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Benjamin Peters: How Not to Network a Nation (2016, MIT Press) 4 stars

How, despite thirty years of effort, Soviet attempts to build a national computer network were …

That was unexpected

4 stars

In "How not to network a nation" Benjamin Peters covers all of the attempts to network the USSR spanning a period of over 30 years, of which project OGAS lasted the longest. In the early 50s inspired by the American SAGE computer system and the Norbert Wiener s Cybernetics the Madness began.

First in the early 50s, cybernetics had to be rehabilitated from their capitalist tendencies (whatever that was supposed to mean) after Stalin s death. Next their approach to the idea of networks was quite different:

To oversimplify, Baran foresaw a national state network simulating a brain without a body, while Glushkov (and Beer) anticipated a network nation simulating a body with a brain—a government in touch with its people.

Also because of this difference the project became much larger than anything the Americans had planned. Americans way of thinking was to just connect their military and scientific computers …

Art Spiegelman: MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic 4 stars

Visually and emotionally rich, MetaMaus is as groundbreaking as the masterpiece whose creation it reveals. …

Review of 'MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The book tackles the 3 questions Art Spiegelman was frequently asked and is wholly organized into sections to tackle them:

1) Why the Holocaust?
2) Why Mice?
3) Why Comics?

The first two sections talk about the writing (interviewing Vladek), researching the topic, getting the thing published and trying to simply deal and live with the aftermath (both the Holocaust and the Book's publication). And I must stress the amount of research must have been maddening. There is far more in these two sections that I am able to convey, the subject is that heavy. Here we also get the chance to read the rejection letters which were fascinating in their own right. Today it is weird to imagine all the hurdles to the books publication and the skepticism during it's initial reception.

In Why Mice section I learned that there was far more meaning and history to using mice …