Article ID: CBB959146795

The Environmental History of Computing (October 2018)


Ensmenger, Nathan Lee (Author)

Technology and Culture
Volume: 59
Issue: 5, supplement
Pages: S7-S33

Publication Date: October 2018
Edition Details: Supplemental issue of Technology and Culture (October 2018): Shift CTRL. Computing and New Media as Global, Cultural, Sociopolitical, and Ecological
Language: English

From Charles Babbage's Difference Engine (a product of an increasingly global British maritime empire) to Herman Hollerith's tabulating machine (designed to solve the problem of "seeing like a state" in the newly trans-continental American Republic) to the emergence of the modern petrochemical industry, information technologies have always been closely associated with the human desire to understand and manipulate their physical environment. More recently, humankind has started to realize the environmental impacts of information technology, including not only the toxic byproducts associated with their production, but also the polluting effects of the massive amounts of energy and water required by data centers at Google and Facebook (whose physicality is conveniently and deliberately camouflaged behind the disembodied, ethereal "cloud"). This paper grounds the history of information technology in the material world by focusing on the relationship between "computing power" and more traditional processes of resource extraction, exchange, management, and consumption.

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Article Thomas S. Mullaney (October 2018) Shift CTRL. Computing and New Media as Global, Cultural, Sociopolitical, and Ecological. Technology and Culture (pp. 1-6). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Cortada, James W.
Brey, Phillip
Lundin, Per
Edwards, Paul N.
Sismondo, Sergio
Mitcham, Carl
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Social Science Computer Review
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Social Studies of Science
JAI Press/Elsevier
Edward Elgar
Independently published
History of Computing
Information technology
Computers and computing
Material culture
Business history
Information science
Babbage, Charles
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice
Bakhtin, Mikhail Ivanovich
Heidegger, Martin
Wittgenstein, Ludwig
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
United States
South Africa
Soviet Union
New Guinea
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

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