of crrd.ir, bu, Mike Markkula w:u probably morc rcsponsible for OUr early succe5S, and pm n~ft. hur about him" (Ja~n Zasky. "Slev~ WOlniak Inlerview-Apple Compurer-Busin""s-Failurc Ma8'lline; /'all"re Magazine, failurcmag.coml i ndcx.php/fulurel article! s,e.'cwo=iak-.in.~rviewl). ). AccOl'ding to Forbes.com,

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rn.lnm!.

M.ukI<ula w:u Chairman of m. Board of Apple Compu.er fromjanuary '977 lO MJy .g.8} and from Oaober I\I9J to Fdlrnary.')96 and was a dirrctor fmm (977 m '997. A founder of Apple, he held a v:tritey of positions rherc, including Proiden./ChirfEnrorivc Officer and Viet. Prcsidcn. of Marketing. Prior (0 foundingAppk. Mr. M",lckuh w:u wirh Intel Goopo. ntion as MarL-.cring M:onagrr. Fairdlild umCf:l and In<ltUmcn. Corpor;>rion :as Markning MalUgrr in rh~ ScmironduclOf Di''ision, and Hughes Aircnn:l.S a member of m.. rechni c:aI sraKin (he company'$.csarch md devclopmenllaboralory. tArm:u Oifford Markkula Profile-Forbes.oom; proplr..forbes.eom/pmlilel arm:l.S-cliKord.ma"dlUla/a8~'8). of Nexi./Lcxis full lui searches on .sjune a006 from 1jan, 1\)80-1 jan. I\)go. s Quolcd in Charles Brown, jay Hamilton, andJame. Medoff, E"'I,IQyrrs Large olld Small (Har. vard Uni~t5i(y Preu, 1990), I.

f ,

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198

N(){~ (0 Clupter:1

199

Nor.... to Chapter 1

Su"Mor e Young Young Millionai Million~ireru.. 6. Su"Mol"C li, Plc:aK' Ple~K: EuTl>p( Europe Hu Hali Pl~nty Plenty ofEn=p or Emrepret \eurI, BUI Ilur Too ~w Few nn~un, Inn01"~IOf '5,"11K [nnov~tol ":C,,~<>mill.. 4 Fdl. '$"11NF."",omi'f Feb. '9&9. 1989. 7. ~~Cindy See Cindy Sk~'cki Sk~'cki ~l et ~l .. "RUk "Risk Tak~rs; Taker.; U.s. U.S. N~II" N,,,', 011,1 m,,1 World Worlll Rrpurt. R,porf. 16J~n. 26 )~,,- 1987. 1987 Also AI~o 5C" ICC M~gnine "TIME Mag:azin Rilk T~kHs-F ~ COYer: 'I':lkcrs-F>. ~r: Rislc. cb. ,~. IS. 1981-Scie l\(e ~nd T~dmolog '9h-5<;i(nc~and TuhnoIO lly-Com pulerly-Compul ersApple-llu 5ineu." www.time.rom/tim Appk-Bu lincu," www.rime ,16641,19.I~1011~ .com!rile/eoverl/o 82011S.0.oojmnl. n"!0C'0'C$!O,'~I 0.html. ". _ CuMil Hartman H~rtm~n."1',e 8. Sec Curtis Independence," .1M Spirit of Ind~~n IIlC" IJUIy I)uly 19S~. 1\)8S. 46' 46:"' We c~ 11K.. We haw: h~ve l,,-ed lived through Ihe the age ~ge of ofbig indulilfY and ~nd the ~ge of the giant big industry gi~nt corpor:ld corpontl on. But BUI I bclie,ve ~Iieve thatt.his Ihalthil is il the fhe age of the ~nt~p~n entrepreeur:-Ro ag~ neur:-Ro n~ldReagan, Rugan: 'This nald '111il is il Amrdca. America. You nn can do anythl11g ~nything her~.here:-Te d Ted Turner." TumC1"." Harlem, 258. 9. Levy, Haclm.1~ 8. lo.j"hn M~yn~rd ~nel. 10. John Ma)nard Keynel, lbr 111<' er.... Gener.,] OJ Emplo,"'r mi Throry Of E,,,pi"!"I.m, j"urrJlo'l" >H.lnure d M'mty Mo"" (Atbmic S/AnJ (Arbntk Publilhers & &: Diuribut Publisher Diarribur orl, 1006), ]51. ors. 11. In me early urly [Went~th II. twentieth ce1\[ul)', ccntury, Louis Louil Br:lJlde;'. Bnnddl, for eumple, eumpk, ~ritidud critidud nilro:ld5 as"unKientifirailro:lds u"unscien til1" c~lIy" run and mus call{ tllIlS i....fficitn inefficient ~nd and undcntrv undenerving of public: public support IiUpport (lbomas (Thom:u K. McCra.... McCraw. Pr<>phm PllIpbclJ of Regul"ri" " [Harvard 0fRrguloll [Hlr""rd Univnsir Oll Univetllry Prcs.s. Pl'CIil. 1984]. 11184).1l3) 93) 12. example, David E. Lilientha 11. For example. LilienrhaL TVA.: IX"'o,r.." l),om<>cracy e" l. TVA: "I"rel. (Harpt-r on /he (Hlrper & Bromers, lhe: March Brothers. t944) (944). . . 13. Stt Sec Eugme Eugene ViCtor Il. Vietor Ro5l:ow. RoiIQW, Pwnni"lf PMnningfor Frwlom, Frudem: lIN 111<' P~b& I'ublk lAI... Law of 4 Ammcan "'mtri<,,~ Cap,wlm C"pir"lim l (Yale (Ylle ll Univel1lity PruJ,19S Prell, 1959). Uniw:rsir 9). . . . Cbuiel of thiJ 14. Classics this school of Ihought thoughl include Richard Posner. POlner, &""om;< A",dpu "'~"'Jlil of lAIlI,(Lin L"w (Link l~ Brown, 1974). 1\)74), and Brown. ~nd R. H. Coa.." Colle. 11N Tht Firm. Firm, !Ix rll<' Marie", M"rfm, alld ,,~d 1M rll<' La", Law (Uni\'el'$i (Univu1Iiry ofChic~g o Prus, ty of Pre", Chicago tI)38). 19S8). . IS. Stt Su Daniel Dlniel Bell, ts. Bell. Thr Tht uming G>ming a/ of PlHrilldw p<JJti~duJrtritd ri,,' Sori<t] Soc,<cy (Basic: (Bal;c Books. I\ooks. (976); 1976): Man: Un Uri Foral, Ponl. 1M InjOfJllOlri on Eco~a"'y: Drjinllion The InJar-i<:>n EcOllDmJ' !Xjillirioll and Q"d Mnu~rr".... M.",urem'~l (U.S. Departm Dcp~rtme nr of~ ..f (US. QfCommeTce. Office enr .Offioe ofTclUQ mmuniat ofTcln;o ions.I\)7 mmunica 1): tionl.lgn ); and Anthony G. Ontinger Otrtinget. Ekmrrrll EIr",rnlJ of <>/ I,tjormauo /Jljorm"tiorr n R<SI>Un"n Rela"rerJ Policy: B",rfill PoliC]: ,1",1 B.",ft"s B""I'~J i" Jkntjits and I'" rM Inc Nt'" Ncw W"rld WQrl,1 "/ af Libr~rJ Libr"ry a,,<1 Q~II Orh.r Illform"r,,,,, Dlhrr In/"r",mio $rrllicel (Hlrvard n Sr..... ias (Harvard Univcniry, Prognm Univcnity Infonnatiion . Prog.... on Tcchnolo m on InfortT\.1t Trchnologics1Jld PoIicy,19 gits and Public Policy. 7S)' '9'7~). .' ,6. See Jan-mnc )"n.Fran :ois roil 1-fOI'l.--d. ty<!t:lrd, 1hc 16. Set 1lJ<' PlHuftoa Posulloor"" rn Colldiuo" G>~Jir;,,~:, A '" &",," R'porl OIl o~ Kno"'lt:dt KmK'kdgc (Un;ven;y ry of t (Un~t MinnCliQtl Prell, t984) MinnClO h Pra.s.1g.8 4) 17.1k1l. Tht u.ming af PoJrilld~sl 17. p."ri~,luls Bell. Theri,J Sirfy, Coming "f Soci.ly. 1)8. rial 1~8. Fr~nk Weimer 18. See Fr:lJlk WeImer and lnd Kevin Robbins. Robbinl, lrr/"r",ali I~fornlnlia ll Trrh"ol<:>g 1i:dmolagy: "rr Lu,Wu An~l,ljJ AIl,,1ylil (Ablrx.. y: A L~ddirr (Ablex 1986). and Publishing. ~nd Nicho\.:u Nichol:u Garnham g.lg86). Glmh~m. -lnfonna rion . -lnfortT\.1 Society' as ali lhcory tion Socitty' Thcory or Or Idrology' Idcology: A Crill' Criti c:o.l PC1"s~" Pel1lpcctil"/,, vc; bifor",,,ri cal M, Com",""" Co",,"u~ic'''lion nlio~ ""d ...,u"i,,". (2000): 1]9 a...l Soci'ly). ll\) 1. no. 1 (1000): .. . exceptions areJamc5 19. The cxuprion lre)~mCII Beniger. 1hc Tht c"rrlrol ClIllllll &.""~rior R.voIuI1on : T....hrr""'r Ttchnal<>g ic,,' and r: "n,' Econom... ECDnomir 0riK'''' ical Origin, <>/ III<' I.iforml!lio~ 0/ rlx Infor_tio S",irl! (Harvard (Harvnd Univenit n Sirl} Univcrliry Preu. PrClI. (989). 1\)8\)). and.lal~ and, Ilre;n glme, Manuel M~nud Cas in the gam~ Cal" telll, Thr Informllli "iformi1li,"ll rell5. ,~ "'gr: E,,,,,omy, Sirly. Agr' EtoIlOm], Socirly. lI"d Cullure (Blultwd and C.. 1J~,.. (Blackwe l Pub, '999). 19119). ll 10. Set See Zbignicw all. Zbillnlew Br:ainro Brtt>:in,ki."Americ . "America a in the Technetr Tcehnerronic Age," Ale." fnl.... E"<,,u~I" rr.t....."]O (11)68): 161.6; }O (1968): 16"l.6; )~mCl M~rtin. Tdt:mal" 'Rlc",,,,i, Sori<tJ' James Murin. Sod"y' A A eJ,,:,1Ic"fl' CI"rl1r.lgr for T"I'IIOITOW Tomorrow (Prcntia" (PrenticeH:aII. -Hll1. I~I); 1\)81): and lnd St~ Slel'hen H. Ct~I",lil'llilm Lawrence, Dcce~l",'illllli'>rr' . UIlIMlila llr;an: 11N ri"n a"d Dn"rnrnJi Tht Comp.. C<>mrllni cII/,o", G>nHl'CliD n (Hlrv~rd rr"alions UnivC'<Con_fl" " (Ha~rd Vn,vcr' ity untet Center for Informati .ity Informltion Policy RClIun:h. Rescareh, 198]). 198). . 11. Su al. Stt Tom Wolfe, "Whar "Wh~t If He Is Right;" Rightt' Thr Tht Pt<"'p Pt."'p Ha_ Ha"U' Gan! Gllng (Fa""r. (F~mlr. Scr.lUJ Str.llU 8< & Giroux, G,roux. 1968),10 7-n (968),I07 -UII. Set See Dunnn Dunc;rn Malth~ws 11. Mltthew l, GI<Jl,aliJi" g InIrU.... Inltllr,ru,, , GIoN/i,;r 1 Prr>pnl] r! Prop'r!y Rights (Roudcdg l~af (Routledge_ 1001), I~. IS e. 100a), I). Su hhiel lthid de Sola Pool, 1]. ~e Pool. Tt,hnolog Ttcl."ologiel of Frud"", Fmdo", (H.rv~rd 84)' i~ ,,/ Uni\'f'rsity Press. (Harvard Univc:rsir Prell. 19 (1)34). Ibid.. I. 14. Thid . .. cd IS. Set Sec David D.vid Kajrys. ~. Kairys. "Freedom "Frdom ofSpen:h ofSpch I," I; in Thr Tht Politics Polirk. 0/ of lAIw: ,..... A '" Progros,v Plllfrm'.... Criliqu,. ed. t Crru,/w. Klitys (~nd>eon (P.nrheo n. Kairys 1\)81). ll1-71. 1)7-7~. . Igh).

