[Air-l] is this internet studies? (fwd)

david silver dsilver at u.washington.edu
Mon Dec 22 10:45:14 PST 2003

thank you for your post Lee.

i am aware that the net has always been .mil, beginning with its origins
with ARPANET.  but what i am refering to is a) the very recent history of
the net and digital technologies and b) developments that have taken place
within this recent history within the US.

i would, however, question this line:

> despite some obvious surface difficulties, war is good for the economy.

and, more to the point of my original post, is war good for academia?

as the field of internet studies works towards academic legitimacy,
especially within the US, what does it mean when this process of
legitimacy takes place within a national economy run by war, threats of
terrorism, and homeland security.  put another way, where will the money
for US-based academic internet studies come from and should this be
something we consider as the field matures?


On Mon, 22 Dec 2003, Lee Salter wrote:

> Well, yes... almost. You seem to be saying that the commercial Internet
> has turned into the military Internet, whereas in fact it was
> vice-versa. Compare, for example, RFC 3271 with RFC 1087. We see a clear
> agenda to "roll out" the Internet, which was at least influenced by the
> need to cheapen such technologies by reducing the unit-cost. This only
> really makes sense when one is aware that the ultimate control of the
> Internet shifted from the Department of Defense to the Department of
> Commerce in the 1990s - which the movement from IANA to ICANN seems to
> illustrate (see also the /Image Online Design v. IANA, et al./ case). I
> wouldn't, therefore, agree that the Internet has moved from .com to
> .mil, but vice versa, with the proviso that .com is far from
> antithetical to .mil. This shouldn't, however, surprise us. Michael
> Kirdon (Permanent Arms Economy) and C Wright Mills (The Power Elite) are
> two of many examples of writers who inform us that capitalism is on a
> permanent war footing - despite some obvious surface difficulties, war
> is good for the economy. Brian Winston (Media, Technology, and Society)
> has applied this sort of dynamic to media technologies very well (we
> should of course remember the role of war in the car, aeroplane, radio,
> food technologies... etc.).

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