The Imagineers of War

The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World

Author: Sharon Weinberger

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0385351801

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 9868

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The definitive history of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that has quietly shaped war and technology for nearly sixty years. Founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, the agency’s original mission was to create “the unimagined weapons of the future.” Over the decades, DARPA has been responsible for countless inventions and technologies that extend well beyond military technology. Sharon Weinberger gives us a riveting account of DARPA’s successes and failures, its remarkable innovations, and its wild-eyed schemes. We see how the threat of nuclear Armageddon sparked investment in computer networking, leading to the Internet, as well as to a proposal to power a missile-destroying particle beam by draining the Great Lakes. We learn how DARPA was responsible during the Vietnam War for both Agent Orange and the development of the world’s first armed drones, and how after 9/11 the agency sparked a national controversy over surveillance with its data-mining research. And we see how DARPA’s success with self-driving cars was followed by disappointing contributions to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Weinberger has interviewed more than one hundred former Pentagon officials and scientists involved in DARPA’s projects—many of whom have never spoken publicly about their work with the agency—and pored over countless declassified records from archives around the country, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and exclusive materials provided by sources. The Imagineers of War is a compelling and groundbreaking history in which science, technology, and politics collide.
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The Russians Are Coming, Again

The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce

Author: Jeremy Kuzmarov,John Marciano

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 1583676945

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 7053

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"[This book] is a red flag to restore our historical consciousness about U.S.-Russian relations, and how denying this consciousness is leading to a repetition of past follies"--Amazon.com.
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The Poem Electric

Technology and the American Lyric

Author: Seth Perlow

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 145295867X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 296

View: 1228

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An enlightening examination of the relationship between poetry and the information technologies increasingly used to read and write it Many poets and their readers believe poetry helps us escape straightforward, logical ways of thinking. But what happens when poems confront the extraordinarily rational information technologies that are everywhere in the academy, not to mention everyday life? Examining a broad array of electronics—including the radio, telephone, tape recorder, Cold War–era computers, and modern-day web browsers—Seth Perlow considers how these technologies transform poems that we don’t normally consider “digital.” From fetishistic attachments to digital images of Emily Dickinson’s manuscripts to Jackson Mac Low’s appropriation of a huge book of random numbers originally used to design thermonuclear weapons, these investigations take Perlow through a revealingly eclectic array of work, offering both exciting new voices and reevaluations of poets we thought we knew. With close readings of Gertrude Stein, Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka, and many others, The Poem Electric constructs a distinctive lineage of experimental writers, from the 1860s to today. Ultimately, Perlow mounts an important investigation into how electronic media allows us to distinguish poetic thought from rationalism. Posing a necessary challenge to the privilege of information in the digital humanities, The Poem Electric develops new ways of reading poetry, alongside and against the electronic equipment that is now ubiquitous in our world.
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