Download How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) Audiobook

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) Audiobook, by Benjamin Peters Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Benjamin Peters Narrator: Dana Hickox Publisher: Recorded Books: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Information Policy Series Release Date: September 2016 ISBN: 9781469065526
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Between 1959 and 1989, Soviet scientists and officials made numerous attempts to network their nation -- to construct a nationwide computer network. None of these attempts succeeded, and the enterprise had been abandoned by the time the Soviet Union fell apart. Meanwhile, ARPANET, the American precursor to the Internet, went online in 1969. Why did the Soviet network, with top-level scientists and patriotic incentives, fail while the American network succeeded? In How Not to Network a Nation, Benjamin Peters reverses the usual cold war dualities and argues that the American ARPANET took shape thanks to well-managed state subsidies and collaborative research environments and the Soviet network projects stumbled because of unregulated competition among self-interested institutions, bureaucrats, and others. The capitalists behaved like socialists while the socialists behaved like capitalists. After examining the midcentury rise of cybernetics, the science of self-governing systems, and the emergence in the Soviet Union of economic cybernetics, Peters complicates this uneasy role reversal while chronicling the various Soviet attempts to build a "unified information network." Drawing on previously unknown archival and historical materials, he focuses on the final, and most ambitious of these projects, the All-State Automated System of Management (OGAS), and its principal promoter, Viktor M. Glushkov. Peters describes the rise and fall of OGAS -- its theoretical and practical reach, its vision of a national economy managed by network, the bureaucratic obstacles it encountered, and the institutional stalemate that killed it. Finally, he considers the implications of the Soviet experience for today's networked world. Download and start listening now!

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About the Narrator

Dana Hickox is a Juilliard-trained actor with off-Broadway, regional theater, and network television credits. As a voice-over artist, he has recorded textbooks for Learning Ally’s New York and Washington, DC, units. He has also recorded poetry and children’s stories for the David Black Literary Agency.