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26. Scc See Br:lJld. Brlnd. 1'" 16. Mr,fj" Lab: !.db: lllwn",,! The- Mrdia I~vtnlillg llx rll<' F~I~rr Fulure al "I M/T(Vtk MIT (Viking Adult. 1987), 114. ingAdui 114_ r. Ig87), 17. Su Mlrvin, Whr" n. Sec Marvin. Did Trch"olog TI.nologirl \Vhen Old itl Wr... W'n: Nr.... N,.... 7'. 71, and ~nd Claude Cbude S. Fischrr. Fil(her, A",rriro Am,ri,,, Carlin! G>lIi~g (UnlveTiiry ty of OfCllifo (Univcui rnil Presl, 1994), Californi 1\)94), 111-S4. a P,us. U2-H. See"Ig.82 Bnxhun' Bl'O(hun: for m~ 18. Scc"I981 the IBM Ptnonal Peno.....1CompulC1 COlnpulC"," r." digiril(.lc digirize.t vlIlilel.co m!ilemlh n61cs.ro m/ilemlb ll8l-ibm. 981-ibm" p<'TSQnll-compllle r!' pcnon:aI" <:ompuler!. "9. Ad productd 19. produccd by Chiatt!D Chiltt/D ay and ~nd dJrwnl direcrn:l by Ridley Soon.l1n Scott, fint broadc:ut during l broadca.or durinllth e Ig84 1984 me SUJ'C'r Bowl. Howl. Malon~ Mllone calls Super c:allilhe ad"rhe biggeSI biggeJt spl.1sh rhe .d"lhe Ipluh in thc Ille history hi5l0ry of adverti5in ~dverdsin g"(Mich~ d S. g" (Michael Mllone, I'!finilr t'ifi~il< IAop Malone. Loop [Currtncy [Currency/Double dlY, !Doublcd rll9ll), 174). ~74). Also ay, 1ll99], Als.o 5 sec S3nh Sinh R. Stein,lhe Stein, lhe'1984 'lg8"' M;tCI~tcn. h Ad, Ad: Cincrn~ri Madnr..u Cincm~tJc Iconllnd ConJtirutivc Rhetoric in the c Icons and Colurirur Ihe Launch l.Junch of a 1 Nta' New Mxhinc," Muhine" QUllrltrlyJ.... Jour~~1 Q-rrrrly ofSl....cn88, ma1 afSpcrcb no, 1 2 (W01): (~001): 169-91. 88. no. 161)-\)1. Yet most mOJl of the ~ttenrion ltlemion for the ad ld co.rrw: c~me inlide me the advertisin from inside advertilinll indullT)'. whe~ where il g induslT)', it rn;eived received Jeverll uvcr~l aw~rds. ~w:trdl. The ~d. ad, by mOlt mo.t Koounu. :atroI1l1IS. t~n Mrionally nllionally only once during thc ran Ihe 1984 SU?,,1 Super Bowl, and l11d it wa. wl. nOt rypinl typi,,1 even of Apple's adver" ~d....,r tiJing. which whkh genCr:llly gcnenlly used a dling. I much blander, bl~nder, plain folks follu. approach ~pproach,, ~mplu5iz emphlsiz ing U$C e:lH of tiS( UK and Ind funClio,,~lity, foruamplc. functionm le, dw: Ihe coIkction ty. Sec, foreump cullution of Appk'l Apple'. prinr:aW print ~d. at It ",,,,,(/,,,d, www.lre.l un~,org/ AuachrJ. .........arc sJuna.org ! attlched/fcompulcr computer ~ttachn:l hillory! awJimern ilistoryf ~tional/ a~!inlcm.arion:al! ~pple. appk.. )0. EdWlrd! dJlcU"CI Nr~roma~ ]0. Edw.lrds discussts Ne"r"man<cr. lV"r GamrJ. ur, lVar ~nd G"",rJ.an d 1i:rrniMI urminar<MUlenli\ 'c:ly :>rurens;" lnd suggens lugseliitIhcy ely and hey hld ~ a signil1can lignific~nt h~d the %eirgcist zeitgeist of t role in me or lhe the 1980s 1\)80$ on Edwards. Edw~rdl. Thr 1hc CIoJed Claud 1V""IJ.j1 Warld, J27-4S. AI50 5 Ke 7-4S. Also Friedm.n. Frin:lman , &r,u Ekari( D... "mJ. Drranu. :It. Scc See Anne Anable. Anlble, "Comput )1. "Compulers eu Mad~ Mlde ro to FttI Fccl al~," at Home" NnA! N,w Yori Yorle 1I1'11tS. Timrs. 9 MU.I98<> Mlr. 1980, CIO-ll. . CIO-Il. ]l."A Bright Hrlght N~w New WOlid World of Home Comf"Jte ComPUI~rn: s; Doing .he Homewo rk, rk: Yotlng YOUl111 Expcru Expertl TIps Tips On Bu);nll; \lIher~ \Vhere ro Shop: Shop; ~ Buying; 1 Compute Glosl1ry." N,w York TimeJ, Compule r GloJlary' Times, 4 June JIUle 1981. - Nr'" 1\)81. n. A Lcxi5 }}. Luis/Nn illuCC'h !Nuil..,a rch of m~r m.jor U.S. and lnd world publicatio publiC1lrions ns for lhe the word SpmulJhU Iprc"dsloce! l before r\)831um$ 19S3 hilS.111e rurn:s up 18 hiT5. year 19S1 198J turnS "The ~ar tUml up lip &9 89 hilS; hi'l: 1984. no hilS; hill: and lnd 198s, I\)SS. J~6 )S6 hits. hill. J4. Sec Marbach. M~rb1Ch. "To E.ach l4. Elch His HiJ Own Computer." NewsW<'<k . 8 Fa.. r'- Nrwl.. Feb. Ig81, 1\)81, SO-~6. wle. SO56. 3slbid. lSlbid. J6. SC" See Mikhail Mlkhlil Sergcevic Sergeevich Gorbache l6. Gorblchev. MemoirJ. M.mairl. lranS. tr~nl, George Pcronans Peron.nsl ty and lnd Tl~~na Vlr_ ky Taljana Va,llavlky {Doubled (Doubkday. savUy .y, '996).117 Iwll). 217. . J7. Scc Sec Snwt }7. SlU~rt HalI."On Hlll,"On Pomnodc PoSlmoe/ernilm mism ~nd and Articulat Articullti on: An InrtrYi<w ion: Imerview ".;m with Snurt Sru~rt Hall," Hall." cd. Llwrence Groubcrg. Grossbcrg.jourmd LaWTCnce }o~""'" DfG>mmu~ i("rion l",,~iry ofCa",,,,~,,iraltorr Ifl</uiry '0. 10, no. nO. a 1 (1986): 4S. 4S_ J8.)ohn Sculley. Sculley, speaking l8.John $pe~king in Sc,n."1he Sen, Lne Triumph of the N~rds: Nerds: 111e 111c TnnfCTip tl, P~ct Transcriprs. III." Part Ill." Levy, Hacke". H"clcrrs. 7. 7_ 19. levy. Sec Art Klciner."A K1einer,"A History 40. Scc Hillory ofCon.N'~ ofC,""ulio" li"" Q""ntriy Qu"rc'rlJ: in In Nr'Wl1b<o Ntll~ 11>.11 S,"J'd ~"'I. Ntll~, '974-194 1 5la~d '974-19$4' 1t~ Yran Yr"rs ofCand~l ofCcrvol"lio~ T~rr Q""rltriy.n:I_ i"" Qo<arrrrly ci.llr:ln d and ~nd Kkiner Kleincr (North Brand (No<th Point PoilU PrQS. PreIS, .986). 1986).)71 . )71. See ibid .. J)6-)7. 41. Sec 3]6-)7. 42. Sec Levy. Levy, Ho(Ie 41. H"ckm. 197-98. ....., '91-98.

j"""

tnc

s..:

""d

CHAPTIIa. R 4 (:HAPTlI

Crocker, I. Steve Crocker. lnlerview wirh with Sreve "lntrrvicw S"w: Crocm, Crocker. CEO ofShinku ofShinlr uro.lnc,. "'ETF ro.lnc.'-I jour",,11 (Spring ETF)o~rnall 1006), www.iso www_isoc. 1006). org/tool. /blogs/i. c.org!roo t50urn~l/ b/blogs/i ~p: 7r~mQre' erfjourna l!'p:71.m 71 on;11. 2. For a=1plc, enmpl", in the 1. Ih. wonU wordl oEVirgin ofV;rglnl ~ Posrrd. PoItrel, cdilOr"of edilor of Rnuo" ia R...."" maguinc m~g.ZillC. ,"Ihe Net Nel bcamc bca.me ~ modd model of sponl2nCD spontane ou' a order and ~nd dKcJ1n-a UJ onJn deecntt~lliud ized governa go.ertlln ce-of the way.simp w~y limple.un ncc-of derlying k. underlyin g rukl can permit rnormou rults enormOUs I autivity ~nd compluir y. This and complexit 'Ihil dynamic. dynamic, optn"~nd open-endcd ed vision vilion docs nor not 5t euily 61 c.a5i[y with rh~ the technocratic model5 moe/ell that domin~tc domina" rhe the po[;tical political world." For libcrr~ria Iibert~rianslikc nllike POltcd. in orh~r Posrrd, other worda, words, me the supposed IUPpoICdly IplInrll1eO sponlaneous UI ocder order of me the interner looked liltc like the mark~t mlrket (Dcclan McCullagb. (Decbn h."1he Laugh b Is on Gore.," Ln~ Laugb Gor"," Wim Wired NrwJ. NewJ. I] 2) March M~rch 1999. www.wird..rnmlpo ed.com/polil.i" tiCl/I~w I ncwJ!Ill9 newi/1999!O]! rics!lawf 9/0)/r86S S/). 1ll6S~f).

