A Prehistory of the Cloud

A Prehistory of the Cloud

by Tung-Hui Hu

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262529969
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 09/02/2016
Series: The MIT Press
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 597,263
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tung-Hui Hu, a former network engineer, is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Michigan and the recipient of a 2015 NEA literature fellowship.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

1 The Shape of the Network 1

The Graft 1

"Strange end Unusual Fits," 1961 11

Truckstop Networks (Portola Valley, California) 24

2 Time-Sharing and Virtualization 37

Intimacies of the User: From the Stolen Look to Stolen Time 37

"The Victorians Built Magnificent Drains": Waste, Privacy, and the Cloud 52

Cloud Cartography 66

Interlude: Learning from Santa Clara 73

3 Data Centers and Data Bunkers 79

"The Internet Must Be Defended!" 79

Bunker Archaeology 96

The Melancholy of New Media 104

4 Seeing the Cloud of Data 111

War us Big Data 111

"The Other Night Sky": Seeing and Counterseeing 126

Neaopolitics 135

Conclusion 145

Notes 149

Bibliography 177

Index 195

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Before we dismantle the cloud in our fight against the centralization of power, it's crucial to know its history. Thanks to Tung-Hui Hu's excellent book, A Prehistory of the Cloud, we now do.

Geert Lovink, media theorist

Hu's riveting genealogy of the cloud takes us into its precursors and politics, and boldly demonstrates how fantasies of sovereignty, security, and participation are bound up in it. Much more than a data center, the cloud is a diffuse and invisible structure of power that has yielded a data-centric order. Imaginative and lucidly written, this book will be core to digital media studies.

Lisa Parks, Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Tung-Hui Hu's A Prehistory of the Cloud is a powerful genealogy of the historical infrastructure underlying the image of the cloud as disembodied, virtual object—an image that has come to dominate the Internet of social networks, algorithms, and big data. If looking right into the cloud might blind us, there is much worth in understanding how this 'amorphous form' has come to signify the nebulous character of network societies while also materially and symbolically reinventing old modes of power. Beautifully and yet plainly written, both abstract and concrete, Hu's A Prehistory of the Cloud is bound to be an enduring contribution to our historical and political understanding of network technologies.

Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age

Endorsement

Tung-Hui Hu's A Prehistory of the Cloud is a powerful genealogy of the historical infrastructure underlying the image of the cloud as disembodied, virtual object—an image that has come to dominate the Internet of social networks, algorithms, and big data. If looking right into the cloud might blind us, there is much worth in understanding how this 'amorphous form' has come to signify the nebulous character of network societies while also materially and symbolically reinventing old modes of power. Beautifully and yet plainly written, both abstract and concrete, Hu's A Prehistory of the Cloud is bound to be an enduring contribution to our historical and political understanding of network technologies.

Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age

Lisa Parks

Hu's riveting genealogy of the cloud takes us into its precursors and politics, and boldly demonstrates how fantasies of sovereignty, security, and participation are bound up in it. Much more than a data center, the cloud is a diffuse and invisible structure of power that has yielded a data-centric order. Imaginative and lucidly written, this book will be core to digital media studies.

Tiziana Terranova

Tung-Hui Hu's A Prehistory of the Cloud is a powerful genealogy of the historical infrastructure underlying the image of the cloud as disembodied, virtual object—an image that has come to dominate the Internet of social networks, algorithms, and big data. If looking right into the cloud might blind us, there is much worth in understanding how this 'amorphous form' has come to signify the nebulous character of network societies while also materially and symbolically reinventing old modes of power. Beautifully and yet plainly written, both abstract and concrete, Hu's A Prehistory of the Cloud is bound to be an enduring contribution to our historical and political understanding of network technologies.

Geert Lovink

Before we dismantle the cloud in our fight against the centralization of power, it's crucial to know its history. Thanks to Tung-Hui Hu's excellent book, A Prehistory of the Cloud, we now do.

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