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Politics of the Internet, Lectiure #1

Politics of the Internet, Lectiure #1

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  • 1. Y490 Politics of the Internet September 1, 2009
  • 2. What is Technology?
    • Tools
    • Knowledge connected with the use of tools
    • Ways of organizing human activity: e.g. Ford’s invention of mass production techniques
    • Ways of creating and embedding new knowledge in products/processes
  • 3. Tools Some tools are more general than others: e.g. computers vs. hammers General tools require “programming” to do a specific job.
  • 4. Craft technologies
    • We generally refer to a craft or craftsmanship when a technology is used to produce something (a product) but the product is not uniform or standardized.
    • Until the invention of mass production technology (which required special machines and metrology), all production was craft production.
  • 5. Skills and Mass Production
    • When all production was craft production, individual workers had to possess special production skills.
    • When mass production was invented, workers with relatively lower skill levels could be used to make things.
    • Highly skilled workers were still needed to make and program general purpose machines.
  • 6. Ways of Organizing Human Activity (examples)
    • Factories
    • Multinational Corporations
    • Guilds
    • Wal-mart (a modern form of retail merchandising)
    • Unions
  • 7. Embedded Knowledge
    • Many modern technologies are embedded in specific products
    • For example, the Windows operating system is embedded in PCs
    • Software is a now a common way of embedding technological knowledge in tools, processes, and end products.
  • 8. Science and Technology
    • Many modern technologies, unlike older technologies, are not the result of trial and error discovery methods but rather of more systematic methods that generally fall under the rubric of science.
    • Many areas of science are not connected with technology per se, but most are.
    • There is a lag between scientific discovery and the discovery of related technologies.
  • 9. Patents and Copyrights
    • Patents and copyrights and other forms of intellectual property protection were invented in order to create a monetary incentive for innovation of new technologies.
    • In exchange for inventing a new product or process, the owner of a patent is given a temporary monopoly.
  • 10. Science and Technology Policy in the United States
    • Vannevar Bush legacy
    • Basic vs. Applied Research
    • National Science Foundation
    • Big science vs. little science
    • Grand projects
      • NASA and the Space Program
      • Cancer Research
      • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • 11. Vannevar Bush
    • 1890-1974
    • Early computer scientist
    • Helped to establish the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (1939), the National Defense Research Council (1940), and the National Science Foundation (1950)
  • 12. The Vannevar Bush Legacy
    • Avoid funding applied research and focus primarily on basic research
    • Leave applied research to private industry as much as possible
    • Funding of university research should be based on competition; grant proposals should be “peer reviewed”
  • 13. Basic vs. Applied Research Type of Research Definition Examples Basic Driven by the curiosity of scientists How did the universe begin? Applied Designed to solve particular problems How can we improve the yields of specific crops like corn or wheat?
  • 14. National Science Foundation
    • Founded in 1950
    • Annual budget this year ~$6 billion
    • Accounts for about 20 percent of all US basic research conducted by universities
    • Funding priorities based on views of the scientific community
    Source: http://www.nsf.org
  • 15. Big Science vs. Little Science
    • In recent years, there has been some tendency to shift funding away from big science (mostly physics) toward little science (mostly biology and chemistry)
    • Some big basic science projects like the Superconducting Supercollider were cancelled
    • Other big science crash programs like NASA have seen stable or declining budgets
  • 16. NASA and the Space Program
    • Congress created it in 1958
    • 2007 budget ~$17 billion
    • Kennedy idea of putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade
    • Recent scaling back of manned space flights
  • 17. Privatization of Space Research
    • Private contractors have always been important players in the space program
    • Recently, starting with the Reagan Administration, there has been an effort to privatize parts of space research
    • Private spaceflight companies have expanded recently to service possible future markets for space tourism
  • 18. Space Ship One 2004 winner of the Ansari X Prize to stimulate investment: designed by Vern Rutan and sponsored by Richard Branson
  • 19. Cancer Research
    • Richard Nixon declares “war on cancer” in 1971
    • National Cancer Act passes the same year with Nixon’s support
    • Most funding of cancer research was channeled through the National Institutes of Health
  • 20. NIH Budgets, 1995-2007
  • 21. Defense R&D Spending
    • Most Department of Defense spending is devoted to military-use technologies, e.g. nuclear weapons and missiles
    • Some military technologies are “dual-use” technologies (both military and civilian applications)
    • Efforts to improve dual-use technology programs in Defense ended in 1994 with the Republican victories in Congressional elections
  • 22. Overview of US Government R&D Funding in 2000
  • 23. Government Funding of R&D in Information Technology
  • 24. Government vs. Industry Funding of R&D in the United States
  • 25. DARPA Successes
    • Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
    • Global Positioning System
    • The Internet (ARPANET)
    • Smart bombs
    • DLP technology (funded Texas Instruments research)
  • 26. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
    • Began as ARPA in 1958 as DOD response to Sputnik, initially focused on space race
    • Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) created and initially headed by J.C.R. Licklider in early 1960s
    • Licklider funded computing research that led to time-sharing and interactive computing
    • Robert Kahn at Bolt Beranek Newman (BBN) wins DARPA contract in 1969 to create a packet-switched network
  • 27. Other Key Decision Points
    • First IMP-based network with 4 nodes in 1971 (backbone for ARPANET)
    • Incorporation of TCP/IP protocols in the Berkeley UNIX kernel (late 1970s)
    • ARPANET becomes NSFNET in 1988
    • NSF and state governments and universities build out the network
    • NSFNET becomes the Internet when access extended to commercial businesses and the general public via private Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  • 28. What is the Internet?
    • A network of networks
    • Underlying technologies:
      • Digital data
      • Packet switching
      • TCP/IP family of protocols
    • Potentially global in scope
  • 29. What is Cyberspace?
    • Origins in science fiction
    • Lessig: cyberspace is more than the Internet, “a richer experience”
    • Virtual space vs. actual space
    • Massively multiple online games (MMOGs)
    • Social networking sites
    • Sense of community