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The image at left is the original sketch for this course. I was trying to plot out the elements and ideas that I thought were important for you to know, how they might interrelate, and the kinds of supporting exercises we might do that will help you make sense of this material. The schedule below, derived from that sketch, is provisional. Topics might get shifted around.

The readings that support a particular week are indicated by surname below; you can find the full bibliographic info and links on the readings page. Try to have them read before the session indicated. You may need to go through the library website to obtain things.

The elements below are subject to change as the course evolves; a class can develop over time.

Part One

The prehistory of the net; information storage and retrieval technologies; libraries; scriptoria and printing presses

January 9th: Introduction; core concepts; overview of assessment

January 11: Archaeology, History, and the Internet: ways of seeing

January 16: Mediums & Messages

  • Gitelman <- read like a predator; look for the bits that connect with things I've said
  • Wiegand <- ditto this
  • Kumar

January 18: in class exercise Obsidian & Github - Your Own Personal Memex; publishing your Memex

  • slide walkthrough of getting the memex online here

  • Bush (Read this for the way he outlines how different techs come together to support his vision of what we now recognize is a kind of proto web!)

  • Caulfield (Read this for how he contrasts that vision with other ways things could've played out)

January 23: Codes & Ciphers

  • Dooley - chapter 1 (v. short); chapter 2 if you're interested

January 25: Book Lab - sign up for one section; space is limited

For everyone else not in section 1, we will be doing some in-class exercises on critical reading, note making, obsidian and zotero. Martha Attridge Bufton from the library will be leading us through some special cases for finding archival materials and note making from those kinds of materials; see her plan here.

January 30: Book Lab - if you couldn't get a slot in section 1 or section 2:

February 1st: Book Lab - if you couldn't get a slot in sections 1-4:

THUS, Jan 25 - Feb 1 During the class time, if you are NOT in the Book Lab, we will still meet in our classroom space. Check above for the links to the slides.

If you weren't able to secure a slot we are looking at our Master Printer's schedule to find out when we can book more time with him so that everyone gets a chance, at some point this semester, to explore these early technologies.

Part Two

The first internet: the telegraph; the telephone; photography & faxes; teletype; girdling the world in cables; information theory; impacts on time and space

February 6: What did we learn in the Book Lab? How does all that intersect with the other things we did last month? How do the various threads from Part One tie together? Come to class with 3 or 4 point-form observations on these questions, on a piece of card or paper. This will be your entry ticket for today's unconference style discussion.

February 8: ~~Technologies of Reproduction - wax cylinders, photography and the fax machine

Optional drop-in class for help/support/quiet workspace for your memex. (But if you don't need that, feel free to read & make notes on:)

  • Coopersmith, Introduction, Chapter 1
  • Standage, Introduction, Chapter 1

February 10th: First Evaluation of Your Memex. Submit the link to your online work via this google form. See the Assessment Page for details on the format.

February 13: The first internet: the telgraph

  • Standage, Ch 5
  • Tully

February 15: moar! telegraph

  • MacDougall
  • Quevedo

February 27:Telephony - from this to that

March 1st: how business shennanigans gives rise to information theory

Part Three

Simulating the weather, simulating the bomb; the first digital computers; emergences of the web; capturing the internet; ewaste; software eats the world; from paginae to packets.

March 6: Digital, Electronic Computers: Competences & Social Necessities

March 8: computational incunabula, the British scene

March 10th: Second Evaluation of Your Memex. Submit the link to your online work. Submit the link to your online work via this google form. See the Assessment Page for details on the format.

March 13: Is it time for the internet yet?

March 15: Networks but not yet Internetted

March 20: Online Cultures of the 1970s & Early 1980s

March 22: Sliding into Hypertext and the Web

March 27: Because it was the 90s...

March 29: Dotcom Crash

April 3: Don't Be Evil; Google; The Enshittification of Everything

April 5: The Thrilling Conclusion

April 10: TBD. April 10 is a blank slot to be used elsewhere in the schedule in case of need. And if we don't need them, it'll be a day where you can come to class for extra help. - Have your final version of your Memex online and ready to be assessed by April 12. Submit the link to your online work via this google form. See the Assessment Page for details on the format. - The final 'journey' assignment - see the assessment page - due on last day of exams, April 27th, but accepted any time prior; use the google form to submit.

April 12 follows a Friday schedule, hence no class slot for us.

Courtesy of Internet Geographic at the Oxford Internet Institute, 2014