'lI9lI.

200

Notcs to ChaPler Chapfer 1 ) NOtu

'"' '"

Notes to co Chapt~r Chapter 4 NOte5

). SajantT Abbare, Abbalt.IIll'('lIli"g c~ 1memel Ctru;:;:i, A Ifulory HiJloryoj J. 5.~ne, Im,,"llIi~g rllt Imrmrl (MIT Prtu. PI',"". aooo); ~OOQ); Paul P~ul E. Cern::;:i, of Moden. eo",puti"i' Compurin: (MIT Pttu. P",... ao<))): Gilliu and iJ,.. Web lV~s Modrm ~ooJ); andjamu ~nd~mes Gillies ~nd Rolxn Robert Cailliau, Uilli~u. How lilt Wrb W<U &Oe,,: 1"" 5r,,'] "jrM W"rld Wiae Web (Oxford UniVtt'Siry UniVffSily Pttu. P",u. USA. ~). ~ooo). TIw Sl"'7411~ \\'orlJ Wuk IIH (Oxfol

a.m.,

4, Tamfon Gillupit. "Engincmng "Enginttring a Principlt:End.{O.End' in the Iht Design Daign of tht Imernel; Soc;"/ Soci,,1 .. T~rkfon Gillespie, ~ Principk,End'fO.E.nd the Internel; Srudirs "j5fimc, j6, I IJune ~oo6. 'P7-S7, SlwliN of Sfi<"u J6. June ~006 n-57. S. Abb~lt "'pores Iht 19701,conm.ry 1970', oontr.lry 10 fo fhe ARPANIl'r pl~n, 5. A~te rcporu chac, WI. in the IDe ARPANET pbn. "tmail "nn.l.iI quickly Ixc.tme became The the necwork', m<l mOil popular and ~nd inlluemw inlluentialltrvice, all apt:uions-(Abbare, eXpt'Clation5' (Abbacr, 1"Vl""ritig r~ nawod.s KrYiu. "lrpaning surpus;ng:aI1 r"''I",,'i,,: 1M IlI/efllel,101). I"rrrnrt, 10]). Licklider 1nd o( [n(ormarion NelWOrIa,Nerwork; 1'r<Kmli"g' oj lilt IheIEEE 6. Licldioo and A. Yan,'Applicarions V.... ..=. "Applicarlons oflnfonn..rion Prourai"g. of IEEE 66, no. II II (1978)' (1918)' 13)0-46. 1))0-46. ,. Sr;t Michae[ Haube,n, Ronda Hauben, and lllOmu TruJroll, Ntriu,,,, 0" On I~ rl>r HimTJ Hi>!,,'] Q"d <Ina 7. Sec Mich~1 Hauben. Rond~ Hauben. Thom"" T <USCGrt. N.li:r~., 1",1"''' "jUsrn<l I"" Imern,r (\Vilty.IEEE Computer Com pUler Siel)' 1"'1"""1 of Uunrl "nd ."d II,. Imrr~'1 (Wiley.IEEE Sociery Pr, Pro 19'91), (997), a54. ~54. Conway, "The lbe MPC Adventures: Ad"entures: Experirnces Expc:riences with wilh Ihe Gene..acion ofVLSI ofYLS[ I)"sign Dr.ign and 8. Lynn Conway. the Genr..,tion ~nd Implcmenlation Methodologies: Mcehodologiel; MilroJ,rocmi"g Micr"pl'<l(m;ng 'lIId /',Iitr"progl'l,mllli"g 10, '0, no. 4 (Nov. (NO\'. 1981): Implementation Q"d Microprogr'lmmi"g '981): ~09-~8, Also AI,o available online as "Ll'nn Conwai' MPC Ad"""turrs A,hencur.. >l al X"rox Xerox 109-28. ~s Conwal" Conwa~."Lynn Conway's YLSI VLSI Mile PA RC; 19 Jan. 198,. 1981, 'u.""cs.umich. ai.=cs.umich.edu!peopltlronwal'!YLSI/M PCAdvlM PCAdv.hcmL PARC; .,Ju/p""pI,,/ ronw~y/VLSI/M PCAdv/MPCAdv.luml. 9, Conw~y. Conw~y, "Lynn Conway's ucrer R.:tfOSpI;"..,: RecrOlpuli"e; Ly"" H",,,ep~gc, ai.=cs.umich.edu! 9. Conw~y's Urur Ly"n Co"""'y eo"""" Ho",rpQ~. ~i.ttC,.umich.fflu/ pcoplt!ronway/Rcerospecti...,T,hlmJ. S cspc:eialll' 'u.ttCI.umich.rdu/pcopidconw:ly/Rrrro. ai.=CI.umich.edu/peopltlronway!Rcero, pcoplclronway/R.:trmpri...,T.hIm!. So ""piaIl)' 'J>li""J.hlml. spccri...,J.html. 10, Datnis Denni5 RiKhir.lhr Rirchie, lbe E,...!ution E\"Olution o( rhe UniJ: Unix Tin..,Sharing I.~"g""gc Drs,!" !J<'lig" ""d 10. of the nme.Sh~ring Splem; S)'5<""': in U."F~ .. nd Prognll"''''''g MtthodologJ. M<lI",,/ofogy, 198o. lS-)S, dx.doi.orgho.10011 )'HO'0974S'7_a. Pr"fl"'",,,,m: I~. 15-n. cb:.doi.Ofgho.1001/JHo-097.5L~. II, Crodttr. Crock-r,"lnrerview o(Shinkuro, loe: II1C: 11. "In~ wi,h wid> SteVe 5<""" Crocker, CEO ofShinkuro, 11, M. Doyle,"XEROX. TANG, and DARPA.: DARPA.; DouQm4liMl. Dur~""I!I'P", I Ca. Oct. I98J, 198), 16J-64. .6j-6... u. Doyk, ~XEROX. TANG. I), Conw:lY.Lynn Co"w~l" "Ljnn COn.....ys ConW1Y'S c.~ c.."'~r Rnt'OSprive.~ Retrospective: lJ. 14. Doyl". Doylt,"XEROX, TANG,:llld a6). '4. XEROX. TANG, and DARPA; DARPA: 16J. IS. Alu Roland and Philip Shim~n poinr rh~, the Ihe program faill at ilS primary miuion'5. Alex Robnd poinf our OUt th~1 f:l.ikd al ics prim~ry missionc"'aling machint romribulw in various vlriOUI ways way, 10 ro SOme some of its ilS original goalllnd ",""ating machin" inrdligcnce-bul inrelligt'ncc-bur conrribulffl origln~1 pis ~nd 10 genec:1I improvrment impr""emenr of o(high ptrformanct computing. compuring. Set Alu Roland Rol1nd and to Ihe the g<'lIual high prrfom,ancc &1' Alex ~nd Philip Shi Shiman. ll1~n, S/rmrglf SIMrgir C,,"'puling Com/,utillg (MIT Press. P",", 1001), l00~), J15. )lS. '6. In 1999, public.tlll' revuled her websil" wrb'ilecllal Ig60s sh" she had l.c:x 16. 1999. Conway publioUy revr~l"d on h.r lim in Ihe thr 1,,60s h~d undergone und"rgon" sex change ,urgery. ~ con&equenc" consC<jutncc wu wlS fired fictd by IBM, and for<:ed to r<:rrcalr new 1;(., life in whal wh" changr surgery. as a ~nd was forc<:d re'CreUr a ~ nrw ,he calls 'sft~lrh mod,," mode" in lhe puc be, onll' to ro close sh" call.<"srulrh th" 1970' 19705 and 19801, lecllng kITing her pUt be known only dOl" friends fTi"nds us<>ci~ltI. Since ""'king making her pUt pur public.lhr public, Iht hu has breome ~dvocate and supponrr supporter of o( othu orher and usociol. beoom" an ~dvoc:al" cc:ullStlcual and rransgcndtr individulls. o( this Ihi, 10 co Ihe current cur",nr discussion discuuion is mOS! mOlt m.nSSU\1~llndtr~nsga>du individwIs. The rckvanu relr''anCe of obviowll' lila! Iht cultura[ chongts of o( ,h. inlide the rhe invisible roIl"8" college of o( computrr rompurer "ngir>ttf'S engintCrJ obo.~oudy dulthe cullUr.U dung lhe 19101 insidt; hdptJ m~kt heT her 1Ue<In:n research possibk. possiblt. Her pUI past ,,u wu nor unknown 10lhOle who did background hdp.-d m<IU not unkno.n to Inc- "'00 did. a ~ badr.ground check $0 so th.u rhar 1M slit could coold gain sccuri'l' clur:mre (or de(enle "...n. work. 11"c such ~ a penon pt'r~n "." was granted granc.d cheel:: suriry oonoee f.... dcfen5c lNt sud> a sccuriry securi,y ck~"'11 cltar~l1ct to ro work On cutting-edge cut'ing"edgt milirary miliruy ICthnoiogy lechnology in the che Prnr:agon Pencagon is a o( cui cuI ~ ~ sign of wral ch.lngu.. ch~ngcs, Bur Bm 1M ,he hu has also hinlCd hinted that her apcricnc",,:IS experiences as a woman (and transgrn<lu rran.gender pt:non) person) 1Ur.U ~ "..."",n ofrered n"w new kinds kind, o( in,ighrs:'lr's hard ro pul pur:i finger On iI, ir, bur wu jusc ever $0 so much 010'" olfue<! ofinsighcs:"lis h~rd to ~ Iinguon bul I w:II jusHvet' more im~gillad,'( Crc:lri,"t th~n rh~n be(o", rranlirion-elpiallj' nocicing Ihal I had vudl' impro.....d improw:d im~ginari ..... and ~nd ClUri,.., before transition-""pially n<>eKing Ih~t h~d vasdy capabilidCl al visu~lizing vi,uaJizingand simuilling compk" complcx...cial inleraccioru" (Conw:lY. (ConW>.y:lynn cap~bilit;cs ~I and mtn"lIly menully slmululng soc:i~1 interaction.' "Lynn Conwa)", CoIlWar'l Caftu Calttr Retrmprive). Rtlrospc:erivt1. 17, See Pannris."Machines Panzaris,"Machinu and Romances; 155. CSS, '7. Se" ~nd Romances: 18, CommemS 10 ro 1 Stralegic Computing Compming Study Sludy Advisory Committee Commilree meeting meeling ,8. Ihrry Bury !"tillcr's l..cinu's COmmentS a Stratrgic ArlingTon, Virginia. Virginia, on "+ Januuy Janu~rl' 1995, ~'" summarized sunulloriud by by Roland and Shiman, S/r4rrgi, SlrMcgir in Arlington. On 14 Ig95. arc Co"'puti'lg, '47. 147. eo"'puriOig.
202

