[SIGCIS-Members] keyword: 'domain'

Jon Lindsay jonrlindsay at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 10:28:12 PDT 2016

This is a great question and I am also curious about the answer. I always
assumed it was an import from logic, e.g., range and domain. I have written
a bit about the further appropriation from computer science by the DoD in
defining the "cyber domain" which first appears in 2000 and then takes off.
As late as 1999 military writers would talk loosely about an "information
arena" or "commons" something like that, but "domain" takes off later. I
read this as largely a bureaucratic bid for legitimacy, defining "cyber" as
coequal with land, sea, air, and space, with the USAF attempting to lay
claim to three of these (air, space, cyber). Legal discussions of domain
are much older, usually used to distinguish territorial waters from high
seas, which is interesting in that the "cyber domain" would in that sense
be just the opposite of a "cyber commons", but if you are a global hegemon
perhaps you can pretend to dominate a global commons. I have a suspicion
that the logical computer science usage of domain thus made it really
attractive to the military to play off of the meaning "to dominate" not
just an arena or bounded conceptual area.

On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 1:19 PM, David Ribes <dribes at gmail.com> wrote:

> Can anyone offer some leads on the use of the term 'domain' within
> computing and information circles? Such as 'domain scientist' or 'domain
> knowledge'...
> I've used the term for years as an in vivo category drawn from my
> fieldwork, but have little sense of its historical genealogy. It was
> already well in place by 2003 when I started fieldwork in the worlds of
> cyberinfrastructure, and I have some suspicion it may have come from
> knowledge management/business ...
> --
> David Ribes
> Associate Professor
> Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE)
> University of Washington
> http://davidribes.com
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