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A cold war internet architected in the WWI Vorticist revolution Maughan, Cynthia 2005

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A COLD W A R INTERNET ARCHITECTED IN THE WWIVORTICIST REVOLUTION by CYNTHIA M A U G H A N B.A. , The University of British Columbia, 1999 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS i n THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (English) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A August 2005 © Cynthia Maughan, 2005 Abstract Can poetic theories designed to overcome poetic communication problems be used to solve data communication problems? Does data communications have an aesthetic and is it undergoing the same historical shifts to refine its communications in the steps of poetic theories? These are the questions that were asked in an investigation and comparison of the problems, motivations and solutions of Vorticist poetic theories, and the historical accounts of the invention of the Internet. The conclusion of this thesis is that the deep structure revolution of the WWI, Vorticist poetic theories recurred in the Cold War era design of the 1960s internet architecture. Specifically, it was the poetic theories of Vorticism designed by the engineering mind and Chinese language efficiencies of Ezra Pound, which had blasted the voice and symbol-based, central authority of the heroic post-Romantic poet, into a discrete, compressed communication aesthetic of rushing ideas between peer nodal vortexes, that recurred in the design of the Internet. It was when Vorticism was at the height of recognition in 1960s academic circles, and data communications was simultaneously seeking solutions to develop a new architecture, that data communication architects resolved "Romantic" telephony and mainframe communication problems in the historical revolutionary path of Vorticism. Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Tables iv List of Figures v Acknowledgements vi Epigraphs , vii Introduction 1 Post-Romanticism, WWI, and Machine Inventions 10 Pound's Engineering Mind and a Revolution of Poetic Aesthetic 12 The Romanticism of 1960s Telephony Communications Authored by I B M and A T & T 16 The 1960s Zenith of Vorticism, Telephony and the Cold War 18 Introduction to the Specific Recurrences of Vorticism in Internet Architecture 20 The Romantic Interference of Noise: Pounding Voice Waves into Discrete Pulses 26 The Romantic Inefficiency of Symbol Based Images: Pounding Images into Analytics 32 The Romantic Vulnerabilities of Centralized Authority: Pounding an Authorial Centre into Fragments 37 TCP/IP Architecture 44 Tracing Packets in The Cantos Architecture 48 The Poetic and Economic Returns of the Vortex 50 Conclusion 52 Works Cited 56 List of Tables Table 1: TCP/IP and Vorticism Architectures V List of Figures Figure 1: The Problems of a Romantic Aesthetic 8 Figure 2: Solution to the Romantic Aesthetic 9 Figure 3: TCP/IP Core Protocols '. 45 Figure 4: Illustration of a message being packetized and routed/assembled amongst peers 47 vi Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge the life-altering help and support of Dr. Cooper in my senior undergraduate years, in my application to graduate school, and for his original belief in my ability to prepare an M . A . thesis. I would also like to thank both Dr. Cooper and Dr. Giltrow for agreeing to be he supervisory committee for this thesis under difficult circumstances. Epigraphs Yet by the late sixties, the very real gap between Pound and [Stevens' post-Romanticism], a gap that perhaps no inclusive definition of Modernism can quite close-had become apparent...Its very existence raises what I take to be central questions about the meaning of Modernism - indeed about the meaning of poetry itself in current literary history and theory. Marjorie Perloff, Dance of the Intellect In the late 1960s the field of computer networking was still in its infancy; there was little theory or experience to provide guidance, and computer and communications technologies were in the midst of rapid change. Janet Abbate, Inventing the Internet 1 Introduction In the years surrounding World War I, Vorticism revolutionized poetry from a voice and symbol-based poetic aesthetic communicated by a central, heroic post-Romantic poet, into a discrete and analytically finessed aesthetic which blasted the Romantic central authority into poetic, peer-node communicated fragments. Ezra Pound wrote in his 1914 essay "Vorticism": The image is not an idea. It is a radiant node1 or cluster; it is what I can, and must perforce, call a V O R T E X , from which, and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing. In decency one can only call it a V O R T E X . And from this necessity came the name "Vorticism". Nomina sun consequentia rerum, and never was that statement of Aquinas more true than in the case of the Vorticist movement. In the 1960s Cold War era, data communications followed the same revolutionary path moving from a Romantic voice and symbol-based communications aesthetic to a discrete, digital and analytically finessed internet architecture. It was most importantly an architecture that made obsolete the centralized and proprietary speaking voice of the mainframe by fragmenting data into packets that could be blasted between active and intelligent peer nodes or vortexes: an architecture that was invulnerable to a direct hit on a central mainframe. While "drawing strict parallels between a verbal artifact and a musical one, or to works in the other arts for that matter, is always an approximate business" (Cooper, 177), it is particularly true for a comparison of 1 The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences defines a "node" as:"l. In network topology, a terminal of any branch of a network or an interconnection common to two or more branches of a network. (188) Synonyms junction point, nodal point. 2. In a switched network, one of the switches forming the network backbone". 