If the early development of the computing industry in America was marked by a preoccupation with hardware, as companies like UNIVAC, DEC, and IBM filled the nation’s corporate and government offices with mainframes, then a similar preoccupation has so far marked the response of cultural criticism to contemporary technology. For Michael Menser and Stanley Aronowitz, American technoculture is founded on the way that hardware permeates all sections of society: “The Amish have their wagons and farm equipment, the hippies their Volkswagen buses. The rap DJ has his or her turntable … the cyberpunk has a computer complete with modem” (10). Even in a recent article about the interaction between people and computers, Kevin J. Porter treats the computer, without exception, as a piece of machinery (43-83). Software – the medium through which human-computer interaction takes place – is nowhere to be found in either of these accounts.
Thompson, G. (in press). “Frank Lloyd Oop”: microserfs, modern migration, and the architecture of the nineties. Canadian Review of American Studies, 31(3), https://doi.org/10.3138/CRAS-s031-03-02