[ih] New Republic Article - "How We Misremember the Internet’s Origins"
jeanjour at comcast.net
Fri Nov 1 14:51:00 PDT 2019
If her point is that those who were involved in the development of the ARPANET were not involved, or not affected by the politics of the day, nothing could be further from the truth. I know not what others were doing but it certainly wasn’t the case at Illinois. As she points out, we were mere graduate students. There wasn't a whole lot we could do, but I do know the following occurred (not in any particular order):
1) We were building Illiac IV, the other very large ARPA project at the time, which was to be on the ARPANET. The student newspaper, the Daily Illini (DI) and a ‘radical movement’ were competing to be leaders of the 'movement.' Arguing that the project had been surreptitiously brought to campus. (The DI’s reporting of Board of Trustees meetings didn’t mention it. A similar thing *had* happened at SIU with a Vietnamese Study Center.) There were several demonstrations which finally culminated
2) In a well-attended debate in the student union between our staff and theirs, it was pointed out that approval of the project by the University Board of Trustees was covered in the local newspapers, The Courier and the News-Gazette. The DI had only reported what was relevant to the fraternities and sororities.
3) They then shifted their focus to the issue that classified research shouldn’t be done on university campus, which the entire project agreed with. None of us had security clearances, the building IlliacIV was to be housed in was not a secure facility and couldn’t be. We were quite adamant about this both in and out of the project. Of course, then they argued that the DoD would sneak them on campus, not realizing that the DoD is more paranoid than they are.
4) Our office on campus was firebombed. Luckily, it didn’t go off. That building would have gone up in an instant.
5) We were making heavy use over the ARPANET of SAIL’s access to the API wire to follow the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile as we tried to arrange to get friends and colleagues out of there before they ended up in the stadium. Through other things we were involved in on campus, we knew people involved in Stafford Beer’s cybernetic project with the Allende government.
6) We were on strike for several weeks following Kent State and the killing of a black youth in Champaign the next week.
7) Because of contractual issues with TI on building the chips for the machine, there were massive cost overruns. ARPA was putting considerable pressure on the head of the project and not willing to put more money in. Consequently, to get out from under, the PI made the argument (thanks to the demonstrators) that he couldn’t guarantee the safety of the machine if it came to Illinois. So instead, it went to NASA Ames in San Jose where it could do secret research and did.
and much more I have forgotten. It was far more than an education in the nascent field of networking.
(Actually, networking was about to undergo a similar revolution too that was very much took its lead from the politics (and the science) of the time. But that hasn’t been mentioned here.)
No, the graybeards that created the ARPANET were not involved in the politics and environment of what was going on around us. Yea, right!
> On Nov 1, 2019, at 15:37, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have no idea where she got her degree, and I apologise if it read as a personal attack. It was actually intended as an attack on a whole style of thinking, and I stand by that.
> Brian Carpenter
> On 02-Nov-19 08:18, Lori Emerson wrote:
>> Hi all, I've enjoyed having the chance to be a lurker on this list for awhile and I've learned a lot. I also appreciate that you all might have different views on Ingrid Burrington's think piece, but I can't imagine that veering into ad hominem attacks on the worth of her degree is considered part of productive discussion on this list.
>> best, Lori
>> On Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 1:15 PM Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com <mailto:brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> "But when the publicly funded open protocols and infrastructure built by ARPANET entered the Californian crucible of nascent ex-hippie neoliberalism, the windows of possibility narrow."
>> Um, meaningless drivel from someone with a liberal arts degree?
>> Neoliberalism didn't *actually* arise from hippiedom; it arose from rich people endorsing a particular stream of thought in academic economics. You might as well say that the Postel principle arose from hippiedom, since Jon had long hair. It would make as much sense IMNSHO.
>> Brian Carpenter
>> Internet-history mailing list
>> Internet-history at elists.isoc.org <mailto:Internet-history at elists.isoc.org>
>> Lori Emerson
>> Associate Professor | Director, Media Archaeology Lab
>> Department of English and Intermedia Arts, Writing, and Performance
>> University of Colorado at Boulder
>> Hellems 101, 226 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0226
>> traditional territories of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations
>> loriemerson.net <http://loriemerson.net> | mediaarchaeologylab.com <http://mediaarchaeologylab.com>
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