Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL ECONOMICS, ENERGY STRATEGIES, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

“Survivable Communications,” Packet-Switching, and the Internet

Paul Baran’s eleven-volume On Distributed Communications (1964) set out a plan to develop a store-and-forward message-switching system with redundant communication links that would be automatically used if the others went out of commission.

ARPA and the Formation of the Modern Computer Industry, Part I: Transforming SAGE

Under pressure because of the USSR’s continuous rocket launches, the Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower set up ARPA despite considerable Congressional and military dissent. Although it scaled back some of its original goals, ARPA went on to subsidize the creation of computer science departments throughout the country, funded the Internet, and consistently supported projects that enhanced human/computer interactivity.

The Cyberpunk Genre as Social and Technological Analysis

While the 4 C’s are useful for genre analysis, they can also be helpful categories for socio-technical analysis. The typologies provide classification systems according to structural features that assist distinctions and interpretations. These have been used to examine the iconography of cyberpunk media, such as character types in graphic novels or set designs in films, to determine its adherance to the genre. But they can also help analyze the socio-technical aspects of manufactured products and processes. These include digitally-based services such as search engines or AI. The 4Cs provide convenient analytical categories for examining modern societies by providing conceptual tools on Computers/Cyberspace, Corporations, Criminality, and Corporeality.

SAGE, SABRE and the Airline Industry

Military funding lead to the invention of the modem and other data communications technologies for a North American defense system. This grid of radar and other sensors connected to central computers with over a million miles of telephone line. Its headquarters would later be located deep within the Colorado Cheyenne Mountains and be the model […]

How IT Came to Rule the World, 1.4: SAGE and Early Electronic Computing

The SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system conceived at MIT and built at IBM’s Poughkeepsie, New York facilities helped transform the computer from a bulky, slow, vacuum-tube switched numerical processor into a generalized, software-driven, transistor-enabled, media-enhanced computer with an accompanying communications system able to send digital data over telephone lines.

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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.

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    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.