[SIGCIS-Members] Chinese Characters Are Futuristic and the Alphabet Is Old News - The Atlantic

Tom Mullaney tsmullaney at stanford.edu
Thu Nov 17 09:49:45 PST 2016


Thanks for these kinds words! I'm very much looking forward to the 
upcoming CHM conference.

For anyone in the South Bay/Bay Area, and who has interest, I'll be 
speaking tonight at Adobe for IMUG:

*The China i18n Challenge: Western #Fails in Type, Typewriters, & Computers*

http://www.meetup.com/IMUG-Silicon-Valley/events/226641322/

Ever since the mass manufacture of keyboard typewriters began in the 
United States, companies like Remington and Underwood imagined a day 
when this new device would conquer the Chinese language in the same way 
it had practically every living script across the world. It never did.

Ever since the invention and popularization of hot metal printing in the 
United States and Europe, companies like Linotype and Monotype dreamt of 
a day when their technologies would conquer the Chinese language, just 
as they had Arabic, Armenian, Burmese, Devanagari, Hebrew, Korean, and 
over one hundred other scripts. They never did.

Ever since the advent of personal computing, companies like IBM and 
others imagined a day when Chinese keyboards would behave "just like 
ours," even including the familiar QWERTY keyboard. They never did (even 
though QWERTY is now ubiquitous).

Drawing upon over a decade of research on modern Chinese information 
technology, Tom Mullaney of Stanford University 
<https://history.stanford.edu/people/tom-mullaney> will reflect upon the 
vital importance of history and culture in the process of technological 
internationalization, particularly in China.

Dr. Mullaney is the author of two forthcoming books from MIT Press, /The 
Chinese Typewriter: A Global History of the Information Age, Part I/, to 
be published next year, followed by /The Chinese Computer: A Global 
History of the Information Age, Part II/.


On 11/17/16 9:09 AM, David Golumbia wrote:
> wow, really wish I could attend that!
>
> On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 11:07 AM, M. Hicks <mhicks1 at iit.edu 
> <mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu>> wrote:
>
>     And it's probably also worth re-pointing-out that Tom will be one
>     of our keynotes this year (along with Kavita Philip) at the
>     special meeting of SIGCIS being held in March at the Computer
>     History Museum.
>
>     See here for more info: http://meetings.sigcis.org/
>     <http://meetings.sigcis.org/>
>
>     Additional invited speakers include Safiya Noble (UCLA), Mitali
>     Thakor (Northwestern), and Sreela Sarkar (Santa Clara U).
>
>     If you'd like to present at the meeting proposals are due Dec 30th.
>
>     Best,
>
>     Marie
>
>     ______________________
>     Marie Hicks, Ph.D.
>     Asst. Professor, History of Technology
>     Illinois Institute of Technology
>     Chicago, IL USA
>     mhicks1 at iit.edu <mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu> | mariehicks.net
>     <http://www.mariehicks.net/> | @histoftech
>     <http://twitter.com/histoftech>
>     /Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists
>     and Lost Its Edge in Computing/
>     www.programmedinequality.com <http://www.programmedinequality.com/>
>
>
>     On Nov 17, 2016, at 10:52 AM, David Golumbia <dgolumbia at gmail.com
>     <mailto:dgolumbia at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     I agree, and note that this builds on such as this amazing essay
>     that (I presume) previews his forthcoming book on the topic, which
>     goes into a lot more detail than the Atlantic piece:
>
>     "The Moveable Typewriter: How Chinese Typists Developed Predictive
>     Text during the Height of Maoism"
>     https://history.stanford.edu/publications/moveable-typewriter-how-chinese-typists-developed-predictive-text-during-height-maoism
>     <https://history.stanford.edu/publications/moveable-typewriter-how-chinese-typists-developed-predictive-text-during-height-maoism>
>
>     David
>
>     On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 10:46 AM, M. Hicks <mhicks1 at iit.edu
>     <mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu>> wrote:
>
>         Way to go, Tom!
>
>         Thanks for sharing, Sarah.
>
>         Best,
>
>         Marie
>
>         ______________________
>         Marie Hicks, Ph.D.
>         Asst. Professor, History of Technology
>         Illinois Institute of Technology
>         Chicago, IL USA
>         mhicks1 at iit.edu <mailto:mhicks1 at iit.edu> | mariehicks.net
>         <http://www.mariehicks.net/> | @histoftech
>         <http://twitter.com/histoftech>
>         /Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women
>         Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing/
>         www.programmedinequality.com
>         <http://www.programmedinequality.com/>
>
>
>         On Nov 17, 2016, at 10:21 AM, Sarah T. Roberts
>         <sarah.roberts at ucla.edu <mailto:sarah.roberts at ucla.edu>> wrote:
>
>         Of potential interest to many. I always appreciate work that
>         decenters the myth of Western (American, typically) primacy in
>         tech.
>
>         http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/11/chinese-computers/504851/
>         <http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/11/chinese-computers/504851/>
>
>
>         ---
>
>         S a r a h  T.  R o b e r t s,  P h. D.
>
>         Assistant Professor
>         University of California, Los Angeles
>         Department of Information Studies
>         Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
>         https://is.gseis.ucla.edu/
>
>         Blogging periodically at
>         http://illusionofvolition.com <http://illusionofvolition.com/>
>         _______________________________________________
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>         This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org
>         <http://sigcis.org>, the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS.
>         Opinions expressed here are those of the member posting and
>         are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list
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>
>
>     -- 
>     David Golumbia
>     dgolumbia at gmail.com <mailto:dgolumbia at gmail.com>
>
>
>
>
> -- 
> David Golumbia
> dgolumbia at gmail.com <mailto:dgolumbia at gmail.com>

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