2 poetic and data communication architectures. Accepting the approximate nature of this business, it is argued that the essential architectural cornerstones of the Internet are the poetic theories and architecture of the WWI era Vorticist revolution. It was a recurrence of the deep structure revolution against poetic Romanticism which recurred in the 1960s Cold War era data communication revolution against telephonic Romanticism. The influence of Vorticist deep structure on data communications occurred at the pivotal point of the late 1960s when there were major shifts in the academic circles of literary communications and data communications. Beneath the well researched synergies of literary text and the hypertext of "Web" applications, Vorticist theories of poetic communication, designed to overcome a Romantic central authority, replete with intellectually cumbersome inefficiencies, influenced internet communication theories. Data communication engineers in the 1960s seeking to communicate complex information more efficiently and eliminate the vulnerabilities of a central mainframe moved to digital3 communications, and packet switching4 in decentralized peer to peer networks5, using new 2 HostingWorks defines "the web" as: "everything (documents, menus, indices) [are] represented to the user as a hypertext object in HTML format. Hypertext links refer to other documents by their URLs...The client program (known as a browser), e.g. NCSA Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, runs on the user's computer and provides two basic navigation operations: to follow a link or to send a query to a server. An Internet client-server hypertext distributed information retrieval system". 3 HostingWorks defines "digital" as: "a description of data which is stored or transmitted as a sequence of discrete symbols from a finite set, most commonly this means binary data represented using electronic or electromagnetic signals. The opposite is analogue [which HostingWorks defines as]:(US: "analog") A description of a continuously variable signal or a circuit or device designed to handle such signals. The opposite is "discrete" or "digital". 4 HostingWorks defines "packet switching" as: "a communications paradigm in which packets (messages or fragments of messages) are individually routed between nodes, with no previously established communication path. Packets are routed to their destination through the most expedient route (as 3 data compression6 methods to move images over a collage of disparate internet media. The 1960s data communications engineers solved the problems of the Romantic mainframe's central authority, with its telephony7 communication aesthetic of voice and symbol-based translations in the same way that determined by some routing algorithm). Not all packets traveling between the same two hosts, even those from a single message, will necessarily follow the same route. The destination computer reassembles the packets into their appropriate sequence. Packet switching is used to optimize the use of the bandwidth available in a network and to minimize the latency. X.25 is an international standard packet switching network. Also called connectionless. Opposite of circuit switched or connection-oriented. See also virtual circuit, wormhole routing." 5 HostingWorks defines a "peer" as: a unit of communications hardware or software that is on the same protocol layer of a network as another...viewing a communications link is as two protocol stacks, which are actually connected only at the very lowest (physical) layer, but can be regarded as being connected at each higher layer by virtue of the services provided by the lower layers. Peer-to-peer communication refers to these real or virtual connections between corresponding systems in each layer. To give a simple example, when two people talk to each other, the lowest layer is the physical layer which concerns the sound pressure waves traveling from mouth to ear (so mouths and ears are peers) the next layer might be the speech and hearing centres in the people's brains and the top layer their cerebellums or minds. Although, barring telepathy, nothing passes directly between the two minds, there is a peer-to-peer communication between them." 6 HostingWorks defines "compression" as:"l. (Or 'compaction') The coding of data to save storage space or transmission time. Although data is already coded in digital form for computer processing, it can often be coded more efficiently (using fewer bits). For example, run-length encoding replaces strings of repeated characters (or other units of data) with a single character and a count. There are many compression algorithms and utilities. Compressed data must be decompressed before it can be used." 7 This thesis follows the definition of telecommunications as originally defined by telecommunication providers in the analogue telecommunication industry, prior to data networking and the digital revolution that followed. That is, it follows the definition of telecommunication defined at Answers.Com: "telecommunication: n. :The science and technology of communication at a distance by electronic transmission of impulses, as by telegraph, cable, telephone, radio, or television;[and, as] the electronic 4 Vorticist artists solved the central authority of the voice-wave and symbol based aesthetic of poetic Romanticism. This latent re-invention of Vorticist theories in the internet architecture was motivated by principles of efficiency and eliminating the vulnerability of a central authority as was Pound's poetic revolution. Existing interdisciplinary research discusses the phenomenological synergies of the user accessible and observable characteristics of the Web, primarily, the synergies of hypertext and literary text. Other research is uncovering the influence of technology on the aesthetic output of various art forms such as photography. Conversely, this is a discussion of the influence of art on technology. It is an investigation that goes beneath the design and aesthetics of the user accessible upper layers known as web applications (for example, browsers and hypertext) to investigate the presence of Vorticist form in the deep structural design of internet communications such as in electrical waves, and the networking processes that modify, compress, structure, and move data. By analogy, it is about the configuration of the painter's paintbrush and how the pigment touches the canvas, but not about the design or aesthetics of the painting. It is about the configuration of bolts on the photographer's camera and how the aperture captures the light, but not about the design or aesthetics of the photograph. As Pound argued in 1916, "Vorticism is art before it has spread itself into flaccidity, into elaboration and secondary systems used in transmitting messages, as by telegraph, cable, telephone, radio, or television. Often used in the plural with a plural verb: Telecommunications were disrupted by the brownout. A message so transmitted." The traditional definition of data networking is also defined by Answers.Com as: "data communications: Transmitting text, voice and video in binary form". applications" (Modern Tradition, 149). It is about the vortex of the Internet and not about secondary Web applications such as browsers and hypertext. The nature of this thesis by necessity draws equally and broadly from literature and data networking in order to argue itself