Paul Edwards

Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer, Program in Science, Technology & Society, Stanford University; author of "The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America." Edwards has also authored dozens of articles on the history of computing and has
held visiting professorships at Stanford, Cornell, the University of Michigan and UC - Santa Cruz. His next book is entitled: "The World in a Machine: Computer Models, Data Networks, and Global Atmospheric Politics." Edwards will be making a 30-minute presentation.

"What makes SAGE such an interesting case is its origins within the academic science and engineering community--not with military imperatives, though its military funding sources and key geopolitical events spurred it on. Instead, the initiative lay with scientists and engineers, who developed not only machines but a vision and a language of automated command and control. But the construction of SAGE also boosted the redesign and reorientation of an extremely traditional institution--the armed forces--around an essentially technological concept of centralized command. Seen in this light, SAGE was far more than a weapons system. It was a dream, a myth, a metaphor for total defense, a technology of closed-world discourse."


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