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Neighborhood Sounding. An Archaeology of Dynamic Media Networks 1960-1980 | 2010

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (non peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Miyazaki Shintaro,
Project Experimentelle Datenästhetik. Multi-sensorische Exploration hochdimensionaler Datensätze als Problem der Designforschung
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Contribution to book (non peer-reviewed)

Book Neighborhood Technologies. Media and Mathematics of Dynamic Networks
Editor , Vehlken Sebastian und Harks Tobias
Page(s) 187 - 196
ISBN 978-3-03734-523-8
Title of proceedings Neighborhood Technologies. Media and Mathematics of Dynamic Networks
DOI 10.4472/9783037345696.0010


According to the French collective of mathematicians which published under the pseudonym Nicolas Bourbaki, neighborhood as a term used in topology is defined as an expression for “sufficiently near” or “as near as we please.” In the monograph Micromotives and Macrobehavior by sociologist Thomas C. Schelling the concept of neighborhood plays an important role for analyzing the dynamics of separation and segregation of ethnic groups. And the jargon of telecommunications uses the term neighbor inter alia for describing the closest switching computers in packet switching – a technical term for the media technology of early Internet. This contribution is a media archaeological inquiry into the past of dynamic media networks such as the Internet and a close reading of some early historical publications describing early computer networks. Concentrating on the programming of routing procedures it outlines neighborhood sounding as a key moment of packet switching, an early form of distributed and dynamic networks, where each agent or node was defined by the lively exchanges of its neighboring nodes. It finally discusses whether the assemblage or agencement of ARPAnet can be regarded as a complex system, showing emergent behavior or not and whether packet switching can be perceived as an early implementation of principles embodied in more advanced neighborhood technologies of the 21st century.