21A.350J / SP.484J / STS.086J / WGS.484J The Anthropology of Computing, Fall 2004
The Anthropology of Computing
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This course examines computers anthropologically, as meaningful tools revealing the social and cultural orders that produce them. We read classic texts in computer science along with works analyzing links between machines and culture. We explore early computation theory and capitalist manufacturing; cybernetics and WWII operations research; artificial intelligence and gendered subjectivity; the creation and commodification of the personal computer; the hacking aesthetic; non-Western histories of computing; the growth of the Internet as a military, academic, and commercial project; the politics of identity in cyberspace; and the emergence of "evolutionary" computation.
Computing, machines and culture, computation theory, cybernetics, operations research, artifical intelligence, personal computer, commodification, hacking, hacker, Internet, cyberspace, indentity in cyberspace, cosmology, clockwork, Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Industrial Revolution, calculating machine, coding, cold war, Alan Turing, African mathematical systems, counterculture, PC, gaming, open source, free software, software, 21A.350J, 21A.350, SP.484J, SP.484, STS.086J, STS.086