Donald Davies

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pages: 352 words: 96,532

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon


air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy

The description of Licklider’s introduction to computers is based on personal interviews with Wes Clark and Jack Ruina, and on Licklider’s interview with the Charles Babbage Institute, as well as the Barber Associates report. Chapter Two The description of Paul Baran’s work on distributed communications is based on personal interviews with Baran, as well as various interviews conducted by the Babbage Institute. The description of Donald Davies’s early work on packet-switching is based on interviews and correspondence with Donald Davies, and on Martin Campbell-Kelly’s articles and interviews. Arthur Norberg and Judy O’Neill’s awesome report, “A History of the Information Processing Techniques Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency” also guided us through biographical material and through the early years of IPTO. The report served as the basis for their book Transforming Computer Technology: Information Processing for the Pentagon, 1962–1986 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

Evolution in science, as in nature—normally a gradual sequence of changes—occasionally makes a revolutionary leap breaking with the course of development. New ideas emerge simultaneously but independently. And so they did when the time was ripe for inventing a new way of transmitting information. In the early 1960s, before Larry Roberts had even set to work creating a new computer network, two other researchers, Paul Baran and Donald Davies—completely unknown to each other and working continents apart toward different goals—arrived at virtually the same revolutionary idea for a new kind of communications network. The realization of their concepts came to be known as packet-switching. Paul Baran was a good-humored immigrant from Eastern Europe. He was born in 1926, in what was then Poland. His parents sought refuge in the United States two years later, following a lengthy wait for immigration papers.

By the following spring, confident that his ideas were sound, he gave a public lecture in London describing the notion of sending short blocks of data—which he called “packets”—through a digital store-and-forward network. As the meeting was breaking up, a man from the audience approached Davies and said that he was from the Ministry of Defence. He told Davies about some remarkably similar work that had been circulated in the American defense community by a man named Paul Baran. Davies had never heard of Baran or his RAND studies. Donald Davies was the son of working-class parents. His father, a clerk at a coal mine in Wales, died the year after Donald and his twin sister were born. Their mother moved her young family to Portsmouth, a British naval port, where she went to work as a counter clerk in the post office. Donald experimented with radio at a young age and took an early interest in physics. He was not yet fourteen the day his mother brought home a book, something an engineer had left behind at the post office, all about telephony.

pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell


barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

Zwimpfer, “Standards Setting for Computer Communication: The Case of X.25,” IEEE Communications Magazine 23 (1985): 38. 31 Cerf, INWG 1. 32 Alex Curran and Vinton Cerf, “The Work of IFIP Group 6.1,” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 6 (1975): 18–27; Vinton Cerf, “Affiliation of INWG with IFIPS,” April 1973, INWG 24, McKenzie Collection; Vinton Cerf, “INWG Plenary Meeting, June 7 and June 8,” June 7, 1973, INWG 28, McKenzie Collection; James Pelkey, “Entrepreneurial Capitalism and Innovation: A History of Computer Communications, 1968–1988” (2007), (accessed September 25, 2013). 33 Hubert Zimmermann, interview by James Pelkey, May 25, 1988, courtesy of James Pelkey. 34 Donald Davies, “CCITT Documents – APV No. 21, 22, 23, 24,” December 1972, INWG 11, McKenzie Collection. 35 Rémi Déspres, oral history interview by Valérie Schafer, May 16, 2012, Paris, France. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. 36 Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, “A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication,” IEEE Transactions on Communications Com-22 (1974): 637–648. 37 Dave McLimont, “A CCITT Thinkpiece,” January 15, 1974, INWG 45, McKenzie Collection; Donald Davies, “CCITT Contribution by IFIP WG6.1,” August 1974, INWG 69, McKenzie Collection. 38 Vint Cerf, “INWG Meeting in Stockholm, August 10–11, 1974,” April 1, 1974, INWG 53, McKenzie Collection. 39 Cerf, INWG 53; Vint Cerf, “Minutes of the Stockholm Meeting of IFIP WG6.1, August 10–11, 1974 (Aboard the good ship BORE I),” December 20, 1974, INWG 73, McKenzie Collection. 40 Franklin F.

