As we read in Paul Edwards’ article, there is a close relationship between the birth of the computer and the military (see his book “The Closed World”). In fact, if you read the history of cryptography in World War II (or saw the Alan Turing movie), you’ll find out that the original “computers” were mostly women who were doing mathematical calculations by hand.
But something has changed – women are no longer as visible in the computer industry. Does it matter? See this article in the Atlantic.
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With Escobar’s “Welcome to Cyberia,” here are some musings to help you get through the article.
” the study of cyberculture is particularly concerned with the cultural constructions and reconstructions on which the new technologies are based and which they in turn help to shape” (Escobar 1994:211)
STS (Science and Technology Studies) and the idea of “social constructivism”: “contingency and flexibility are the essence of technological change; by showing that social processes are inherent to technological innovations, they deal a fatal blow to the alleged separation of technology from society and of both of these from nature” (Escobar 1994:212)
What is the connection between science, technology, and culture?
What is a cyborg?
1. The production and use of new technologies.
2. Computer-mediated communities – virtual villages.
3. Popular culture of science and technology.
4. Computer-mediated communication.
5. The political economy of cyberspace. (i.e., the digital divide)