From Warfare to Welfare
Defense Intellectuals and Urban Problems in Cold War America
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
This book had its origins in a summer I spent working at the RAND Corporation. I joined a team working on new methods for defense science and technology planning, designing a WWW-based tool for collaborative public policy decision making. The plan was to use this technology to lead military officials through a decision-making environment ...
At the 1966 meeting of the National League of Cities, the league’s president, Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh, called attention to a troubling contradiction of the era in his opening speech. “Our readiness to jump into wars when they are outside the three-mile limit seems much greater than our readiness to jump into wars inside our national boundaries,” ...
1. Planning for the Atomic Age: Creating a Community of Experts
In a presentation to the American Municipal Association in November 1945, University of Chicago sociologist Louis Wirth asked a question that was on many minds in the months following the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: “Does the atomic bomb doom the modern city?” ...
Part I: Command, Control, and Community
2. The City as a Communication System
In “How U.S. Cities Can Prepare for Atomic War,” a 1950 article in Life Magazine, Norbert Wiener, a professor of mathematics at MIT, joined the dispersal conversation. Wiener expressed his fear that centralized American cities— difficult to evacuate and difficult to defend—were easy targets for a nuclear strike. ...
3. Cybernetics and Urban Renewal
In October 1964, the MIT-Harvard Joint Center for Urban Studies hosted a conference on “computer methods in the analysis of large-scale social systems.” Many of the era’s most distinguished communication researchers, social scientists, and computer scientists were in attendance, among them Ithiel de Sola Pool, ...
Part II: Cities in the Space Age
4. Urban Intelligence Gathering
In 1968 remarks to a forum on “systems analysis and social change,” U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey offered his analysis of military technology transfer to date. The nation’s military-industrial complex had developed a robust variety of managerial innovations, he observed, but there was still much that the aerospace community could do. ...
5. Moon-Shot Management for American Cities
In 1968, William Mitchel, deputy assistant secretary for management systems at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, attended a workshop on technology transfer for local government leaders organized by McDonnell Douglas. Such meetings were commonplace in this era—organized efforts to bridge ...
Part III: The Urban Crisis as National Security Crisis
6. Cable as a Cold War Technology
RAND Corporation analyst Paul Baran was keenly aware, in the early-1960s, of the importance of decentralizing U.S. infrastructure to prepare for a nuclear attack. Working on contract research for the U.S. military, Baran pointed to the vulnerabilities of the nation’s centralized defense communications systems. ...
7. Wired Cities
In his 1972 remarks at the MITRE Corporation Conference on Urban Cable, just months after the report and order, Herman Kahn offered his thoughts on the future of wired cities: “If I had a guess, I would say this kind of TV will not be successful in removing the alienation or in education or in changing the minority groups.”1 ...
Histories of twentieth-century science and social science in the United States are filled with discussions about how large-scale investments in defense research and development have changed the practices of many fields, from communication research to physics to psychology. ...
Note on Sources
Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 6 halftones, 3 line drawings
Publication Year: 2003
OCLC Number: 70727480
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