I am delighted to be delivering the keynote address at the P+ARG Conference at the University of Michigan on March 8, 2018, at 6pm. More details here.
My talk is titled "Network Histories: Baran and Milgram in Perspective" and the abstract reads roughly …
The foundational work done by social psychologist Stanley Milgram and telecommunications researcher Paul Baran on networks in the 1960s remains profoundly influential today, establishing the basis of network theory. But both projects are more complicated than they seem: Milgram’s famous “Six Degrees of Separation” appears to have been largely fabricated while Baran’s plan for a “Distributed Network” is inevitably read within a retrospective mythography. This talk sets out to uncover not so much a theory of networks as an ideology of networks, seeking not a celebration but rather an understanding.