Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review of Blogs from - September 2010

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.8: Apple, Silicon Valley and the Counter-Cultural Impulse

While Woz earned his title as the “Mozart of digital design” through his design of the Apple II, Jobs helped conceive the computer as a democratizing tool with the motto-“One person–one computer”. The microcomputer was sold as a tool that would balance the unequal relationship between institutions and the individual. It would empower the individual and allow their inner artist to emerge. The Apple II Computer went on to become the darling of the counter-cultural crowd and would remain a symbol of resistance against the corporate forces of IBM and later the predatory practices of Microsoft.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.7: The Origins of Microsoft

As kids, Bill Gates and Paul Allen dreamed of having their own Fortune 500 company. The two became friends (and sometimes adversaries) when the both attended the prestigious Lakeside School in Seattle in the early 1970s.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.6: The PC and the Floppy Disk

The development of the floppy disk was a crucial factor determining the success of the personal computer.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.5: Intel and the PC

After twenty years of government backing, the microprocessing industry was about to crawl out on its own. And it was the microcomputer that would give the semiconductor industry the legs to become viable in the commercial arena.
The Smith Effect II: From Political Arithmetik to “State-istics” to IT

This is the second in a four part exploration of Adam Smith and how his ideas laid the foundation for information technology (IT). Drawing on Michael J. Shapiro‘s Reading “Adam Smith” (2002), I argue that this reconceptualization contributed to 1) an understanding of “market forces” and the importance of labor; and 2) the development of the a wide field of measurements that transformed “political arithmetik” into “state-istics”, the science of numbers in service of governing the nation-state. In particular, the philosophical and empirical work on developing the census, its rationale, and its techniques, led directly to the creation of information machines and computers.

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