packet switching

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pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell


barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

A growing number of networking experiments outside the United States had already begun to take shape, including two significant projects in France and Great Britain. Louis Pouzin, the computer scientist working for IRIA, was designing a packet-switched network called Cyclades; Donald Davies, the computer scientist at Great Britain’s NPL, had begun his packet-switching experiments in the mid-1960s. Additionally, several PTT national monopolies in Europe were evaluating packet-switching technology, and the European Common Market had asked Derek Barber from Britain’s NPL to direct the creation of a European Informatics Network. These researchers came together to pursue their shared objective: to design new network standards for a new era of digital, packet-switched communication. The network researchers assembled in Washington, D.C. in October 1972 – including Pouzin, Davies, Barber, and leaders of the Arpanet community – took advantage of the unprecedented occasion to form the International Network Working Group (INWG).

By the late 1970s, three competing communities of researchers – Arpanet engineers, telecommunications professionals in the ITU, and a loose alliance of American and European computer professionals – were seeking to establish their own designs as the definitive architecture for packet-switched networks. They would press on with the benefit of Pouzin’s insights but without the presence of the sage of datagrams himself. INWG member John Day summarized the significance of Pouzin’s technical work, suggesting that the conventional wisdom about the “invention” of packet-switching and internetworking is incomplete without reference to Pouzin and the young cohort of computer researchers whom he inspired: The real breakthrough in networking is not packet switching (Baran and Davies independently), but datagram packet switching (Pouzin). I have always found it somewhat interesting that every project Baran and Larry Roberts have been involved in since the ARPANet have been connection-oriented networks, not connectionless ones.

Rather, the principles of openness and consensus have international origins and global consequences. In Chapter 6, I describe a series of international collaborations in the 1970s among American, British, and French computer researchers who tried, and ultimately failed, to agree on a single design for packet-switched computer networks. Instead, the future of computer networking appeared to be on the verge of a battle between IBM’s proprietary System Network Architecture and public data networks based on the X.25 standard produced by the International Telecommunications Union. These foes proved to be too powerful for the packet-switched researchers. In 1976, the packet-switching research community splintered into two groups: one inspired by the French computer scientists Louis Pouzin and Hubert Zimmermann, and the other funded by the American Department of Defense and led by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn.

pages: 352 words: 96,532

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon


air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy

It was the first and only time the computers went down. The phone company executives’first reaction was to laugh. “I looked up in pain,” said Metcalfe, “and I caught them smiling, delighted that packet-switching was flaky. This I will never forget. It confirmed for them that circuit-switching technology was here to stay, and this packet-switching stuff was an unreliable toy that would never have much impact in the commercial world, and now they could go home to New Jersey. It was clear to me they were tangled up in the past.” Had they looked beyond the luckless Metcalfe and the failed demo, the AT&T executives would have seen the exuberance in other corners of the room. Not only did packet-switching work but it made wondrous things possible. Some of the most ingenious demonstrations involved English-language conversational programs. These were elaborate programs constructed to engage a user in a verbal dialogue with a machine.

In 1954 Davies won a fellowship to spend a year in the United States; part of that year, he was at MIT. He then returned to England, rose swiftly at the NPL, and in 1966, after describing his pioneering work on packet-switching, he was appointed head of the computer science division. The technical similarity between Davies’ and Baran’s work was striking. Not only were their ideas roughly parallel in concept, but by coincidence they had even chosen the same packet size and data-transmission rate. Independently, Davies also came up with a routing scheme that was adaptive, like Baran’s, but different in detail. There was just one major difference in their approaches. The motivation that led Davies to conceive of a packet-switching network had nothing to do with the military concerns that had driven Baran. Davies simply wanted to create a new public communications network.

Before settling on the word, he asked two linguists from a research team in his lab to confirm that there were cognates in other languages. When they reported back that it was a good choice, he fixed on it. Packet-switching. It was precise, economic, and very British. And it was far easier on the ear than Baran’s “distributed adaptive message block switching.” Davies met Baran for the first time several years later. He told Baran that he had been thoroughly embarrassed to hear of Baran’s work after he had finished his own, and then added, “Well, you may have got there first, but I got the name.” Mapping It Out In December 1966, when Larry Roberts arrived at the Pentagon, he knew Donald Davies from his trip to London the previous year, but didn’t know about Davies’ subsequent work in packet switching. And he had never heard the name Paul Baran. A few years earlier, Roberts had decided that computing was getting old and everything worth doing inside a computer had already been done.

pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler


Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, automated trading system, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buttonwood tree, Claude Shannon: information theory, Corn Laws, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Grace Hopper, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, packet switching, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, railway mania, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The best description is often attributed to Baran, but I don’t think he ever said it, in fact I’m not sure who did (I got it, appropriately, off the Internet), but it is revealing: "Packet switching is the breaking down of data into datagrams or packets that are labeled to indicate the origin and the destination of the information and the forwarding of these packets from one computer to another computer until the information arrives at its final destination computer. This was crucial to the realization of a computer network. If packets are lost at any given point, the message can be resent by the originator." So there you have it. If you could install a computer at various points in the circuit-switched phone network, it would become a packet-switched network, and would withstand not only broken links, but a full scale nu-cu-ler winter. Still a theory, though. Larry Roberts at MIT proposed a collection of computers hooked together via packet switching, which turned into ARPANET.

Payne eventually would go the entrepreneur route, and form Southampton Photonics Inc. in June 2000, a little late to be funding optical ventures. *** Oddly, WDM brought the communications industry full circle. Phone calls began on a circuit-switched network; you just took the whole voice signal and switched it from one wire to another to complete the call. Then packet switching came in, at first to prevent the vulnerability of a nuclear attack. But then packet switching took off, as the most efficient method to handle voice calls, data packets and the transport of Web pages. Packet switching is entirely electrical - a switch SOFTWARE AND NETWORKS 155 or router looks at the header of each packet and decides where to send it. But now with WDM, we are back to circuits. Going from electrical to optical penalizes both cost and speed. An all-optical network means keeping the signal optical as long as possible, until the very last minute when the information is needed.

One of the issues of the day was the idea that a nuclear blast (I’ve learned never to trust anyone that pronounces it nu-cu-ler) would wipe out the phone network and all communications lines and disable the command and control structure of U.S. defense. The president could order a launch, but if no one could get the message, what would be the use? In 1961, Leonard Kleinrock at MIT proposed a PhD thesis called “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets,” and this provided the theory and proof for packet switching, although it wasn’t called packet switching, not yet, and it was still a theory. The North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD was in charge of early warning and control. It didn’t want no stinking 144 HOW WE GOT HERE theories, it wanted something it could use. NORAD was nervous about being out of touch, especially with its command center dug into the mountains near Cheyenne. So the Air Force sprinkled money around for research on ways to resolve the vulnerability of communications networks, which were dependant on centralized phone switches.

pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters


Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

The result of Baran’s conversations was packet switching, a technology that broke messages into “packets,” which allowed digital “bursts” of data to be rerouted around damaged parts of a network—just as the brain can reroute neural impulses around damaged neural matter. Similarly, Baran’s observation was that, due to network effects, the brilliance of a distributed network, whether neural or national, is that it does not need each of the average eighty-six billion neurons in the human brain to connect to every other (and the number of possible connections between eighty-six billion neurons is so incomprehensibly large that the need for robust reconnection becomes obvious).42 Rather, attaching to a couple of other nodes allows a distributed packet-switched network to reroute in real time around damaged territory, whether neural or national.

With no such “competent organization” in sight and after spending six years aggressively publishing his network research internationally to ensure maximum circulation about how survivable communication networks could help ensure mutual deterrence, Baran despaired at the local prospects and turned his attention elsewhere.43 The popularity of the phrase packet switching, which was Davies’s term, and the obscurity of Baran’s initial coinage block switching are evidence that it took outside competition to spur local authorities to take packet switching seriously. The U.S. ARPANET, despite the efforts of its own network entrepreneurs, was inspired by foreign founders. To the degree that Stigler’s law of eponymy holds—“no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer” (a law that Stigler attributes with a grin to Robert Merton)—Baran’s case rehearses not the exception but the rule that international communication networks precede national computer networks.

Perhaps the cardinal mistake of the socialist imagination of technology is not to dream the celebrated dream of social justice but to bulldoze the rutted world of human relations with the private interest logics of the oikos (military, corporations, states, and individuals that seek only their own survival). The Soviet OGAS figured out the “why?” (socialist utopia) but not the “how?” for their large computer network projects, and researchers at the U.S. ARPANET knew the “how?” (packet-switching networks) but not the “why?” of modern networking. The Soviets’ missing “how?” lasted for the duration of the project, and the absence of the Western “why?” remains both its historical attraction and the contemporary challenge to computer network culture. The Western network “how?” has sped many unfinished attempts at answering the network “why?” The technical openness of packet-switching networks to diverse actors has afforded the Internet astonishing and well-documented successes of technical energy, commercial innovation, and cultural creativity. At the same time, the open-ended “why?”

pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson


Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture

All the switches in the world could never keep up. But with packet-switched data communications, collective computation scales gracefully as the number of processors (both electronic and biological) grows. Thanks to “hot-potato” routing algorithms, individual messages—the raw material from which intelligence is formed—are broken into smaller pieces, told where they are going but not how to get there, and reassembled after finding their own way to the destination address. Consensual protocols, running on all the processors in the net, maintain the appearance of robust connections between all the elements at once. The resulting free market for information and computational resources determines which connection pathways will be strengthened and which languish or die out. By the introduction of packet switching on an epidemic scale, the computational landscape is infiltrated by virtual circuitry, cultivating a haphazard, dendritic architecture reminiscent more of nature’s design than of our own.

We see the wires plugged into the wall and think of the architecture as constrained by the hardwired topology that the physical connection represents, whereas computationally, our machines belong to a diffuse, untethered cloud of the kind that Good envisioned as the basis of an ultraintelligent machine. All our networking protocols—packet switching, token ring, Ethernet, time-division multiplexing, asynchronous transfer mode, and so on—are simply a way of allowing hundreds of millions of individual processors to tune selectively to each others’ signals, free of interference, as they wish. Paul Baran, pioneer of packet switching, sees the relations between computers and communications advancing along similar, wireless lines. You can plug only so many things at one time into your wall. As everything from taxicabs to telephones to televisions to personal digital assistants becomes connected to the network, universal—and microminiature—wireless is the only way to disentangle the communications web.

Baran founded Com21, Inc., in 1991 to develop the ultrafast packet switches and strategic alliances necessary to deliver a broadband digital communication spectrum over coaxial cable to the home, with a fiber-optic backbone linking the head ends of the local tails. Among the various schemes offering to provide broadband network growth, hybrid fiber-coaxial offers the path of least resistance because much of the infrastructure already is in place. What to do with all this bandwidth is a different problem, but history has shown that as bandwidth becomes available, the digital ecology swiftly takes root and grows. Baran also founded (in 1985) a company named Metricom, better known by the name of its wireless network, Ricochet. A wireless, packet-switched, spread-spectrum digital communications network, Ricochet takes an extreme grassroots approach.

pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths


4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator

But from a packet-switching point of view, the phone wires are just a means to an end; the sender and receiver don’t actually care how the packets get delivered. The ability to operate agnostically over any number of diverse media would be packet switching’s great virtue. After early networks in the late ’60s and early ’70s, such as the ARPANET, proved the viability of the concept, networks of all types began sprouting across the country, doing packet switching not only over copper phone wires, but over satellites and over radio. In 2001, a group of computer scientists in the Norwegian city of Bergen briefly even implemented a packet-switching network over “Avian Carriers”—that is, packets written down on paper and tied to pigeons’ feet. Of course, packet switching would not be without its own problems. For starters, one of the first questions for any protocol, human or machine, is, quite simply: how do you know your messages are getting through?

“utter heresy”: Jacobson, “A New Way to Look at Networking.” “So little boy went away”: Kleinrock, “Computing Conversations.” would become known as packet switching: The term “packet switching” comes from Donald W. Davies of the National Physical Laboratory, another key contributor to packet switching research at the time. “a consensual illusion between the two endpoints”: Stuart Cheshire, personal interview, February 26, 2015. communications could survive a nuclear attack: Baran, “On Distributed Communications.” a growing network becomes a virtue: For elaboration on this point, and a broader reflection on the history of networking (including its current problems), see Jacobson, “A New Way to Look at Networking.” a packet-switching network over “Avian Carriers”: See Waitzman, A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers, Waitzman, IP Over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service, and Carpenter and Hinden, Adaptation of RFC 1149 for IPv6 for descriptions of the avian protocol, and see for details of the actual implementation performed in Bergen, Norway, on April 28, 2001.

In circuit-switched networks, a call fails if any one of its links gets disrupted—which means that reliability goes down exponentially as a network grows larger. In packet switching, on the other hand, the proliferation of paths in a growing network becomes a virtue: there are now that many more ways for data to flow, so the reliability of the network increases exponentially with its size. Still, as Van Jacobson tells it, even after packet switching was devised, the phone companies were unimpressed. “All the telco people said, with very loud voices, that’s not a network! That’s just a crummy way to use our network! You’re taking our wires, you’re sending on the paths that we create! And you’re putting a lot of extra gunk on it so that you use it really inefficiently.” But from a packet-switching point of view, the phone wires are just a means to an end; the sender and receiver don’t actually care how the packets get delivered.

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process

Davies's name for the scheme as a whole was "packet switching." From there, said Scantlebury, Davies and his group at Teddington had con- tinued to develop the packet-switching idea with computer simulations. They had even scraped together enough money to build a "one-node" network, con- sisting of a single Honeywell computer connected to a lot of terminals through a special interface. It wasn't much, admittedly. But it did demonstrate the switch- ing principle: you could type in text on one terminal and have it print out on any other terminal you specified. And that, explained Scantlebury, was the sad part of the story: the powers- that-be at the British Postal Service, which had absolute control over the U.K. telecommunications system, had flatly refused to fund Davies's vision of nation- wide packet switching. They couldn't even see the point of a demonstration.

The ICCC demonstration did what it was intended to do, which was make the world sit up and take notice of packet switching. It was what Metcalfe calls the Arpanet's debut-its coming-out party, its coming of age. "Up until that point you couldn't see it anywhere," says Kahn. "All you could do was read an arbitrary abstract paper somewhere that said, 'Here is this new way to do computer communications.' But ICCC was the watershed event that made people suddenly realize that packet switching was a real technology." DIASPORA Looking back on it, there were any number of ways that the Arpanet project could have failed. It could have been snuffed out by the Vietnam-era budget crunch before it even got started, as Pentagon officials scrounged for money high and low. It could have been crushed by the mainstream telecommunica- tions community, which saw packet switching as utterly wrongheaded at best 330 THE DREAM MACHINE and a competitor at worst.

Conversely, a commander in chief blessed with survivable com- mand and control could afford to wait it out, see what developed, and make some effort at a measured response. Indeed, Baran and his colleagues even advocated sharing the packet- switching technology with the Soviets, on the grounds that having survivable communica- tions on both sides would be the most stable configuration of all. THE INTERGALACTIC NETWORK 277 could see that the essence of Baran's network-packets, a decentralized architec- ture, computer routing-was the same as his. So why hadn't Baran's plan been adopted already? Because it was too far ahead of its time, apparently. AT&T engineers, most of whom had spent a life- time perfecting their circuit-switching network, found Baran's packet-switching concept ludicrous ("Son," Baran remembers one telling him with exaggerated patience, "this is how a telephone works. . ."). Worse, Pentagon politics dic- tated that the network would have had to be implemented by the newly orga- nized Defense Communications Agency, which was also staffed by old-line telephone engineers and which simply did not have the technical competence to pull it off.

pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler


Andy Kessler, Apple II, bioinformatics, British Empire, business intelligence, buy low sell high, call centre, Corn Laws, family office, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, interest rate swap, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition,, railway mania, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Toyota Production System

Larry Roberts at MIT proposed a collection of computers hooked together via packet switching.” “OK. But who invented packets?” I asked. “Paul Baran at Rand in Santa Monica gets a lot of credit for packets.” I know about Rand. It is a Santa Monica, California, think tank spun out of Douglas Aircraft after World War II. It’s still around. Packet Racket 185 “NORAD, you know, the North American Air Defense Command,” Kleinrock continued, “shoehorned in that mountain in Cheyenne, was worried about getting cut off from Washington, so the Air Force commissioned a study on how to resolve the vulnerability of communications networks. Baran wrote a paper in 1964 called ‘On Distributed Computing.’ It’s on the Web. You can find it.” “So that was the start of packet switching.” “Sort of. Baran describes standard message blocks and store and forward transmissions and hot potato routing.

The best description I’ve read goes something like this: “Packet switching is the breaking down of data into datagrams or packets that are labeled to indicate the origin and the destination of the information and the forwarding of these packets from one computer to another computer until the information arrives at its final destination computer. This is crucial to the realization of a computer network. If packets are lost at any given point, the message can be resent by the originator.” “So how did you get involved?” I asked. “Well, my thesis proposal at MIT back in 1961 was called ‘Information Flow in Large Communication Nets.’ So they got me involved,” Eddie, I mean Leonard, answered. “So, wait, 1961. It was you that invented packet switching.” “It was a lot of us.” “But what happened in 1969?” “Oh, right.

That is one of those six nine’s, or four to the right of the decimal point, or 99.9999% reliability. As the story goes, researcher Bob Metcalfe was in the middle of demonstrating the packet network when, like any good demo, it crashed. This put smiles on the faces of those 10 AT&T execu-humps, and they merrily skipped back to headquarters singing the stillbirth of packet switching. Of course, they were right for another 30 years, but packet switching would eventually be trouble for circuit-switched phone networks. Metcalfe got back at them. With the success of its new packet network, ARPA became “D for Defense” DARPA, to remind everyone it was your defense dollars at work, keeping communications alive in the event of a nuclear war. Bob Metcalfe moved from DARPA to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He was playing around with a bunch of new Xerox Alto workstations, trying to devise a fast network both to hook them together, and more importantly, to connect them to laser printers that Xerox was hoping to sell in large numbers.

pages: 290 words: 94,968

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - the First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage


Bill Duvall, British Empire, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, New Journalism, packet switching, place-making, Republic of Letters, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind

Taylor drew up a detailed plan for the network, proposing that it use a promising new theoretical approach called “packet switching.” Instead of connecting all the machines on the network directly to each other with leased across time and space and the do lines, this involved breaking data down into small, uniform “packets” that could be passed from one machine to another until they reached the appropriate destination. A computer could then talk to a distant machine via several intermediaries, without needing a direct connection. This approach would greatly reduce the number of leased lines needed to interconnect a given number of computers, and would also make efficient use of network capacity by interleaving traffic between multiple sources and destinations. Packet switching was originally proposed as a way to build networks that would keep working in the event of a nuclear attack, because when part of a packet-switching network is disabled, packets can simply be routed around the problem, finding another path to their destination.