See Abbue, Abbate, 1",'(',"i,,: r~r loltrrnrr, 18.. , 19 S /m,,"OIriOig rht Inrernrl. 184. 10. Abb~rc writr:s,"On" wrices, "One of o( lhe Iht mOl' mOSI striking Ilriking chingl Ihings ~boUI the incernu inrtmer in the tht C9801 t930s w:lS wu iu ill metro mere' ao. AbNte arie o( 198s abour 1000 aooo computers h~d aceenlO the Intttnet; Inrtmer; by !he ,ht ,,"d end of oric: growth. In [he th" (all fall of 19Ss about rompu'''1'S had:Kens 10 lhe 1987 meJ' rhere were almost almos, )0,000, alld byOaobttof by Octob"'of 1989 15189 IDe the numb.... number had co IS9.000" IS9,000" (ibid~ (ibid., l" wuc Jo.ooo.and h~d grown '0 186). al. [bid.. ~1.1bid .. 107. UJ7.
H. Robert Robere E. Kahn, K~hn, "MmlOrUJTnbut" 'Memori~1 Teibule to to llorry DLib M"l"zi... Maga;:i,u 9. 9, no. 4, www.dlib.org/ :u. B.any Leiner: ui~: DW ~.dlih.orgI dliblaprilo)1o.. cdirori~l.IlllllJ. d!ib/apriloVQ4ed.itotUlhtm!. 1). \Villiam]. Bro:ul, Brold,"Penugon Curlling Campul'" Compurer A=: Splif in ill a lJ. Sec \V"illiam). "P"n..,gun Curbing Acnss, Global G~ Network NworI: Split ~ Bid 10 Increase I" Sccuricy; Ncw York Ti"'N. Tim". 5 S(Xc. '98), AIJ. A,). Ina.""" 5o=rity: Ntw Ckt. '98J, "4. ~4 Ibid., AI)_ AIJ_ as For ,he rhelOr1c ofklltl li.cldl, se" ICc SleUtrr. S'rcercr, Selling r81-8). 15 rhe rhetoric ofk...,l playing pbying fidds. Selli"g r"" rM Air, 181-8,. 36. For cxample. see Evrlyn Evell'n Richardl, "Scmic"nduclOr [nduSlry WanlS N~,ion Technology 'Teehnology ~6. uamplr.se( Rich~rds. "Semiconductor Industry Wanls Iniriacive,- Walhi"gr"" [nitiativr.W".hi"groll P"lI,.o Post o Apr. Ape. 199', '991. tli. B,. a1 S"" Sce Lo"is" Louise Krho". Kehoe:US ComputeT Chiefs co LObbl' Washinglon W~shington in B~rrl" B~rrle withJap~,," wirhJap~l1; Fi"Qn' Fi'I'I". 17 "US Compuret to Lobby ri,,1 Tim", 8June '989, '989,6. d,,1 Times, 8Jun" 6. ' RelC~rch Nerwork Con"ni.. n Cl al" a8, N~tional Nalional Rrsr.ceh Research Council (US.). (U.S,). N~rion~1 Nllional Rcsr~reh 18. NffWOtk Review R..vi"w Commiuu ~J., To"...nI Q ~ N"lio",,] Natio",,1 RNC4rrb R,K<I....h Nrtll'O'*: Ncrwo,* (N~tional (N3IiQn~1 Aad"'lIY AcadtlllY p"",", Pras, (938). '938). Mal' pp. 4"S. To...ard M~y a), lJ. 1989A, pp. '5. Mitroll Mudlrr, Mueller, R Ruling I"" Root Rooc (MIT P"",", Press, 1004). Milton ..ling lilt 100.). 9". 91. 39 KViin:' Kahin's biography lisI"he lius Iht (oIlowing lupparrcrs of the rhellP, Bellcore, AT&T. IBM. Hughes, 19 following as 2S 5UPpontts liP: Bellcorc, AT~.IBM. Hughes. 1I<Io"..rol:l, Ens, Nyna, Digital Equipment. EquipmClH, Apple. App[e. and Microso(r. It Ic collaborarcd wilh a wide MlXOrob.. EDS, Nynu. ~nd Microsoft-. rol4bor.llffl with ~ wid" rongt of o( inSlirnrions, Globalln(ormzcion IIl(rurrucrnre Commission. Commillion, tnc Ihe Coalition Co~liliol\ ran&" instimtions. including induding The the Global Inform.uion Inf'ruttuctuu (Qr Networked InfonnariOIl, Freedolll Forum, the ,he An""nbcrg Anncnberg W:<.<hingron Peogr:un, ,he for In~rion, Ihe tnc Freedom W~shington Program. lhe Library o( Congress, the Cross.lndllltty Croll,lnduslry Working Team, [he CompUler Sys"ml Polie)" Project. Projecr. L.braryofCOngt'elS. th" Compufer Systrms Policy and tho rhe Intem>!ional Tcieconlmullic.ttion Union. UniOIl. Sec Brian KViin. Kahin, "Brian ~nd In'cm~rional Tderommunicarion S Briln "Bri~n Kahin Bio; Bio." Ilr"m BriQn K~hin Bio. Bio, www.si.umichMln/ wwvui.umich.edu/~kahin!b;o.hlml. K"Jrin ~hhinlbio.hlmJ. )0. Offier Office ofSc",nr" o(Scienee and Technology Policy, 1hr 7".. Fed",d Hii'h High Prrfcr"'Qner ~10rmal1Cr Computi"g C"mpuring Prog ...."', 8 ,0. Progr"m. pp. )1, )5; quotnl ill Klhin. Kahin, "RFC 119:1 119~ (rfellg~)-Commtreiali;:~lion Sept. 1989, 1989. PI" J~, J5; quol"d in (rfeI191)-Comm"f<i~li~1<ion o( of Ihelnrtmce the Interne< ,ummary report: www.faqs.org/rfes/tfcrr92.h'''d. www,f~ql,org/rfCl/r(crI9a.hTnll. summaty repott: )1. High.Performance High.Perform~ncc Compuling Compming ACI Act of o( '990.10111 19\10, 10lst COllgrc... Congress, 1.1 ld S"SS.. se55 .. J j Apr. 1990, ririe Ig90, S. 106" 1067. tide U,5ec,'01. 11,1"".101.

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34 }4.

MilCh K~por, ajelfcrsoni~n )a. Jl. Mitch K~por. "\Vht'" "Where Is the Digiral Digir~1 Highwa)" Highw~y RuUr Really Heading! Heading~ The Cue Case for aJdf"fsonian In(ormltion Policy; Wirrd Wierd II (July-Aug.199)): 94. Informarion Policy: (July~Aug.1991): S)-S\I. 5,-59. 9 ner 10"roadkUl JJ. Th" The arlit:st carli... rrf.... ",(erener in(ormaciOrllupemighwar' Lexis/Nexi' i, il D~.~d D~vid }}. fOroadkill on On the information IUprrbighw~r" in Luis/Nais Landis, VHit:o 'Vrdeo I)c,alc:rs a Rok Role in Ihe High.Tech Furn",; T..J..y, 11 la July july 'l/9J, (99), I. ICC, !.i(c. Landi.. De:aIer:s Seck Sttk ~ the High.Th FulUre," USA USA. ToJ..,. Life.

For example, Sec D, M~rt-h. M~rb3rh,"Tht of Lasers; Nrw......... Nrw>l.'uk, ,Jan. )jan. 1518), j6,~lhil Fot-cumpk, sec \Villian! \Vtlliam D. the Oaz:lt D~ofLasrrs. '!l8J. 16:lhis install 1;,000 mil.. glaSi /ibcn fibers in rornmerci.al commerei,l system, xtmS a"055 Ih. coun" will insnll,s.ooo miks o( of gIu4 th" coun. Iry. Two'information Two 'infolmarion lUpt:rhigh.....ysbcing sllpt'rhighw~ys' being built buill offibtt,oplKcable o( fib",oplie c~ble will link Boston. Boston, N"", N.w yon:. York, try. Philadelphia. and ~nd Wa5hing,on, D.C:1he phrue"ek=onic pl.ralC 'electronic highw:ly highway syst""" ")'Item" dale' as far (,r b:ui b~ek III aJ Phibdelphia Wuhingcon. D.C."1hc datr:s 1.1 15170: ICc Ralph I..rt: Lee Smi,b,lb. Narion; 1br 7".. Nati"n, May 1910, t970; sec Smi,h.lhe Wired \\'ir"d N~riOl\: Nillion, ,8 M~y t970. 601. JS Ric:hud Richard I. Kirkland,Jr.. Kirkl~nd,jr., "Wlm cht Economy Nels ,6 Dec. 1991. S9. "Wh~t the Needs Now: Fortun" Forlu"r, 16 59. )6. Alan Strwan,"NCF Srcw>'lI,"NCF Flues F1exel Its [II Musdes: Museles: Communi,,,,;o,,, Commu"i(~li"llll"urn",ion,,1 (NO\', C!il9I): J6. bltu""I;"'I,,1 (Nov. r99I), 13; 11; quoling Congrusman membe,r o( House Science. Scienu, Spatr. Space, and Thnology quoting Congr~ssman Don Rilrtr,. Ritter. ~ member of rhe U.S. Hou"" Technology Comminee. Comllli,ree. l'ur alone, AT&T )ur

"fS''''''"

)1, SceJoshua Quit/ner. QUitmer, "Sellare OKJ uB $lB (or N.llion~1 Computrr Compmel Ncr: Ne'" Y"rk J7 SecJoshu~ -Ser:~l~ OKs for Work 0" On N~tionlJ Net: Nr~' York
Nrwu/ay, Scp[. 1991.1S. 1991, H. N ....sd"y. 11 11 S"I'"
203

NOlu ro Ch;,rpter" Nores Ch~ptcr 4

Notes Noces ro Ch'pter" Chapter 4

)8. High-Ptrft>r""'IU:~Compllring Act "j '99": R~port t>f UN Sr...u. Commi".., o~ Co...mnc~. s.~"'" ,,,111 Tn:rMporro';"" 011 S. ,061, 19'90. ERIC, www.ulud.p/ERlCWdlPo.tal/oonr~nrdelNcry/ KrvI<t/ERICSnvIer~accno= ED)19116. and ..,,-,ernm, of ~n:ltor Albm Gore.Jr. Cmgmsiootol Raord (14 Oct. 1990). J9. Stt Gr:mdin. \ ....idmalm .:lnd Wormbs, Sri.~(~I"dIlJlryN'''"l.

--

7. Quo<~ ill ibid.


8. QuOfcd in

ibid.

40. s,,~ ~n.wikip~di.:l.orglwiki/Vann~vn_Bush. Also l- Zxh....y. E"dl<ll F"",ri.r.