and is simultaneously and also by necessity, detailed and specific in nature. The breadth of data communication background information required to properly lay the groundwork and communicate the technical aspects of this diverse comparison lends itself to a collage of voices and images: images in the form of diagrams in an effort to communicate a complex of the information in this brief M A thesis; and, the voices in some of the particularly technical segments are those of technology experts. The underlying basis supporting this argument is an investigation of form which devoids itself of a traditional recounting of the design of the internet, and the influences on Pound's poetic theories. As Louis L. Bucciarelli argues in Designing Engineers, it is a search in which "we must unfocus, start with a broad canvas, hold suspect the categories and relations we unconsciously accept today, and seek...amongst historical remnants-painted, sculpted, written, or wasted, whatever is left to be excavated-for evidence of relations in the making and using of [digital objects]" (19). Bucciarelli's "broad canvass" approach echos Pound's essay "The Plastic of Machines" in which he argues that, "all the 'critic' can do for him is to knock him out of his habitual associations, to 'show him the thing in a new light' or better, put it somewhere he hadn't expected to find it" (Machine Art and Other Writings, 83). The discussion of these interdisciplinary questions of form requires literary and data networking transgressions. As Albright establishes in his interdisciplinary work Quantum Poetics, there are unavoidable methodological hazards in the territory of interdisciplinary research. His introductory statement 6 identifying these hazards as they relate to the influence of physics on Pound can be re-written and inverted to express poetry being modeled by technology: This [thesis] will investigate the pseudomorphism between poetry and [data networking communication], the remapping of the [Imagist/Vorticist] theory of poetry on models [adopted] by data communication/internet engineers. This transgression requires, as will be shown, all sorts of distortions and contortions of verbal structures, all sorts of willful violence to modes of literary apprehension. But i f [Internet engineers inadvertently or otherwise] drew power from the belief that there exist basic units of [poetic] force, comparable to [electromagnetic force], so much the better for Internet engineers. We will see in the course of this thesis, that the pseudo-[poetics] of [Internet engineers] displayed tremendous [poetic artistry]. (2) This thesis is structured to first provide the cultural context of Vorticism: locating Pound at the turn of the century and in the midst of WWI; contrasting his poetics with the post-Romantic authors of his era; and discussing Pound's synergies with scientific and machine advancements. The argument is then made for Pound's Vorticist theories as a poetic engineering architecture based on Pound's recently published essays discussing machine art as collected by Maria Louisa Ardizzone. Following which is a discussion identifying the Romantic aesthetic communication problems in the 1960s data and telecommunications industrys through: an analysis of research in data communication historical documents such as Bryan Dewalt's series published by The National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa; works by academics such as Janet Abbate's Inventing the Internet of the MIT press; and industry manufacturers and 7 educational web sites. Research on cultural, social influences on the underlying form of digital engineering design is then discussed primarily through Louis L. Bucciarelli's Designing Engineers, also of the MIT press. Specific examples of the problems that Pound had with the Romantic poetic aesthetic of communication, and his solutions in his Vorticist theories to overcome a Romantic aesthetic are then detailed: the interference of noise in a voice-based aesthetic; the inefficiency of cumbersome, symbol based images; and, the vulnerabilities of the central authority-based communications of the individual, Romantic poet. Figure 2 and Figure 3 describe these problems and solutions. 8 Romantic Poet: The "subjective speaking voice" controlling the "protocol" of communications to a passive reader "Romantic" Mainframe: The "subjective voice" and proprietary protocols, typically IBM, communication to passive endpoints Dedicated linear, "point to point" thread of Readers/ communication between poet and reader of the Receivers poet's intended message Voice-based communication waves subject to the interference of the poetic noise of "ornamentation" communicating images through symbol translation Dedicated Bandwidth in Point to Point Communication, typically over A T & T Circuit Switched 1 elqihone lines "Dumb" Terminal Endpoints • Telephony based, analogue wave communication designed for expressive voice communications, subject to the interference of noise, and requiring dedicated lines for the mainfame to control and process communications with endpoint terminals Figure 1: The Problems of a Romantic Aesthetic Node (peer): Node or vortex "into which and out of which ideas are constantly rushing" Idea Discrete "signals" of parataxis Node (peer): Internet "node'Vvortex" "into which and out of which [packets] arp r n n s t a n t l v r n s h i n a " Packet-Switching Internet Discrete, digital signals Figure 2: Solut ion to the Romant ic Aesthetic 10 The penultimate section discusses the commercialization of the Internet as being largely based on a type of multi-media collage. At the conclusion, the validity of proposing the influence of Vorticism on data communications is discussed. Post-Romanticism, WWI, and Machine Inventions The Romanticism of the poetic aesthetic at the turn of the century is argued by Marjorie Perloff in Dance of the Intellect as being exemplified in the poetry of Wallace Stevens. As Perloff argues it, Steven's poetry was a Romanticism rooted in self-expression, and the dissemination of knowledge by the authority of individual poets who subordinated precision and technique to the content of their message. It was a Romanticism "built upon the central reality of our age, the death of the gods and of the great coordinating mythologies, and in their place it offers the austere satisfactions of a 'self dependent on the pure poetry of the physical world, a 'self whose terrifying lack of belief is turned into a source of freedom" (Introspective Voyager, vi). One of the fragmenting effects of WWI was the questioning of the absence and authority of God. 1880-1918 was, as Kern's argues in A Culture of Time and Space, when "the vertiginous extension of the