Since every major computer manufacturer was following a proprietary strategy designed to prevent connections between dissimilar systems, the Arpanet represented a government-funded project that sought to compensate for this evident market failure.14 The most distinctive attribute of the Arpanet was its reliance on packet-switching, a new method of transmitting data across telephone lines that had been invented independently in the mid-1960s by Paul Baran at RAND Corporation and Donald Davies at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Where traditional circuit-switched telephone networks required a direct, dedicated connection between users, packet-switched networks broke data into discrete blocks, which Davies dubbed “packets,” that contained basic information about their places of origin and destination. Packets could be transmitted indirectly and asynchronously throughout nodes in the network before eventually arriving at their destination, where they would be reassembled into their original form.

It was a resounding success – even if utterly baffling to the ten AT&T executives who attended and reportedly declined ARPA’s offer to operate the Arpanet or even purchase it outright.24 The meeting in Washington did more than host the Arpanet’s coming-out party; it also provided an ideal opportunity to invigorate international cooperation. A growing number of networking experiments outside the United States had already begun to take shape, including two significant projects in France and Great Britain. Louis Pouzin, the computer scientist working for IRIA, was designing a packet-switched network called Cyclades; Donald Davies, the computer scientist at Great Britain’s NPL, had begun his packet-switching experiments in the mid-1960s. Additionally, several PTT national monopolies in Europe were evaluating packet-switching technology, and the European Common Market had asked Derek Barber from Britain’s NPL to direct the creation of a European Informatics Network. These researchers came together to pursue their shared objective: to design new network standards for a new era of digital, packet-switched communication.

pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway


Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

See John Dunning, “If We Are to Catch Up in Science,” New York Times Magazine, November 10, 1957, p. 19. 6. Baran tells us that these memoranda “were primarily written on airplanes in the 1960 to 1962 era.” See Paul Baran, Electrical Engineer, an oral history conducted in 1999 by David Hochfelder, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. 7. A term coined instead by British scientist Donald Davies who, unknowing of Baran’s work, also invented a system for sending small packets of information over a distributed network. Both scientists are credited with the discovery; however, because of Baran’s proximity to the newly emerging ARPA network, which would be the first to use Baran’s ideas, Davies’s historical influence has diminished. Introduction 5 virtually no cost. With the help of BSD, UNIX would become the most important computer operating system of the 1980s.

It is a vision that provides us with new freedom, and allows us to grow faster than we ever could when we were fettered by the hierarchical classification systems into which we bound ourselves. . . . And it brings the workings of society closer to the workings of our minds.” See Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web (New York: HarperCollins, 1999), pp. 1–2. Berners-Lee’s historical acumen should not be overstated, however, as he elsewhere misspells the names of both Donald Davies and Paul Baran, the two co-inventors of packetswitching (p. 6). But, alas, “academic quality” is a “subjective notion,” he reminds readers (p. 125). 17. Pierre Lévy, Becoming Virtual: Reality in the Digital Age (New York: Plenum, 1998), p. 16. Chapter 2 60 Machiko Kusahara—“Our culture is undergoing a truly drastic change in terms of our physical and psychological relationship with space and other bodies.”18 Maurizio Lazzarato—“Not, perhaps, since the printing press’s invention has European culture experienced so much upheaval.

pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen


3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The second revolutionary aspect of Baran’s survivable system was its method for communicating information from computer to computer. Rather than sending a single message, Baran’s new system broke up this content into many digital pieces, flooding the network with what he called “message blocks,” which would travel arbitrarily across its many nodes and be reassembled by the receiving computer into readable form. Coined as “packet switching” by Donald Davies, a government-funded information scientist at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory, who had serendipitously been working on a remarkably similar set of ideas, the technology was driven by a process Baran called “hot potato routing,” which rapidly sent packets of information from node to node, guaranteeing the security of the message from spies. “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us,” McLuhan said.

