Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

Digital Spreadsheets as Remediated Technologies

The digital spreadsheet was designed as an electronic document in which data was arranged in the rows and columns of a matrix and could be manipulated and used in calculations. It combined listing, tabling, and other formulaic calculations to create a new imaginative technology that transformed modern finance and the management of organizations – large, and especially the small.

Digital Spreadsheets – Part 5 – Numeracy and the Power of Zero

The zero is an extraordinary cognitive invention that has been central to the quantitative workings of the spreadsheet. In conjunction with Indo-Arabic numerals and double-entry accounting techniques, the spreadsheet has been crucial to the rise of modern capitalism and that peculiar historical manifestation, the contemporary corporation.

The Spreadsheet that Fueled the Telecom Boom – and Bust

“I had built a model in an Excel spreadsheet that translated what our sales forecast was into how much traffic we would expect to see,” he says. “And so I just assigned variables for those various parameters, and then said we can set those variables to whatever we think is appropriate.” – Tom Stluka, Worldcom […]

Spreadsheets and the Rhetoric of Ratios

In this post, I examine the figuring of ratios as a conceptual technique for constructing systems of understanding in the modern political economy. The ratio is an important mathematical device for reality construction in a wide range of activities, but their role in financial and management environments are especially notable. These type of ratios are […]

Apple’s GUI and the Creation of the Microsoft’s Excel Spreadsheet Application

Microsoft’s famous spreadsheet application, Excel, was originally designed for Apple’s Macintosh personal computer. This post explores the beginning years of the personal computer and its transition to its more modern interface pioneered by Apple and its Macintosh computer. This transition opened the way for new software innovations, particularly the development of the Excel spreadsheet application […]

TIME Magazine’s “Machine of the Year”

The Apple II was quite a success when it was introduced in 1977 with sales of US$770,000 in its first year. Its growth over the next few years, however, was tremendous. Revenues hit $7.9 million in its second year of operation and $49 million in 1979. Its founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, were soon […]

Digital Spreadsheets – Techno-Epistemological Power over People and Resources

In previous posts, I wrote that digital spreadsheets had emerged as a constitutive technology that can shape perceptions, organize resources, and empower control over the lived experiences of people and the dynamics of social organizations. In this post, I look at how communicative, command, and cultural dynamics provide an important context for the use of […]

THE EXPERIMENT, Part I: NEW ZEALAND AS THE WORLD MODEL FOR DIGITAL MONETARISM

Starting “Down Under” One of the first “guinea pigs” for the global system of digital monetarism was New Zealand. A one-time leader in developing the “welfare state,” the small two-island nation-state in the deep Pacific Ocean had run into economic problems by the early 1980s. It had borrowed heavily during the previous decade, and its […]

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  • About Me

    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. 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, digital economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    apennings70@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.