The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (Inside Technology)

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9780262550284: The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (Inside Technology)

The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology -- and were transformed, in turn, by information machines.

The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories -- the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture -- through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence.

Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a "closed-world discourse" of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of "containment" led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects -- for containing world-scale conflicts -- helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a " Star Wars" space-based ballistic missile defense.

Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a "cyborg discourse." By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world.

Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction -- from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner -- where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed.

Inside Technology series

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Review:

Edwards traces how computers have emerged as the dominant technology as a direct result of Cold War politics and the defense research it engendered. From the first use of room-size mainframes to coordinate missile systems, Pentagon research aimed toward complete computer control, including the budget-busting and ultimately impractical Strategic Defensive Initiative. Edwards relates how the technolog--which is now so open as to be nearly anarchic--began in strictly enclosed secrecy. The military computer goal of perfect "command, control and communication" systems was understood to mean communication only within a very closed world. Edwards' thesis is that this approach influenced the very structure of our modern computers.

About the Author:

Paul N. Edwards is Professor of Information and History at the University of Michigan. He is the author of A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming (2010) and a coeditor (with Clark Miller) of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance (2001), both published by the MIT Press.

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Paul N. Edwards
Editore: MIT Press Ltd, United States (1997)
ISBN 10: 0262550288 ISBN 13: 9780262550284
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Descrizione libro MIT Press Ltd, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology -- and were transformed, in turn, by information machines. The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories -- the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture -- through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence.Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a closed-world discourse of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of containment led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects -- for containing world-scale conflicts -- helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a Star Wars space-based ballistic missile defense.Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a cyborg discourse. By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world.Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction -- from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner -- where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed. Inside Technology series. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780262550284

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Descrizione libro MIT Press Ltd, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology -- and were transformed, in turn, by information machines. The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories -- the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture -- through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence. Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a closed-world discourse of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of containment led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects -- for containing world-scale conflicts -- helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a Star Wars space-based ballistic missile defense. Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a cyborg discourse. By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world. Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction -- from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner -- where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed. Inside Technology series. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780262550284

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Descrizione libro MIT Press Ltd, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology -- and were transformed, in turn, by information machines. The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories -- the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture -- through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence.Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a closed-world discourse of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of containment led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects -- for containing world-scale conflicts -- helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a Star Wars space-based ballistic missile defense.Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a cyborg discourse. By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world.Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction -- from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner -- where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed. Inside Technology series. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780262550284

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Descrizione libro MIT 1997-09-30, Cambridge, Mass. |London, 1997. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780262550284

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Descrizione libro Mit Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 462 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.0in. x 1.0in.The Closed World offers a radically new alternative to the canonical histories of computers and cognitive science. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology -- and were transformed, in turn, by information machines. The Closed World explores three apparently disparate histories -- the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture -- through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence. Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a closed-world discourse of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. The Cold War political goal of containment led to the SAGE continental air defense system, Rand Corporation studies of nuclear strategy, and the advanced technologies of the Vietnam War. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects -- for containing world-scale conflicts -- helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions. Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a Star Wars space-based ballistic missile defense. Edwards then shows how these military projects helped computers become axial metaphors in psychological theory. Analyzing the Macy Conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a cyborg discourse. By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world. Finally, Edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction -- from the disembodied, panoptic AI of 2001: A Space Odyssey, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner -- where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed. Inside Technology series This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780262550284

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Descrizione libro The MIT Press, 1997. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0262550288

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