All the bits of information in every computer at CERN, and on the planet, would be available to me and to anyone else. There would be a single global information space.44 In 1984, when Berners-Lee returned to CERN and discovered the Internet, he also returned to his larger vision of a single global information space. By this time, he’d discovered the work of Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson and become familiar with what he called “the advances” of technology giants like Donald Davies, Paul Baran, Bob Kahn, and Vint Cerf. “I happened to come along with time, and the right interest and inclination, after hypertext and the Internet had come of age,” Berners-Lee modestly acknowledged. “The task left to me was to marry them together.”45 The fruit of that marriage was the World Wide Web, the information management system so integral to the Internet that many people think that the Web actually is the Internet.

pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters


Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

McCulloch’s ideas about the brain as a self-governing network helped Baran to arrive at concrete pragmatic solutions to the overarching military orders of his employer. The Internet, in this sense at least, traces its intellectual sources back to cold war cybernetics. Baran’s network innovations do not arrive without serious institutional and international complication. Although technically on target, Baran’s ideas were not influential until after a foreigner—an Englishman named Donald Davies, with the UK Post backing him—independently discovered and articulated packet switching. Only then did Baran’s superiors in the U.S. military-industrial complex start paying attention to his ideas. In fact, between 1960 and 1966, AT&T repeatedly declined or delayed his proposals to develop digital communication networks. As one AT&T official told him, the near nationwide monopoly on analog telephony networks was not about to go into competition with itself.

The most impressive of these is the “great firewall of China,” which permits elites and technical experts an escape hatch from the Chinese walled-garden version of the global Internet. International communication networks also helped to jumpstart and also consign to limbo local computer network projects. This account highlights three case studies: first, Anatoly Kitov’s discovery of Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics in a secret military library set into motion an internal transition in Soviet scientific discourse; second, Donald Davies and the British Telecom industry prompted the U.S. government to revisit Paul Baran’s RAND research on distributed packet-switching networks; and third, news of the ARPANET going online in 1969 prompted the Politburo to revisit the decade-old OGAS proposal in 1970. In each case, international communication networks (even when they were closed or secret) initially prompted internal institutions to revisit concurrent innovations closer to home.

pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig


AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

As long as they flowed fast enough, and the computers at both ends were quick, the conversation encoded in this packet form would seem just like a conversation along a single virtual wire across the ocean. Baran was probably not the first person to come up with this idea—MIT loyalists insist that that was Leonard Kleinrock.20 And he was also not the only person working on the idea in the early 1960s. Independently, in England, Donald Davies was developing something very similar.21 But whether the first, or the only, doesn't really matter for our purposes here. What is important is that Baran outlined a telecommunications system fundamentally different from the dominant design, and that different telecommunications system would have effected a radically different evolution of telecommunications. BARAN pushed to get AT&T to help build this alternative design.

See Leonard Kleinrock, Communication Nets: Stochastic Message Flow and Delay (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964). See also John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999), 92, 118-19 (discussing other earlier contributors to the Internet). 21 Baran attributes to him the discovery of the term. Interview with Paul Baran (“The term 'packet switching' was first used by Donald Davies of the National Physical Laboratory in England, who independently came up with the same general concept in November 1965.”). 22 Baran confirmed this history to me in an interview. “So the first level of objections was about technology—that I didn't understand how the telephone system worked, [and] that what I'm proposing could not possibly work.” Interview with Paul Baran. 23 Naughton, 107.

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Enough was known about the software crisis at this stage to want to avoid the extensive rewriting of operating systems. Unknown to Roberts, a solution to the first two problems had already been invented. Known as “store-and-forward packet switching,” the idea was first put forward by Paul Baran of the RAND Corporation in 1961 and was independently reinvented in 1965 at the National Physical Laboratory in England by Donald Davies, who coined the term packet switching. Davies recognized the packet-switching concept to be similar to an older telegraph technology. In telegraph networks, engineers had already solved the problem of how to avoid having every city connected to every other. Connectivity was achieved by using a number of switching centers located in major cities. Thus if a telegram was sent from, say, New York to San Francisco, the message might pass through intermediate switching centers in Chicago and Los Angeles before arriving in San Francisco.

The computer at the destination would be responsible for reconstituting the original message from the packets. In effect, by enabling many users to share a communications line simultaneously, packet switching did for telecommunications what time-sharing had done for computing. All of this was unknown to Roberts until he attended an international meeting of computer network researchers in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in October 1967. There he learned of the packet-switching concept from one of Donald Davies’s English colleagues. He later described this as a kind of revelation: “Suddenly I learned how to route packets.” The final problem that remained for Roberts was how to avoid the horrendous software problems of getting the different computers to handle the network traffic. Fortunately, just as Roberts was confronting this problem, the first minicomputers had started to enter the market and the solution came to him in a eureka moment in a taxicab ride: the interface message processor (IMP).

