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A Global Nervous System

From the telegraph to cyberspace
by

Dr Teodor Mitew

on 26 August 2016

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Transcript of A Global Nervous System

A GLOBAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
from the telegraph to cyberspace


ARPAnet concept:
the network has no central hub
is designed to operate while broken
is assumed to be unreliable at all times
1973 TCP/IP
Vint Cerf & Bob Kahn
the telegraph
first commercial electric telegraph
First radio telegraph
radio
1895
telephone
Alexander Bell patent
the 'telephone girls'
Every girl should be in good health, quick-handed, clear-voiced, and with a certain poise and alertness of manner.
New York Telephone Company hiring qualifications (1910)
the internet
1969 ARPANET becomes operational
1971 first email is sent
satellites
Sputnik 1
first television transmission
TV
Alan Turing
Charles Babbage
theorizes the first computer
the 'Analytical Engine'
1820-1871
Countess Ada Lovelace
writes first program for the Analytical Engine
Herman Hollerith founds the Tabulating Machine Company [later to become IBM]
the Enigma machine
Is it a fact - or have I dreamt it - that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! Or, shall we say, it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we deemed it!
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)
the world becomes a single body
wires and cables - its nerves
First undersea cable
First (faulty) trans-Atlantic cable
suddenly, people become interested in far-off places
the annihilation of
standardization of
time
'It requires no small intellectual effort to realize that this is a fact that now is, and not one that has been.'
used a carrier rocket designed for nuclear warheads
'A net-work of nerves of iron wire, strung with lightning, will ramify from the brain, New York, to the distant limbs and members.'
original rate is $100 for a message of ten words
The New York Tribune
the weather report appears
the military is quick to implement it
father of modern computing
patron saint of cryptographers & hackers
Is it a fact - or have I dreamt it - that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! Or, shall we say, it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we deemed it!
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)
thank you
"the nervous system of the world..."
'a mesh of associative trails'
demonstrates long distance information transmission using dot-dash code
1837
1838
thought, nothing but thought
1851
across the English Channel
1858
1895
'nerves of iron wire'
dramatic shift in world-perception
the telegraph causes a
suddenly, the world is a body
following events in real-time
we need time zones!
distance and duration
'a breathless point of time'
1876
1924
1957
1896
1964
Paul Baran
oscillations in an electrical current
speed is 2 minutes per character
speed is 8 words per minute
~$1470 in 2013
The New York Herald
6 August 1991
the World Wide Web
Samuel Morse
dot-dash code
First trans-Atlantic cable
1866
it's centers, the capitals of global empires
information flows are already understood to allow coordination and control
decoupling of information from matter
the idea of
NOW
extraction of information from matter
extraction of duration from space
the invention of the living room
let's take a step back
programs are to be encoded on paper punch-cards
industrialization of information transmission and processing
the game of secrets
cryptography
early computers
the Turing test
programming
artificial intelligence
Vannevar Bush
'As We May Think'
July 1945
theorizes a collective memory machine
the memex
'a mesh of associative trails'
messages divided into packets
each packet finds its way through the network individually
the route is unimportant
all network nodes can speak to each other
the protocols are technical and do not concern the content
DIGC202 Global Networks
Dr Teodor Mitew
@tedmitew
tedmitew.com
Telegraph operators at a baseball game in Philadelphia, 1913
Telegraph messenger boys, 1910s
The New York Times, 1858
'too fast for the truth'
'What need is there for the scraps of news in ten minutes?'
Manhattan telegraph wires, 1887
A woman posing with a telegraph machine, early 1850s
Telephone switchboard in Palestine, early 1920s
Telephone switchboard in Richmond, Virginia, 1884
General Guderian using the Enigma, France, May 1940
Portable Bell telephone, 1923
Full transcript