[SIGCIS-Members] No large attachments allowed on the list (sorry Paul)

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Mon Mar 24 09:00:33 PDT 2014

Hello Paul and SIGCIS members,


Our list is set with a maximum message size of 200KB, and attachments are in
general frowned upon. This is for two reasons. First, we have over 300
members and not all of them are interested enough in any specific topic to
force large attachments into their mailboxes, which can be a problem when
people are on slower links or receiving messages wirelessly with limited
data plans. Second, attachments do not archive or work for digest mode


The document does sound very interesting, and I urge Paul to upload it
somewhere like Dropbox. The URL for the download can then be shared to all
members, and will work correctly in the archive and digest versions of the


Full list policies at http://www.sigcis.org/node/14. 


Best wishes,




From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On
Behalf Of Paul N. Edwards
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 7:23 AM
To: sigcis
Cc: Willard McCarty
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] ADSEC Final Report, 1950 - declassified, and
attached here


SIGCISers and SIGCISters - 


Courtesy of Prof. Willard McCarty, who dug this out with a FOIA request and
some help from an archivist and others at Lincoln Labs, here is the 1950
final report of the Air Defense Systems Engineering Committee (ADSEC) -
classified until now. Many of you will know that this committee, aka the
Valley Committee (for its leader, MIT prof George Valley), played a major
role in initiating the SAGE air defense system of the 1950s.


It's a fascinating read for the organism/machine metaphors, the cybernetic
thinking, and the view of what was seen as possible (and not possible). To
me, one of the most interesting thing about it is the awareness that
converting analog signals into digital form was even more of a stumbling
block than computing itself, which is seen as a relatively trivial matter
that would require mainly time to develop computers with enough capacity to
track hundreds or thousands of airplanes at once.











Paul N. Edwards

Professor of  <http://www.si.umich.edu/> Information and
<http://www.lsa.umich.edu/history/> History, University of Michigan 

A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global
Warming <http://pne.people.si.umich.edu/vastmachine/index.html>  (MIT Press,


Terse replies are deliberate <http://five.sentenc.es/>  (and better than

University of Michigan School of Information <http://www.si.umich.edu/> 

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Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

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