time scale dealt yet another blow to the egocentrism of man, whose tenure on earth seemed to shrink to minuscule proportions" (60). It was a time when scientific advancements in space and time theories and machine inventions "literally reduced people into postcard size" in photography (60); and compressed them into miniatures in portraits (Miniature Books). It was also a time of research into memory, and the philosophical angst of fragmentation which Kern summarizes: 11 They all assumed that any moment must involve consciousness of what has gone before, otherwise it would be impossible to hear a melody, maintain personal identity or think. The melody would appear as a series of discrete sounds unrelated to what had been before, understanding of ourselves would be chopped into unconnected fragments, and it would be impossible to learn a language or follow an argument. (43) Vorticism was rooted in this cultural and scientific context of fragmentation, compression and a loss of an authorial centre as were many of the twentieth century's most significant machine inventions. In this cultural context of compression, machine inventors thrived and with surprising synergy with Vorticism drawing from the same inspiration of music and painting. The compression of voices and pictures in the inventions of the telephone and the fax. are two significant examples. First, Alexander Graham Bell acknowledged that his inspiration for the "harmonic" in 1867 was the musical staff. A Chord of Steel and the article "In the Beginning: Telephone" describe what seems forgotten in a historical recounting of this most significant twentieth century invention. It was Bell's knowledge of music which "enabled him to conjecture the possibility of transmitting multiple messages over the same wire at the same time [and, that] his 'harmonic telegraph' was based on the principle that several notes could be sent simultaneously along the same wire i f the notes or signals differed in pitch" (Technomedia). The centrality of music is similarly located in Pound's Cantos with the specific inspiration of the musical staff, for example, in Canto 82 where the voices of three birds are compressed onto the middle 12 wire. Another noteworthy invention that paralleled Vorticism was the influence of ideograms to compress poetic images found in the invention of the fax machine by Alexander Bain in 1843. It was a parallel that continued with the commercialization of the early facsimile machines in the 1920s8. The early modern synergy between Vorticist and machine inventions joins Pound to these machine inventors by a mutual inspiration of music and art. Marinetti and the Futurist movement often serve as the established connection between modern machine and artistic invention with Pound described as having rejected the futurist aesthetic. However, it was Pound's theories that closely parallel machine inventions. As Perloff notes, Pound had rejected the Futurist movement, but "after the war when he was living in Italy, Pound acknowledged his debt much more openly writing that, 'Marinetti and Futurism gave the whole of European Literature a great push forward. The movement that Eliot, Joyce, I myself and others began in London, would not have taken place without futurism'" (42). Pound's Engineering Mind and a Revolution of Poetic Aesthetic Pound's synergies with machine invention and his intellectual steel of "precision and radical condensation" (Perloff, 13) to hone form and method as the medium of poetry clashed with the Romanticism of poets such as Wallace Stevens. Perloffs comparison of Pound and Stevens illuminates the revolution of Pound's rupture with Steven's Romantic aesthetic. Drawing distinctions between the two in the most direct 8 Ironically, ideograms inspired by the Chinese written language were central to Pound's Vorticist theories, and it was Japanese ideograms which were the commercial focal point when fax machines were first made widely available much later in the century . 13 terms, Perloff writes, "for such key words in Stevens criticism as imagination, consciousness, being, and self, Poundians would substitute terms like precision, particularity, image, technique, structure, invention" (13). Pound's "technique, structure [and] invention" describe an engineering mind, with his "poetic structural properties [comprised of] collage, fragmentation, parataxis" (Perloff, 22). While a traditional recounting of the influences on Pound in developing these structural properties focuses primarily, i f not solely on Fenellosa's influence on Pound in The Chinese Written Character As a Medium for Poetry, it is argued that Pound's poetic structural properties are equally, i f not primarily, underpinned by Pound's engineering mind. His engineering sense of poetics and his self-declared investment in engineering form is described in his recently published essay "The Plastic of Machines" in the Machine Art and Other Writings collection. In it, Pound opens his essay with a call to recognizing underlying form arguing that "this subject, 'The Plastic of Machines,' begins for a man the moment he stops to consider a machine as something looked at; and to ask himself whether its form is good to look at or annoying to look at, or to perceive as form" (57). He goes on to identify seven conclusions about form and machines in which he seems to find solace in the pure form and independent functioning of machine parts, celebrated in accompanying pictures of bolts, wheels, pipes, etc. Pound describes a "messy" Romantic lack of architectural components in that "people, as we know them, can hardly look at anything as form. They look at a portrait and wonder whether they would like to know the lady who sat, etc...Nothing is more difficult for our contemporaries than the disentanglement of their combined or even messy ideas into components" ( 57). In writing his essay in 1927-1930, as will Bucciarelli and Abbate in 14 the late twentieth century, Pound describes the interchangeability of form. For Pound, it is the interchangeability of the form of painting, architecture and engineering specifically linking painters and architects of machinery recalling that "J. B. Alberti [initial designer of the temple of Rimini] wrote a treatise on painting in which he says: 'The architect gets his idea from the painter'". Pound goes onto state, "the best modern architects are, I suppose, almost universally the engineers; their best form comes from the mathematics of strains, etc. rather than from any thought about pictorial qualities" (71). For Pound it was the raw energy of the motion of the independent, fragmented machine parts which is the true energy from which art and science congeal into a vortex capable of communicating. He wrote, "these single parts and the loci of their action have been made by thought over thought; by layer on layer of attention" (59). His emphasis on the energy of the movement of form (machines in motion) as supported by the static (the architecture of the machine parts) (70) is described in his conclusions on machines, the first three of which are: 1. The beauty of machines (A.D. 1930) is now chiefly to be found in those parts of machines where the energy is most concentrated. 