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson


Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

Because the system was digital, not analog, individual messages could be easily broken up into smaller pieces and then reassembled at the end of the system with perfect fidelity. This, too, accentuated the resilience of Baran’s architecture; even the messages themselves were mini-networks of data, with each partial message finding its own way across the broader network. Baran called his approach “distributed adaptive message block switching.” A few years later, the Welsh computer scientist Donald Davies hit upon a similar scheme, independent of Baran. He anointed the message fragments with the slightly more Anglo name of “packets,” and the general approach “packet switching.” The metaphors stuck. Today, the vast majority of data circling around the globe comes in the form of message fragments that we still call packets. Years after both Baran and Davies had published their seminal papers, Davies jokingly said to Baran, “Well, you may have got there first, but I got the name.”

pages: 226 words: 59,080

Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik


airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Donald Davies, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, white flight

One of the first such exercises in economics was MIT economist Joshua Angrist’s work examining the effect of military service on men’s subsequent earning ability in the labor market. To avoid the problem that men who choose to join the army may be inherently different from those who do not, Angrist used the Vietnam War–era draft lottery, which had created random recruitment. He found that men who had served in the early 1970s ended up earning about 15 percent less a decade later than men who had never served.15 Columbia University economists Donald Davis and David Weinstein used the US bombing of Japanese cities during the Second World War to test two models of city growth. One model was based on scale economies (decline in production costs as urban density increased), and the other was based on locational advantages (such as access to a natural seaport). Even though the bombing was obviously not random, it created a natural way to test whether cities that had been badly destroyed would remain depressed or bounce back to their original position.

pages: 257 words: 66,480

Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System by Ray Jayawardhana


Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, cosmic abundance, dark matter, Donald Davies, Edmond Halley, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, Louis Pasteur, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Solar eclipse in 1919

A third possibility is that it had formed elsewhere in the solar system and was later captured by the Earth’s gravity. Theoretical calculations show that capture into orbit is highly unlikely: if a Moon-size body were to come near the Earth, it’s a lot more likely to have either hit the Earth directly or received a gravity kick that set it fying off into space. In the early 1970s, two sets of theorists—one consisting of Alistair Cameron and William Ward at Harvard and the other of William Hartmann and Donald Davis of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson— independently suggested that the Moon formed from the debris of a giant impact that the Earth had with a Mars-size roaming planet. But it took nearly a decade before planetary scientists widely accepted that catastrophic impacts had been common in the early solar system. In computer simulations of the event, the im-pactor is destroyed, and a plume of rock, magma, and vapor is boosted into Earth orbit.

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Live Aid, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

Unfortunately, we have only rudimentary information on the location of unexploded bombs, untriggered land mines, and 228 N O TES the use of the herbicide/defoliant Agent Orange. But we can reasonably assume that the number of still-active explosives in any given location is very closely related to the quantity of bombs that were dropped there during the war. 4. The U.S. Department of Energy page contains a discussion; see: and (last visited March 29, 2008). 5. Donald Davis and David Weinstein (2002). “Bones, Bombs, and Breakpoints: The Geography of Economic Activity,” American Economic Review, 92(5). 6. Districts are administrative units similar to U.S. counties; a district typically contains several hundred villages. 7. For the curious reader, this result didn’t change in the analysis when we measured bombing intensity in different ways, looked at larger administrative units (provinces instead of districts), and used statistical “control” variables, like prewar population density and geographic factors; see Miguel and Roland (2006), “The Long Run Impact of Bombing Vietnam”, NBER Working Paper #11954, for the details. 8.

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

And as he sat down afterward, he had reason to feel satis- fied: this was something genuinely new in the world, a way to organize commu- nications that was radically different from anything that had gone before. Except that shortly thereafter, an Englishman named Roger Scantlebury got up to give a paper on a system being developed by Donald Davies's telecommu- nications research group at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Tedding- ton, outside London-and proceeded to describe essentially the same idea: packets, IMPs, distributed control, the works. What the. . . ? The story, as Scantlebury would explain it to the disconcerted Roberts later that day, was both ironic and sad. The irony was that Donald Davies had got- ten his original inspiration when he was hosting a conference on time-sharing back in late 1965 and fell into an impromptu discussion about networking with J. C. R. Licklider and Roberts himself. Almost immediately after that, Davies had been struck by the notion that a store-and-forward system with very short message segments would be perfect.