Packet switching was originally proposed as a way to build networks that would keep working in the event of a nuclear attack, because when part of a packet-switching network is disabled, packets can simply be routed around the problem, finding another path to their destination. But given the cost and unreliability of network links and computer hardware in the 1960s, computer scientists realized that packet switching was also a good way to build reliable networks for general use. Taylor invited one hundred and forty companies to bid for the contract to build special interface boxes, called “Interface Message Processors” (IMPs), which would be plugged into computers at different sites and linked up by leased lines. Industry giants IBM, the biggest provider of mainframes, and AT&T, America’s telecoms monopoly, declined to bid. Rather than interconnecting and sharing separate computers, IBM imagined a future of ever-larger mainframes, with remote terminals connected by AT&T’s lines, as the best way to bring many users together.

By early December they had both been linked to a third IMP at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Stanford IMP had been connected to the fourth IMP at the University of Utah. The packet-switching system meant that users at each of the four sites could access any of the four connected computers, even when there was not a direct link between their carried out in thIQrespective IMPs. (Network traffic between UCLA and the University of Utah, for example, traveled via Stanford or Santa Barbara.) ARPANET was extended to the east coast in March 1970 and continued to grow as more computers, connected by more IMPs, were added to the network. In 1975, when ARPANET was declared fully operational, rather than being an experimental project, there were 57 IMPs, including one across the Atlantic in London. By 1981 there were 213 computers attached to the network, with another being added, on average, every twenty days. In January 1983 the packet-switching protocol used by the IMPs, known as NCP, was retired in favor of a more robust standard called TCP/IP, which had been developed by Robert E.

pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway


Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

“The launching of the sputniks told us,” wrote John Dunning for The New York Times Introduction 4 ration decided to create a computer network that was independent of centralized command and control, and would thus be able to withstand a nuclear attack that targets such centralized hubs. In August 1964, he published an eleven-volume memorandum for the Rand Corporation outlining his research.6 Baran’s network was based on a technology called packet-switching7 that allows messages to break themselves apart into small fragments. Each fragment, or packet, is able to find its own way to its destination. Once there, the packets reassemble to create the original message. In 1969, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) at the U.S. Department of Defense started the ARPAnet, the first network to use Baran’s packet-switching technology. The ARPAnet allowed academics to share resources and transfer files. In its early years, the ARPAnet (later renamed DARPAnet) existed unnoticed by the outside world, with only a few hundred participating computers, or “hosts.”

If we are indeed living in a post-industrial, postmodern, postdemocratic society, how does one account for political agency in situations in which agency appears to be either caught in networks of power or distributed across multiple agencies? By looking closely and carefully at the technical specifications of TCP/IP and DNS, Protocol suggests that power relations are in the process of being transformed in a way that is resonant with the flexibility and constraints of information technology. The Internet is not simply “open” or “closed” but above all a form that is modulated. The very concept of packet-switching demonstrates this on several levels, from the efficiency standards of routing during a download, to the ways in which each individual datagram is tagged for delivery to your email account or hard drive. Information does flow, but it does so in a highly regulated manner. This dual property (regulated flow) is central to Protocol’s analysis of the Internet as a political technology. Isomorphic Biopolitics As a final comment, it is worthwhile to note that the concept of “protocol” is related to a biopolitical production, a production of the possibility for experience in control societies.

The term protocol is most known today in its military context, as a method of correct behavior under a given chain of command. On the Internet, the meaning of protocol is slightly different. In fact, the reason why the Internet would withstand nuclear attack is precisely because its internal protocols are the enemy of bureaucracy, of rigid hierarchy, and of centralization. As I show in this chapter, the material substrate of network protocols is highly flexible, distributed, and resistive of hierarchy. The packet-switching technologies behind the Internet provided a very different “solution” to nuclear attack than did common military protocol during the Cold War. For example, in 1958 the Royal Canadian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force entered into agreement under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is a radar surveillance system ringing North America that provides early warnings of missile or other air attacks against Canada and the United States.

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

The third problem Roberts faced was how to link together all the computer systems, which came from different manufacturers and used many varieties of operating software that had taken several years to develop. Enough was known about the software crisis at this stage to want to avoid the extensive rewriting of operating systems. Unknown to Roberts, a solution to the first two problems had already been invented. Known as “store-and-forward packet switching,” the idea was first put forward by Paul Baran of the RAND Corporation in 1961 and was independently reinvented in 1965 at the National Physical Laboratory in England by Donald Davies, who coined the term packet switching. Davies recognized the packet-switching concept to be similar to an older telegraph technology. In telegraph networks, engineers had already solved the problem of how to avoid having every city connected to every other. Connectivity was achieved by using a number of switching centers located in major cities.

In the 1930s these manual switching centers were mechanized in “torn-tape offices,” where incoming messages were automatically recorded on perforated paper tape and then retransmitted mechanically. In the 1960s the same functions were being computerized using disk stores instead of paper tape as the storage medium. Store-and-forward packet switching was a simple elaboration of these old telegraph ideas. Instead of having every computer connected to every other, store-and-forward technology would be used to route messages through the network; there would be a single “backbone” communications line that connected the computers together, with other connections being added as the need arose. Packet-switching technology addressed the problem of making economic use of the high-speed communications lines. So that a single user did not monopolize a line, data would be shuttled around the network in packets. A packet was rather like a short telegram, with each packet having the address of the destination.

The computers that acted as the switching centers—called nodes in the Arpanet—would simply receive packets and pass them along to the next node on the route toward the destination. The computer at the destination would be responsible for reconstituting the original message from the packets. In effect, by enabling many users to share a communications line simultaneously, packet switching did for telecommunications what time-sharing had done for computing. All of this was unknown to Roberts until he attended an international meeting of computer network researchers in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in October 1967. There he learned of the packet-switching concept from one of Donald Davies’s English colleagues. He later described this as a kind of revelation: “Suddenly I learned how to route packets.” The final problem that remained for Roberts was how to avoid the horrendous software problems of getting the different computers to handle the network traffic.

Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace by Michelle Slatalla, Joshua Quittner


dumpster diving, East Village, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, job automation, packet switching, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Review

It's the talk of the hacker elite: Phiber Optik got into a feud with Erik Bloodaxe, and to hear Erik Bloodaxe tell it, Phiber Optik lost. Here's how it happened. One day in 1989, while Chris is working on his big hacker project, a directory of the computers on a large data network known as Telenet, the phone rings. The caller is LOD member Mark Abene, up in New York City. Mark is really upset. His account on the NYNEX Packet Switched Network was killed. Can you imagine? Phiber Optik without access to the NYNEX Packet Switched Network. It was like James Dean without a motorcycle. Mark desperately wants to get back in the system, and knows that Chris has a secret route to the computer. Mark asks for it. Now, Chris knows Mark has access to a list of addresses of certain phone company computers that you can reach over Telenet, Chris wants to include those addresses in his directory.

He's intuitively hacking out the most complex programs and commands you can imagine. He's learning new things, going new places every day. By himself. He's the dude. The funny thing about Phiber is, he's so far into the phone system that when he wants to hit a switch, he does it the hard way. He doesn't just dial the switch in question and connect. No, he logs in through something called the NYNEX Packet Switched Network. This network of computers is much more potent than any single switch. In fact, this network ties together every switch in the New York-New England telephone region. Each is one pearl on the necklace and Phiber has his hands on the clasp. But, ironically, he has never possessed a single specific phone number for any one of the switches. Of course, he hasn't exactly been lusting for one.

As they log into the Laurelton switch to start exploring, he describes every command they're typing even the commands they already know in precise, easy-tounderstand language. He knows everything. And Mark is just as excited by this session as they are, because he senses that finally he's met two other hackers who can ride at his pace. For his part, Mark will always think of this evening as "a meeting of the minds. " They forgot who they were, and where they were, and thought only about where they were headed. Mark has shown them how to use the NYNEX Packet Switched Network to jump off into other switches as well, and tonight they traipse around in the Hollis switch system for a while. In earlier phone conversations, Mark has told them different ways he's found to get into phone company computers, and Paul took it all in. So tonight Mark never has to repeat a phone number, never has to explain the meaning of a command to Paul. Mark types it and Paul absorbs it, because the progression of commands on the monitor is distinctly logical.

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini


Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

Davies, a colleague of Scantleburry's at NPL, in a seminar on time-sharing at MIT in 1965 and had discussed with him and Licklider "networking and the inadequacy of data communication facilities for both time-sharing and networking" (Roberts 1988, 144). After Scantleburry's presentation, Roberts had a discussion with him and considered his suggestion that "packet switching offered a solution to his problem" (Norberg and O'Neill 1996, 166). After his return to Washing- ton, Roberts read Baran's reports on packet switching and initiated contact with him. S In June 1968, Roberts described the ARPANET as a demonstration of the kind of distributed network recommended by Baran in his study. During the winter and spring of 1968, Roberts contracted Elmer Shapiro at SRI, who was only distantly associated with the ARC laboratory, to study the "design and specifications of a computer network."

And finally, the stand-alone workstations of the pre- vious phase are connected into a network. Such a way to describe the evolution of computing focuses on the specific characteristics of the computer at a given time and usually puts the emphasis on a technological innovation that allowed the passage from one phase to the next: the time-sharing operating system, for example, the desktop meta phor of the human-computer interface, or packet switching network technologies. 1 While these innovations obviously contributed greatly to shaping the history of computing, the dynamic of personalization that characterizes the evolution of computing since the late 1940'S played an equally important role. I describe the progressive construction of the user as a person, or, what sometimes amounted to the same thing, how the computer eventually got a personality.

Licklider proposed a network linking the IPTO contractor sites, the main purpose of the network was to be resource sharing, since Licklider and Taylor were concerned about the costs of the multiplication of the infrastruc- ture investments funded by their office (Norberg and O'Neill 1996, 163). This contradicts the often-stated myth of its origin that claims the u.s. Department of Defense wanted a computer network reliable and robust enough to survive a nuclear attack. The effort to achieve the efficiencies of resource sharing drew on technology that made it possible to carry data on leased dedicated phone lines. That technology was packet switching. Robert Taylor had enrolled Larry Roberts to take charge of the ARPANET project, and Roberts started at the IPTO in December 1966, as Taylor's assis- tant director. At the IPTO contractors' meeting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in April 1967, Wes Clark had proposed to organize the network around small computers interfacing the main computer at each site to the com- munication network (Salus 1995,20-21; Hafner and Lyon 1996,72-74).

pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power


air freight, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, double helix, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

In the early 1960s, American computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Paul Baran of the Rand Corporation, and, later, Britain’s Donald Davies, a physician at the UK’s National Physical Library in Teddington, independently conceived of the same way to send data around a telephone network efficiently by splitting it into chunks and routing it through nodes around the network to later arrive, reassembled, in the right place. These deliberate first steps towards cyberspace had a greater impact on the history of mankind than the simple stroll on a rock high above our heads two years later. This ‘packet-switching’ concept was to become the central structure in international telecommunications and, later, data networks. Four months after the moon landing, on 29 October 1969, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the world’s first packet-switching data network, consisting of four computers in separate university sites, jumped into life. The first message ever sent was meant to say ‘login’, but the system crashed, and the first word ever sent from one computer to another was the accidentally portentous ‘Lo’.

ARPANET is often described as the birth of the internet, and is equally often reported to have been designed to survive a thermonuclear strike, meaning that if one node or cell of the network were destroyed, the others would gather the digital slack and reroute the information around the surviving nodes. However, the aim of ARPANET was not to preserve national security in the event of warfare, but to allow university researchers separated by geography to share information; the net’s roots were indisputably collaborative and altruistic. Its technological cornerstone – the packet-switching network – underpinned all the later digital developments that would enable the reeling madness and quotidian mundanity that comprises a day online today – a day that includes buying groceries, paying bills, sharing photos and ideas, updating the world on your latest hairstyle choices, and, for many more people than is currently acknowledged, talking about and buying drugs. Few involved in the early days of the internet could ever have imagined how central to billions of people’s lives it was to become, but some of them dreamed of it.

Wikipedia soon became an essential resource for those looking for information about new drugs, and the site started publishing entries on the drugs along with their Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) numbers – the unique identifying code that serves as a chemical Dewey Decimal system. With this information, would-be vendors or users could easily find chemical firms that carried the compounds they wanted. In 2003 MySpace opened the web to a whole generation of teenagers, to whom the concepts of packet-switching were as alien as the concept of not using the net as their first port of call for entertainment or communication. The site, with its super-vernacular design, clumsy layouts and clashing colours, was as riotous and impenetrable as any poster-adorned bedroom wall of previous eras. It wasn’t until late 2004 that the phrase Web 2.0 was officially coined by technologist Tim O’Reilly, who correctly identified the future of the web – it would become a model driven by user-generated content, mass collaboration, global sharing and cross-border participation.2 That year, The Facebook, a web version of the college yearbook popular at American universities, launched.

pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo


Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, market bubble, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

So Baran expected a friendly reception. After all, he’d be telling a bunch of men with a uranium death sentence that he’d found a way to get them off the Soviet target plan. His new “mesh” network would mean that bombing AT&T would be largely pointless. It wouldn’t blind U.S. commanders. If only they’d redesign their network, the AT&T engineers might save their own lives. They thought he was insane. “I tried to explain packet switching to a senior telephone company executive. In midsentence he interrupted me,” Baran recalled. “The old analog engineer looked stunned. He looked at his colleagues in the room while his eyeballs rolled up, sending a signal of his utter disbelief. He paused for a while, and then said, ‘Son, here’s how a telephone works.’” Of course Paul Baran knew how a telephone worked. You jacked one point to a switch to another point.

Other scientists had been chasing the idea as well, but the design suited Baran’s problem particularly well: a network with no central control, survivable, uncuttable. The earliest large network built on Baran’s principles became known as ARPANET, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network—a mesh of connections that even today serves as the backbone for parts of the Internet. Even with the risk of nuclear war hopefully long gone, packet-switching designs of one sort or another still account for most of the data moving in the world. Think of how true an idea must be to endure more than fifty years of technological change. And all the efficiencies Baran first predicted fifty years ago are still at work. Every time you make a call, share a video, or ask a machine to think for you, that transaction likely takes place through fishnet-routed packets.

Data flows could be monitored with the ease of watching a subway turnstile. The far-flung, wild creativity of our plug-and-play, connected world would be stifled. Each additional connection to the system would demand bureaucratic, centralized approval by the Switch Despots, concerned more with their own power than with our survival. Instead we have a slice-resistant mesh that has grown a billion times over, with its original architecture largely intact. Packet-switched systems such as the Internet give anyone with some string and an ability to tie knots (which, in techno-speak, is anyone with some blinking fiber-optic cables and a TCP/IP connection) the power to weave themselves into the global web. This is why you can so easily turn on your phone or tablet and more or less instantly touch a whole world of data. Every minute now, an additional ten thousand devices get connected to the Internet—not just wired citizens, smartphones, laptops, and tablets but also medical tools, Bitcoin mines, and airplane diagnostic systems.

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson


airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize

A few years later, the Welsh computer scientist Donald Davies hit upon a similar scheme, independent of Baran. He anointed the message fragments with the slightly more Anglo name of “packets,” and the general approach “packet switching.” The metaphors stuck. Today, the vast majority of data circling around the globe comes in the form of message fragments that we still call packets. Years after both Baran and Davies had published their seminal papers, Davies jokingly said to Baran, “Well, you may have got there first, but I got the name.” In the late 1960s, packet switching became the foundation of ARPANET, the research network that laid the groundwork for the Internet. The ARPANET design relied on several radical principles that broke with existing computing paradigms. ARPANET was what we would now call a peer-to-peer network, as opposed to a client-server or mainframe-terminal network.

See also 311 system open exchange of information collaboration, 29, 118, 140, 190–192, 209, 213 as defining feature of Internet, 119 in human prehistory, 209 incentives for, 138–140, 190–192 information productivity, 92–95 inhibition by patents, 129–131, 138 in peer networks, 26, 92, 131 positive outcomes, 24–25, 49–50, 121–122 in Renaissance trading towns, 27–28 in social architecture of Web, 47 undesirable consequences, 109–114, 120, 121, 122 Orteig Prize, 147–148 packet switching, 13–14 Page, Scott E., 98 paleolithic-era social networks, 208–209 patents decline in U.S. share, 184 disallowance of, in prize-backed challenges, 129, 135, 138–140 in industrial capitalism, 129–131 versus normal market forces, 137 peer progressive views on, 130–131, 132, 137–138 peer-to-patent review process, 132–133 on pharmaceuticals, 136–138 in profit incentive, 136–137 Paul, Ron, 202, 207 peer networks.

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The second revolutionary aspect of Baran’s survivable system was its method for communicating information from computer to computer. Rather than sending a single message, Baran’s new system broke up this content into many digital pieces, flooding the network with what he called “message blocks,” which would travel arbitrarily across its many nodes and be reassembled by the receiving computer into readable form. Coined as “packet switching” by Donald Davies, a government-funded information scientist at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory, who had serendipitously been working on a remarkably similar set of ideas, the technology was driven by a process Baran called “hot potato routing,” which rapidly sent packets of information from node to node, guaranteeing the security of the message from spies. “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us,” McLuhan said.

We already know how to do it,” Taylor promised. “Great idea,” Herzfeld said. “Get it going. You’ve got a million dollars more in your budget right now. Go.”30 And Taylor did indeed get it going. He assembled a team of engineers including Paul Baran and Wesley Clark, the programmer who had gotten J. C. R. Licklider hooked on the TX-2 computer back in the fifties. Relying on Baran’s distributed packet-switching technology, the team developed a plan to develop a trial network of four sites—UCLA, Stanford Research Institute (SRI), the University of Utah, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were linked together by something called an Interface Message Processor (IMP), which today we call routers—those little boxes with blinking lights that connect up the networked devices in our homes.