2. In so far as form is concerned, the static parts of machinery obey, probably, the same aesthetics as any other architecture, and offer comparatively little field for thought about form. 3. Interest for the critic of form will lie mainly in the mobile parts and in the parts which more immediately hold these mobile parts in their loci (57). 15 Pound's arguments for "form in motion" are the beginning of his "space art" and the vortex of the internet: "considering the plastic of form in motion, we are bought almost suddenly to our second set of perceptions. I mean from considering a space art which never ceases to be a space art, we find ourselves on the brink of considering time and recurrence" (71). Pound's engineering approach to poetry is also illuminated in the inspiration of mathematics in his poetic theories. A n often quoted prophetic description of 20th century technology by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development in the 1920s, defines a mathematician for the "new machines" as, "primarily an individual who is skilled in the use of symbolic logic on a high plane, and especially he is a man of intuitive judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs" (Atlantic Monthly, 105). Pound was a mathematician and scientist who used "symbolic logic on a high plane" and "intuitive judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs" writing in "Vorticism" that analytical geometry "does not interfere in the least with 'spontaneity' and 'intuition,' or with...function in art. I passed my last exam in mathematics on sheer intuition. I saw where the line had to go, as clearly as I ever saw an image or felt caelestem intus vigor em". Pound concluded that "the difference between art and analytical geometry is the difference of subject-matter only" (152). Pound revolutionized a turn of the century Romanticism which focused on "imagination, consciousness, being, and self in the wake of WWI with an engineering mind of "precision, particularity, image, technique, structure, invention" (Perloff, 13). It 16 was his engineering mind for poetry that would recur in solving the Romantic data communication problems of the 1960s Cold War era. The Romanticism of 1960s Telephony Communications Authored by IBM and AT&T Engineers in the 1960s faced a Romantic communication aesthetic problem deployed in the traditionally structured and proprietary communications of IBM and AT&T. AT&T's telephone lines communicated in voice-based analogue waves designed for expressive voice communications (dating back to Bell's "harmonic") over circuit switched, dedicated point to point links typically between the central intelligence and authority of an IBM mainframe which dictated the protocol rules for communication to its "dumb" terminal endpoints. Dewalt describes the Romantic analogue wave aesthetic as "signals consisting] of continuously varying values of energy that rise and fall in a wave-like pattern. Their main advantage is that their wave pattern can be made similar, or analogous, to many natural phenomena that are transmitted as information, especially sound and light waves". Articles administered by the IEEE9, the international authority of electrical engineering, at their on-line History Centre describe the pre-Internet, Romanticism of AT&T's telephony: "The year 1962 is marked with the recognition of the dominance of AT&T and circuit switch telephone lines to communicate data over analogue telephone lines"...{D]omestically, data communication over the phone lines is 9 "The IEEE and its predecessors, the AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineers) and the IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers), date to 1884.From its earliest origins, the IEEE has advanced the theory and application of electrotechnology and allied sciences, served as a catalyst for technological innovation and supported the needs of its members through a wide variety of programs and services" (IEEE). 17 an AT&T monopoly". The IEEE History Center summarizes the problems of analogue phone lines for pre-Internet researchers stating that, "the system confirms the suspicions of the Intergalactic Network researchers that telephone lines work for data, but are inefficient, wasteful of bandwidth, and expensive". The type of connection through which analogue telephony waves communicated is also described in the article, "All You Ever Wanted to Know About IP" in the compiled articles at the IEEE History Centre: In August 1962 computers communicat[ed] through binary or simple text entry with data passed from one point to another through circuit switching — this type of network has a physical path dedicated to a single connection between two end-points in the network for the duration of the connection. Circuit switching was a well-established technology that had been in use in the telephone networks for over a hundred years, but the main problem with it is that circuit switching made highly inefficient use of network resources. The Romantic "poet" of telephony communications in the 1960s was almost always the IBM mainframe who controlled communications with its Romantic aesthetic to remote job entry devices. "RJE" devices could communicate with the mainframe, but not with one another. Information from the Serengeti web site, a manufacturer of the IBM remote job entry device, states that "the typical 2780 and 3780 were model numbers of IBM remote job entry (RJE) data terminals [which] used the [ancient] bisync protocol to transmit and receive data with an IBM mainframe computer". 