4'. Moon SchoffJWl. ~rrulillo oom.priv@psi.com. 14Jun.,9'90. 41- Uupsi!njinlrop.poruLcom!lhinman. enWI ro ~.fip.eom. romin,@psi..rom.'9]un< '9904J. 1b< Summary Rq>on dtseriba how Srcphm Wolff of me NSF oudin<d m. (AUP) IhlO had bttn govnning the NSFNer. H. uplain<d: "Und... th~ dnfr arrqmrbk UK polity in .ffeer from 1988 to mid-I990, uS(. of Ih. NSFNET b.:tckbon~had to supporr ,h. purpose of' acienlific resarch and other Khola,ly activities: The interim policy promulgaled in Jun~ 1990 is ,he ume. except ,hal th. purpose of the NSFNET is now' to support usearch and .duc:uion in .:lnd among .:I.Cldcmic insnru'ions in the US. by:KCCSS 10 unique f'UOurces and ,he opporruni[)' for oolbboracn.. work.~ Wolff oudin<d ,he disrincrion bctwcnl commtrrialiucion;and priv.tri:.arion of cbe NSFNET. The distinction h. m:ode is ,h.ar"rommuci:t!i:.ation- if."pcrmittingrommc<cial users and providtn CO:KCUIi and usc InternCl f:ocilicies and S(l'Viccll: whik"priv:llIiurion" is"the dimill.:l.,ion of lhe f.der:ll rol. in providing or subsidizing network services." 44. All.n LcinWllnd m:lillo schoff@uu.psi.oom(ce,com.priv@psi.eom),lsJune I 99 0 . 45. Schoffstall,.mail tognu@to:ld.oom(cc:oom.priv@psi.com.ocp-ip@nic.ddn.mil).l;s"pr.I990. 46."THE TRANSITION: E%c<tprs from Oin,ons Conftt.ncc: on Sr,ce of che: Economy: )Orfc 1ImCJ, 15 Dec 1991. BlO; riced in Gordon Cc:oo*. -NSFNET' Pnv:ori::acion' and the: Public Inltte:S<: C2n Misguided PoIKy Be Con=tedr.l"-n.I99J. _.oookl'c:J"'It.oom/p.inda.shlmL 4'. Sec:John Schneilhwind,"AT&T's AU~n F.ucU wich Gore: USA TooQJ.Is Dec. l!Wa. 4B.

9. Ir n~ ~ uid beaus<: of rhe sc:riownc:ss with which invc:srors tool< natc:mc:nrs like: ,ha, of Netsape founder, Jim Clark:"lf th~ invention at the: h~= of my fiTSI stan_up was an imer n~l combustion cngine, MOl:lic was fire itself" (Jim C13,k, Netlr~pe Time, Thr M~ki"g ojrbe Bmitlll-DoIUJ. Slurl'Up 7h.l/ T",,1c 4>~ Mirrosoft [Sc. Mattin's Griffin, 1oooJ.118). But in facl the: Weft och.. wdl browsc:n htfOft Moso". In '991, for exampk.lhe: X\Vindows-b.:I.5ed VioLa ",d1 brv..'Sc:t' I=l scroIlban, Nd: and fnrwo.rd bu<mns in chc: upper-kfr comer, 1 gIobt: icon in thc: upper righr, a URl dispb)'. V.:I.ric:g.:I.r~ fonrs,:md of eoursc me abrlity 10 IIlO\"C co undcrlin<d linb through ch. dic:k of a mouse-jus, like: Mosaic, NeCSClpe. and Imernet Explorer. Sec Ed Kml, Tht IVb.>k 1.",,"(1 (O'Reilly 6 Associares.1991), 1J7-n.
10. Josh

------

Hyarr, "Hyperspace Map: Mosaic Help. Le:ad Usc:rs chrough Ml1e of Interner: &SIC"

Glob<, 19 Mar. 1994. I. n. Cunpbdl. 11w RD...,,,.tic frlm ""d UN Spirit t>f Modern C,"lllmcmm,,,, 11- Jim Impoco. "TecImology licans Sound oK on chc: Digital Futur~; us. N~ .. ...nd 1Vfd
Report.] Mar I99J. 61. IJ. Sec: Gary Srix."Domesricaring Cybc:nP'lCO:: Sriem!fir AmerJeo". Aug. 11193, 100-110. 14. Sec ibid., 105. 1. lbid.,IOJ. 16. Ibid .. 110. I,. In <he lore I98Oa. B~r had bttn a foundc:r and adminim-aror ofNEARNET, a regional TCP/IP ncol'Ork for NfW England univc:nitif$, including his ernployc:r, H.:l"m, which Iud bun.1 particiP'l"t ill the nation.al in'erntt. 18. Sec: Scott Bradne:., "Why Nowr Ner.. ~,* IV4>r/d, 17 ~pt. 199J. www.sobco.com/nwwh993/
b<1dne:r-199l-09~7.html.

N.""

----

48. Sec Kahin. "lncervie:w with Brian Kahin." 14 May ~OOI. 49. See Richard Wiggins. "AI Gore;and the Cuarion of che Inte:mc,; Fin< Mo"JQy ~ 1 Oct. 1000. limmonday.orglhcbin/cgiwnplbin/ojs/indu.php/fm/;lltick/vic:wArrickI199/,0S.

'9. Ibid.
W.

SO. See Abb.ue:.l" ...... r'"f rM IlIlrmct.145 S,. Con"'lly.-n.. MPC Ad,-cnturcs; Eipmenus wirh the (ic,......oon ofVlSI Ouign;and
Implcmenntion Methodologie:s." 51. The imporrane< of Ihis mom.m was firs, suggested '0 me: by a eommenl made from th~ audiene< by Scon B<1dnc:r a' th~ confeunee"Coordination and Ad",;nisrra,ion of rhe Interne.l; sponsored by ,h. Kenn<dy School ofGov.rnment's H1rva.d Informa,ion Infr:ISRunure Proj'. Han=<!. Uni...rsiry, 8-10 s"pe.. ,\196.

1b< oomP'l"Y w;u origin:lUy QlW Mosaic Communiaoons but <hen changed irs n:lme co Nc:QOIpe afret complaintS from the NCSA abouc ttadcrnark issues. To Ivotd confwion. che

comP'l"Y is rmtred 10 here u limply Nctsapc. al.lnJuly 1994, al kast ten companies had licensed Monic from che: UnivenifJ' of Illinois for comme:rei...J developmenr, including the well'conn~ctedSprglalland Spry. See Elizab~lh Core O<1n, "Mosaic Gives Guided Tour of Imerner; IVa,hi"gr4>" Pm/,July U.1994. F19. 11- Sec Clark. N.rMllpt1lm 99. 1J. Sec ibid., 100. 1... Sec ibid. 106. 1S. See ibid. 194. 16. Quocc:d in Kecg:m. "Re.1Ii[)' Disconion Field: a,. See: Simson L Gatfinkel, "Is Sullman Sr~lled! One: of che Grealest Programmen Alive Saw Fumre: Wh.re All Software Was Free. Th.n Rc:ili[)' Sec In.; IVirrd I (Apr. 199J): 101.
18.

CHAPTBIl 5
I.

Sec: Dave Farber. "Remarks ofJohn Perry Darlow to che: Firs, Imernational Symposium on National Sc<urity:md Nation...J Comperitivene:...; 11 Feb. 1993. tuclileuonYlcc.nllmagazinul

SURFPUN K/surfOOS9.Olt. 1- Ibid. J. See Da,;d TOOl', "MTV Gns T;angkd;n me Ne:t: Tht 11..... (Lo.odoll), 18 M1Y '994, 164. Sec Conni~ Koene:nn. "E.-Mail'l Mouthpiece:: InJuS! a Yur, Wirc:d Magazine Hu Bc:oomc the: Guide Down th.lnform.:ltion SuperhighW,:l.y; L<u lI"geks Ti"'.... 30 Mar. 1994. E,.

Thac discinaion rruly belollg

10 ~Tt

Metcalfe, JCom founder- wno in June 1994 pub-

Iishc:d a column which began. "Mosaic if. doing for rhe: lmc:mc:t right now wb:u VWak. chc pnn-crbUI killer appliation. did for rhc: penon.aI c:ompucCt' around t9BO" (Bob Metcalfe:. lhanlcs. NCSA, for Grad.....tillg .:l Few of Your Mouic Cybc:csr:in: InfoWorld. 6 June
1994. 50). .19. Se:e: Wolf, "The (Second Phase of the:) Revolurion H~s Begun: /)Qn', Look Now. BUI Prodig)'. AOL. md Compu~rvc Au AU Suddenly Obsolece-and MOS1ic Is w.ll on Its \Vay to Becoming ,he World's Sran<Wd In'C'rf:ace: \V.....J (Oct. '1194).

S. See Wolf. Wirrd-A R""'Q"rt. ,8-11.


---

6. See Paul K.eg:m,"Rc:aliry D'i$torcion Fic:ld; UpliJU4>"', I Feb. 1!l'97. www.upsidc:.rom/r.~is/ mvm1scory.

"4

NOtcs to Cha.pru 4

205

Notes ro Chapter s

a 9

}o.john Cauid). o..'-fll"' HlI'" Amwe.. 1.0<1//1 LlIJI llJ Mind ~nd MlIn~J ill II" ,IN /nrrrner Imnll~' E,,,(Ha"P'r E.... (Har~r !>cren Jo.JohnCanidy,Dol.(o", HoI<' America Mind""d M""'J in p""nJ Cassidy. Cauidy. "lbe "lhe Wom1n \Voman in (he TIN N~", Yorh'.16 Apr. 'r999, !iI'99. 48. nial. l00}). 96. Also ~e nial, 1OOJ).9'6. rhe Bubble; 1Jx, N<w Ycrktr,16 }I. QUOfed in Wendy Welldy Zellner Zdlller and Stephanie FOre5t,1he ron, How ExEJr, JI. Quotrd Srephanie Anderson Fornt. lbe Fall of En En,on, jdfSkHling'l Smregy Gtew So Compk,; Complex Th1r That Eun Even Hil Bou Couldn't Gee Gel 1 a Handl. Handle On CEO JdfSkilling's Str.urgy Grew Hi. Sou It; BlIli"'1I BI<.l;ncss W....l:, Wrtk. 11 17 Dec. 0.1001. 1001, )0. 'fow,r oj of &I/od. a"bd. vol vol. 1 I of A A HiuM] Hist""y oj of BrMJ(M,i"l U"i'r,1 }1. Barnouw...... Jl. See Sec Erik &mouw, A TOwtr Bm.ulc"Sllng in tllr rM Unit"" P~n. 1966),1)1. 1966). 131. Slnlrl(O"ford UnivcnHy Univrrlir)' Ptus, Sr<l.lrs(OrlOrd n. '918. thc the corpor.ue rorpor.1fe world imaginrd im~gined r2dio r~dio u al a ,001 (001 udusivdy udulively for $lT::I''i;'" IIr:lIegk. poinl-lo-point poinltopoim lJ. In 1918, unl Iikc like ship-t.... ,hip.rod,o", lnd milit:lrycommunic:lrion. mili,ary eommunicarion, and it rook thc rhe mio r~dio amarror amateur rnmmuniry communily wcs shorr and ir rooIc (the O1'igin.ll,acketi rhe .-ntirrh rwenrierh anrury) centUry) ro discowr discover the ofbroadcalting and (thc original hxken or of thc thc plealurn pkuurn ofbroadeuring u,ing entertainment in thc rhe 1906-1919 period. \Vb.., \Vhen T::Idio r:ldio beam< became a popular (nle using ndio for cntnuinmmr cnu in '910. the w;/llaken off guard. and it il look reorientationl, a new 1910. thc .0rpor:l.le rorpont. world was cilin oK took major nujo< Smltegk srnllcgK rrorirn[;;lrionJ, 10 Madison M.dilOn :rvcnu., av.:onue.and md a new rcgulatory regul.tory agcncy agency and legal Icpl conS"UCII conSlTUCU to ro bring rhings ,hings n::lario,w,ip ro relatioll$hip momellt in Ihe Fordism. Sec 5 Sltttrct. under conuvl.gain.lt undn-conerol again. Ie wl1 was a key moment thc consolidation ronsolHhrion of ofFordis.m. 5rffecu, Sel/illg Sdling tM A", fIN A". 84-91. 84-9" }4. "On dte Fronlien From th. fhe Wild East of Runian )4, Virginia I\mrd. Pom.I.On th. Frontiu, Russian Capitalism 10 to the rhc E\o'Oh';ng E\IO"~ng Form. r....rnll orCyberspa.e. ofCybcrspacc, Sehu Esthrr Dyson likes Likes Ihe Promis< Promise of ofUnserrled Unscnl.d T.rritory-and Territory-lnd ,h. Ihe Chi. Chal lenge ofCivililing It; [t; &a,on RMlO" MOIMi"r. www.re.....n.com/news/lhow/Jooa. html. l.ng< ofCiriIizing Magazine, Oa. 1996. 1996, www.n:ason.com!ncws!show!JG01 .hrml. n. Ch,i"oph.. Christopher Anderson. ~lllC Accidcmal Superhighway [mernet Su.. Surny); 1~e EcQ1l0"';.1 E'O'IOIOIil' ]S. And.rson. i l.. Accidental Supe,highwar (The Intern.t ~y);"The (US). .July I july 11111S. (US), '99S, 4. )6. Ibid.,). 36. Ibid . J.