“Not true,” Taylor interrupted, insisting that the “Internet’s roots” lay with the ARPANET.31 Both Taylor and Kahn are, in a sense, correct. The Internet would never have been built without ARPANET. Growing from its four original IMPs in 1969, it reached 29 by 1972, 57 by 1975, and 213 IMPs by 1981 before it was shut down and replaced as the Internet’s backbone by the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) in 1985. But the problem was that ARPANET’s success led to the creation of other packet-switching networks—such as the commercial TELENET, the French CYCLADES, the radio-based PRNET, and the satellite network SATNET—which complicated internetworked communication. So Kahn was right. ARPANET wasn’t the Internet. And he was right, too, about TCP/IP, the two protocols that finally realized Licklider’s dream of an intergalactic computer network. Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf met at UCLA in 1970 while working on the ARPANET project.

pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton


1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk,, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

The standards wars of this era divided phone companies, which preferred a system that would support discrete circuits between one sender and receiver, like older telephony networks, versus many computing companies, such as IBM, which lobbied hard for packet switching technologies that could treat all messages (e.g., voice, data, image) as recombinant bits flowing over whatever future hardware that could connect with the network. The models of communication (equally technical and social) posed by both options contain profound downstream implications for the geopolitics of an information society. A polity of circuits and a polity of packets are in epistemological and functional opposition. For the circuit model, its stack is a bounded utility for which use is metered by monopolistic caretakers who, by guaranteeing the circuit between sender and receiver, retain de facto sovereignty over the channel. For the packet switching model, at least in the minds of Cerf's group, the platform would prioritize the edges of the network, asking them to do more of the work to reassemble transmitted packets and calculate the content of messages.

We appreciate the role of railroads, telegraphy, and telephony networks as the infrastructure of globalization, and their speed for the acceleration of the modernities of space and time, but perhaps we underappreciate the metastructuring importance of mundane anonymous standards to turn isolated mechanical inventions into infrastructural innovations (e.g., railroad gauges and spike lengths, timetable templates, the semiotics of graphical interface feedback conventions, transmission line materials, arbitrary telegraphic languages, packet-switching protocols, country codes and area codes, the fixed numeration of money itself, and so on). The centrifugal standardization of how individual components interrelate and assemble into higher-order systems, whether physical or informational, is as important as what any part or component may be. This is how platforms can scale up. To engineer systems that coordinate the shuttling of units from one point to another with efficiency, adaptability, and flexibility is to compose within the rules laid down by other systems, larger and smaller, with which interaction is required.

For example, the formal urban grid in a major city is for the most part rigid and inflexible, but precisely because of this linear and universally authoritarian topography, it affords both maximum tumult of dynamic horizontal interchange in the street plan as well as vertical recombinant programmatic complexity in the skyscrapers that pop up in each of its cells (more on this in the City layer chapter).8 Similarly, it is the legal and practical standard size of the humble paper envelope that makes it possible for it to shuttle messages both discrete and discreet; like the urban grid, the envelope's power is in its dumbness. In the 1970s as the world's cities began to more fully merge into the networked hierarchies of today with the widespread standardization of very-large-scale envelopes, made of steel instead of paper, in the form of fixed proportion and attribute shipping containers. Containerization migrated the packet switching from telecommunications onto the transit of physical objects (or perhaps the other way around). It traded the standardized, linear traffic program of the grounded asphalt grid for another, now smoothed into liquid shipping lanes, pacing big packets of objects back and forth across the avenues of oceans. 10.  How Platforms Work Platforms centralize and decentralize at once, drawing many actors into a common infrastructure.

pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells


Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl

Furthermore, the extraordinary increase of transmission capacity with broadband communication technology provided the opportunity to use the Internet, or Internet-related communication technologies, to transmit voice, as well as data, through packet switching, thus revolutionizing telecommunications – and the telecommunications industry. According to Vinton Cerf, “Today you go through a circuit switch to get a packet switch. Tomorrow you’ll go through a packet switch to get a circuit switch.”55 In another technological vision, Cerf asserted that “during the latter half of the next decade – that is around 2005–2010 – there will be a new (technological) driver: billions of devices attached to the Internet.”56 So, ultimately, the communications network will be packet switched, with data transmission accounting for the overwhelming share of traffic, and voice transmission being but one, specialized service.

When in the late 1950s the launching of the first Sputnik alarmed the American high-tech military establishment, ARPA undertook a number of bold initiatives, some of which changed the history of technology and ushered in the Information Age on a grand scale. One of these strategies, developing an idea conceived by Paul Baran at Rand Corporation in 1960–4, was to design a communications system invulnerable to nuclear attack. Based on packet-switching communication technology, the system made the network independent of command and control centers, so that message units would find their own routes along the network, being reassembled in coherent meaning at any point in the network. When, later on, digital technology allowed the packaging of all kind of messages, including sound, images, and data, a network was formed that was able to communicate its nodes without using control centers.

Furthermore, in terms of technological system, one element cannot be imagined without the other: computers are largely determined by chip power, and both the design and the parallel processing of microprocessors depend on computer architecture. Telecommunications is now but one form of processing information; transmission and linkage technologies are at the same time increasingly diversified and integrated into the same network, operated by computers.90 As I analyzed above, the development of the Internet is reversing the relationship between circuit switching and packet switching in communication technologies, so that data transmission becomes the predominant, universal form of communication. And data transmission is based on software instructions of coding and decoding. Technological convergence increasingly extends to growing interdependence between the biological and micro-electronics revolutions, both materially and methodologically. Thus, decisive advances in biological research, such as the identification of human genes or segments of human DNA, can only proceed because of massive computing power.91 Nanotechnology may allow sending tiny microprocessors into the systems of living organisms, including humans.92 On the other hand, the use of biological materials in micro-electronics, although still very far from a generalized application, was already at the experimentation stage in the late 1990s.

pages: 319 words: 89,477

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, Elon Musk,, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

The second key technological innovation involved the introduction of standards for packet-switched networks. Previous generations of communication networks had involved circuit switching. In these earlier networks, any communication required the establishment of a dedicated circuit across the parties that wanted to communicate. This circuit would be completely dedicated to the parties involved until they were finished communicating, even if the circuit did not have a lot of traffic at specific points in time. In contrast, packet-switched networks, enabled by digital technology, broke down longer communications into discrete packets of data that could be sent across shared networks. This represented a far more efficient use of network capacity. Although the concept of packet switching as an alternative technology for communicating had emerged in the early 1960s, it was not until the mid-1970s that researchers began to define the TCP/IP standard (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) that ultimately provided a foundation for connecting a wide variety of digital networks together.

pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson


airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

., where you’ve got thousands of miles of nearly empty interstate highways and railroad lines and huge chunks of rolling stock to carry stuff around. The latter approach works in a place like Shanghai. The same problems of distribution arise in computer networks. As networks get bigger and as the machines that make them up become more equal, the whole approach to moving information around changes from centralized to distributed. The packet-switching system that makes things like the Internet work would be immediately familiar to the Chinese. Instead of requisitioning a hunk of optical fiber between Point A and Point B and slamming the data down it in one big shipment, the packet data network breaks the data down into tiny pieces and sends them out separately, just as a Chinese enterprise might break a large shipment down into small pieces and send each one out on a separate bicycle, knowing that each one might take a different route but that they’d all get there eventually.

Gao, bless him, was the only government official who would talk to me the whole trip—the PRC was still pissed off at the Great Hegemon (as they now call the U.S.) about that incident in the Persian Gulf a few months back when our guys stopped and boarded a Chinese freighter allegedly full of chemical warfare ingredients. They found nothing. Gao calmly rattled off a fairly staggering list of statistics on how rapidly the phone system there is growing—half to three-quarters of a million lines added per year for the foreseeable future. All of their local exchanges are webbed together with fiber, and they’re running fiber down the coast toward Shenzhen. They’re setting up packet-switching networks for their customers who want them—banks, import/export houses, and the like. The cellular and CT2 networks are also growing as rapidly as technology allows. He buys scads of high-bandwidth technology from the West and is actually trying to set up a sort of clearinghouse near Shanghai where Western manufacturers could gain access to the potentially stupendous Chinese market through a single point, instead of having to traffic separately with each regional PTA.

And unlike the ones who built FLAG, they will have the benefit of knowing about the Internet, and perhaps of understanding, at some level, that they are not merely stringing fancy telephone lines but laying down new traces on the circuit board of The Computer. That understanding may lead them to create vast amounts of bandwidth that would blow the minds of the entrenched telecrats and to adopt business models designed around packet-switching instead of the circuits that the telecrats are stuck on. If the network is The Computer, then its motherboard is the crust of Planet Earth. This may be the single biggest drag on the growth of The Computer, because Mother Earth was not designed to be a motherboard. There is too much water and not enough dirt. Water favors a few companies that know how to lay cable and have the ships to do it.

pages: 247 words: 62,845

VoIP Telephony with Asterisk by Unknown


call centre, Debian, failed state, framing effect, packet switching, telemarketer

Asterisk can be used for many things and has features includin Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Voicemail Services with Directory Conferencing Server Packet Voice Server Encryption of Telephone or Fax Calls Heterogeneous Voice over IP gateway (H.323, SIP, MGCP, IAX) Custom Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system Soft switch Number Translation Calling Card Server Predictive Dialer Call Queueing with Remote Agents Gateway and Aggregation for Legacy PBX systems Remote Office or User Telephone Services PBX long distance Gateway Telemarketing Block Standalone Voicemail System Many of the world's largest telephone companies have committed to replacing their existing circuit switched systems with packet switched voice over IP systems. Many phone companies are alread transporting a significant portion of their traffic with IP. Many calls made over telephone compan equipment are already being transported with IP. Packet switched voice over IP systems are in principle as efficient as a synchronous circuit switched systems, but only recently have they had the potential to achieve the same level of reliability as the public switched telephone network or proprietaryPBX equipment. With the invention and implementation of RTP (real time protocol) and SIP (session initiation protocol,) voice over IP has the technological base to obsolete the circuit switched public switched telephone network.

pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler


23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, disintermediation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine,, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Yogi Berra

But really, they’re just political entrepreneurs. Big whoop. They are successful with their hands in my pocket. Not a stitch of productivity to be found. Moguls are not Free Radicals. AND THEN THE Internet came along. Oops. Move along—no scarcity here. Cisco routers, and all the other packet-switching network equipment composing the Internet cloud ending up at that broadband router in your basement, send packets of data around to wherever folks want them—no moguls needed. Market entrepreneurs used the chaos of that packet switching to deliver text and pictures to Web sites or phones or even TVs. Then bandwidth got cheap enough to move music around too, shattering the record labels’ control of distribution. And now as bandwidth gets even cheaper and more plentiful, video starts to move around this wild packet network.

pages: 263 words: 75,610

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

Amazon:, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, full text search, George Akerlof, information retrieval, information trail, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, moveable type in China, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, RFID, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Market for Lemons, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Vannevar Bush

By 2008, more than 330 million people had broadband connections, receiving in excess of 100,000 bytes per second.35 To achieve such a staggering 15-fold increase, connection speeds must have doubled roughly every fifteen months, thus outpacing the already phenomenal growth of both processing power and storage capacity. At the same time, monthly connection fees have remained relatively flat, resulting in an equally amazing decrease in communication costs. Moreover, because almost all broadband connections are offered for a flat monthly fee, they create a further economic incentive for users to maximize utilization of the network. Three drivers have facilitated this development. The first is the packet-switched structure of the Internet. Unlike the telephone system, which directly connects two communication parties, information on the Internet travels in small information packets that find the fastest way from sender to recipient independently of each other. This leads to a much better utilization of the available network infrastructure. Second, a huge amount of fiber optic cable ideal for broadband connections has been laid.

See meta-information Microsoft, 6, 8, 50, 51, 159, 176–78, 179 Miller, Arthur, 11, 100 misinterpretation: danger of, 90 Moore, Gordon, 63–64 Moore’s law, 64 MyLifeBits, 50–51 MySpace, 1, 2, 84, 102, 131 Negroponte, Nicholas, 53 network: fiber optic, 80–81 global, 79 social, 84 network externalities, 85 neurons, 16–17 newspapers. See periodicals Nissenbaum, Helen, 142 noise, 53–55, 60 Nozick, Robert, 91 Nye, Joseph, 98 online travel sites, 8 Orbitz, 8 original, 34, 56 Orkut, 2 Orwell, George, 120–21 packet-switching, 80 page numbers, 73–74 painting, 29 advantages and disadvantages of, 30–31 Palfrey, John 3, 130 panopticon, 11–12, 111–12, 165, 197 spatial, 111–12 temporal, 111–12 paper, 39–42 cost of, 39–42 papyri, 33 peer-production. See information: peer-production of penny press, 41 perfect memory, 4, 5 benefits of, 10 chilling effect of, 5, 12 periodicals, 41, 42, 43–44 Pew Research, 3 photography, 46–47 pixel, 54, 55, 57 Plato, 28 printing press, 37 privacy, 11, 135, 137.

pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles


call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

From the alien?" The cat, claws extended, delicately picks its way down to her lap and waits to be held and stroked. It never once takes its eyes off him. "Where else?" she asks. "Doctor, I didn't get the Franklin Trust to loan me the wherewithal to build this castle just in return for some legal paperwork, and some, ah, interesting legal waivers from Brussels. We've known for years there's a whole alien packet-switching network out there, and we're just getting spillover from some of their routers. It turns out there's a node not far away from here, in real space. Helium-three, separate jurisdictions, heavy industrialization on Io – there is a purpose to all this activity." Sadeq licks his suddenly dry lips. "You're going to narrowcast a reply?" "No, much better than that: we're going to visit them. Cut the delay cycle down to real-time.

"A network of point-to-point wormholes linking routers, self-replicating communication hubs, in orbit around most of the brown dwarfs of the galaxy. That's what the brochure said, right? That's what we expected. Limited bandwidth, not a lot of use to a mature superintelligence that has converted the free mass of its birth solar system into computronium, but sufficient to allow it to hold conversations with its neighbors. Conversations carried out via a packet-switched network in real time, not limited by the speed of light, but bound together by a common reference frame and the latency between network hops." "That's about the size of it," she agrees from the carved-ruby throne beside him. "Except there's a trade delegation waiting for us. In fact, they're coming aboard already. And I don't buy it – something about the whole setup stinks." Pierre's brow wrinkles.

But in only about ten gigaseconds, the infestation has turned the dead brown dwarf system upside down. They strip-mined the chilly planets to make environments suitable for their own variety of carbon life. They rearranged moons, building massive structures the size of asteroids. They ripped wormhole endpoints free of the routers and turned them into their own crude point-to-point network, learned how to generate new wormholes, then ran their own packet-switched polities over them. Wormhole traffic now supports an ever-expanding mesh of interstellar human commerce, but always in the darkness between the lit stars and the strange, metal-depleted dwarfs with the suspiciously low-entropy radiation. The sheer temerity of the project is mind-boggling: notwithstanding that canned apes are simply not suited to life in the interstellar void, especially in orbit around a brown dwarf whose planets make Pluto seem like a tropical paradise, they've taken over the whole damn system.

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier


3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism,, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

They broke up and reconciled repeatedly, and were perpetually on the verge of presenting the ultimate software project, Xanadu, in some formulation, which would have been remembered as the first implementation of the Web, or perhaps even the Internet itself. To be clear, the key technical insight that allowed networking to become decentralized and scale was packet switching, and that insight did not arise from Ted Nelson or the Xanadu project. Instead it arose just a little later than Ted’s earliest work, from the very different world of elite universities, government labs, and military research funding. However, at least the functionality of something like packet switching is foreseen in Ted’s early thinking. Ted published outrageous books. One was a big floppy book composed of montages of nearly indecipherable small print snippets flung in all directions, called Computer Lib/Dream Machines. If you turned it one way and started reading, it was what Che would have been reading in the jungle if he had been a computer nerd.

