Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0

I was referring to 1984 & 1994, 1984 as when Foucault died, and 1994 as a decade later when I was an honours student at Flinders University.

In Australia undergrads generally didn't have access to the internet until the late '90s. My first experience of the internet was when I started as a doctoral candidate at ANU in 1995. Undergrads there were also using it, mainly in student residences.

Which underlines my point: the 'internet' was just servers within university campuses, government offices etc for a long time. It was only when people started to access it from home that it became a big thing.

On 05/06/2010, at 1:36 PM, Thomas Lord wrote:

On Fri, 2010-06-04 at 23:52 -0400, Nathaniel Roberts wrote:

Please note that Foucault died in 1984, not 1994. McInnerny's comments
refer to 1984. But you are certainly right that lots of undergraduates were
using the internet by 1994.

Fair enough. As points of curiosity, not arguing....

In 1984 I went to Johns Hopkins and got a first taste
of using the internet. In 1985 I transferred to
Carnegie-Mellon Univiersity and got a much larger taste
that involved the entire campus community. By 1987
not only had every undergrad been on the net for while
but there were controversial studies of online porn and
some of us were test subjects for the precursors of
what is today DSL. This was a cross-campus phenomenon
although not universal at all schools. My earliest
experiences go back to around 1983.

More importantly, the discourse around building the
thing (or something similar) and deploying it for hoi
poloi goes back long before that. An interesting
aspect of the way "web 2.0" is shaping up, to my mind,
is that it most resembles (with is centralized control)
some of the alternative visions to the Internet that
were being put forward (e.g., by Bell Telephone) in the
late 60s and early 70s.



On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 7:55 PM, Thomas Lord <lord@xxxxxxx> wrote:

So, sure - he didn't live to see the pervasive
implications of the Internet per se but a couple
of things:

1) He did live long enough to get a taste for what
computing and networking might bring (by decades)
hence my fishing for cites. That's why I asked.

2) By 1994 (per Mr. McInnerny's comment) *lots* of
undergrads were using the Internet. Big time.

I do have a distorted lens perspective of coming out of the
Carnegie Mellon University environment but at least there
and at quite a few other campuses - Internet access and use was
fairly ubiquitous almost a decade before that. The web
didn't quite yet exist although lots of people were trying
to get it started - but the 'net was in full swing on a bunch
of campuses.

I appreciate both comments and any cites that might
crop up. I'm just fishing to see if there's some stuff
I wasn't aware of in his writings.


On Fri, 2010-05-28 at 07:41 +1000, martin hardie wrote:
yes I thought that Mr David

But then maybe you have to jump to good old D&G ... eg Postscript on
societies to continue the Foucault trail?

On 28 May 2010 07:37, David McInerney <vagabond@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Given when he died I imagine there wasn't much to say.

Back in 1984 people were still getting excited over the new AT MS-DOS
machines with two 5.25" floppy disks and even in 1987 I was informed
in hushed tones as a new employee about the amazing 20MB hard drive
that the big insurance company I worked for had installed and which
they were hoping to eventually scan and store all of the insurance
policies on! Even in 1994 the internet was a huge deal and only a
few people I knew had access to it, generally academics using
university infrastructure. I didn't know any undergrad students who
had used it.

Back in 1984 it was people posting modem addresses in magazines and
communicating one-to-one as far as I can remember.

So no I wouldn't expect anything in Foucault's work itself, but I'd
be interested to see what people have done with his work since to
discuss the matter


On 28/05/2010, at 6:53 AM, Thomas Lord wrote:

Did Foucault write anything about computing,
software, networking, and so forth? His mode
of analysis seems to have a lot of relevance
to today's Internet but I'm wondering what he
might have written directly about such technology.


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  • Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0
    • From: Nathaniel Roberts
  • Replies
    [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0, Thomas Lord
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0, David McInerney
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0, martin hardie
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0, Thomas Lord
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0, Nathaniel Roberts
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault v. Web 2.0, Thomas Lord
    Partial thread listing: