RT Journal Article
JF IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
YR 2012
VO 34
IS
SP 80
TI Standards, Networks, and Critique
A1 Andrew L. Russell,
K1 Standards
K1 History
K1 Standards organizations
K1 CCITT
K1 history of computing
K1 standards development
K1 Michel Foucault
K1 Gerald Raunig
K1 data networking
K1 IBM
K1 telecommunication standards
K1 International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee
AB From a technical point of view, standards make it possible to combine a variety of components into a functional system or network. From a strategic point of view, stories about standards are necessarily about power and control—they always either reify or change existing conditions and are always conscious attempts to shape the future in specific ways. Historians of computing also should think about the process of standardization in terms that are more common for cultural theorists and about conceptualize standardization as a process of critique. In some cases, engineers offered explicit critiques in published works, conference presentations, and statements to the press—candid commentary on existing market, regulatory, and technical controversies. In other cases, engineers challenged the status quo implicitly, not by dwelling on existing conditions but by building new standards, network architectures, and institutions. Attention to both explicit and implicit forms of critique can help historians to situate innovations in computer networking more deeply in the social worlds that created and used them.
PB IEEE Computer Society, [URL:http://www.computer.org]
SN 1058-6180
LA English
DO 10.1109/MAHC.2012.46
LK http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MAHC.2012.46