., 75, 91, 266–67 New York Times, 109 Nobel Prize, 40, 118, 143n nodes, network, 156, 227, 230, 241–43, 350 “no free lunch” principle, 55–56, 59–60 nondeterministic music, 23n nonlinear solutions, 149–50 nonprofit share sites, 59n, 94–95 nostalgia, 129–32 NRO, 199–200 nuclear power, 133 nuclear weapons, 127, 296 nursing, 97–100, 123, 296n nursing homes, 97–100, 269 Obama, Barack, 79, 100 “Obamacare,” 100n obsolescence, 89, 95 oil resources, 43, 133 online stores, 171 Ono, Yoko, 212 ontologies, 124n, 196 open-source applications, 206, 207, 272, 310–11 optical illusions, 121 optimism, 32–35, 45, 130, 138–40, 218, 230n, 295 optimization, 144–47, 148, 153, 154–55, 167, 202, 203 Oracle, 265 Orbitz, 63, 64, 65 organ donors, 190, 191 ouroboros, 154 outcomes, economic, 40–41, 144–45 outsourcing, 177–78, 185 Owens, Buck, 256 packet switching, 228–29 Palmer, Amanda, 186–87 Pandora, 192 panopticons, 308 papacy, 190 paper money, 34n parallel computers, 147–48, 149, 151 paranoia, 309 Parrish, Maxfield, 214 particle interactions, 196 party machines, 202 Pascal, Blaise, 132, 139 Pascal’s Wager, 139 passwords, 307, 309 “past-oriented money,” 29–31, 35, 284–85 patterns, information, 178, 183, 184, 188–89 Paul, Ron, 33n Pauli exclusion principle, 181, 202 PayPal, 60, 93, 326 peasants, 565 pensions, 95, 99 Perestroika (Kushner), 165 “perfect investments,” 59–67, 77–78 performances, musical, 47–48, 51, 186–87, 253 perpetual motion, 55 Persian Gulf, 86 personal computers (PCs), 158, 182n, 214, 223, 229 personal information systems, 110, 312–16, 317 Pfizer, 265 pharmaceuticals industry, 66–67, 100–106, 123, 136, 203 philanthropy, 117 photography, 53, 89n, 92, 94, 309–11, 318, 319, 321 photo-sharing services, 53 physical trades, 292 physicians, 66–67 physics, 88, 153n, 167n Picasso, Pablo, 108 Pinterest, 180–81, 183 Pirate Party, 49, 199, 206, 226, 253, 284, 318 placebos, 112 placement fees, 184 player pianos, 160–61 plutocracy, 48, 291–94, 355 police, 246, 310, 311, 319–21, 335 politics, 13–18, 21, 22–25, 47–48, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 149–51, 155, 167, 199–234, 295–96, 342 see also conservatism; liberalism; libertarianism Ponzi schemes, 48 Popper, Karl, 189n popular culture, 111–12, 130, 137–38, 139, 159 “populating the stack,” 273 population, 17, 34n, 86, 97–100, 123, 125, 132, 133, 269, 296n, 325–26, 346 poverty, 37–38, 42, 44, 53–54, 93–94, 137, 148, 167, 190, 194, 253, 256, 263, 290, 291–92 power, personal, 13–15, 53, 60, 62–63, 86, 114, 116, 120, 122, 158, 166, 172–73, 175, 190, 199, 204, 207, 208, 278–79, 290, 291, 302–3, 308–9, 314, 319, 326, 344, 360 Presley, Elvis, 211 Priceline, 65 pricing strategies, 1–2, 43, 60–66, 72–74, 145, 147–48, 158, 169–74, 226, 261, 272–75, 289, 317–24, 331, 337–38 printers, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 privacy, 1–2, 11, 13–15, 25, 50–51, 64, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 204, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–13, 314, 315–16, 317, 319–24 privacy rights, 13–15, 25, 204, 305, 312–13, 314, 315–16, 321–22 product design and development, 85–89, 117–20, 128, 136–37, 145, 154, 236 productivity, 7, 56–57, 134–35 profit margins, 59n, 71–72, 76–78, 94–95, 116, 177n, 178, 179, 207, 258, 274–75, 321–22 progress, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 promotions, 62 property values, 52 proprietary hardware, 172 provenance, 245–46, 247, 338 pseudo-asceticism, 211–12 public libraries, 293 public roads, 79–80 publishers, 62n, 92, 182, 277–78, 281, 347, 352–60 punishing vs. rewarding network effects, 169–74, 182, 183 quants, 75–76 quantum field theory, 167n, 195 QuNeo, 117, 118, 119 Rabois, Keith, 185 “race to the bottom,” 178 radiant risk, 61–63, 118–19, 120, 156, 183–84 Ragnarok, 30 railroads, 43, 172 Rand, Ayn, 167, 204 randomness, 143 rationality, 144 Reagan, Ronald, 149 real estate, 33, 46, 49–52, 61, 78, 95–96, 99, 193, 224, 227, 239, 245, 255, 274n, 289n, 296, 298, 300, 301 reality, 55–56, 59–60, 124n, 127–28, 154–56, 161, 165–68, 194–95, 203–4, 216–17, 295–303, 364–65 see also Virtual Reality (VR) reason, 195–96 recessions, economic, 31, 54, 60, 76–77, 79, 151–52, 167, 204, 311, 336–37 record labels, 347 recycling, 88, 89 Reddit, 118n, 186, 254 reductionism, 184 regulation, economic, 37–38, 44, 45–46, 49–50, 54, 56, 69–70, 77–78, 266n, 274, 299–300, 311, 321–22, 350–51 relativity theory, 167n religion, 124–25, 126, 131, 139, 190, 193–95, 211–17, 293, 300n, 326 remote computers, 11–12 rents, 144 Republican Party, 79, 202 research and development, 40–45, 85–89, 117–20, 128, 136–37, 145, 154, 215, 229–30, 236 retail sector, 69, 70–74, 95–96, 169–74, 272, 349–51, 355–56 retirement, 49, 150 revenue growth plans, 173n revenues, 149, 149, 150, 151, 173n, 225, 234–35, 242, 347–48 reversible computers, 143n revolutions, 199, 291, 331 rhythm, 159–62 Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Kiyosaki), 46 risk, 54, 55, 57, 59–63, 71–72, 85, 117, 118–19, 120, 156, 170–71, 179, 183–84, 188, 242, 277–81, 284, 337, 350 externalization of, 59n, 117, 277–81 risk aversion, 188 risk pools, 277–81, 284 risk radiation, 61–63, 118–19, 120, 156, 183–84 robo call centers, 177n robotic cars, 90–92 robotics, robots, 11, 12, 17, 23, 42, 55, 85–86, 90–92, 97–100, 111, 129, 135–36, 155, 157, 162, 260, 261, 269, 296n, 342, 359–60 Roman Empire, 24–25 root nodes, 241 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 129 Rousseau humor, 126, 129, 130–31 routers, 171–72 royalties, 47, 240, 254, 263–64, 323, 338 Rubin, Edgar, 121 rupture, 66–67 salaries, 10, 46–47, 50–54, 152, 178, 270–71, 287–88, 291–94, 338–39, 365 sampling, 71–72, 191, 221, 224–26, 259 San Francisco, University of, 190 satellites, 110 savings, 49, 72–74 scalable solutions, 47 scams, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 scanned books, 192, 193 SceneTap, 108n Schmidt, Eric, 305n, 352 Schwartz, Peter, 214 science fiction, 18, 126–27, 136, 137–38, 139, 193, 230n, 309, 356n search engines, 51, 60, 70, 81, 120, 191, 267, 289, 293 Second Life, 270, 343 Secret, The (Byrne), 216 securitization, 76–78, 99, 289n security, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 self-actualization, 211–17 self-driving vehicles, 90–92, 98, 311, 343, 367 servants, 22 servers, 12n, 15, 31, 53–57, 71–72, 95–96, 143–44, 171, 180, 183, 206, 245, 358 see also Siren Servers “Sexy Sadie,” 213 Shakur, Tupac, 329 Shelley, Mary, 327 Short History of Progress, A (Wright), 132 “shrinking markets,” 66–67 shuttles, 22, 23n, 24 signal-processing algorithms, 76–78, 148 silicon chips, 10, 86–87 Silicon Valley, 12, 13, 14, 21, 34n, 56, 59, 60, 66–67, 70, 71, 75–76, 80, 93, 96–97, 100, 102, 108n, 125n, 132, 136, 154, 157, 162, 170, 179–89, 192, 193, 200, 207, 210, 211–18, 228, 230, 233, 258, 275n, 294, 299–300, 325–31, 345, 349, 352, 354–58 singularity, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 Singularity University, 193, 325, 327–28 Sirenic Age, 66n, 354 Siren Servers, 53–57, 59, 61–64, 65, 66n, 69–78, 82, 91–99, 114–19, 143–48, 154–56, 166–89, 191, 200, 201, 203, 210n, 216, 235, 246–50, 258, 259, 269, 271, 272, 280, 285, 289, 293–94, 298, 301, 302–3, 307–10, 314–23, 326, 336–51, 354, 365, 366 Siri, 95 skilled labor, 99–100 Skout, 280n Skype, 95, 129 slavery, 22, 23, 33n Sleeper, 130 small businesses, 173 smartphones, 34n, 39, 162, 172, 192, 269n, 273 Smith, Adam, 121, 126 Smolin, Lee, 148n social contract, 20, 49, 247, 284, 288, 335, 336 social engineering, 112–13, 190–91 socialism, 14, 128, 254, 257, 341n social mobility, 66, 97, 292–94 social networks, 18, 51, 56, 60, 70, 81, 89, 107–9, 113, 114, 129, 167–68, 172–73, 179, 180, 190, 199, 200–201, 202, 204, 227, 241, 242–43, 259, 267, 269n, 274–75, 280n, 286, 307–8, 317, 336, 337, 343, 349, 358, 365–66 see also Facebook social safety nets, 10, 44, 54, 202, 251, 293 Social Security, 251, 345 software, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 68, 86, 99, 100–101, 128, 129, 147, 154, 155, 165, 172–73, 177–78, 182, 192, 234, 236, 241–42, 258, 262, 273–74, 283, 331, 347, 357 software-mediated technology, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 South Korea, 133 Soviet Union, 70 “space elevator pitch,” 233, 342, 361 space travel, 233, 266 Spain, 159–60 spam, 178, 275n spending levels, 287–88 spirituality, 126, 211–17, 325–31, 364 spreadsheet programs, 230 “spy data tax,” 234–35 Square, 185 Stalin, Joseph, 125n Stanford Research Institute (SRI), 215 Stanford University, 60, 75, 90, 95, 97, 101, 102, 103, 162, 325 Starr, Ringo, 256 Star Trek, 138, 139, 230n startup companies, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 starvation, 123 Star Wars, 137 star (winner-take-all) system, 38–43, 50, 54–55, 204, 243, 256–57, 263, 329–30 statistics, 11, 20, 71–72, 75–78, 90–91, 93, 110n, 114–15, 186, 192 “stickiness,” 170, 171 stimulus, economic, 151–52 stoplights, 90 Strangelove humor, 127 student debt, 92, 95 “Study 27,” 160 “Study 36,” 160 Sumer, 29 supergoop, 85–89 supernatural phenomena, 55, 124–25, 127, 132, 192, 194–95, 300 supply chain, 70–72, 174, 187 Supreme Court, U.S., 104–5 surgery, 11–13, 17, 18, 98, 157–58, 363 surveillance, 1–2, 11, 14, 50–51, 64, 71–72, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–11, 315, 316, 317, 319–24 Surviving Progress, 132 sustainable economies, 235–37, 285–87 Sutherland, Ivan, 221 swarms, 99, 109 synthesizers, 160 synthetic biology, 162 tablets, 85, 86, 87, 88, 113, 162, 229 Tahrir Square, 95 Tamagotchis, 98 target ads, 170 taxation, 44, 45, 49, 52, 60, 74–75, 77, 82, 149, 149, 150, 151, 202, 210, 234–35, 263, 273, 289–90 taxis, 44, 91–92, 239, 240, 266–67, 269, 273, 311 Teamsters, 91 TechCrunch, 189 tech fixes, 295–96 technical schools, 96–97 technologists (“techies”), 9–10, 15–16, 45, 47–48, 66–67, 88, 122, 124, 131–32, 134, 139–40, 157–62, 165–66, 178, 193–94, 295–98, 307, 309, 325–31, 341, 342, 356n technology: author’s experience in, 47–48, 62n, 69–72, 93–94, 114, 130, 131–32, 153, 158–62, 178, 206–7, 228, 265, 266–67, 309–10, 325, 328, 343, 352–53, 362n, 364, 365n, 366 bio-, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 chaos and, 165–66, 273n, 331 collusion in, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 complexity of, 53–54 costs of, 8, 18, 72–74, 87n, 136–37, 170–71, 176–77, 184–85 creepiness of, 305–24 cultural impact of, 8–9, 21, 23–25, 53, 130, 135–40 development and emergence of, 7–18, 21, 53–54, 60–61, 66–67, 85–86, 87, 97–98, 129–38, 157–58, 182, 188–90, 193–96, 217 digital, 2–3, 7–8, 15–16, 18, 31, 40, 43, 50–51, 132, 208 economic impact of, 1–3, 15–18, 29–30, 37, 40, 53–54, 60–66, 71–74, 79–110, 124, 134–37, 161, 162, 169–77, 181–82, 183, 184–85, 218, 254, 277–78, 298, 335–39, 341–51, 357–58 educational, 92–97 efficiency of, 90, 118, 191 employment in, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 123, 135, 178 engineering for, 113–14, 123–24, 192, 194, 217, 218, 326 essential vs. worthless, 11–12 failure of, 188–89 fear of (technophobia), 129–32, 134–38 freedom as issue in, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 government influence in, 158, 199, 205–6, 234–35, 240, 246, 248–51, 307, 317, 341, 345–46, 350–51 human agency and, 8–21, 50–52, 85, 88, 91, 124–40, 144, 165–66, 175–78, 191–92, 193, 217, 253–64, 274–75, 283–85, 305–6, 328, 341–51, 358–60, 361, 362, 365–67 ideas for, 123, 124, 158, 188–89, 225, 245–46, 286–87, 299, 358–60 industrial, 49, 83, 85–89, 123, 132, 154, 343 information, 7, 32–35, 49, 66n, 71–72, 109, 110, 116, 120, 125n, 126, 135, 136, 254, 312–16, 317 investment in, 66, 181, 183, 184, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 limitations of, 157–62, 196, 222 monopolies for, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 morality and, 50–51, 72, 73–74, 188, 194–95, 262, 335–36 motivation and, 7–18, 85–86, 97–98, 216 nano-, 11, 12, 17, 162 new vs. old, 20–21 obsolescence of, 89, 97 political impact of, 13–18, 22–25, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 199–234, 295–96, 342 progress in, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 resources for, 55–56, 157–58 rupture as concept in, 66–67 scams in, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 singularity of, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 social impact of, 9–21, 124–40, 167n, 187, 280–81, 310–11 software-mediated, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 startup companies in, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 utopian, 13–18, 21, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 see also specific technologies technophobia, 129–32, 134–38 television, 86, 185–86, 191, 216, 267 temperature, 56, 145 Ten Commandments, 300n Terminator, The, 137 terrorism, 133, 200 Tesla, Nikola, 327 Texas, 203 text, 162, 352–60 textile industry, 22, 23n, 24, 135 theocracy, 194–95 Theocracy humor, 124–25 thermodynamics, 88, 143n Thiel, Peter, 60, 93, 326 thought experiments, 55, 139 thought schemas, 13 3D printers, 7, 85–89, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 Thrun, Sebastian, 94 Tibet, 214 Time Machine, The (Wells), 127, 137, 261, 331 topology, network, 241–43, 246 touchscreens, 86 tourism, 79 Toyota Prius, 302 tracking services, 109, 120–21, 122 trade, 29 traffic, 90–92, 314 “tragedy of the commons,” 66n Transformers, 98 translation services, 19–20, 182, 191, 195, 261, 262, 284, 338 transparency, 63–66, 74–78, 118, 176, 190–91, 205–6, 278, 291, 306–9, 316, 336 transportation, 79–80, 87, 90–92, 123, 258 travel agents, 64 Travelocity, 65 travel sites, 63, 64, 65, 181, 279–80 tree-shaped networks, 241–42, 243, 246 tribal dramas, 126 trickle-down effect, 148–49, 204 triumphalism, 128, 157–62 tropes (humors), 124–40, 157, 170, 230 trust, 32–34, 35, 42, 51–52 Turing, Alan, 127–28, 134 Turing’s humor, 127–28, 191–94 Turing Test, 330 Twitter, 128, 173n, 180, 182, 188, 199, 200n, 201, 204, 245, 258, 259, 349, 365n 2001: A Space Odyssey, 137 two-way links, 1–2, 227, 245, 289 underemployment, 257–58 unemployment, 7–8, 22, 79, 85–106, 117, 151–52, 234, 257–58, 321–22, 331, 343 “unintentional manipulation,” 144 United States, 25, 45, 54, 79–80, 86, 138, 199–204 universities, 92–97 upper class, 45, 48 used car market, 118–19 user interface, 362–63, 364 utopianism, 13–18, 21, 30, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 value, economic, 21, 33–35, 52, 61, 64–67, 73n, 108, 283–90, 299–300, 321–22, 364 value, information, 1–3, 15–16, 20, 210, 235–43, 257–58, 259, 261–63, 271–75, 321–24, 358–60 Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles (VALS), 215 variables, 149–50 vendors, 71–74 venture capital, 66, 181, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 videos, 60, 100, 162, 185–86, 204, 223, 225, 226, 239, 240, 242, 245, 277, 287, 329, 335–36, 349, 354, 356 Vietnam War, 353n vinyl records, 89 viral videos, 185–86 Virtual Reality (VR), 12, 47–48, 127, 129, 132, 158, 162, 214, 283–85, 312–13, 314, 315, 325, 343, 356, 362n viruses, 132–33 visibility, 184, 185–86, 234, 355 visual cognition, 111–12 VitaBop, 100–106, 284n vitamins, 100–106 Voice, The, 185–86 “voodoo economics,” 149 voting, 122, 202–4, 249 Wachowski, Lana, 165 Wall Street, 49, 70, 76–77, 181, 184, 234, 317, 331, 350 Wal-Mart, 69, 70–74, 89, 174, 187, 201 Warhol, Andy, 108 War of the Worlds, The (Wells), 137 water supplies, 17, 18 Watts, Alan, 211–12 Wave, 189 wealth: aggregate or concentration of, 9, 42–43, 53, 60, 61, 74–75, 96, 97, 108, 115, 148, 157–58, 166, 175, 201, 202, 208, 234, 278–79, 298, 305, 335, 355, 360 creation of, 32, 33–34, 46–47, 50–51, 57, 62–63, 79, 92, 96, 120, 148–49, 210, 241–43, 270–75, 291–94, 338–39, 349 inequalities and redistribution of, 20, 37–45, 65–66, 92, 97, 144, 254, 256–57, 274–75, 286–87, 290–94, 298, 299–300 see also income levels weather forecasting, 110, 120, 150 weaving, 22, 23n, 24 webcams, 99, 245 websites, 80, 170, 200, 201, 343 Wells, H.

Principles of Protocol Design by Robin Sharp


accounting loophole / creative accounting, business process, discrete time, fault tolerance, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, loose coupling, packet switching, RFC: Request For Comment, stochastic process, x509 certificate

Comput. 3, 146–158 (1989) 27. Daemen, J., Rijmen, V.: AES Proposal: Rijndael (1999). Available via URL Selected as the NIST Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm. 28. Dally, W.J., Seitz, C.L.: Deadlock-free message routing in multiprocessor interconnection networks. IEEE Trans. Comput. C-36(5), 547–553 (1987) 29. Davies, D.W.: The control of congestion in packet switching networks. IEEE Trans. on Communications COM-20(3), 546–550 (1972) 30. Diffie, W., Hellman, M.E.: New directions in cryptography. IEEE Trans. on Inf. Theory IT-22(6), 644–654 (1976) 31. Diffie, W., van Oorschot, P.C., Wiener, M.J.: Authentication and authenticated key exchanges. Designs, Codes and Cryptography 2, 107–125 (1992) 32. Dijsktra, E.W.: A note on two problems in connexion with graphs.

IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering SE-6(5), 435–440 (1980) 53. Gordon, J.: Strong RSA keys. Electronics Letters 20(5), 514–516 (1984) 54. Gray, J.: Notes on data base operating systems. In: R. Bayer, et al. (eds.) Operating Systems – An Advanced Course, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 60, pp. 393–481. SpringerVerlag (1978) 55. Griffiths, J.M.: ISDN Explained, second edn. John Wiley & Sons (1992) 56. Günther, K.D.: Prevention of deadlocks in packet-switched data transport systems. IEEE Trans. on Communications COM-29(4), 512–524 (1981) 57. Hailpern, B.: Verifying Concurrent Processes Using Temporal Logic, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 129. Springer-Verlag (1982) 58. Halsall, F.: Computer Networking and the Internet, fifth edn. Addison-Wesley (2005). ISBN 0-321-26358-8 59. Hayes, J.P., Mudge, T.: Hypercube supercomputers. Proc. IEEE 77(12), 1829–1841 (1989) 60.

.: A calculus of total correctness for communicating processes. Sci. Comput. Program. 1, 49–72 (1981) 64. Hoare, C.A.R.: Communicating Sequential Processes. Prentice-Hall International (1985) 65. Holzmann, G.: Design and Validation of Computer Protocols. Prentice-Hall International (1991) 66. Hull, R., Su, J.: Tools for composite web services: A short overview. SIGMOD Record 34(2), 86–95 (2005) 67. Irland, M.I.: Buffer management in a packet switch. IEEE Trans. on Communications COM26(3), 328–327 (1978) 68. Jacobsen, V.: Congestion avoidance and control. In: Proc. ACM SIGCOMM’88, Stanford, California, pp. 314–329. ACM (1988) 69. Jain, R.: Congestion control in computer networks: Issues and trends. IEEE Network Magazine pp. 24–30 (1990) 70. Jain, R.: Congestion control and traffic management in ATM networks: Recent advances and a survey.

pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein


affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

Those magical moments when Matthew Broderick managed to get inside that computer system, or when he figured out how to make the free call from the pay phone, or when he was apprehended by the feds—all of us who found ourselves messing around with phones and computers at the time felt like we were living that story because in many cases we were. That thrill—and that fear—is something that never really leaves you. And those of us who experienced it at that relatively early stage of the game were really quite privileged, even though it sure didn’t feel like it at the time. In a big way, the Internet would be the death knell for the kind of hacking most popular in the 1980s. Back then, the most attractive targets were the big packet switched networks like Telenet and Tymnet. These systems allowed you to connect to computers all over the world once you dialed into a local node. Unlike the Internet, it was geared primarily toward businesses and institutions. So if you wanted to play around with it, you pretty much had to break in. We couldn’t get accounts as individuals and we sure couldn’t quell our curiosity. Nor could we effectively explain this to most people.