11. '1.5 Sc. Cuol Carol M. Rose:. Ro~, Cryllal. "Crystals and alld Mud;n Mud in Property Law; Stanford 5l41nfo,,1 Utw taw Re..iew Jk~i.", 40. 40, no.) no. J (1987)' ('987): sn-li'o. 511-6'0. '3 5 FiJhu;5lor;<s Fisber,"Stories about a!>ou, Propcny; PropellY; Mic"i!.,,, M"hit"" Utw R",,,w (19'9'6): '"6-98. ,,,6-98. IJ. Sc. R<view(I996): '4.jcfCmy Bentham. 1Jx, TIN 1V0rlu Br"thum. cd. john Bowring (W '843). SOL '4 Jercmy Bentham, 1V0rlts 0fJrrrml of)m",y &"r""m.d.john (W. Ta;f. Tait, 184J), sor. IS. Sec leV)'. Narlu,... 319. 'So Lcvy. HMItrn, a19.

u.w

16. Fisher divi<ks divides rhcse these ;nro into four perlpectivu Ih.t CIIrrntdl' .urrelltly dominare Iheorcrical writing aoout .6. persprivcs chat dominate rhcon::riCllwriring about inrelleCfualpropercy, urilitarianism; laoor theory; personaliry pe'lollaHty .henry; ,heory: and soci.tI social planning inldltctu.tl. pmpert)': urilit:lrWUsm; labor IhMry; plmning rheory. rhcory. Im.llccfu.1 Prope:r,( See l:i,her.1heories S Fisher, lhcoms of Imdlru.tI Propcny: See Grey,lbe Grey.lhc Disint<JT::Irion Disintegrafion of Pmpcny: Pr0l'err( 17. Set 18. Sec Bernard Bernud Edelman. Edelm.n. o.ncrsbip Ownersbip of w ,Il<' 1m":" r.....gr: & Elrmerluf"' ....n/$ fora '' MaaUt Aforxill 7hr"'J Thnory <1 c>f z..,w, Low. rnns.. (rans. Eli~beth Kingdom (Routkdge (Roudedge '" 6: Kegan "'aliI. .E!.i;abcrh Paul, 1979). '979).

I,.

vi

'9. Tim. and "nd ComltloJuy 18,. r9. Frow. Fro"', 11"" c.,,,,moJuy Cul/l"". Cull.."" 187ao. David Oa...;d s..unrkrs. Saunde~ AWlbonb,p A",h<>rship """ und Copy"gh, eo: Fnnci., Fra.ncis. 1992)". 10. Opyngln (Ta)'lor (Ta)ior '" 1991), ,. S Manka Mallha ,"'oodmansee ['elft Jan., jaszi. 1bc' 'Ill<' COnJlr"rt;on of ..... lIth<>rship (Duke Universi!)' a al. Sec Woodman~and Pc!<r Cr",un<Cti"n "j A"lhonbip UniYffSiI)' Press. (994). Prus,I994). n. 5 Michel Foucaulr, ~\Vhat Is [s an Aurhorr'" Amhor!" in Lmgll"ge. l... nl:lI"~. Clu"u,.MrmQry. PrM,ire. ed. 11Sec Michd Foucault."What O .. nt...Me..."'7. "=I"'e, cd. Don-

CI' CHAPTHR ... TU.6 6

Bouchard. franl. Sherry Simon (Cornell Univ.:otl;ty Ptus. P"'ss, '980), 1980). IIJ-8. ald F. Bouchard, rnn. Sh.rry (Corndl Uni.....iry IlJ-8. Z3 See Jasli. "\'lho "\Vho Car~ Cues Who Wrole Shakelpe~rer A..."iea" A",rriw" V""'''';'y f.aw Review Rrview J1 J7 (1981): (1987)' a). Sec Jas:i. Wrote Shakespeare" Un""''''l] L"w 617. and Jam.. 611, james D. A. Ba)k"Scarch Boyle. Search for an Author: Shakespure Shakespcart and ~nd Ihe. the Framers; Fram...; Am.. Allleri,a" Uni..",itJ Low R, Re~i.w ..iel<' J7 J1 (,g87)' (1981): 62S. 61S. V"ivc"ily Law 14 j.ne M. Gaines, Co"tw..1O<1tu..: C~llu",,: 1J" 'I'll<' I",,,~. Ill<' V"i. VlIkr. "nd o"d,hr (The University of 14. Sec s.:., Jant Glines, Co,lIemd Image. 1"< rhe Low L"w (Th. NOllh Carolina P"'IS, North PrtSS, 1991). 1S. eumple. see Boyle."Search Amltor: lS. For .xample, Bayle,Sureh for an AUlhor;

i,,,,,

There prim and dccnonk dearonic versions ofRaymond's kgend.:ol')' es.say eMay avaibble. Th.n:: are an:: many print yersions of Ra)mond'slcgcndary a.... ilabl., which he b. 6..r lim I'ruen,cU pr.....n.cd in May 1991. '99'. bul (he Ih. 'nos< mosr appropriar< appropriate would be .he the version v.:on'Oll on his own web..ile, website. the yea..; yurs: I t t Eric Raymond,lb. Raymond.1he Cathcdn.l CathWr:l1 and Ih. fhe Ba::aar: Bal11r" complete with lis, of changes over compl. wi.h a list O\'C' ,h. ... Eric Erk S. R...pntlnds R~Y"'Q"di HoIII<' Home P~gr, P,'ge, 11 May 1997. carb.OI'g!-tlwriringslhomul<adingicarh.dral. ca<b.org/~esrlwrirings/holllu'uding/Calhed,.l. bnaar/. lnLJar!. 1. COIIII,urer Lib, Lib. OM 4S. 1- Nelson, eo",p"ter 3. Nclson. ",-.hypersr.md.com!SoundlTo'CRtporu.hrml. www.hypctll'a"d,col1l/So~,nd/TecLReporrz.hnnl. J- Nelson, 4. Nelson. Nelson, Literary Liumry Mad",.es: Mod"'''I: 11H' 'Ibr Report Rrl'c" 0". on. and ~nJ oj. oj, Pro~tt Projm X.. X~n~JlI naJ.. ConrwlI'ns: c.,ncmung Word Wonl Pro PrQ' rmil'g. E1tl'l>n'" Elm,,,,,ir Ps<bliJbj"f, P~blilhillg. H,pertUI, I-fyp..,ut. "Thinlw1ap. Thinker,oys, TcmOrro",'1 Rtl'Q(u,i,,,,, "",1 eNSi"g. T""'.>"',,.. In,d/.rMd r..tellt"",,/ ~ ...t"li,.... "nd Cm"", 1"p'fS /ndudmg Il,duJu,g KncldeJgr EJu,,,,i,,n "nd FrrtJ_ FrerJo,n (Idf published. '98J). Urt."n O,h" Other Topia K"""-kJgr.. Ed",ali""...,J (Kif publish.d, 'fil8J), ehap. chap. a. }I. 1. J8. S. .. chap. 1. a,)8, s lbid Ibid., }8. 6. Nelson, Nelson. TetLReporn.hrmL TecLReport1.hlml. 7. Lockc's phr:llf in.hc in the S....... Strond Tremi'r wasno was "no one oughl ought to ro hann anO{h.. another in hillif his life. hul,h. ,. Lodr<'s phrase J Trtali.!t' e , h.alrh, JibellY. or Locke. Srrond Tre"lise "jG"""rn""nl, 0fe",,,rn,,,,,,,. cd. Crawford Crnwford Drough libcny, 0.- polSeliionl~ possessions" (John Locke, &t,,1Ul Trt.uise Brough Macphmon (Hlcken [Harkett Publishing, Publishing. 1980), Maq>h=n 19Sa], 9). fil). 8. Al'n ~nd, 8, Rand. Arias A,/", Shruggrd Shrugged {Dunon (DUffOn Adult, Adllh. lOOS).I06. zoos). '06. 9. For.n overview of 10llle ,ums in eatly law in Ihe StatCI. For an O'.'er";.w somc of lhc Ih. odd twim rwisrs and rums utly property law;n rh. United Uni!<d Stard. Histo,y oj of A"",;rall Amrri,,,,, Law L"w (Touchslone. '986). 1)4-44. 1]4-44. sec L.wrencc M. Fri.dman, Friedmall, ..... s<c Lawnce A Hil/or] (Touchs.on. 1986). 10. '0. Su See Thomas l1l<llll . . C. Grey,"lb. Grey. ihe Disinregrarion Disintegration of ofProperry; Properry; Properly: Prop"'y' NO'lIo, NQmOI XX 1/69 1169 (1980)' 69-70. 69-10. II. I', Srruler, Streelft. Selling Stlli"l,hr rhe Air, Mr. 119.

. I.

