Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

Subsidizing Silicon: NASA and the Computer

“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be […]

The MAD Origins of the Computer Age

It was the “missile gap” that would impregnate Silicon Valley with the purpose and capital to grow to its famed stature as the center of computer innovation in the world. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, when Robert S. McNamara was Secretary of Defense, the US undertook an enormous military buildup, with the intercontinental missile […]

JFK’s Contribution to Global Communications

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we […]

Apollo 13: The Write Stuff

The cybernetic process of guiding a spacecraft to the Moon is exemplified by some clever F/X and acting, but more than that it tells the story of a certain break with “reality” and a new trust in the techniques and instrumentalities of hyperreal simulation.

WSJ in the Ether about the Internet

The privatization and commercialization of Cold War technology, a central part of the Reagan Revolution, entered the limelight during the 2012 presidential election with the attention given to the role of government in the economy. Controversy emerged recently with Gordon Crovitz’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Who Really Invented the Internet?” Crovitz’s […]

Adam Smith, the Census Machine, and the Beginnings of IBM

This post further develops the thesis that Adam Smith’s new conception of the wealth set the foundation for modern information practices and calculating technologies.

Why AT&T Invented and Shared the Transistor that Started the Digital Revolution

Share Tweet The transistor provided an extraordinary capability to control an electrical current which was initially used for amplifying electromagnetic frequencies and then for switching the 1s and 0s needed for digital computing. An unlikely scenario unfolded in the 1950s when AT&T’s fear of government anti-trust action and regulation sparked the sharing of this seminal […]

Seeing from Space: Cold War Origins to Google Earth

President Eisenhower had been secretly coordinating the space program as part of the Cold War since the early 1950s. He had become accustomed to the valuable photographic information obtained from spy planes and considered satellites a crucial new Cold War technology. The D-Day invasion of Europe, which he had managed as the head of the […]

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  • About Me

    Professor and Associate Chair at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea. Recently taught at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, media economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    anthony.pennings@gmail.com
    anthony.pennings@sunykorea.ac.kr

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    The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers, past or present.