18 The 1960s Zenith of Vorticism, Telephony and the Cold War As the 1960s Cold War threatened the security of the U.S., "the R A N D Corporation, America's foremost Cold War think-tank, faced a strange strategic problem. How could the US authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?" (Sterling). The existing telecommunications system was inefficient and vulnerable: noise on AT&T's voice based analogue telephone lines subjected communications to interference and required too much bandwidth; and the central authority of an IBM mainframe was simply too vulnerable to attack by a single blast. Engineers grappled with how to architect a solution to this digital Romantic aesthetic with, as Abbate describes it, "no guidance" (218). It was also a time of growing awareness of the significance of Pound's Vorticist theories in academic circles. As Perloff characterizes it, it was a time of "the larger aesthetic dichotomy at the heart of Modernism, the dichotomy between what Kandinsky called the 'two poles' - the expressionist and the constructionist. Not until the sixties did the balance tip in favor the latter (Perloff, 22-23). Simultaneously, "in the late 1960s the field of computer networking was still in its infancy; there was little theory or experience to provide guidance, and computer and communications technologies were in the midst of rapid change" (Inventing the Internet, 218). Pound's synergies with communication engineering at the height of the awareness of his theories in academia, and the need for internet digital communication designers to find a communication architecture on which to build a new means of communicating data, underpins the argument that Vorticist theory was influencing the academic communities invention of the Internet. But is poetic form translatable to data communications form? 19 Engineering's "underlying form" discussed in Bucciarelli's Designing Engineers from the MIT press, argues for the influence of the social and cultural on data networking design. He grounds his argument for the effects of the social and cultural on digital communications by drawing attention to the underlying form of everyday objects, writing, "however we appropriate technique, most of us do not see digital communication in terms of its formal structure, underlying form, or inner constitution. How does your telephone work? How does your chair really function?" (12). Bucciarelli focuses on the "underlying form" in the engineering design of digital communication beginning with "what Robert Persig would call [the chair's] underlying form. This is the 'physics of the device' knowledge that is often taken as the hallmark of technological literacy" (6-7). Likewise Abbate's historical research in Inventing the Internet, also from the MIT press, focuses on the underlying form of the internet and its interchangeability with other circumstances. She writes, "this book has explored, in various ways, the protean character of the Internet. The story of the invention of packet switching illustrates how the same basic technique could be adapted to different circumstances, with very different results" (218). Abbate and Bucciarelli's arguments for the influences on, and the adaptability of "underlying form" in different "circumstances" combined with the zenith of Pound's Vorticism in the 1960s gestures towards the possibilities of Vorticist theories in the architecture of the internet. Pound's engineering sense, his "vast ideogram that has 'no intellectual content whatever'" (Perloff, 17) is the "engineer's point of view, [that] the content or meaning of a message is irrelevant to the problem of designing [which] examines the source and its information mathematically" (Dewalt, 10). Pound's 20 conclusion that "the engineering mind is about the most satisfactory mind of our time" (Machine Art and Other Writings, 11), and his mathematically inspired poetry, appear to be those of an engineer preparing to invent something. Introduction to the Specific Recurrences of Vorticism in Internet Architecture Three examples provide specific support for the argument that not only were internet designers confronted with the same problems of a Romantic aesthetic in telecommunications, but they were similarly motivated to solve those problems for comparable reasons, and using the same underlying form, as had Vorticism. The analysis of these recurring problems and the comparable motivations to solve them are drawn primarily through a comparison of Pound's Vorticist theories and the historical account of the development of internet communication theories in Bryan Dewalt's series published by The National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, and Janet Abbate's Inventing the Internet. The problems of a centralized, voice and symbol-based aesthetic for Pound and later data communication engineers were: a) "noise" in natural wave-like communications designed for human voice communications subjecting messages to interference and motivating a need for precision and clarity; b) the inefficiency of symbol translation to create images which was inelegant and consumed too much bandwidth capacity motivated a need to finesse smaller components for a rushing pace and to free up communication capacity; c) the vulnerability of centralized control and authority which unilaterally processed and delivered information in dedicated, point to point form interfering with the very survivability of a message that would be lost in one cut of the thread leading from authority to receiver. Vorticist theories first made the conceptual shifts required to solve these problems in poetic communication as would data 21 communication engineers in the 1960s: a) achieve precision and clarity through the elision of connectives by shifting from an expressive, natural speech wave form to discrete "fragments10" or "pulses"; b) achieve efficiency in creating images for communication by shifting from the translation of symbols to analytical geometry; and, c) achieve an invulnerable communications configuration by shifting a central authority communicating on dedicated, point to point paths to the dispersal of authority through peer nodes that could communicate one with another using any number of languages or protocols. Serving both as an introduction to the specific examples, and to provide support for the general influence of other communication theories on data networking, Saussure's 1916 speech circuit is compared to the concept of layering in an internet architecture. Although it is not the focus of this thesis, it is a comparison that has only received passing research attention to date, but which provides an important backdrop to the general notion of external influences on data networking form. The fundamentals of communications in Saussure's Course in General Linguistics (1916) provided the following construction of the "speaking-circuit" in communications between persons: In order to separate from the whole of speech the part that belongs to language, we must examine the individual act from which the speaking-circuit can be reconstructed. The act requires the presence of at least two Note that while the poetic "fragment" and internet "fragment" are conceptually the same, the implementations of them are different in-poetic and internet communications. An internet "fragment" is when a packet size arrives which is too large for the receiving node and it must be broken down further. 