16. a6. Rosemary Ros.mary Coombe. Coombe, 1ht TIN C"ltul'lIl Cult.. r,,1 Life of c>f III/.llm""l l.utllmual ProI~rliN: Proptrl;tS, Aurln""),ip, Au,honhip. AppropriafiQ". Appr"p,;",io", oM mid ,Il<' Utw Uni,,,rsily Press, 1998). '998). II" u.w (Duke Un;,....ity a7. See U.S. Pacem tademark OAi..,lmtllmu"I Offiff,I",.lIrrru~1ProptrlJ Prop<rlY ~"d ~",/,1l<' N,,'ion,,1 r"j"rmawm Infc,mmiCl' 27, S.. Patcnt and T Trademlrk rlH' N"'lon,,1 I"fl'llll'''''t"...., 1Jx, TIN &port Rrpor/oj,IN WlI,kinl: GrollI' l'roJ~r'J Rigl>ls, Rigbu. Scpt. Sepl. 1995. '995. www. lnj..."'r"'ture: "jllH' Wor.l:ing Group ell on lmellm""I, rmtllm""r, Proptrl]

usp.o.glW/ go/ com/doc/ipniil. uspm.goy!'/!l!comIdoc!ipnii!. z8.john Badow. -Ibe Economy ofldul: Framcwork for Pal.nu PalenlS and Copyrigh15 a8. John Perry Barlow.1hc of Idcu: a Framework Copyrighrs in (he Digi<al Age (Everything)'Ou (Everything you Know ahou. .boul lntelkcru.tl Illlcllecn>a1 Property Is [s Wrong); Wi"'" Wired 1 a ('994): ('994)' 149. Digital c~amplc. sa se< Sttttt...., St",efer, SdJmg SclU"g W ,!lr Air, a9 For eampk, Air. 176. 116. "9. "Plastics: Unger and Ackermm Ackerman On T Transforma,io,,; Ja"r"~1 JO. See Sec Lawrence Lessig. Usiig. "Plast:ics: ransfomwion: Yale Y,,1e Law j<l"rnaI 93 98 (1g38): (1988)' 1I1J. lin 3" A similar simil.. intdkcru.tllrajtoey intellectual ,....jcc,ory was adoptl Baraek Obanu Obama whm when he became JI, loprcd by Band< btamc p",siden( pruidenr Ihe N"rv<lrd Rt~iew in 19S9.jIlSl l.enig was assuming 'liuming his hillillit f.cully position posi,ion a. a( (he of ,be Harvard LAw Law ReI""", 19&9,jw.r al u L&sig 611-1 lXulry thc Universily of Chicago. Uni\'ffSiry

m.

u.w

Muning and Social U",vcrJIty of p.,m'l""'"io taw lVriew Rrview ' '44 }1. Lessig. "Social Jt.1eaningmd )a. Usiig.Soci.tI Soci.tI Norml; Nomu; l!>oi........ 'IJ "jl'<"IIn'J',,,,n,,, " (May 1996), 118. 1996): 1181. }3 J). Lasig, Lessig.. "Understanding "Und.rs<anding Changed Chan~d Readings: Fidtliry Fidel;'Y and lhtory; Theory; S/;l"fi"'/ Stanford t .. ,~ &view Rtview 47 (1994): ('994)' 400, 400. )4. Sec 34. See ibid, ibid. JS See "Lawrence l.<ssig'. Lessig's SUI',t1ne Showdowl\; Wircd.o Wirrd 10 (Ocr. ao01), www.wirl.com/ )s S leV)', Lc:Y)', "Law""n Supreme Showdown; (Oct, 1001), www.wiud.rom/ wired/archive/1O.,o/lessi&-l'rJ,tmL wi..d!archi""! ro.IO/I...ig...pr.hlml. Rape: in Cybersp.ce: ~n Evil Clown, Clown. a Haitian Tridmct Spiri,. Two }6.julian Dihbell, ~A Rap< J6.Julian Dibbdl,"A Cybe..pace: How an Trickster Spiri', Wi];:OrJs. .nd and. Do:::ell$ Tumed, infO a Sndefy; 711t Viii,,:, Vi/I"gr Voi" VlIi.. 2), n 11 z, o"c. Wi:ard., a east Cast of Do:cn$ Tllrntd 3 Database Databasc ;nro Sociely; "]')" Der. '993.36-41. J6-41. 199),

u....

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206

NOlcs to ChJptcr Ch~pfer S Notcs 5

207

Notes to Chaprer Norcs Chaptc.r 6

}7. 37. Levy, Ltv)'. "I~w~nee "Law,ence I..ellig. Lessig$ Slipreme Sup,eme Showdown: Showdown." )8. 38. Ibid. )9 See Chrisri~n Ebrn Moglen, Moglen,"Linll"iltie lnderrrmin.ey ~nd I..w: On }9 Chrisrian Z.pf ~nd and Eben "Linguis,ic Indetennin.cy and rhe Rule of Law: rhe Perils Prrili ofMisunderuanding of Mi~underJl'lldingWingenllein; ...Jourtl"l84 ('995): 485. ,he Wingen>!ein; Gr~'XfI~Wtl Gco'1"I""" L~ LAw j""r"illll4 (I99S): 40. Su D."id "'mrrira by !klig" Dl'ligll (OxfOrd (O"furd Uni"eniry Pral, 1979). 40 See David F. Noble. Noblc.lI.m.riC4l University Press, '979). 4' once 'old Ille ,hu rhe way .... y to 10 make nuke monty money in lhe ,he compur"r computer bllliness s.rring me rhar businus is by "'ning 4r. "Bill G.'rJ Galel onee de nr propri.l1Iry (Cril1gdy. "I, "I. Cringely. Cringely . 111e d" h.,o &ao sr.nd..ds, srandutU, by b)' which h. he m m"anr prnpri~ry sr.nll....l. sr.andanIs." (Cringel)', Th" Pulpir T~crics V<:nus Verlus Srl'lu<:gf Sr11llegy I PBS; E, I, Crillgrly 'llllll, www.pb.l.org/cringdy/pulpir/19991 . 1 PBS: C""gely, a Scpr. s.:pr.lm, www.pbs.org/cringdy/pulpir/lml .Tactics pulpir_1999090'_0006JJ.hrml. pulpi,-r99909'O"-ooo6~~.hnnl. 41."'The 001 "'herher wherher Mr. G.r.s ro u ~n ...,n n.rrhtr-rhe fll.lher-rhe evidence ,,, 4:1. 1M quesrion is no, Gates c.olruin On srr;rin 10 sa evitknce 50 f.r suggests sugguu nor-bor nor-bur whelher mlking money in o:hc Ihe s1ipitrc.am ,lip.lt~.m of olher ~ople', fu whaha his dill.l deillat m.aking rxha p<:<>pl,,'s tcchnological "i,;on will will,er". him" w.1I in th" lh. nat n.n dead<: du.de as I I i. il h:u: h~. for the pail plll two" H."e. ,bnoIogial vision 5UW him as wdl for.he rwo" ("I ("J Ha~ a Dr.~m: n.c TI,. .&0""""11, Erc"omlll. ~ JS NOV.I99S, No". 1995, 6S). 65). DrelIm: 4). H.ubrn, roseolr, Nt/;mlJ, Jr. 4} Haubm. H.uben. Haubm, ~nd and T 1'1lSCfXf. Nniu"s, x. 44. Ibid., 16S. 4.. lbid .,16<j. 45 Sa:"Linwr; Sec"Linu,,; WilriptJia and Glrrl Glyn Moody, JUlrd Rrl>c/ Code: G><le: Lo"u LitlwJ! lVib~ia cn.wikipedi.orglwiki/LinUJ<. en.wikiptdi.>.oogIwik.i/Linwr,and and the 1M Ope".sc...mOpt" Scllrrr Rn'OllIli"" J001), '90-91. AIIO ue lInJ Rrvol...,..... (Blii. (B:uic Books, Books.l00l),I90-9I.Also s Michul'liemll1n,"HillOry Michxlliemann,"Hislory of Ihe d", OSII ~n Opt:n Source Soun:e In"il,'''''; Initi.>rivc; www.opcnsource.orgIhist:ory. www.o~nlOlIn:e.org/hi~lory. A.rording to 10 TlCmlnn,"'The imm.dilre eh.in of evenlllhal 46. Aording TtmWln,!he immedi.>"'chain cwnts thar WUfO ""35 ro Iud lad to ro rhe o:hc forll'llnon fonnation of OSI bcpn brg.zn wirh the lhe publicalion publk.lion of Eric Raymond:' ell"""",,1 ,,"d 1m 8II=z. Ba:..... in 1997' 199'Raymond', plpcr paptr Tht The u.lhcJrlll and me (Ti.m.nn,"Hisrory of Ihe Open Souru Soun:. Inili.ti...,"). (TtmWln,"Huroryof m., OSII Opm lniria."..."). 41 'ne 'UlililY funerion" Lin"'" Lin"" hlCkel'l a~ m.uirrlmng mnimiJing il iJ the th. 47.!he u.iliry fUncrioa' hac:Ursa.... is not noc e1~lIk.olly cbssially economic C'COnomic bul is intlngibl. ego sarishccion l1lilf:Ktion and repulllion lnlong other olher had~en. (One 11\3)' mly c.all eJ.1l m.,i. rheir inrangibk of Iheir r},.,i, own "SO rq>UuOOn. among had:tr$. (On<: mOli"",rion Jirruislk: bur bl.llihil fhe f..cr f.!cr du.r thu a1rruisrn llrroilm is il itsdf itself a fOrm form of <:go Cjlo urWx:rion l1fisfacrion mis ignorel ignoru me mOOvuion almlistie: Volum.ry eulrurellhal work lre noc not aetuaIly aclullly uncommon; unrommon; One for the o:hc alrruin). a1m>isI:). Volunaryculml'fllha.r """" Ih;, rhis way arc one orher other I h.a~ hl". long particrpal<:d p1rric'p.red is il sciaK" seiener 6aion fiction fandom. fandom, which unlike explicilly unlike: hlckel'<!om Iw:ka-dom aplicirly in which 1 rrcogni~n .egoOOo' el1h,ncemem of 0""" onr'1 "1'uation rcpul1lrion lmongorhtr .mong other f:uu:) f:1I\1) <lIlhe b.,k drive ruognius t:goboo. (the ...uunammt as rh" buic behind "olume.r voluntr lcti"iry" acmiry' (Rlymond,-n,e (R..ymond,1b~C.thedral Cathw.ra1 and m., th. Ba:2ar"). B':11'-). 4S. Se. Willi.m C. C. Taylo., T'j'lor, "Inlpi~d Work: Rill 1999): aoo. 100. +8. Sa: \VrlIilrn "'nspim! by Wort; NSI Comp,wy G>mparrJ 19 (Oct. (On. (999): Se".ralmore these aphorilm& refer 10 to inr...-nal intern.lll.r.I' "4.1/yOIl I,a~r lilt right i",cr' more of r""",, aphorisms ....rtr .rates: 4-lfJO" "" .... IM righI dlliru,lr, ~llif..-.k, mltr. 49 Several ~'li"g probIe",s prablrml wiU wil/fitld yo,,: for U;lmpl~, ex1mple, a"d"tB. lol~t "" IIMl by fi"dl'''l'' ":fiNg ji"J "",; :uld "II. '10 T.. sol"" ~" ;mrrtll'''g int=:Sfi"g 1'l\IlIItlll' problem, SllIn fry Jim""1 .. probl.", lhM II III yo,,:' pn>bk", Ihtot js i,uursti"g li"1 t" J""': so. The pire. so piece dOd does in various vuioul w.ys ...ays adrnowlw.g<: .cknowl.dge and da.bon.re el.oorate the obvioul obvious v;rlucs ".Iue, of COOJ'C''''rion roapcr1lion .hJ.ring :uld .Ild Ihus rI"" hl' hu 10 lomehow disr:anu disllnce: iudf i\'leJffTom simplistk forms forml of ronu.n.ic romlnlk and sharing ro 5Omehow from rhe more simplistic indi"iduJ.lism. ide. of crc.:r.tiviry crelfi"iry i, ililill...,ry herok and Promerhean. Promelh..n. Canlider lhil ,till ""'Y much heroic:and Consid.,.. .hi, individualism. Blilihe Bur rh~ id"a pauage: pa=lge:

