news & publications


Keynote: "Knowledge Infrastructures under Siege," conference on Governing by Prediction? Models, Data, and Algorithms in and for Governance, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris


Plantin, Lagoze, Edwards, and Sandvig, "Big Data is not about Size: When Data Transform Scholarship"


M. Chalmers and P.N. Edwards, "Producing 'one vast index': Google Book Search as an algorithmic system," M. Chalmers and P.N. Edwards, Big Data & Society


"The Mechanics of Invisibility: On Habit and Routine as Elements of Infrastructure"


Keynote: "Knowledge Infrastructures under Siege: Environmental Data Systems as Memory, Truce, and Target," Data Power 2017, Carleton University


The Closed World

Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America

Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996


Rachel Carson Prize (Honorable Mention), Society for Social Studies of Science (1998)


The Closed World explores three histories the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, the evolution of digital computers, and the origins of cybernetics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence.



The Closed World has been reviewed in Technology Review, Nature, Isis, Business Week, The Nation, American Historical Review, Computer-Mediated Communication, First Monday, Choice, The New Scientist, the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies, and many other publications. Reviews have appeared in Norwegian, German, French, and Greek. It has been translated into French (excerpt), German (excerpt), and Japanese (full book).


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The Closed World may be viewed online as an ACLS History Ebook (requires login through a subscribing library.)