And apart from all of that, there were massive amounts of new toys to play with as the landscape continued to change. Something as simple as a fax machine or a new consumer service for modem users like PC Pursuit was enough to captivate our attention for huge amounts of time. 94192c04.qxd 6/4/08 3:37 AM Page 121 The Early Days of the Net Hacking on Telenet (February, 1984) Telenet. Or, to be more specific, GTE Telenet. A massive network formed by the people and technology that were used to develop packet switching for the Department of Defense. Telenet was purchased by GTE in 1979 and has been growing in size and revenue ever since. There are quite a few data networks in existence today. Datapac, Autonet, Tymnet, ARPANET, to name some of the better known. A data network is basically a collection of mainframes, specialized minis, and high-speed lines. Through Telenet, you can connect to literally thousands of computers, all over the country, even the world if you know the proper procedures.

Pursuit for People (September, 1985) On August 7, GTE Telenet announced a new service that, if handled properly, will usher in a whole new phase of computer communications. 94192c05.qxd 6/3/08 3:31 PM Page 165 Corporate History The service is called PC Pursuit and it enables people to connect their computers to other computers for $25 a month (plus a start-up fee of $25). In other words, a hobbyist in New York can connect his computer to a bulletin board in California and not have to pay for a long-distance call. The “computer conversation” goes through GTE Telenet, a packet-switching network for computers, previously used exclusively by large corporations. “To access the service,” GTE’s press release explains, “a user calls his PC Pursuit access number and is prompted to enter his home phone number and make a request for a destination phone number in a distant city. If the user’s telephone number is not authorized, the phone call is terminated and a record of the call is generated.

pages: 282 words: 92,998

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard A. Clarke, Robert Knake


barriers to entry, complexity theory, data acquisition, Just-in-time delivery, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, trade route, Y2K, zero day

Data could be scanned for malware and backed up in redundant data farms, some of which would always be disconnected from the network in case of a corrupting system failure. All of these new intranets could use constant scanning technologies to detect and prevent anomalous activity, intrusions, identity theft, malicious software, or unauthorized exporting of data. The intranets could encrypt all data and require that a user prove with two or three reliable methods who he is before he could access the intranet. If the new nets were “packet switched,” as the Internet is now, the user’s authenticated identity could be embedded in each packet. Most important, these networks could constantly monitor for and prevent connectivity to the Internet. A lot of people will hate that idea. Many of the Internet’s earliest advocates strongly believe that information should be free and freely disseminated, and that essential to that freedom is the right to access information anonymously.

Crossing the boundary is an escalatory step that may lead to the war spiraling out of control. DARPA (also seen as ARPA): The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a component of the U.S. Defense Department charged with funding innovative research to meet the needs of the U.S. military. DARPA funded the initial research that created the Internet. In 1969 ARPANET became the first packet-switched network connecting four universities. Deep-Packet Inspection: A procedure that scans the packets of data that make up an e-mail, webpage, or other Internet traffic. Normally only the “header” of a packet is scanned, the top part that gives the to and from information. A deep inspection would scan the digital pattern in the content but would not convert that content into text. The inspection looks only for digital patterns that are identical or highly similar to known malware or hacking tools.

pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Ultimately, it was Telnet, electronic mail, and ftp, and not NLS, that would generate the demand that led to the dramatic expansion of the computer network. During 1972, Watson also led the charge at ARC to make NLS more useful to the ARPAnet community. ARPA was under some pressure to show that its new network was actually viable, and articles had already appeared in the computer trade press questioning the entire notion of the packet switching that was at its heart. This was a technique for breaking up digital data into small “packets” so that each packet could be routed separately through a computer network and then resent if necessary. It made it possible to route around network nodes that had stopped functioning, making the network more reliable. Roberts had decreed that in October 1972 there would be an event in Washington, D.C., that would show off the network, in much the same fashion that Engelbart had shown off NLS in 1968 in San Francisco.

Albrecht, Bob est and folk dancing of Homebrew and Moore and Aldus Manutius algorithms Allen, Don Allen, Mary Allen, Paul Allison, Dennis Alpert, Richard Altair Alternatives conference Alto American Documentation Institute Ames Research Laboratory Ampex LSD and Andrews, Don Andrews, Paul antiwar activism Augment lab and Brand and Diffie and draft resistance Duvall and Felsenstein and militancy in Moore and Stanford and Apple Computer Alto and ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) Augment funded by Augment funding terminated by SAIL funded by ARPAnet e-commerce on expansion of file-sharing in launch of Network Information Center (NIC) packet switching and Super AI computer for artificial intelligence (AI) golden years of McCarthy and; see also McCarthy, John modeling human intelligence and superbrain and Turing test and see also Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Art of Computer Programming, The (Knuth) ASCII AT&T Atari Atlantic Monthly augmentation complexity in Augmentation Research Center (Augmented Human Intellect Research Center) antiwar viewpoint and ARPAnet launch and ARPA’s funding of ARPA’s termination of funding of business manager hired at counterculture and departures from division of Engelbart’s Brooks Hall demonstration Engelbart’s loss of control of est and Fadiman and growth of hippie vibe at Kay at Moore and name change of NLS in, see NLS refashioning of SAIL and social experimentation at teenagers at text editing and Tymshare purchase of Xerox and Baer, Steve Baez, Joan Bakalinsky, Eric Bank of America Barringer, Felicity BASIC “borrowed” copy of Interaccess Tiny Bass, Walter Bates, Roger Baum, Allen Beach, Scott Beautiful Mind, A (Nasar) be-ins Bell, Gordon Bell Laboratories Bender, Dorothy Bennion, Dave Berkeley, Calif.

pages: 781 words: 226,928

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall


Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

Throughout late 1975 and 1976, Peddle travelled the country promoting the 6502. His microcontroller became part of an important new technology called the ARPANET (later renamed the Internet). A company named Telenet (later acquired by GTE) created its own commercial network. “GTE had their Telenet packet switching,” recalls Mensch. “Telenet was one of the early fiber providers for the early Internet.” Packet switching required fast processors, and originally the company used costly minicomputers as switches, but then decided to move to something less expensive. “Telenet was a very high performance packet switching for communications systems,” says Mensch. “They tried all the other chips and said the only one that can do it is the 6502.” GTE settled on the 6502 and incorporated the processor in its switches throughout the network, making the 6502 an integral part of the early Internet.

pages: 731 words: 134,263

Talk Is Cheap: Switching to Internet Telephones by James E. Gaskin


Debian, packet switching, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, telemarketer

After all, the Post Office isn't held responsible for what individuals mail, and the telephone companies have never been held responsible for what people say to each other over the phone. If the people mail or say something illegal, they may get caught, but the Post Office and telephone company are not considered coconspirators. Bits are bits. And bits in the late 1970s were bits, at least to a study by the Department of Defense. Their own widely publicized report said clearly that a packet switched network, supporting packetized voice traffic, would be cheaper than circuit switched voice, the only technology in place at that time. Bits are bits, and 30 years ago, bits were bits. 1.3.4. Regulatory Issues We can't blame AT&T engineers because they didn't reinvent the telephone on a regular basis; that wasn't their job. The U.S. Government made a deal with AT&T to grant them a monopoly in exchange for building the world's best telephone system.

After all, the Post Office isn't held responsible for what individuals mail, and the telephone companies have never been held responsible for what people say to each other over the phone. If the people mail or say something illegal, they may get caught, but the Post Office and telephone company are not considered coconspirators. Bits are bits. And bits in the late 1970s were bits, at least to a study by the Department of Defense. Their own widely publicized report said clearly that a packet switched network, supporting packetized voice traffic, would be cheaper than circuit switched voice, the only technology in place at that time. Bits are bits, and 30 years ago, bits were bits. 1.3.4. Regulatory Issues We can't blame AT&T engineers because they didn't reinvent the telephone on a regular basis; that wasn't their job. The U.S. Government made a deal with AT&T to grant them a monopoly in exchange for building the world's best telephone system.

pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser,, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Or, second, you can capture the first-mover advantage, as Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, did throughout his career. Even as his retailing rivals were catching up, he was forging ahead with new cost-cutting tactics. Intel’s dominance of the microchip industry, and 3M’s of the diversified technology industry, were based not on protecting their inventions so much as on improving them faster than everyone else. Packet switching was the invention that made the internet possible, yet nobody made any royalties out of it. The way to keep your customers, if you are Michael Dell, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, is to keep making your own products obsolete. The third way to profit from invention is a patent, a copyright or a trademark. The various mechanisms of intellectual property are eerily echoed in the apparently lawless and highly competitive world of real recipes, recipes devised by French chefs for their restaurants.