22 persons; that is the minimum number necessary to complete the circuit. Suppose that two people, A and B, are conversing with each other. Suppose that the opening of the circuit is in A's brain, where mental facts (concepts) are associated with representations of the linguistic sounds (sound-images)...A given concept unlocks a corresponding sound-image in the brain; this purely psychological phenomenon is followed in turn by a physiological process; the brain transmits an impulse corresponding to the image to the organs used in the producing sounds. Then the sound waves travel from the mouth of A to the ear of B: a purely physical process. Next, the circuit continues in B, but the order is reversed; from the ear to the brain, the physiological transmission of the sound-image; in the brain, the psychological association of the image with the corresponding concept. If B then speaks, the new act will follow -from his brain to A's-exactly the same course as the first act and pass through the same successive phases. (Literary Criticism, 268) Saussure's speech "circuit" describes layers of communications which have independent functions but which cooperate with each other as information is added or subtracted to the message. Saussure describes: a psychological layer (the brain function of determining a concept); a physiological layer (the brain transmitting the impulse); and the physical layer (the ears and mouth) which performs the physical transmission to the peer (person "B") who reverses the order to transmit up through the same peer layers. The communicator's peer, who maintains the same three layers to communicate, can initiate 23 their own speech circuit and the layers would operate in the same way. The following standard description of the TCP/IP protocol by UNIX (the dominant operating system supporting TCP/IP) in the article "Overview of TCP/IP" describes the 1960s data engineered networking concept of layering in which "every protocol communicates with its peer", and in which each layer performs its function in isolation, but cooperates with the layers above and below, in the same way the "physical layer" of mouth and ears, cooperates with the physiological layer, and the physiological layer with the psychological layer, by passing information up and down the stack: The upper layers rely on the lower layers to transfer the data over the underlying network. Data is passed down the stack from one layer to the next, until it is transmitted over the network by the Physical Layer protocols. At the remote end, the data is passed up the stack to the receiving application. The individual layers do not need to know how the layers above and below them function; they only need to know how to pass data to them. Isolating network communications functions in different layers minimizes the impact of technological change on the entire protocol suite. New applications can be added without changing the physical network, and new network hardware can be installed without rewriting the application software. This description of the layered internet architecture in which data is passed up and down through independently functioning, but cooperative layers is Saussure's 1916 speech circuit and it is the backdrop for identifying the specific examples of the Vorticist 24 theoretical solutions to the Romantic communications problem. Figure 3 places the specific parallels of Vorticist rules for communication that recurred in the TCP/IP internet architecture developed in the 1960s. The layers at issue in this thesis are emphasized. The parallel OSI layers are provided for technical accuracy. 25 Layer # OSI Model of Networking TCP/ IP Protocol Imagist/Vorticist Rules 7-Application User Application Services "The Web": HTTP;Telnet; FTP, etc The Poem 6-Pesentation Data Translation; Compression" and Encryption Shift from the symbol based method of pixels to the creation of images by analytical geometry Shift from the Symbolist translation method of poetic image creation to the creation of images inspired by analytical geometry 5-Session Session Establishment, Management Termination shift from the central authority of dedicated point to point communication links on pre-determined paths communicated from the "master mainframe" to the "dumb" terminal endpoints, shift from the central authority of lyric, end to end communications of pre-determined paths of intellectual conclusion communicated down from the poet to the reader, 4-Transport Process-Level/Addressing; Multiplex/Demultiplex; Connections;Segmentation & Reassembly; Acknowledg ments Retransmissions;Flow Control to packets of fragmented data information for discontinuous reception between peer nodes to be assembled by a peer receiving node of: to poetic fragments for discontinuous reception assembled by a peer reader with the "force of personal discovery" of the message in the assembling of it 3-Network Logical Addressing; Routing; Datagram Encapsulation; Fragmentation & Reassembly; Error Handling and Diagnostics "datagrams", the most dynamic and discontinuous form being the "Unreliable Datagram Protocol" (UDP) communicated in "ideograms" 2-Data Link Logical Link Control; Media Access Control; Data Framing; Addressing; Error Detection & Handling; Defining Requirements of Physical Layer shift from telephony's voice-based "analogue waves" to the discrete pulses shift from Romanticism's voice-based, expressionist voice to the discrete pulses 1- Physical Encoding & Signaling; Physical Data Transmission; Hardware Specifications;Topology& Design of digital communications achieved by elision. of parataxis achieved by elision Table 1: TCP/IP and Vorticism Architectures 1 1 It is not incorrect in this abstract comparison, but perhaps somewhat out of place, to have this type of compression at this layer of the internet 26 The Romantic Interference of Noise: Pounding Voice Waves into Discrete Pulses "Noise" is defined as "any signal in a communication network that is considered extraneous" (A Brief History of the Future, 304), and by Dewalt as being "in communication usage...any random electrical signal that disturbs a communication channel and obscures the clarity of the received message signal" (14). Noise occurring in telephony's analogue wave communications is defined on the Hostingworks educational web site as "a description of a continuously variable signal or a circuit or device designed to handle such signals. The opposite is 'discrete' or 'digital'". "Noise" to Vorticism was the interference on the voice-based communication "waves" of the Romantic poet's subjective T speaking voice of self-expression, and the connective tissue of pronouns and other connective superfluous ornamentation. Placing