Rechtin's basic strategy was for the agency to keep a low profile, to build allies among the services, and to give them technology they could use. Operational technology. That wasn't a category that included much on IPTO's agenda-not Project MAC, not Engelbart's center, and certainly not the network. With the technical design for the network still in draft form at that point, the entire effort could eas- ily have been stopped right there, leaving Larry Roberts just as thoroughly stymied by the bureaucracy as Donald Davies and Paul Baran had been before him. And yet somehow it didn't happen. ARPA's computing program continued to lead its charmed life, rather like a person sleepwalking through a battlefield without getting a scratch. One reason was DDR&E Johnny Foster, who resisted any and all attempts to focus ARPA's efforts purely on Vietnam. The DoD had THE INTERGALACTIC NETWORK 279 other concerns during this period, after all, starting with the Soviets' rapidly ex- panding nuclear capability.

pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum


air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Kleinrock is the father of the Internet—or rather, a father, as success has many. In 1961, while a graduate student at MIT, he published the first paper on “packet switching,” the idea that data could be transmitted efficiently in small chunks rather than a continuous stream—one of the key notions behind the Internet. The idea was already in the air. A professor at the British National Physical Laboratory named Donald Davies had, unbeknownst to Kleinrock, been independently refining similar concepts, as had Paul Baran, a researcher at the RAND Corporation in Los Angeles. Baran’s work, begun in 1960 at the request of the US Air Force, was explicitly aimed at designing a network that could survive a nuclear attack. Davies, working in an academic setting, merely wanted to improve England’s communications system. By the mid-1960s—by which time Kleinrock was at UCLA, on his way toward tenure—their ideas were circulating among the small global community of computer scientists, hashed out at conferences and on office chalkboards.

pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power


air freight, Alexander Shulgin, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, John Bercow, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Network effects, nuclear paranoia, packet switching, pattern recognition, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, pre–internet, QR code, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

The drug and music countercultures and the early technological innovators informed and inspired each other – and were often the very same people. The acronymic utopias enabled by internet technologies such as TCP/IP aren’t so different from those offered by LSD: equality, connectedness, awareness of life as a sum greater than its parts. In the early 1960s, American computer scientist Leonard Kleinrock of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Paul Baran of the Rand Corporation, and, later, Britain’s Donald Davies, a physician at the UK’s National Physical Library in Teddington, independently conceived of the same way to send data around a telephone network efficiently by splitting it into chunks and routing it through nodes around the network to later arrive, reassembled, in the right place. These deliberate first steps towards cyberspace had a greater impact on the history of mankind than the simple stroll on a rock high above our heads two years later.

pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega


Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, Donald Davies,, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, market design, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, peer-to-peer, performance metric, pirate software, Robert Bork, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

The Egyptians carved obfuscated hieroglyphs into monuments; the Spartans used sticks and wound messages called scytales to exchange military plans; and the Romans’ Caesar ciphers are well documented in school textbooks. Many historians attribute the victory in the Second World War directly to the code breakers at Bletchley Park who deciphered the famous Enigma machine, yet even this monumental technological event, which ended the World War and changed history forever, may pale into insignificance next to changes to come. The packet switching network invented by Donald Davies in 1970 also changed the world forever when the sudden ability of computers to talk to other computers with which they previously had no relationship opened up new possibilities for previously isolated computing power. Although the early telegraph networks almost a century before may have aroused the dream of an electronically connected planet, it was only in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that we started to wire the world together definitively with copper cables and later with fiber-optic technology.

pages: 481 words: 121,669

The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See by Gary Price, Chris Sherman, Danny Sullivan


AltaVista, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, dark matter, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, full text search, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, natural language processing, pre–internet, profit motive, publish or perish, search engine result page, side project, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Ted Nelson, Vannevar Bush, web application is a great example of a site that serves both as a useful pathfinder to specific (namely investing) Invisible Web resources, but that saves the time of the researcher by pre-configuring what amounts to custom searches with the stock symbol of interest to the searcher. To paraphrase the popular television commercial, “No search engine gonna do all that.” Case 8 – The Invisible Web Fails to Deliver! Donald Davis feels very familiar and comfortable with the visible and Invisible Web. He has read numerous articles on the subject and knows his way around many of the better Invisible Web pathfinders. In fact, he recently accessed some key economic statistics via the Invisible Web. Donald is trying to track down several newspaper articles for a business proposal he is writing and feels confident that his knowledge of the Invisible Web will come in very handy.

