Kevin Driscoll

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Before the rise of the Web and our contemporary digital cultures, computer networks had already been imagined, tested, and used worldwide. This special issue retraces some of the technological, cultural and social paths that shaped the development of networks in six different areas of the world. The papers and the final conversation between two leading scholars of this issue touch some crucial topics of network histories from a variety of cultural, geographical and disciplinary perspectives. The issue combines studies and researches based on theoretical and empirical analyses in the U.S., Europe, Brazil and South Africa. Among the most relevant case studies, ...
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PublisherNew Models2022
NM speaks with Kevin Driscoll, author of The Modem World: A Pre-history of Social Media (Yale University Press, 2022), which examines the physical — and social — technology that underpinned the DIY side of networked technology’s evolution in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Parallel to institutional network culture were the proto-dark-forest communities of BBS networks and other pre-www systems. From FidoNet to De Digitale Stad (DDS) Netherlands, Kevin maps out this early territory, with a brief history of the French Minitel system along the way. Through his work, Kevin asks us to consider what it really means to be “autonomous” online and what ...

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