Abbasids 161, 178 Abelard, Peter 358 aborigines (Australian): division of labour 62, 63, 76; farming 127; technological regress 78–84; trade 90–91, 92 abortion, compulsory 203 Abu Hureyra 127 Acapulco 184 accounting systems 160, 168, 196 Accra 189 Acemoglu, Daron 321 Ache people 61 Acheulean tools 48–9, 50, 275, 373 Achuar people 87 acid rain 280, 281, 304–6, 329, 339 acidification of oceans 280, 340–41 Adams, Henry 289 Aden 177 Adenauer, Konrad 289 Aegean sea 168, 170–71 Afghanistan 14, 208–9, 315, 353 Africa: agriculture 145, 148, 154–5, 326; AIDS epidemic 14, 307–8, 316, 319, 320, 322; colonialism 319–20, 321–2; demographic transition 210, 316, 328; economic growth 315, 326–8, 332, 347; international aid 317–19, 322, 328; lawlessness 293, 320; life expectancy 14, 316, 422; per capita income 14, 315, 317, 320; poverty 314–17, 319–20, 322, 325–6, 327–8; prehistoric 52–5, 65–6, 83, 123, 350; property rights 320, 321, 323–5; trade 187–8, 320, 322–3, 325, 326, 327–8; see also individual countries African-Americans 108 agricultural employment: decline in 42–3; hardships of 13, 219–20, 285–6 agriculture: early development of 122–30, 135–9, 352, 387, 388; fertilisers, development of 135, 139–41, 142, 146, 147, 337; genetically modified (GM) crops 28, 32, 148, 151–6, 283, 358; hybrids, development of 141–2, 146, 153; and trade 123, 126, 127–33, 159, 163–4; and urbanisation 128, 158–9, 163–4, 215; see also farming; food supply Agta people 61–2 aid, international 28, 141, 154, 203, 317–19, 328 AIDS 8, 14, 307–8, 310, 316, 319, 320, 322, 331, 353 AIG (insurance corporation) 115 air conditioning 17 air pollution 304–5 air travel: costs of 24, 37, 252, 253; speed of 253 aircraft 257, 261, 264, 266 Akkadian empire 161, 164–5 Al-Ghazali 357 Al-Khwarizmi, Muhammad ibn Musa 115 Al-Qaeda 296 Albania 187 Alcoa (corporation) 24 Alexander the Great 169, 171 Alexander, Gary 295 Alexandria 171, 175, 270 Algeria 53, 246, 345 alphabet, invention of 166, 396 Alps 122, 178 altruism 93–4, 97 aluminium 24, 213, 237, 303 Alyawarre aborigines 63 Amalfi 178 Amazon (corporation) 21, 259, 261 Amazonia 76, 138, 145, 250–51 amber 71, 92 ambition 45–6, 351 Ames, Bruce 298–9 Amish people 211 ammonia 140, 146 Amsterdam 115–16, 169, 259, 368 Amsterdam Exchange Bank 251 Anabaptists 211 Anatolia 127, 128, 164, 165, 166, 167 Ancoats, Manchester 214 Andaman islands 66–7, 78 Andes 123, 140, 163 Andrew, Deroi Kwesi 189 Angkor Wat 330 Angola 316 animal welfare 104, 145–6 animals: conservation 324, 339; extinctions 17, 43, 64, 68, 69–70, 243, 293, 302, 338–9; humans’ differences from other 1, 2–4, 6, 56, 58, 64 Annan, Kofi 337 Antarctica 334 anti-corporatism 110–111, 114 anti-slavery 104, 105–6, 214 antibiotics 6, 258, 271, 307 antimony 213 ants 75–6, 87–8, 192 apartheid 108 apes 56–7, 59–60, 62, 65, 88; see also chimpanzees; orang-utans ‘apocaholics’ 295, 301 Appalachia 239 Apple (corporation) 260, 261, 268 Aquinas, St Thomas 102 Arabia 66, 159, 176, 179 Arabian Sea 174 Arabs 89, 175, 176–7, 180, 209, 357 Aral Sea 240 Arcadia Biosciences (company) 31–2 Archimedes 256 Arctic Ocean 125, 130, 185, 334, 338–9 Argentina 15, 186, 187 Arikamedu 174 Aristotle 115, 250 Arizona 152, 246, 345 Arkwright, Sir Richard 227 Armenians 89 Arnolfini, Giovanni 179 art: cave paintings 2, 68, 73, 76–7; and commerce 115–16; symbolism in 136; as unique human trait 4 Ashur, Assyria 165 Asimov, Isaac 354 Asoka the Great 172–3 aspirin 258 asset price inflation 24, 30 Assyrian empire 161, 165–6, 167 asteroid impacts, risk of 280, 333 astronomy 221, 270, 357 Athabasca tar sands, Canada 238 Athens 115, 170, 171 Atlantic Monthly 293 Atlantic Ocean 125, 170 Attica 171 Augustus, Roman emperor 174 Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony 184–5 Australia: climate 127, 241, 300, 334; prehistoric 66, 67, 69–70, 127; trade 187; see also aborigines (Australian); Tasmania Austria 132 Ausubel, Jesse 239, 346, 409 automobiles see cars axes: copper 123, 131, 132, 136, 271; stone 2, 5, 48–9, 50, 51, 71, 81, 90–91, 92, 118–19, 271 Babylon 21, 161, 166, 240, 254, 289 Bacon, Francis 255 bacteria: cross fertilisation 271; and pest control 151; resistance to antibiotics 6, 258, 271, 307; symbiosis 75 Baghdad 115, 177, 178, 357 Baines, Edward 227 Baird, John Logie 38 baking 124, 130 ‘balance of nature’, belief in 250–51 Balazs, Etienne 183 bald eagles 17, 299 Bali 66 Baltic Sea 71, 128–9, 180, 185 Bamako 326 bananas 92, 126, 149, 154, 392 Bangladesh 204, 210, 426 Banks, Sir Joseph 221 Barigaza (Bharuch) 174 barley 32, 124, 151 barrels 176 bartering vii, 56–60, 65, 84, 91–2, 163, 356 Basalla, George 272 Basra 177 battery farming 104, 145–6 BBC 295 beads 53, 70, 71, 73, 81, 93, 162 beef 186, 224, 308; see also cattle bees, killer 280 Beijing 17 Beinhocker, Eric 112 Bell, Alexander Graham 38 Bengal famine (1943) 141 benzene 257 Berlin 299 Berlin, Sir Isaiah 288 Bernard of Clairvaux, St 358 Berners-Lee, Sir Tim 38, 273 Berra, Yogi 354 Besant, Annie 208 Bhutan 25–6 Bible 138, 168, 396 bicycles 248–9, 263, 269–70 bin Laden, Osama 110 biofuels 149, 236, 238, 239, 240–43, 246, 300, 339, 343, 344, 346, 393 Bird, Isabella 197–8 birds: effects of pollution on 17, 299; killed by wind turbines 239, 409; nests 51; sexual differences 64; songbirds 55; see also individual species bireme galleys 167 Birmingham 223 birth control see contraception birth rates: declining 204–212; and food supply 192, 208–9; and industrialisation 202; measurement of 205, 403; population control policies 202–4, 208; pre-industrial societies 135, 137; and television 234; and wealth 200–201, 204, 205–6, 209, 211, 212; see also population growth Black Death 181, 195–6, 197, 380 Black Sea 71, 128, 129, 170, 176, 180 blogging 257 Blombos Cave, South Africa 53, 83 blood circulation, discovery of 258 Blunt, John 29 boat-building 167, 168, 177; see also canoes; ship-building Boers 321, 322 Bohemia 222 Bolivia 315, 324 Bolsheviks 324 Borlaug, Norman 142–3, 146 Borneo 339 Bosch, Carl 140, 412 Botswana 15, 316, 320–22, 326 Bottger, Johann Friedrich 184–5 Boudreaux, Don 21, 214 Boulton, Matthew 221, 256, 413–14 bows and arrows 43, 62, 70, 82, 137, 251, 274 Boxgrove hominids 48, 50 Boyer, Stanley 222, 405 Boyle, Robert 256 Bradlaugh, Charles 208 brain size 3–4, 48–9, 51, 55 Bramah, Joseph 221 Branc, Slovakia 136 Brand, Stewart 154, 189, 205 Brando, Marlon 110 brass 223 Brazil 38, 87, 123, 190, 240, 242, 315, 358 bread 38, 124, 140, 158, 224, 286, 392 bridges, suspension 283 Brin, Sergey 221, 405 Britain: affluence 12, 16, 224–5, 236, 296–7; birth rates 195, 200–201, 206, 208, 227; British exceptionalism 200–202, 221–2; climate change policy 330–31; consumer prices 24, 224–5, 227, 228; copyright system 267; enclosure acts 226, 323, 406; energy use 22, 231–2, 232–3, 342–3, 368, 430; ‘glorious revolution’ (1688) 223; income equality 18–19, 218; industrial revolution 201–2, 216–17, 220–32, 255–6, 258–9; life expectancy 15, 17–18; National Food Service 268; National Health Service 111, 261; parliamentary reform 107; per capita income 16, 218, 227, 285, 404–5; productivity 112; property rights 223, 226, 323–4; state benefits 16; tariffs 185–6, 186–7, 223; see also England; Scotland; Wales British Empire 161, 322 bronze 164, 168, 177 Brosnan, Sarah 59 Brown, Lester 147–8, 281–2, 300–301 Brown, Louise 306 Bruges 179 Brunel, Sir Marc 221 Buddhism 2, 172, 357 Buddle, John 412 Buffett, Warren 106, 268 Bulgaria 320 Burkina Faso 154 Burma 66, 67, 209, 335 Bush, George W. 161 Butler, Eamonn 105, 249 Byblos 167 Byzantium 176, 177, 179 cabbages 298 ‘Caesarism’ 289 Cairo 323 Calcutta 190, 315 Calico Act (1722) 226 Califano, Joseph 202–3 California: agriculture 150; Chumash people 62, 92–3; development of credit card 251, 254; Mojave Desert 69; Silicon Valley 221–2, 224, 257, 258, 259, 268 Cambodia 14, 315 camels 135, 176–7 camera pills 270–71 Cameroon 57 Campania 174, 175 Canaanites 166, 396 Canada 141, 169, 202, 238, 304, 305 Canal du Midi 251 cancer 14, 18, 293, 297–9, 302, 308, 329 Cannae, battle of 170 canning 186, 258 canoes 66, 67, 79, 82 capitalism 23–4, 101–4, 110, 115, 133, 214, 258–62, 291–2, 311; see also corporations; markets ‘Captain Swing’ 283 capuchin monkeys 96–7, 375 Caral, Peru 162–3 carbon dioxide emissions 340–47; absorption of 217; and agriculture 130, 337–8; and biofuels 242; costs of 331; and economic growth 315, 332; and fossil fuels 237, 315; and local sourcing of goods 41–2; taxes 346, 356 Cardwell’s Law 411 Caribbean see West Indies Carnegie, Andrew 23 Carney, Thomas 173 carnivorism 51, 60, 62, 68–9, 147, 156, 241, 376 carrots 153, 156 cars: biofuel for 240, 241; costs of 24, 252; efficiency of 252; future production 282, 355; hybrid 245; invention of 189, 270, 271; pollution from 17, 242; sport-utility vehicles 45 The Rational Optimist 424 Carson, Rachel 152, 297–8 Carter, Jimmy 238 Carthage 169, 170, 173 Cartwright, Edmund 221, 263 Castro, Fidel 187 Catalhoyuk 127 catallaxy 56, 355–9 Catholicism 105, 208, 306 cattle 122, 132, 145, 147, 148, 150, 197, 321, 336; see also beef Caucasus 237 cave paintings 2, 68, 73, 76–7 Cavendish, Henry 221 cement 283 central heating 16, 37 cereals 124–5, 125–6, 130–31, 143–4, 146–7, 158, 163; global harvests 121 Champlain, Samuel 138–9 charcoal 131, 216, 229, 230, 346 charitable giving 92, 105, 106, 295, 318–19, 356 Charles V: king of Spain 30–31; Holy Roman Emperor 184 Charles, Prince of Wales 291, 332 Chauvet Cave, France 2, 68, 73, 76–7 Chernobyl 283, 308, 345, 421 Chicago World Fair (1893) 346 chickens 122–3, 145–6, 147, 148, 408 chickpeas 125 Childe, Gordon 162 children: child labour 104, 188, 218, 220, 292; child molestation 104; childcare 2, 62–3; childhood diseases 310; mortality rates 14, 15, 16, 208–9, 284 Chile 187 chimpanzees 2, 3, 4, 6, 29, 59–60, 87, 88, 97 China: agriculture 123, 126, 148, 152, 220; birth rate 15, 200–201; coal supplies 229–30; Cultural Revolution 14, 201; diet 241; economic growth and industrialisation 17, 109, 180–81, 187, 201, 219, 220, 281–2, 300, 322, 324–5, 328, 358; economic and technological regression 180, 181–2, 193, 229–30, 255, 321, 357–8; energy use 245; income equality 19; innovations 181, 251; life expectancy 15; Longshan culture 397; Maoism 16, 187, 296, 311; Ming empire 117, 181–4, 260, 311; per capita income 15, 180; prehistoric 68, 123, 126; serfdom 181–2; Shang dynasty 166; Song dynasty 180–81; trade 172, 174–5, 177, 179, 183–4, 187, 225, 228 chlorine 296 cholera 40, 310 Chomsky, Noam 291 Christianity 172, 357, 358, 396; see also Catholicism; Church of England; monasteries Christmas 134 Chumash people 62, 92–3 Church of England 194 Churchill, Sir Winston 288 Cicero 173 Cilicia 173 Cisco Systems (corporation) 268 Cistercians 215 civil rights movement 108, 109 Clairvaux Abbey 215 Clark, Colin 146, 227 Clark, Gregory 193, 201, 401, 404 Clarke, Arthur C. 354 climate change 328–47, 426–30; costs of mitigation measures 330–32, 333, 338, 342–4; death rates associated with 335–7; and ecological dynamism 250, 329–30, 335, 339; and economic growth 315, 331–3, 341–3, 347; effects on ecosystems 338–41; and food supply 337–8; and fossil fuels 243, 314, 342, 346, 426; historic 194, 195, 329, 334, 426–7; pessimism about 280, 281, 314–15, 328–9; prehistoric 54, 65, 125, 127, 130, 160, 329, 334, 339, 340, 352; scepticism about 111, 329–30, 426; solutions to 8, 315, 345–7 Clinton, Bill 341 Clippinger, John 99 cloth trade 75, 159, 160, 165, 172, 177, 180, 194, 196, 225, 225–9, 232 clothes: Britain 224, 225, 227; early homo sapiens 71, 73; Inuits 64; metal age 122; Tasmanian natives 78 clothing prices 20, 34, 37, 40, 227, 228 ‘Club of Rome’ 302–3 coal: and economic take-off 201, 202, 213, 214, 216–17; and generation of electricity 233, 237, 239, 240, 304, 344; and industrialisation 229–33, 236, 407; prices 230, 232, 237; supplies 302–3 coal mining 132, 230–31, 237, 239, 257, 343 Coalbrookdale 407 Cobb, Kelly 35 Coca-Cola (corporation) 111, 263 coffee 298–9, 392 Cohen, Mark 135 Cold War 299 collective intelligence 5, 38–9, 46, 56, 83, 350–52, 355–6 Collier, Paul 315, 316–17 colonialism 160, 161, 187, 321–2; see also imperialism Colorado 324 Columbus, Christopher 91, 184 combine harvesters 158, 392 combined-cycle turbines 244, 410 commerce see trade Commoner, Barry 402 communism 106, 336 Compaq (corporation) 259 computer games 273, 292 computers 2, 3, 5, 211, 252, 260, 261, 263–4, 268, 282; computing power costs 24; information storage capacities 276; silicon chips 245, 263, 267–8; software 99, 257, 272–3, 304, 356; Y2K bug 280, 290, 341; see also internet Confucius 2, 181 Congo 14–15, 28, 307, 316 Congreve, Sir William 221 Connelly, Matthew 204 conservation, nature 324, 339; see also wilderness land, expansion of conservatism 109 Constantinople 175, 177 consumer spending, average 39–40 containerisation 113, 253, 386 continental drift 274 contraception 208, 210; coerced 203–4 Cook, Captain James 91 cooking 4, 29, 38, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60–61, 64, 163, 337 copper 122, 123, 131–2, 160, 162, 164, 165, 168, 213, 223, 302, 303 copyright 264, 266–7, 326 coral reefs 250, 339–40, 429–30 Cordoba 177 corn laws 185–6 Cornwall 132 corporations 110–116, 355; research and development budgets 260, 262, 269 Cosmides, Leda 57 Costa Rica 338 cotton 37, 108, 149, 151–2, 162, 163, 171, 172, 202, 225–9, 230, 407; calico 225–6, 232; spinning and weaving 184, 214, 217, 219–20, 227–8, 232, 256, 258, 263, 283 Coughlin, Father Charles 109 Craigslist (website) 273, 356 Crapper, Thomas 38 Crathis river 171 creationists 358 creative destruction 114, 356 credit cards 251, 254 credit crunch (2008) 8–10, 28–9, 31, 100, 102, 316, 355, 399, 411 Cree Indians 62 Crete 167, 169 Crichton, Michael 254 Crick, Francis 412 crime: cyber-crime 99–100, 357; falling rates 106, 201; false convictions 19–20; homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201; illegal drugs 106, 186; pessimism about 288, 293 Crimea 171 crocodiles, deaths by 40 Crompton, Samuel 227 Crookes, Sir William 140, 141 cruelty 104, 106, 138–9, 146 crusades 358 Cuba 187, 299 ‘curse of resources’ 31, 320 cyber-crime 99–100, 357 Cyprus 132, 148, 167, 168 Cyrus the Great 169 Dalkon Shield (contraceptive device) 203 Dalton, John 221 Damascus 127 Damerham, Wiltshire 194 Danube, River 128, 132 Darby, Abraham 407 Darfur 302, 353 Dark Ages 164, 175–6, 215 Darwin, Charles 77, 81, 91–2, 105, 116, 350, 415 Darwin, Erasmus 256 Darwinism 5 Davy, Sir Humphry 221, 412 Dawkins, Richard 5, 51 DDT (pesticide) 297–8, 299 de Geer, Louis 184 de Soto, Hernando 323, 324, 325 de Waal, Frans 88 Dean, James 110 decimal system 173, 178 deer 32–3, 122 deflation 24 Defoe, Daniel 224 deforestation, predictions of 304–5, 339 Delhi 189 Dell (corporation) 268 Dell, Michael 264 demographic transition 206–212, 316, 328, 402 Denmark 200, 344, 366; National Academy of Sciences 280 Dennett, Dan 350 dentistry 45 depression (psychological) 8, 156 depressions (economic) 3, 31, 32, 186–7, 192, 289; see also economic crashes deserts, expanding 28, 280 Detroit 315, 355 Dhaka 189 diabetes 156, 274, 306 Diamond, Jared 293–4, 380 diamonds 320, 322 Dickens, Charles 220 Diesel, Rudolf 146 Digital Equipment Corporation 260, 282 digital photography 114, 386 Dimawe, battle of (1852) 321 Diocletian, Roman emperor 175, 184 Diodorus 169 diprotodons 69 discount merchandising 112–14 division of labour: Adam Smith on vii, 80; and catallaxy 56; and fragmented government 172; in insects 75–6, 87–8; and population growth 211; by sex 61–5, 136, 376; and specialisation 7, 33, 38, 46, 61, 76–7, 175; among strangers and enemies 87–9; and trust 100; and urbanisation 164 DNA: forensic use 20; gene transfer 153 dogs 43, 56, 61, 84, 125 Doll, Richard 298 Dolphin, HMS 169 dolphins 3, 87 Domesday Book 215 Doriot, Georges 261 ‘dot-communism’ 356 Dover Castle 197 droughts: modern 241, 300, 334; prehistoric 54, 65, 334 drug crime 106, 186 DuPont (corporation) 31 dyes 167, 225, 257, 263 dynamos 217, 233–4, 271–2, 289 dysentery 157, 353 eagles 17, 239, 299, 409 East India Company 225, 226 Easter Island 380 Easterbrook, Greg 294, 300, 370 Easterlin, Richard 26 Easterly, William 318, 411 eBay (corporation) 21, 99, 100, 114, 115 Ebla, Syria 164 Ebola virus 307 economic booms 9, 29, 216 economic crashes 7–8, 9, 193; credit crunch (2008) 8–10, 28–9, 31, 100, 102, 316, 355, 399, 411; see also depressions (economic) ecosystems, dynamism of 250–51, 303, 410 Ecuador 87 Edinburgh Review 285 Edison, Thomas 234, 246, 272, 412 education: Africa 320; Japan 16; measuring value of 117; and population control 209, 210; universal access 106, 235; women and 209, 210 Edwards, Robert 306 Eemian interglacial period 52–3 Egypt: ancient 161, 166, 167, 170, 171, 192, 193, 197, 270, 334; Mamluk 182; modern 142, 154, 192, 301, 323; prehistoric 44, 45, 125, 126; Roman 174, 175, 178 Ehrenreich, Barbara 291 Ehrlich, Anne 203, 301–2 Ehrlich, Paul 143, 190, 203, 207, 301–2, 303 electric motors 271–2, 283 electricity 233–5, 236, 237, 245–6, 337, 343–4; costs 23; dynamos 217, 233–4, 271–2, 289 elephants 51, 54, 69, 303, 321 Eliot, T.S. 289 email 292 emigration 199–200, 202; see also migrations empathy 94–8 empires, trading 160–61; see also imperialism enclosure acts 226, 323, 406 endocrine disruptors 293 Engels, Friedrich 107–8, 136 England: agriculture 194–6, 215; infant mortality 284; law 118; life expectancy 13, 284; medieval population 194–7; per capita income 196; scientific revolution 255–7; trade 75, 89, 104, 106, 118, 169, 194; see also Britain Enron (corporation) 29, 111, 385 Erie, Lake 17 Erie Canal 139, 283 ethanol 240–42, 300 Ethiopia 14, 316, 319; prehistoric 52, 53, 129 eugenics 288, 329 Euphrates river 127, 158, 161, 167, 177 evolution, biological 5, 6, 7, 49–50, 55–6, 75, 271, 350 Ewald, Paul 309 exchange: etiquette and ritual of 133–4; and innovation 71–2, 76, 119, 167–8, 251, 269–74; and pre-industrial economies 133–4; and property rights 324–5; and rule of law 116, 117–18; and sexual division of labour 65; and specialisation 7, 10, 33, 35, 37–8, 46, 56, 58, 75, 90, 132–3, 350–52, 355, 358–9; and trust 98–100, 103, 104; as unique human trait 56–60; and virtue 100–104; see also bartering; markets; trade executions 104 extinctions 17, 43, 64, 68, 69–70, 243, 293, 302, 338–9 Exxon (corporation) 111, 115 eye colour 129 Ezekiel 167, 168 Facebook (website) 262, 268, 356 factories 160, 214, 218, 219–20, 221, 223, 256, 258–9, 284–5 falcons 299 family formation 195, 209–210, 211, 227 famines: modern 141, 143, 154, 199, 203, 302; pessimism about 280, 281, 284, 290, 300–302, 314; pre-industrial 45, 139, 195, 197 Faraday, Michael 271–2 Fargione, Joseph 242 farming: battery 104, 145–6; free-range 146, 308; intensive 143–9; organic 147, 149–52, 393; slash-and-burn 87, 129, 130; subsidies 188, 328; subsistence 87, 138, 175–6, 189, 192, 199–200; see also agriculture; food supply fascism 289 Fauchart, Emmanuelle 264 fax machines 252 Feering, Essex 195 Fehr, Ernst 94–6 female emancipation 107, 108–9, 209 feminism 109 Ferguson, Adam 1 Ferguson, Niall 85 Fermat’s Last Theorem 275 fermenting 130, 241 Ferranti, Sebastian de 234 Fertile Crescent 126, 251 fertilisation, in-vitro 306 fertilisers 32, 129, 135, 139–41, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149–50, 152, 155, 200, 337 Fibonacci 178 figs 125, 129 filariasis 310 Finland 15, 35, 261 fire, invention of 4, 50, 51, 52, 60, 274 First World War 289, 309 fish, sex-change 280, 293 fish farming 148, 155 fishing 62, 63–4, 71, 78–9, 81–2, 125, 127, 129, 136, 159, 162, 163, 327 Fishman, Charles 113 Flanders 179, 181, 194 flight, powered 257, 261, 264, 266 Flinders Island 81, 84 floods 128, 250, 329, 331, 334, 335, 426 Florence 89, 103, 115, 178 flowers, cut 42, 327, 328 flu, pandemic 28, 145–6, 308–310 Flynn, James 19 Fontaine, Hippolyte 233–4 food aid 28, 141, 154, 203 food miles 41–2, 353, 392; see also local sourcing food preservation 139, 145, 258 food prices 20, 22, 23, 34, 39, 40, 42, 240, 241, 300 food processing 29–30, 60–61, 145; see also baking; cooking food retailing 36, 112, 148, 268; see also supermarkets food sharing 56, 59–60, 64 food supply: and biofuels 240–41, 243, 300; and climate change 337–8; and industrialisation 139, 201–2; pessimism about 280, 281, 284, 290, 300–302; and population growth 139, 141, 143–4, 146–7, 192, 206, 208–9, 300–302 Ford, Ford Maddox 188 Ford, Henry 24, 114, 189, 271 Forester, Jay 303 forests, fears of depletion 304–5, 339 fossil fuels: and ecology 237, 240, 304, 315, 342–3, 345–6; fertilisers 143, 150, 155, 237; and industrialisation 214, 216–17, 229–33, 352; and labour saving 236–7; and productivity 244–5; supplies 216–17, 229–30, 237–8, 245, 302–3; see also charcoal; coal; gas, natural; oil; peat Fourier analysis 283 FOXP2 (gene) 55, 375 fragmentation, political 170–73, 180–81, 184, 185 France: capital markets 259; famine 197; infant mortality 16; population growth 206, 208; revolution 324; trade 184, 186, 222 Franco, Francisco 186 Frank, Robert 95–6 Franken, Al 291 Franklin, Benjamin 107, 256 Franks 176 Fray Bentos 186 free choice 27–8, 107–110, 291–2 free-range farming 146, 308 French Revolution 324 Friedel, Robert 224 Friedman, Milton 111 Friend, Sir Richard 257 Friends of the Earth 154, 155 Fry, Art 261 Fuji (corporation) 114, 386 Fujian, China 89, 183 fur trade 169, 180 futurology 354–5 Gadir (Cadiz) 168–9, 170 Gaelic language 129 Galbraith, J.K. 16 Galdikas, Birute 60 Galilee, Sea of 124 Galileo 115 Gandhi, Indira 203, 204 Gandhi, Sanjay 203–4 Ganges, River 147, 172 gas, natural 235, 236, 237, 240, 302, 303, 337 Gates, Bill 106, 264, 268 GDP per capita (world), increases in 11, 349 Genentech (corporation) 259, 405 General Electric Company 261, 264 General Motors (corporation) 115 generosity 86–7, 94–5 genetic research 54, 151, 265, 306–7, 310, 356, 358 genetically modified (GM) crops 28, 32, 148, 151–6, 283, 358 Genghis Khan 182 Genoa 89, 169, 178, 180 genome sequencing 265 geothermal power 246, 344 Germany: Great Depression (1930s) 31; industrialisation 202; infant mortality 16; Nazism 109, 289; population growth 202; predicted deforestation 304, 305; prehistoric 70, 138; trade 179–80, 187; see also West Germany Ghana 187, 189, 316, 326 Gibraltar, Strait of 180 gift giving 87, 92, 133, 134 Gilbert, Daniel 4 Gilgamesh, King 159 Ginsberg, Allen 110 Gintis, Herb 86 Gladstone, William 237 Glaeser, Edward 190 Glasgow 315 glass 166, 174–5, 177, 259 glass fibre 303 Global Humanitarian Forum 337 global warming see climate change globalisation 290, 358 ‘glorious revolution’ (1688) 223 GM (genetically modified) crops 28, 148, 151–6, 283, 358 goats 122, 126, 144, 145, 197, 320 Goethe, Johann von 104 Goklany, Indur 143–4, 341, 426 gold 165, 177, 303 golden eagles 239, 409 golden toads 338 Goldsmith, Edward 291 Google (corporation) 21, 100, 114, 259, 260, 268, 355 Gore, Al 233, 291 Goths 175 Gott, Richard 294 Gramme, Zénobe Théophile 233–4 Grantham, George 401 gravity, discovery of 258 Gray, John 285, 291 Great Barrier Reef 250 Greece: ancient 115, 128, 161, 170–71, 173–4; modern 186 greenhouse gases 152, 155, 242, 329; see also carbon dioxide emissions Greenland: ice cap 125, 130, 313, 334, 339, 426; Inuits 61; Norse 380 Greenpeace 154, 155, 281, 385 Grottes des Pigeons, Morocco 53 Groves, Leslie 412 Growth is Good for the Poor (World Bank study) 317 guano 139–40, 302 Guatemala 209 Gujarat 162, 174 Gujaratis 89 Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden 184 Gutenberg, Johann 184, 253 Guth, Werner 86 habeas corpus 358 Haber, Fritz 140, 412 Hadza people 61, 63, 87 Haiti 14, 301, 315 Halaf people 130 Hall, Charles Martin 24 Halley, Edmond 256 HANPP (human appropriation of net primary productivity) number 144–5 Hanseatic merchants 89, 179–80, 196 Hansen, James 426 hanta virus 307 happiness 25–8, 191 Harappa, Indus valley 161–2 Hardin, Garrett 203 harems 136 Hargreaves, James 227, 256 Harlem, Holland 215–16 Harper’s Weekly 23 Harvey, William 256 hay 214–15, 216, 239, 408–9 Hayek, Friedrich 5, 19, 38, 56, 250, 280, 355 heart disease 18, 156, 295 ‘hedonic treadmill’ 27 height, average human 16, 18 Heller, Michael 265–6 Hellespont 128, 170 Henrich, Joe 77, 377 Henry II, King of England 118 Henry, Joseph 271, 272 Henry, William 221 Heraclitus 251 herbicides 145, 152, 153–4 herding 130–31 Hero of Alexandria 270 Herschel, Sir William 221 Hesiod 292 Hippel, Eric von 273 hippies 26, 110, 175 Hiroshima 283 Hitler, Adolf 16, 184, 296 Hittites 166, 167 HIV/AIDS 8, 14, 307–8, 310, 316, 319, 320, 322, 331, 353 Hiwi people 61 Hobbes, Thomas 96 Hock, Dee 254 Hohle Fels, Germany 70 Holdren, John 203, 207, 311 Holland: agriculture 153; golden age 185, 201, 215–16, 223; horticulture 42; industrialisation 215–16, 226; innovations 264; trade 31, 89, 104, 106, 185, 223, 328 Holy Roman Empire 178, 265–6 Homer 2, 102, 168 Homestead Act (1862) 323 homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201 Homo erectus 49, 68, 71, 373 Homo heidelbergensis 49, 50–52, 373 Homo sapiens, emergence of 52–3 Hong Kong 31, 83, 158, 169, 187, 219, 328 Hongwu, Chinese emperor 183 Hood, Leroy 222, 405 Hooke, Robert 256 horses 48, 68, 69, 129, 140, 197, 215, 282, 408–9; shoes and harnesses 176, 215 housing costs 20, 25, 34, 39–40, 234, 368 Hoxha, Enver 187 Hrdy, Sarah 88 Huber, Peter 244, 344 Hueper, Wilhelm 297 Huguenots 184 Huia (birds) 64 human sacrifice 104 Hume, David 96, 103, 104, 170 humour 2 Hunan 177 Hungary 222 Huns 175 hunter-gatherers: consumption and production patterns 29–30, 123; division of labour 61–5, 76, 136; famines 45, 139; limitations of band size 77; modern societies 66–7, 76, 77–8, 80, 87, 135–6, 136–7; nomadism 130; nostalgia for life of 43–5, 135, 137; permanent settlements 128; processing of food 29, 38, 61; technological regress 78–84; trade 72, 77–8, 81, 92–3, 123, 136–7; violence and warfare 27, 44–5, 136, 137 hunting 61–4, 68–70, 125–6, 130, 339 Huron Indians 138–9 hurricanes 329, 335, 337 Hurst, Blake 152 Hutterites 211 Huxley, Aldous 289, 354 hydroelectric power 236, 239, 343, 344, 409 hyenas 43, 50, 54 IBM (corporation) 260, 261, 282 Ibn Khaldun 182 ice ages 52, 127, 329, 335, 340, 388 ice caps 125, 130, 313, 314, 334, 338–9, 426 Iceland 324 Ichaboe island 140 ‘idea-agora’ 262 imitation 4, 5, 6, 50, 77, 80 imperialism 104, 162, 164, 166, 172, 182, 319–20, 357; see also colonialism in-vitro fertilisation 306 income, per capita: and economic freedom 117; equality 18–19, 218–19; increases in 14, 15, 16–17, 218–19, 285, 331–2 India: agriculture 126, 129, 141, 142–3, 147, 151–2, 156, 301; British rule 160; caste system 173; economic growth 187, 358; energy use 245; income equality 19; infant mortality 16; innovations 172–3, 251; Mauryan empire 172–3, 201, 357; mobile phone use 327; population growth 202, 203–4; prehistoric 66, 126, 129; trade 174–5, 175, 179, 186–7, 225, 228, 232; urbanisation 189 Indian Ocean 174, 175 Indonesia 66, 87, 89, 177 Indus river 167 Indus valley civilisation 161–2, 164 industrialisation: and capital investment 258–9; and end of slavery 197, 214; and food production 139, 201–2; and fossil fuels 214, 216–17, 229–33, 352; and innovation 38, 220–24, 227–8; and living standards 217–20, 226–7, 258; pessimistic views of 42, 102–3, 217–18, 284–5; and productivity 227–8, 230–31, 232, 235–6, 244–5; and science 255–8; and trade 224–6; and urbanisation 188, 226–7 infant mortality 14, 15, 16, 208–9, 284 inflation 24, 30, 169, 289 influenza see flu, pandemic Ingleheart, Ronald 27 innovation: and capital investment 258–62, 269; and exchange 71–2, 76, 119, 167–8, 251, 269–74; and government spending programmes 267–9; increasing returns of 248–55, 274–7, 346, 354, 358–9; and industrialisation 38, 220–24, 227–8; and intellectual property 262–7, 269; limitlessness 374–7; and population growth 252; and productivity 227–8; and science 255–8, 412; and specialisation 56, 71–2, 73–4, 76–7, 119, 251; and trade 168, 171 insect-resistant crops 154–5 insecticides 151–2 insects 75–6, 87–8 insulin 156, 274 Intel (corporation) 263, 268 intellectual property 262–7; see also copyright; patents intensive farming 143–9 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 330, 331, 332, 333–4, 338, 342, 347, 425, 426, 427, 428 internal combustion engine 140, 146, 244 International Planned Parenthood Foundation 203 internet: access to 253, 268; blogging 257; and charitable giving 318–19, 356; cyber-crime 99–100, 357; development of 263, 268, 270, 356; email 292; free exchange 105, 272–3, 356; packet switching 263; problem-solving applications 261–2; search engines 245, 256, 267; shopping 37, 99, 107, 261; social networking websites 262, 268, 356; speed of 252, 253; trust among users 99–100, 356; World Wide Web 273, 356 Inuits 44, 61, 64, 126 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 330, 331, 332, 333–4, 338, 342, 347, 349, 425, 426, 427, 428 IQ levels 19 Iran 162 Iraq 31, 158, 161 Ireland 24, 129, 199, 227 iron 166, 167, 169, 181, 184, 223, 229, 230, 302, 407 irradiated food 150–51 irrigation 136, 147–8, 159, 161, 163, 198, 242, 281 Isaac, Glyn 64 Isaiah 102, 168 Islam 176, 357, 358 Israel 53, 69, 124, 148 Israelites 168 Italy: birth rate 208; city states 178–9, 181, 196; fascism 289; Greek settlements 170–71, 173–4; infant mortality 15; innovations 196, 251; mercantilism 89, 103, 178–9, 180, 196; prehistoric 69 ivory 70, 71, 73, 167 Jacob, François 7 Jacobs, Jane 128 Jamaica 149 James II, King 223 Japan: agriculture 197–8; birth rates 212; dictatorship 109; economic development 103, 322, 332; economic and technological regression 193, 197–9, 202; education 16; happiness 27; industrialisation 219; life expectancy 17, 31; trade 31, 183, 184, 187, 197 Jarawa tribe 67 Java 187 jealousy 2, 351 Jebel Sahaba cemeteries, Egypt 44, 45 Jefferson, Thomas 247, 249, 269 Jenner, Edward 221 Jensen, Robert 327 Jericho 127, 138 Jevons, Stanley 213, 237, 245 Jews 89, 108, 177–8, 184 Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan 25–6 Jobs, Steve 221, 264, 405 John, King of England 118 Johnson, Lyndon 202–3 Jones, Rhys 79 Jordan 148, 167 Jordan river 127 Joyce, James 289 justice 19–20, 116, 320, 358 Kalahari desert 44, 61, 76 Kalkadoon aborigines 91 Kanesh, Anatolia 165 Kangaroo Island 81 kangaroos 62, 63, 69–70, 84, 127 Kant, Immanuel 96 Kaplan, Robert 293 Kay, John 184, 227 Kazakhstan 206 Kealey, Terence 172, 255, 411 Kelly, Kevin 356 Kelvin, William Thomson, 1st Baron 412 Kenya 42, 87, 155, 209, 316, 326, 336, 353 Kerala 327 Kerouac, Jack 110 Khoisan people 54, 61, 62, 67, 116, 321 Kim Il Sung 187 King, Gregory 218 Kingdon, Jonathan 67 Kinneret, Lake 124 Klasies River 83 Klein, Naomi 291 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (venture capitalists) 259 knowledge, increasing returns of 248–50, 274–7 Kodak (corporation) 114, 386 Kohler, Hans-Peter 212 Korea 184, 197, 300; see also North Korea; South Korea Kuhn, Steven 64, 69 kula (exchange system) 134 !

pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman


4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

What makes the Internet distinct from prior communication networks like the old telegraphs and then telephone networks, however, is that it is packet-switched instead of circuit-switched. Packets are small digital envelopes of data. At the beginning of each packet, essentially the “outside” of the envelope, is the header, which contains details about the network source, destination, and some basic information about the packet contents. By breaking up flows of data into smaller components, each can be delivered in an independent and decentralized fashion, then reassembled at the endpoint. The network routes each packet as it arrives, a dynamic architecture that creates both flexibility and resiliency. Packet-switching was not developed to allow the United States to maintain communications even in the event of a nuclear attack, a common myth.

pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig


AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

He was certain that the system it had built would not withstand a nuclear attack. The network was too concentrated; it had no effective redundancy. So he continued to press his idea for a different telecommunications system. He had a different design for telecommunications, and he wanted AT&T to help him build it. This different model was not the Internet, but it was close to the Internet. Baran proposed a kind of packet-switching technology to replace the persistent circuits around which the telephone system was built. Under AT&T's design, when you called someone in Paris, a circuit was opened between you and Paris. In principle, you could trace the line of copper that linked you to Paris; along that line of copper, all your conversation would travel. Baran's idea was fundamentally different. If you digitized a conversation—translating it from waves to bits—and then chopped the resulting stream into packets, these packets could flow independently across a network and create the impression of a real-time connection on the other end.

., 1956). 20 The idea is developed in Kleinrock's dissertation: Leonard Kleinrock, Message Delay in Communication Nets with Storage (1962, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), which was later published in a modified form. See Leonard Kleinrock, Communication Nets: Stochastic Message Flow and Delay (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964). See also John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999), 92, 118-19 (discussing other earlier contributors to the Internet). 21 Baran attributes to him the discovery of the term. Interview with Paul Baran (“The term 'packet switching' was first used by Donald Davies of the National Physical Laboratory in England, who independently came up with the same general concept in November 1965.”). 22 Baran confirmed this history to me in an interview. “So the first level of objections was about technology—that I didn't understand how the telephone system worked, [and] that what I'm proposing could not possibly work.” Interview with Paul Baran. 23 Naughton, 107.

pages: 547 words: 160,071

Underground by Suelette Dreyfus


airport security, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, zero day

What maintenance unit? Nibbler hadn’t mentioned any problems with any of the motel’s lines, but Par checked with him. No problems with the telephones. Par felt nervous. In addition to messing around with the phone company’s networks, he had been hacking into a Russian computer network from the computer chalet. The Soviet network was a shiny new toy. It had only been connected to the rest of the world’s global packet-switched network for about a month, which made it particularly attractive virgin territory. Nibbler called in a friend to check the motel’s phones. The friend, a former telephone company technician turned freelancer, came over to look at the equipment. He told Nibbler and Par that something weird was happening in the motel’s phone system. The line voltages were way off. Par realised instantly what was going on.

At least one of them – and often more – had already broken into systems belonging to the European Community in Luxembourg, The Financial Times (owners of the FTSE 100 share index), the British Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office, NASA, the investment bank SG Warburg in London, the American computer database software manufacturer Oracle, and more machines on the JANET network than they could remember. Pad had also penetrated a classified military network containing a NATO system. They moved through British Telecom’s Packet Switched Stream Network (PSS), which was similar to the Tymnet X.25 network, with absolute ease.2 Gandalf’s motto was, ‘If it moves, hack it’. On 27 June 1991, Pad was sitting in the front room of his parents’ comfortable home in Greater Manchester watching the last remnants of daylight disappear on one of the longest days of the year. He loved summer, loved waking up to streaks of sunlight sneaking through the cracks in his bedroom curtain.

pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv


4chan, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian,, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application

It doesn't have to be heroic; maybe you just want to browse the most milquetoast sites on the Internet with complete privacy. By using Tor, you join a bunch of strangers in declaring everybody has the right to complete privacy and collaborate anonymously to grant yourself and others that constitutional right. 74 21. Problematizing Attribution “I get credit for a lot of things I didn’t do. I just did a li le piece on packet switching and I get blamed for the whole goddamned Internet, you know? Technology reaches a certain ripeness and the pieces are available and the need is there and the economics look good—it’s going to get invented by somebody.” Paul Baran A few years ago, the unofficial fanclub website of a very popular Spanish band became notorious for reasons beyond their commitment to the band. As is customary, the site included a page with all the lyrics from all the songs recorded by the band over the years, listed in chronological and alphabetical order.

pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos


AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethereum blockchain, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks

The internet was still failing to scale. But by now, it had been failing to scale for more than a decade, very gracefully, very successfully. 11.1.5. VOIP Will Destroy the Internet Then, someone invented Voice Over IP. Some other people decided, why don’t we just replace the entire phone system with the internet? That was a crazy idea. The phone companies then started this massive campaign to inform us of why packet-switched networks could never carry voice. They said, really, the true quality approach to voice was always going to be hierarchical switch networks owned by national monopoly telecom companies because the internet couldn’t possibly scale to carry the world’s phone calls. Those same phone companies (the ones still in business) now route all of their phone calls over the internet. First, they didn’t want the internet on their phone networks.

pages: 229 words: 68,426

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield


augmented reality, business process, defense in depth, demand response, demographic transition, facts on the ground, game design, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, James Dyson, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, profit motive, recommendation engine, RFID, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method

This is not to say that social, juridical, and political forces do not exert shaping influences that are at least as significant—otherwise we really would have architected our cities around the Segway, and RU-486 would be dispensed over every drugstore counter in the land. But it wouldn't have taken a surplus of imagination, even ahead of the fact, to discern the original Napster in Paul Baran's first paper on packet-switched networks, the Manhattan skyline in the Otis safety elevator patent, or the suburb and the strip mall latent in the heart of the internal combustion engine. Let's draw three emerging technologies from the alphabet soup of new standards and specifications we face at the moment and take a look at what they seem to "want." First, RFID, the tiny radio-frequency transponders that are already doing so much to revolutionize logistics.

pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (1968—1974) The use of visual metaphors to represent data on a computer screen, along with the concept of a mouse as pointing device, dates back to a legendary demo by the Stanford professor Douglas Engelbart. Elements of the GUI were also evident in Ivan Sutherland’s 1963 program Sketchpad. The idea was refined and expanded by the Xerox PARC lab in the early 1970s. INTERNET (1970--1975) Assisted by many other computer scientists, the American Vinton Cerf designed and created the original model of the Internet, building on his early research and experiments with packet-switching networks, supported by the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. CT SCAN (1971) Using a grant provided by the British Department of Health and Social Services, British electrical engineer Godfrey Hounsfield conceived and designed the first CT scan (computerized axial tomography), which sent multiple X-ray beams through the human body, providing a near three-dimensional image.

pages: 238 words: 46

When Things Start to Think by Neil A. Gershenfeld


3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Bretton Woods, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Dynabook, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, invention of movable type, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, means of production, new economy, Nick Leeson, packet switching, RFID, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

Disney, for example, is interested in personalization. A theme park attraction can't respond appropriately if it knows only your average height and weight, not your language and gender. How can a one-cent ticket contain that information and be read from a distance? Federal Express has something of a mainframe model, sending all the packages to a central hub for processing. Just as the Internet introduced packet switching, routing chunks of data wher- 204 + WHEN THINGS START TO THINK ever they need to go, FedEx would like a package-switched network. How can a one-cent envelope route itself? Steelcase's customers want the file cabinets to find the file folders: how can a one-cent file folder communicate its contents? Becton Dickinson made a billion medical syringes last year that are sterile, sharp, and cost a penny.

pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen


Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

In its plain, unadorned text, Max could follow the exploits of editors Taran King and Knight Lightning, and contributors like Phone Phanatic, Crimson Death, and Sir Hackalot. The first generation to come of age in the home computing era was tasting the power at its fingertips, and Phrack was a jolt of subversive, electric information from a world far beyond Meridian’s sleepy borders. A typical issue was packed with tutorials on packet-switched networks like Telenet and Tymnet, guides to telephone-company computers like COSMOS, and inside looks at large-scale operating systems powering mainframe and mini-computers in air-conditioned equipment rooms around the globe. Phrack also diligently tracked news reports from the frontier battleground between hackers and their opponents in state and federal law enforcement, who were just beginning to meet the challenges posed by recreational hackers.

pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier


1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

(BitTorrent is used for a variety of content, but a primary motivation to use it is that it is suitable for distributing large files, such as television shows and feature-length movies.) The internet was, of course, originally conceived during the Cold War to be capable of surviving a nuclear attack. Parts of it can be destroyed without destroying the whole, but that also means that parts can be known without knowing the whole. The core idea is called “packet switching.” A packet is a tiny portion of a file that is passed between nodes on the internet in the way a baton is passed between runners in a relay race. The packet has a destination address. If a particular node fails to acknowledge receipt of a packet, the node trying to pass the packet to it can try again elsewhere. The route is not specified, only the destination. This is how the internet can hypothetically survive an attack.

Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Francis Fukuyama


Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Norbert Wiener, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yom Kippur War

There was the notion of interactive comput- 2990-7 ch11 waldrop 7/23/07 12:13 PM innovation and adaptation Page 125 125 ing, for example, in which a computer would respond to the user’s input immediately (as opposed to generating a stack of fanfold printout hours later); this idea dated back to the Whirlwind project, an experiment in real-time computing that began at MIT in the 1940s.13 There were the twin notions of individually controlled computing (having a computer apparently under the control of a single user) and home computing (having a computer in your own house); both emerged in the 1960s from MIT’s Project MAC, an early experiment in time-sharing.14 And then there was the notion of a computer as an open system, meaning that a user could modify it, add to it, and upgrade it however he or she wanted; that practice was already standard in the minicomputer market, which was pioneered by the Digital Equipment Corporation in the 1960s.15 —The Internet as we know it today represents the convergence of (among other ideas) the notion of packet-switched networking from the 1960s;16 the notion of internetworking (as embodied in the TCP/IP protocol), which was developed in the 1970s to allow packets to pass between different networks;17 and the notion of hypertext—which, of course, goes back to Vannevar Bush’s article on the memex in 1945. 2990-7 ch11 waldrop 7/23/07 12:13 PM Page 126 2990-7 ch12 kurth 7/23/07 12:14 PM Page 127 Part IV What Could Be 2990-7 ch12 kurth 7/23/07 12:14 PM Page 128 2990-7 ch12 kurth 7/23/07 12:14 PM Page 129 12 Cassandra versus Pollyanna A Debate between James Kurth and Gregg Easterbrook James Kurth: I am an optimist about the current pessimism, but a pessimist overall.

pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city,, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

And that event included not only the days up until July 23, but also the subsequent repercussions, like the bizarre mass panic, often called the Great Fear, that gripped the provinces over the next week, and the famous legislative session that lasted the entire night of August 4, during which the entire social and political order of the old regime was dismantled.16 The more you want to explain about a black swan event like the storming of the Bastille, in other words, the broader you have to draw the boundaries around what you consider to be the event itself. This is true not only for political events but also for “technological black swans,” like the computer, the Internet, and the laser. For example, it might be true that the Internet was a black swan, but what does that mean? Does it mean that the invention of packet-switched networks was a black swan? Or was the black swan the growth of this original network into something much larger, eventually forming what would at first be called the ARPANET and then this thing called the Internet? Was it solely the development of the physical infrastructure on which other technological innovations, such as the Web and voice-over IP, were built? Or was it that these technologies, in turn, led to new business models and modes of social interaction?

pages: 342 words: 95,013

The Zenith Angle by Bruce Sterling


airport security, Burning Man, cuban missile crisis, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Iridium satellite, market bubble, new economy, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, V2 rocket, Y2K

She looks like a Muppet.” “That would be Fawn Glickleister.” “I know her name. If I need help, I know where to get it.” “Glickleister!” Jeb insisted. “She’s not twelve, she’s twenty-six. She’s Glickleister’s daughter.” Recognition dawned. “The Glickleister? Hyman Glickleister?” “Do you know any other Glickleisters?” Van took a breath. Hyman Glickleister. Legendary computer visionary. ARPANET. Packet-switching guru. A man thirty years ahead of his time. Glickleister had spent the last fifteen years of his life in a wheelchair, dying of some obscure neuromuscular disease, and that had only made him concentrate more fiercely. Van had been crushed when Glickleister had died. It was as if some vast blazing bonfire had gone out. There ought to be bronze statues to Glickleister in front of every router station in the world.

pages: 349 words: 114,038

Culture & Empire: Digital Revolution by Pieter Hintjens


4chan, airport security, anti-communist, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, blockchain, business climate, business intelligence, business process, Chelsea Manning, clean water, congestion charging, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Debian, Edward Snowden, failed state, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, German hyperinflation, global village, GnuPG, Google Chrome, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, informal economy, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, national security letter, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, packet switching, patent troll, peak oil, pre–internet, private military company, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, Skype, slashdot, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, transaction costs, union organizing, web application, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day, Zipf's Law

It took only four decades to go from three terminals on a local network to almost seven billion mobile phones, of which two billion are smartphones, on a global network. In the 1960's, mainframes ruled. These were huge expensive machines run like private empires. People were experimenting with simple networks. In 1962, I was born, and someone also invented network packets. These are like envelopes of information that could be sent around different routes to get to their destination. The military began developing packet-switched networks that could survive a lot of damage. Around 1965, people invented mainframe electronic mail; in 1969, the first RFC was written; and in 1971, the @ sign was born. The first Internet was actually built out of smaller networks like Arpanet, which had a whopping 213 hosts in 1981, and Usenet, which had 940 hosts by 1984. The Internet doubled in size every eighteen months. The Internet Protocol (IP) made it possible to route packets between networks (not just inside single networks) and after Big Brother failed to appear in 1984 (except in Apple adverts), the Internet grew into a worldwide research network that reached most places except Africa.

pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk,, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

Back then, there were only a few major computing centers on the planet. All those researchers who didn’t happen to work at MIT or Caltech—well, they were just out of luck. Then, in April 1963, a computer scientist named J. C. R. Licklider wrote a memo to his colleagues proposing an “Intergalactic Computer Network”—a network that replaced traditional circuit-switching technology with the then new development of packet switching, allowing any researcher with a terminal and a phone line to connect to one of the computing centers they so desperately needed.4 This was the birth of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the foundational network that has since become today’s Internet. ARPANET became operational in 1975. It was mostly text-based, fairly complicated to navigate, and used primarily by scientists.

Scratch Monkey by Stross, Charles


carbon-based life, defense in depth, fault tolerance, gravity well, Kuiper Belt, packet switching, phenotype, telepresence

If Anubis had the full use of his faculties, he would be more than prepared for anything she could do. But if he was cut off, just a shadow of his full intellect, she might stand a chance. "I'm coming," she said. Her voice echoed from the walls. There was no answering volley of automatic fire; but she felt a sudden prickle throughout her climb-spider's nerves. You are being probed. Mechanism indeterminate and quantum-encrypted. EPR-privileged technology in use. Dreamtime packet-switched scan in use. There is a possibility of viral attack ... Her wisdom base screamed more warnings until she winced it off. "What's going on?" she demanded, firing off a flurry of active radar pulses to map out the dimensions of the killing jar. "I demand to know!" "She demands to know," crooned Anubis. He barked like a dog: feral laughter. Oshi took another step towards the light. "It is a long time since anyone demanded anything of Anubis!

pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum


air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks

Kleinrock looked over the top of his reading glasses and waved me toward a chair. Then he clicked. And clicked again. Now try, the voice said. He winced. “It says I’m not connected to the Internet. That’s what it says!” Then he laughed so hard his shoulders shook. Kleinrock is the father of the Internet—or rather, a father, as success has many. In 1961, while a graduate student at MIT, he published the first paper on “packet switching,” the idea that data could be transmitted efficiently in small chunks rather than a continuous stream—one of the key notions behind the Internet. The idea was already in the air. A professor at the British National Physical Laboratory named Donald Davies had, unbeknownst to Kleinrock, been independently refining similar concepts, as had Paul Baran, a researcher at the RAND Corporation in Los Angeles.

pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson


23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

I’m hoping Vint can give me the big picture on our increasing interconnectedness. After all, he was in at the ground floor of the Internet and now works on the top one. He’s a man with a career-length view on the technology, which for a technology as young as the Net is about the longest view you can have. As a graduate student, Cerf worked under Professor Leonard Kleinrock, who in 1969 oversaw the first computer-to-computer message to be sent using the ‘packet switching’ method that underlies the Internet. Actually, it was two-thirds of a message. Another of Kleinrock’s students, Charley Kline, hoped to send a three-letter message ‘LOG’ to a receiving machine (this being the code for logging on to that computer). The ‘L’ and the ‘O’ worked but the ‘G’ crashed the system. ‘So the first message on the Internet was LO,’ said Professor Kleinrock. ‘Or “Hello,” crash!’

pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt


4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott:, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

His name was Bram Cohen, and he called his invention BitTorrent. Born in Manhattan, Cohen was a gifted programmer who competed in recreational mathematics tournaments in his spare time. He wore his hair long and his eyebrows thick, his voice came fast and nasal, and he had the hard-geek habit of nervously chuckling at things that weren’t really funny, like the inefficiencies of standard Internet packet switching, or the believability of reported file transfer download speeds. His laugh was startling and staccato, and always felt forced, and when he talked he bounced in his seat and didn’t meet your eyes. These were classic symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that Cohen claimed to have—although, he admitted, this wasn’t a professional diagnosis, merely one he’d assigned to himself.

pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden,, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

Today, democracy is a form of open society in which people in authority use the internet for public goods and human security in ways that have been widely reviewed and publicly approved. Democracy occurs when the rules and norms of mass surveillance have been developed openly, and state practices are acknowledged by the government. Information policy has not only come to define what kind of government a country has; the political decision to disconnect information infrastructure now delineates a regime on the edge of collapse. Net watchers report instantly when packet switching through a nation’s digital switches stops and the country “goes dark.” Public protests in an authoritarian regime can be a sign of political instability. A defining feature of political, military, and security crisis is the moment when a ruler orders the mobile-phone company and internet-service providers to shut down. Going dark has become the modern mark of a regime in crisis, and the indicator that a state is close to collapse.

pages: 549 words: 116,200

With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow


autonomous vehicles, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, death of newspapers, don't be evil, game design, Google Earth, high net worth, margin call, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sensible shoes, skunkworks, Skype, traffic fines, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban planning, Y2K

She was a collection of trademark affectations: a jacket with built-up shoulders, a monocle, a string tie, nipple tassles, and tattooed cross-hatching on her face that made her look like a woodcut of a Victorian counting-house clerk. Rainer loathed her -- she'd been on the committee to which he'd defended his Philosophy of Networks thesis, and she'd busted his balls so hard that they still ached a decade later when he saw her on the tube. 947 The pundit explained the packet-switching, using trains versus automobiles as a metaphor: "In a circuit uniwerse, every communication gets its own dedicated line, like a train on a track. Ven I vant to talk to you, ve build a circuit -- a train track -- betveen our dewices. No one else can use those tracks, even if ve're not talking. But packet-svitching is like a freevay. Ve break the information up into packets and ve give every packet its own little car, and it finds its own vay to the other end.

pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega


Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth,, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, market design, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, performance metric, pirate software, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

The Egyptians carved obfuscated hieroglyphs into monuments; the Spartans used sticks and wound messages called scytales to exchange military plans; and the Romans’ Caesar ciphers are well documented in school textbooks. Many historians attribute the victory in the Second World War directly to the code breakers at Bletchley Park who deciphered the famous Enigma machine, yet even this monumental technological event, which ended the World War and changed history forever, may pale into insignificance next to changes to come. The packet switching network invented by Donald Davies in 1970 also changed the world forever when the sudden ability of computers to talk to other computers with which they previously had no relationship opened up new possibilities for previously isolated computing power. Although the early telegraph networks almost a century before may have aroused the dream of an electronically connected planet, it was only in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that we started to wire the world together definitively with copper cables and later with fiber-optic technology.

pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin


affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, Zimmermann PGP

Under these conditions, a print journalist who wants a steady living might feel obliged to heed the advice of major clients and advertisers. 134 ... not the way living organisms do it... Recall how the Internet arose out of concern over how best to defend the United States against foreign foes. Overly rigid central command systems were seen as fatally flawed. New concepts of dispersed responsibility led to packet-switching technology, and eventually the Internetʼs magnificent chaos. 134 Criticism might be viewed as a civilizationʼs equivalent of an immune system.... In fact, mutual criticism in society has the potential of being far more effective in correcting errors than the immune system of a living organism. As John Gilmore points out, “The immune system canʼt improve on the bodyʼs pre-existing design. But criticism can.”

pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation,, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

Griffiths, The History of the Internet, Chapter Two: From ARPANET to World Wide Web, (last visited June 1, 2007) (“It is worth remembering, at this stage, that we are still [in the mid-1970s] in a World where we are talking almost exclusively about large mainframe computers (owned only by large corporations, government institutions and universities).”). 32. See Leiner et al., A Brief History of the Internet, supra note 29 (“Internet was based on the idea that there would be multiple independent networks of rather arbitrary design, beginning with the ARPANET as the pioneering packet switching network…. In this approach, the choice of any individual network technology was not dictated by a particular network architecture but rather could be selected freely by a provider and made to interwork with the other networks through a meta-level ‘Internetworking Architecture.’”). 33. Seeid. (“Four ground rules were critical to [the early designs of the Internet]: [First, e]ach distinct network would have to stand on its own and no internal changes could be required to any such network to connect it to the Internet.

pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

He was interested in all forms of technologically augmented human life—what science fiction writers call cyborgs, and what Sigmund Freud meant when he described man as a “prosthetic god.”* The basic story of the Internet’s early development has been told many times; but our specific concern is to understand what was the same and what was different about this network as compared with radio, television, and the telephone system. Licklider and other early Internet founders believed that they were building an information network like none other. Some of its innovations, like packet switching, were obviously radical even in their day. Yet as we have seen time and time again, one generation’s radical innovation is the next generation’s unyielding dinosaur. In this chapter, we begin the pursuit of a central question: Was the Internet truly different, a real revolution? We don’t yet know the answer. But here, at its origins, we can gain the first inklings of what might account for that sense.

pages: 414 words: 123,666

Merchants' War by Stross, Charles


British Empire, dumpster diving, East Village, indoor plumbing, offshore financial centre, packet switching, peak oil, stem cell

The postal service ships high-value goods, whatever they are, either reliably-for destinations in your world, without fear of interception- or fast-for destinations in this world, by FedEx across a continent ruled by horseback." She pushed herself upright with her walking stick. "Put yourself in their shoes. They want nothing to change, because they feel threatened by change-their status is tenuous. A postal network is a packet-switched network, literally so. If world-walkers drift away from it, the bandwidth drops, and thus, its profitability. New ventures divert vital human capital. They're against exploration, because they're scrambling to stay on top of the dung heap." "Sounds like-" Mike could think of a number of people it sounded like, uncomfortably close to home- change the subject. "What about the progressives?" "We want change, simple as that.

pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov


3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel,, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

In the afterword to my first book, The Net Delusion, I made what I now believe to be one of its main, even if overlooked, points: the physical infrastructure we know as “the Internet” bears very little resemblance to the mythical “Internet”—the one that reportedly brought down the governments of Tunisia and Egypt and is supposedly destroying our brains—that lies at the center of our public debates. The infrastructure and design of this network of networks do play a certain role in sanctioning many of these myths—for example, the idea that “the Internet” is resistant to censorship comes from the unique qualities of its packet-switching communication mechanism—but “the Internet” that is the bane of public debates also contains many other stories and narratives—about innovation, surveillance, capitalism—that have little to do with the infrastructure per se. French philosopher Bruno Latour, writing of Louis Pasteur’s famed scientific accomplishments, distinguished between Pasteur, the actual historical figure, and “Pasteur,” the mythical almighty character who has come to represent the work of other scientists and entire social movements, like the hygienists, who, for their own pragmatic reasons, embraced Pasteur with open arms.

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Yet, possibly because they are mostly invisible, we can’t seem to figure out what to call them. None of the commonly used monikers quite capture their importance. One can only wonder how long the oddly durable anachronism “wireless” will stick around. “Cellular” (and the even worse “cellular telephony”) is a technician’s term, mostly confined to use in the United States, which describes the network’s underlying architecture of towers. It’s like calling the Internet “distributed packet-switched computer networking” instead of the “Web.” “Mobile” starts to get at the essence of why people find these technologies so utterly appealing but misses one big aspect of how we use them. Most of the time we aren’t moving, we’re sitting still. There is a more fitting adjective that captures both the technology and what it is doing to us. In the 1990s, as the US military contemplated battlefield communications in the future, it adopted the term “untethered.”

pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis


3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

A way therefore had to be found to make telecommunications indestructible in the instance of nuclear war. Telecommunication networks had to become decentralised and distributed, and guided by switching systems able to reroute traffic along whichever connections provided the optimal routes. In around 1965, DARPA commissioned the study of decentralised switching systems, which led to the development of the ARPANET15 packet switching research network, which later grew into the public Internet. ARPANET sent its first email in 1971. Email was thus the Internet’s first ‘killer app’. By the early 1990s, modems made email widely available. Computers began increasingly to connect to the Internet. The ocean was transforming into a new continent where information became a commodity. The invention of the World Wide Web (‘Web’ for short) by English computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee provided a way for computers to share information.

pages: 826 words: 231,966

GCHQ by Richard Aldrich


Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

While they were there, a group of other German prisoners sent a message asking to speak to the ‘proper people’. This team had served in the OKW headquarters sigint units and now revealed that, terrified of the rapid Soviet advance, they had buried their equipment under the pavement in front of their headquarters. Called ‘OKW-Chi’, they had successfully broken what was referred to as ‘Russian Fish’. This was an encrypted Soviet military teleprinter that achieved an early version of packet switching, breaking each message into nine different parts and routing it along separate channels, before reassembling it. The Germans had already worked out that their code-breaking triumph would have post-war value, and hoped to sell themselves on as a complete team.4 They were not disappointed. By 23 May they had been encouraged to unearth and set up their equipment, allowing them to resume decrypting Soviet command traffic.

pages: 956 words: 267,746

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion ofSafety by Eric Schlosser


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, impulse control, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, life extension, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stanislav Petrov, Stewart Brand, too big to fail, uranium enrichment

But a series of small power surges could mimic those pulses and activate the motors. The motors might silently rotate, one notch at a time, over the course of days or even months, without the launch crews knowing. And then, when the final notch turned, fifty missiles would suddenly take off. Rubel interview. “I was scared shitless”: The engineer was Paul Baran, later one of the inventors of packet switching. Quoted in Stewart Brand, “Founding Father,” Wired, March 2001. the redesign cost about $840 million: Cited in Ball, Politics and Force Levels, p. 194. To err on the side of safety: See Dobbs, One Minute to Midnight, pp. 276–79; and “Strategic Air Command Operations in the Cuban Crisis,” pp. 72–73. “Mr. McNamara went on to describe the possibilities”: “State-Defense Meeting on Group I, II, and IV Papers,” p. 12.