1.2 The great commonwealth

What is unique about Information Technology? What distinguishes computers, IT systems, data stores and interconnecting networks from the weaving frames Ned Lud1 and his fellows were so determined to smash? In each of the following four chapters we will cover one of the major differentiating factors.2

1Ned Lud or General Ludd, who gave his name to the frame-smasher movement, might have been a mythical figure. See http://www.usu.edu/sanderso/multinet/lud1.html

2For contrasting arguments see Debora Spar’s Ruling the Waves Harcourt Brace, 2001

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