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, was rolled out in the early 1970s. So legend has it. The real story is more prosaic. There were indeed real concerns about the survivability of military communications networks. But RAND was just one of several research groups that were broadly rethinking communications networks at the time—parallel efforts on distributed communications were being led by Lawrence Roberts at MIT and Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury at the United Kingdom’s National Physical Laboratory. Each of the three efforts remained unaware of each other until a 1967 conference organized by the Association for Computing Machinery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where Roberts met Scantlebury, who by then had learned of Baran’s earlier work.17 And ARPANET wasn’t a military command network for America’s nuclear arsenal, or any arsenal for that matter.

Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini


Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

Salus (1995, 22-25), Hafner and Lyon (1996, 76-77), Norberg and O'Neill (1996,165-66). 4. Paul Baran invented the technique for telephony at RAND, and the term "packet" was used for the first time in connection with computer networks by Davies In 1966. Baran et al. (1964), Roberts (1988,144). 5. Roberts reported that "some of the [RAND] reports were classified as not In the public domaIn. Therefore, neither Donald Davies nor I had seen anything of the work until we were deep into the design of our respective systems. The RAND work was very detailed. . . . Their hot-potato routing algorIthm was a useful starting point for the ARPANET routIng design" (19 88 , 147). 6. Norberg and O'Neill report that Roberts thought at first that "a committee cannot be expected to investigate and solve the more difficult, longer range problems, 25 8 Notes to Chapter 7 particularly when the best solution may requIre considerable efforts for some of the members'1 (1996, 169).

pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson


Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, Donald Davies, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, zero-sum game

“In a very short period of time—within the past decade, the research effort devoted to these ends has developed from analyses of how a mechanical mouse might find his way out of a maze, to suggestions of the design of an all-electronic world-wide communications system,” he wrote in 1964.54 Baran christened his technique “adaptive message block switching,” abbreviated to “packet switching” in 1966 by Donald Davies, working independently at the U.K. National Physical Laboratory. The first order of business was to take all forms of communicable information—text, data, graphics, voice—and break it up into short strings of bits of uniform length. To the network, all forms of communication would look the same. Error-free transmission of complex messages would be facilitated, for the same reason that the reproduction of complex organisms can best be achieved in a noisy environment through the collective reproduction of large numbers of smaller component parts.

pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce

Given all we know about the ubiquitous phenomenon of simultaneous invention, and the inevitability of the next step in innovation once a technology is ripe (see Chapter 7), it is inconceivable that the twentieth century would have ended without a general, open means of connecting computers to each other so that people could see what was on other nodes than their own hard drive. Indeed, the notion of packet switching – and even the name we now use for it – occurred independently to a Welshman named Donald Davies just a short time after Baran stumbled on it. Vint Cerf shares the credit for TCP/IP with Bob Kahn. So, while we should honour individuals for their contributions, we should not really think that they made something come into existence that would not have otherwise. The names would be different, and some of the procedures too, but an alternative internet would exist today whoever had lived. The true origin of the internet does not lie in brilliant individuals, nor in private companies, nor in government funding.

pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

ARPA, hence the original ARPAnet. It changed its name to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1971, back to ARPA in 1993, then back to DARPA in 1996. See Internet Society, ‘Brief History of the Internet’, 50. David Clark, quoted in Paulina Borsook, ‘How Anarchy Works’, Wired, 51. Mueller 2004, 74–75 52. the British scientist was Donald Davies; see Hafner et al. 2006, 67. For TCP/IP see the discussion in Mueller 2004, 5–7 53. this was certainly the case with Paul Baran at the Rand Corporation; see Hafner et al. 2006, 54–64 54. see Zittrain 2008, 31–33, and Wu 2010, 201–2. The cyberlaw expert Tim Wu is credited with coining the term; see Wu 2003. Listen to his discussion of it on ‘Wu on His Phrase “Net Neutrality”’, Free Speech Debate,, and see the introduction on his website at 55. dated 8 February 1996; John Perry Barlow, ‘A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’, 56. full detail in Mueller 2004 and Mueller 2012 57. a useful account of the history is given on Wikipedia: 58. see several contributions to Levmore et al., eds. 2010 and Sunstein 2009, 83 59.