[SIGCIS-Members] Query about invention of wired networking

Douglas Lucas dal at riseup.net
Tue Aug 24 16:35:26 PDT 2021

Hi Dennis, Thomas, Peter, and the SIGCIS list, 

Wow, thank you all for the helpful corrections and avenues to pursue!
Thomas, I'll definitely read your "Actually" article and the books you
recommend. Dennis, I'll check out the telegraph and signalling for sure.
Peter, thanks for the information about the Eckert-Mauchly company. 

A little background about my project. From 2009 or so onward, I reported
in person from multiple federal sentencing hearings pertaining to the
hacktivism/transparency movement. For example, I reported for different
venues from the sentencings of Jeremy Hammond, the PayPal 14, and most
recently whistleblower Reality Winner [1]. I was also a talking head
expert regarding the Stratfor emails in the documentary _The Hacker
Wars_; some of my work in that regard was discussed here [2]. 

Over the years, people have suggested many times that I write a book
based on those days, but of course it became apparent to me that
audiences are too often far more interested in the personalities of sexy
hacker heroes (Rolling Stone articles, for instance) than they are in
challenging or philosophical topics that have greater impact on our
world. Audiences might eat up heart-throb hackers but don't understand
what computer software even is. I'm also interested in this global data
commons project [3], but would like to understand it better in terms of
computer science history. 

For those reasons, I've decided to learn more about computers _per se_,
aiming to eventually create a book that does include the "hacker heroes"
but also the historical and philosophical material required to
understand our knowledge economy world better. (For what it's worth, I
grew up on BBSes as a little kid in the late '80s and early '90s.) It
was the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy that suggested to me
_Computable Numbers_ as a starting place, and I'd taken some philosophy
of mind courses in college, so I read Andrew Hodges' _Alan Turing: The
Enigma_. I'm now reading Martin Davis' _The Universal Computer: The Road
from Leibniz to Turing_ and trying to get a handle on the math/logic. I
don't have any more definite plans as I'm mostly in the early stage of
researching, and I tend to be a generalist autodidact who disregards
commercial imperatives, pursues my curiosity, and takes a zillion years
to finish anything. 

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm currently in an intensive
CELTA certification course for teaching ESL, so I might not reply
promptly to further messages, apologies. 



[3] https://www.getgee.xyz/
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