[rescue] Does any one on the list run this?

Carl R. Friend crfriend at rcn.com
Sat Jun 8 21:37:44 CDT 2013

    On Sat, 8 Jun 2013, Sandwich Maker wrote:

> i rather imagine that for the general population, 'tech history' is an
> oxymoron.  we are taught history in school, and it is mostly
> political, religious, economic, and human accomplishments.

    I will admit that the way that "history" is taught in the US
public schools is unfortunate, but how can it not be said that
"tech history" is not only in line with "human accomplishments"
but actually fundamental to them?  Humans achieved supremacy
through technology -- whether that was a better means of throwing
rocks, learning how to forge metals, or developing means of
mechanical computing: it ultimately boils down to the same thing.
We deploy technology to further our aims as a species.

    My lament is specifically about computing history, and I rather
suspect that there's been some force applied to suppress the very
rich history of the field from the late 1930s to the early 1980s.
Whether this has been overt or accidental remains open to conjecture,
but there remains a "hidden period" that most folks are not aware
of.  I find that sad.

    Not everybody is going to care, much as many folks do not
necessarily appreciate the works of Shakespeare, Wagner, Wright,
or Kotok.  We cannot really change that, nor should we expect
that we can.  But there has to be a way that some form of passion
can be ignited in the general populace about this very rich and
fascinating history.

    Is it common knowledge, for instance, that the Apollo program
absorbed better than 80% of the integrated-circuit production of
the country during the early 1960s?  We flew men to the moon, and
returned them safely to the Earth, on the back of that technology,
and it was a long stretch at the time.  Why is that not called
out, and called out forcefully?  (Viz the guy who built, from
scratch, based on fragmentary evidence, a working replica of a
Block 1 AGC -- and what he learned from the excercise based on
the extant flight code.)

    "Technology" is part and parcel of what we are as a species; it
sets us apart from all other non-tool-using species, and gives us
a powerful leg up on the world(s) around us.  It needs and deserves
to be celebrated.

| Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
| Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
| mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
| http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |

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