We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
A Prehistory of the Cloud Audiobook

A Prehistory of the Cloud

Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence.

Hu shows that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer lines, and television circuits. He describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game Spacewar as exemplar of time-sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers. Countering the popular perception of a new "cloudlike" political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population. But because we invest the cloud with cultural fantasies about security and participation, we fail to recognize its militarized origins and ideology. Moving between the materiality of the technology itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu's account offers a set of new tools for rethinking the contemporary digital environment.

©2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Imaginative and lucidly written, this book will be core to digital media studies." (Lisa Parks, University of California, Santa Barbara)

"Beautifully and yet plainly written...bound to be an enduring contribution to our historical and political understanding of network technologies." (Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age)

"Witty, sharp and theoretically aware, Hu deconstructs this much-discussed but poorly understood 'cultural fantasy'." (The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

5.0 (1 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
5.0 (1 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
5.0 (1 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Phil O. San Diego, CA, United States 04-10-17
    Phil O. San Diego, CA, United States 04-10-17 Member Since 2011

    Business Law Professor. Fan of history, finance, law, politics

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1144
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    368
    362
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    307
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great reflections on the evolving cloud"

    This is a curious mix of tech, philosophy, business and government history, cultural history, rich layers of archaeology if you will, all sorts of illuminations and reflections on this evolving and morphing tiger we might think we have by the tail. I love the stream of thought and expression here. This can stand up to multiple listenings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.