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A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press)

Tung-Hui Hu April 15, 2018

We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud Behind that cloud shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies andWe may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud Behind that cloud shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence In this book, Tung Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual in our understanding of the cloud Hu shows that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer lines, and television circuits He describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game Spacewar as exemplar of time sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers Countering the popular perception of a new cloudlike political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population But because we invest the cloud with cultural fantasies about security and participation, we fail to recognize its militarized origins and ideology Moving between the materiality of the technology itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu s account offers a set of new tools for rethinking the contemporary digital environment.


  • Title: A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press)
  • Author: Tung-Hui Hu
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Kindle Edition
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      Posted by:Tung-Hui Hu
      Published :2018-04-15T22:55:05+00:00