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Theonly The only way W1Y ro try rry for ideas idus like Ih.f rhar il is by ha"ing h.aving lou 1011 of ofide:u:-or idul-or by having hlving Ihe rhe engineering enginee.ing judgtlleJU fo nke raIu: olher orhe. people" ~oplcs'good id~as ideu beyond bryond whe..., whe~ .he lhe originlfOTlthoughr originators thoughr rhey could judgmem 10 And~w T,nenNum th. original idcJ. Un'" fur )&6, for go.... Andrew Tan~nhaum had rhe idea 10 to build a limple simple nJ.live nari"" Unix for Ihe rhe )86, UK 11eacbing Tor""'ldl plilhed lhe Mini" And~w probreaching 1001. fOOl. Linul Linus To,vald. pushed ,he Minix roneepr concepr fu"her rurrher lhlll than Andrew prob. u"" as a bly rhoughr rould go .. alld ,nto somelhing ir could and it grew g""w inro somerhing wonderful. In Ihe rhe ume J.lm~ way (rhollgh (though ably thought il on a 1.m:Ukr selle), I [ rook some Hury Hochhciser Hochheiur a"d .nd pushed pu,hed smaller scale). 10m" idul idu, by Carl H.rrillnd Harris and Harry Ihem h.l'<!. Neilhrr u, was 'original' .original' in rhe romlnric w;ay p""ple ~ple rhink lhen, Neirh~, of us romantic way rhinlr. is gcniLu. genius. alit Bm rhen, rhem hard. moat Ind engineering by original g.niu" genilll, hacker hackndcv<:lopm~m bn'l isn'r done by mosr Kience: science and engine.,ing Jnd and softw.~ software de...,lopmenr mylhologj' The r(lu[1I rhe J.l"'e_in l1nle-in faCt, fact.juSllhe rhe rontrary. comrory.The rcsulrs we~ we .... p~l1y p'erry hudy h.ady lruff sruff all aJllhe jus< rhc mythology ro lhe kind of succell li'l(l for! I would wuuld ha"e h.w 10.ser rO,KI my lIamUrdl IU=" ewry .vcry huker hlch r livcs fod And Ihey they m"a"r 1 standards even ~ven Cllhedral and fhe BlJUr"] higher. [Raymond, "The Ca,hedral rh~ Ba%aa'"J

51. See Borl.nd, "Browur S~~ en.wikipcdil.orglwiki/Usage_mare_oCw.b_browscl'l. ~n.wikipcdia.orglwiki/U,age_,ha ...._oCweb_browsers. Also Al,o )oIm John Borl.nd,'Browse, Wan: High Price, BlDgs, IS Wars: Priu, Huge Hug~ Reward&: Reward.: ZDNrl ZDNet Nrwl Nf"'l & BlOIS, IS Apr. JOO), 1001, newl.Jdnel.eom/1'OO news.%dner.oomlalOO' 151L.'-IJS1}8.hrml. 35ILaa-r18718.hrml. 51. "Hilrory of rhe OSI/O~n OSIIOpcn Source lnililti...,: 5a. See liemJ.nn, liemann,"Hillory Iniriari",," Comperitive Entupri.., Enrerprise InSfimre; [nsriwce; 8 Dec. 11l1l8, www. WWW. 5).)Jmes "Latest C,\spin Dtt..1998, S).James G.rmso, Garruso, "Laresr C:\spin from Ih. Competitiv" polilrchoo.romlp-OOIJo.bfml. polir""hbor.com/p-oorao.hrml. H. Se. Gr.ham Ln, ".MS' BaUmer: Linux Is Cummunism; Rrgisrrr, It}ulj' 54. Sa: Graham Lea, "MS' BaUmu: Communism; lhr The Registe.,), July 1000, www. lhercgillcr.ro.ukhoool 011 )tl ml_bJilmer_linuX_is_communism/, :and and Michael rherq;isrer.ro.ukJl000/07/}l/rru_baIlmu_linua.js_rommunismJ, Mich:KI Klne]Jol, K:an~lIos. "Glles Den-CNET New,; NewI; CN.I Nr"'l, sJan. s).n. JOOS, "ewl.,net.eoml 'Gar", Taking a Seat Sat in Your [).,n-CNET CNtt Ne"~, :IOOS, n~WI.cn~r.comJ Gares-lOking"'Jrat.in.your.den/l00S-'041-355t4IJI.hrml. Gar",. raking-a -SC:I.t-in-t'Oll rdocnl :1001-1041...J -SS r4'll.hnnl 55 Daniel Lyons, "Sofrware: Hit Men; Me": Forbtl, JOO), """""forbes.. www.forbrl. S5 Lyo......Softw:.. ~: Linll"', Linux', Hil F.>rbn. 14 r4 <X,. On. 1003, oomhoo)/lOh41 ,~_dLloI4link.oYI.hrml. com!aoo}/lo/r4/cuiLloI41inlcsys..hrml. Re: Competirive Competiti"e Enterprise InllilUle Blasrs mUll OpenSoun:. Euha Dyson,"FC: Dyson, "FC: Rc: Enr.rprise Insritur. Open-Sown SofIWl~; Software,; 9 56. Esfher Dcc. 1998, I99S, wwv.cpoliu:chb",.com/p-oou8.hlml. Da:. WWW.poIilbbor.rom/p-OOlll.hrml. S7. See S. Adler,"The ElI"ca: An AnJij'sis Inlernel Pubiiationl; Lin"J! GQlCtU 57. So. AdIer,1be Swhdor Sbsbdor EIf<:cr. Analysis of Three Inr...-nel Publications; U"U c;..Ulle )S{tll99). )1 (1m). 5S. Boyle,"1s Suhjeeriviry SlIbjettiviry Possible The Post-Modem PollModern Subj1 58. See Sa: &yk,"h Pos.siblc-1lK Subject in Lrg.zllncory; lAgal Th<:ory; U""'tfllly U"'wrsiry lIf of c..l<mrJ1I Low L..... &view Rrvirw6. 4&9. ColonuI<> 61 (1991): +8959. Stt See Boyk,"A In!ellCC11.1al Property: Propcrry: En"ironmenl1liJm for the Ihe Nelr' O..kt Low t...w 59Boyk."A Polirics Policies of oflnreJkcrwJ Environrnocntalism forNa;" v..lor jo" ...,,147, no. I (<XI. (997)' 8,-u6. J"'''''w 47, no. 1(0"997): S7~1l6. 60. ~ Lessig. CoJt ",oJ Orhcr Othtr Lall~ o/Cybtr'lP"ft (Buit Books. Books, Im).1-S. (:..Jt """ LAII!S ojC,wnpe(B:u:ic 1999), 7-'. 6,. Infom11fion Soc:i.ry: Feud:llr' Tht C">k ~J""f Rrpert .... lilt lhe 1'Il.rllel (5q>r. (Sepr. 6r. Lrssig."An Lessig."An Infonnation Socirty: me Fret or Ftudl.l;" n.c C.,.,,\ lhr frtU'ntd .003),IOJ-4. :IOO}): rOa~4. 61. rondua.d online on On 10 M... 100S. 6:1. Se1n:h Sc:ut::b conduettd Ma. 1008. Mud/cr,"[nfoCommuniliml Ownership and Frtt<lom Freedom in rhe Digir:.li Economy, Economy: 6). See Sa: Milron Millon Mudltr, 'Info-CommunUim! Owll"flhip:and o:hc Digital 6}. Fim Firn A,'.. MO"'MY ,wJ '37 I), Apr. l008.lirsnnonday.otg/h.bin/cgiwraplbinlojs/inda.php/finJanidclvi"",l00S, ~mmonday.org/hrbinlcgiwt'1l'/bin/ojllindu.phl'/fm/mide/view. Anidc/lOSll/19S6. A"icleho5S!r956. 64. Sa:"Copyrighrs: Su"Copyrighr.: A A Radical Radinl Relhink; TIlt E,,,,,,,,,,isI, Erono,,,ilt, J))ln. www.eronomill.eom/ Rahink; 1&c 13pn. JOO), 100], ...-.onomill.comI 64 opinionldisplaySrory.cfm Isrory_id"'IS47H). opinion/dispL.)Sroq-.cfm!,rory _id", 154711365. ""Velcome ro Ud:mu.com: Udan.x.oom' En6bdic En~I.dic Hypencxl; www.ud.n:ur,cllm/. 65 Nelson, Ndson, .....'~ko"'" 10 Hypoerwxr: www.udanu.coml. 66. KoMn Kevin W~h. Werbach, Ope" Sptrlrllm, 71,. N.w \V'n'1aJ IVirrlm P~n>Jig,", I'~radig'!l, worit.ing working pap" p~per, Spectrum Speclrum sm..s Series Open Spec""",: The Ntw (New (N~w America Foundarion, Foundation, 100'), looa), werbleh,coll\/dOCl/n.w_wirelel'_I'.r~digm.hlm. ",..,duch.com/doa/n...._wi ..lcss_paradigm.hrm.. 61. Sec Miru.. Micah L. Sifry, ~fhe Rise Polilin: "llunlcs '!hanks 10 to Wm-S:",")' WebS~vvy Agiarors, Agilatorl, 67. So. l.. SifTy,lhc Ri... ofO~n-Soun:e ofOpcn.Soun:. Polilic,,: Insiderism and Elitism Elin.m A.e lind under Huvy AllOck: The 7111' Narr..n, Nmion, 11 Nov. 1004. He.av',. Arrack; Insiderism:uld 6S. Su Sec 'Open "Open Soun:" Source Joum:rlism; }our11.1Ii,l11: \Vik,~;", WikiJltdia. en.wikipedi.org/wiki/Opcn_.l<>un:.,Juulnllism. en.wikiptdia.orywiki/Opcn_lOun:e-Joumalum. 61. 69. See "Gilberro Gil Hun rh. FUlure, Righu Rcsawd.; Reserved; The Tht N.w Nrlt' Y"rk }ark s.:~ Larry L:rrry Rohr.r, RohIe', 'Gilbcrro He.ars the Furu.., Some Rights Tim... 11 ,",-ww.nyrimcs.rom/JOO?/o)!r t/lrlS/musk/llrohl.ht