Wallace Steven's poetry as central to post-Romanticism at the turn of the century, Bloom describes Stevens as "the culmination of Coleridgean and Blakean poetic theory" (Borroff, 94) in which "the value of the poem as a poem depends on expression, it depends primarily on what is expressed" (The Necessary Angel, 168). It is the expressiveness of Romanticism, the "tradition of Romantic visionary humanism" that is "in keeping with the Romantic mode, the "I" of Stevens is a Solitary Singer...the Supreme Fiction, the poet's evolving consciousness" (Perloff, 21) that is "noise" to the Vorticist's ear. Departing from poetry to underscore the Romantic expressionist "wave" problem to Vorticism is Woolfs stream of consciousness writing in her novel, conveniently titled, The Waves. In it, Woolfs expressionist aesthetic is reflected in these self-reflexive examples in which she writes, "the waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray 27 tossed itself back with the energy of their fall (118-119) and also that, "like Minnows, conscious of the presence of a great stone, we undulate and eddy contentedly" (108). Woolfs subjective "I" speaking voice is also found for example, in "when I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke around me I am in darkness -1 am nothing" (105). It is the primacy of self-expression on continuous waves of abstractions that is the Romantic aesthetic and noise to Vorticism. Through the elision of pronouns, connectives, and abstractness, Pound created a new language. He stripped away the Romantic excesses of pronouns and other connectives, and replaced the Romantic authors' self-searching abstractions with the concrete. It was a language that broke the waves of authors such as Woolf and Stevens with a discrete pulsing of ideas. Parataxis rested on the 1916 tenet of Vorticism calling for a poetry "to use absolutely no word that [does] not contribute to the presentation" (Modern Tradition, 142). Removing the connective tissue of pronouns and other connectives interrupted the contiguous stream of Romanticism and opened up silent spaces between ideas. It ensured blasts of concrete poetic communication that cut immediately and directly to the message. Eva Hesse describes this new invention of parataxis and its rupture with Romanticism stating, "syntax yields to parataxis...Pound juxtapose[es] concrete particulars that he considers meaningful in the conviction that they will speak for themselves" (48). Perloff underscores the importance of the Poundian parataxis rupture with Romanticism as being (according to Kenner) "the invention] of a new language" (11-12). Pound clarifies that the removal of the connective tissue is not to be confused with a reductive "cyphering" of the message, but rather it requires the receiver to be an intelligent "endpoint", receiver. He wrote, "the hurried reader may say I 28 write this in cypher and that my statement merely skips from one point to another without connection or sequence...The statement is nevertheless complete. A l l the elements are there, and the nastiest addict of crossword puzzles shd. be able to solve this or see this" {Guide to Kulcher, 48). Pound's inspiration for this new language of parataxis came from Ernest Fenollosa's essay "The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry"12 which was received by Pound in 1913, and later edited and published by him in 1936. However, it was not until the 1960s that Donald Davie claimed that 'the quality of Chinese poetry is exactly that quality which our poetry, in the present century, has adapted itself specifically to secure" (704). Chinese avoids "personal pronouns and connectives" (Hsieh 414), and Fenellosa further described how "in translating Chinese, verse especially, we must hold as closely as possible to the concrete force of the original, eschewing adjectives, nouns and intransitive forms wherever we can, and seeking instead strong and individual verbs" (16). The new language of parataxis is heard in Pound's Cantos of 1917, for example, in Canto 3: "And then went down to the ship, / Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea". Without the noise of pronouns and connectives, "poetic thought works by suggestion, crowding maximum meaning into the single phrase pregnant, charged, and luminous from within" (Fenellosa, 28). The elision of connectives and the ornamentation of abstractions through parataxis quieted the noise in the Romantic Pound's association with Cubism would be the subject of a future paper. Kern writes that "Cubist positive negative space, the pauses and blanks in Mallarme's poetry and silence in literature and music... without an apparent causal link occasionally led to the discovery of a link" (7). 29 voice-based aesthetic, and the self-expression of Romantic poets. Parataxis is the poetic hardware of the physical layer in Vorticist poetry. In the 1960s, data networking engineers faced the same problem of a Romantic communication aesthetic in the voice-based analogue waves of the existing telephony communication networks. Dewalt's historical document Building a Digital Network: Data Communications and Digital Telephony, 1950-1990 describes the engineering design tenants which began with resolutions very similar to those of the Vorticist tenets for poetry. Dewalt describes a voice-based aesthetic of "continuously varying" waves that "rise and fall" in a "wave-like pattern" in a manner that is not inconsistent with the stream of consciousness writing and the sense of "wave-like patterns" in Woolfs, The Waves: Analogue signals consist of continuously varying values of energy that rise and fall in a wave-like pattern. Their main advantage is that their wave pattern can be made similar, or analogous, to many natural phenomena that are transmitted as information, especially sound and light waves. Telegraphy and modern data communications are digital systems, while telephony and television are, at least in their early histories, analogue. (9) Dewalt then describes his five essential parts of digital communication design, two of which focus on the problem of "noise": "the channel that distorts the signal and prevents the accurate reproduction of the message";[and, that] the signal power, derived from the transmitter and amplifiers or repeaters, [are] needed to overcome noise and compensate for signal losses" (9). The specific technical problems that analogue, voice-based 30 communication systems present are described in the Connexions13 article by Johnson: "the only parameters of interest are message bandwidth and amplitude...[W]e cannot exploit signal structure to achieve a more efficient communication system [in analogue communication systems]". Shannon solved the engineering problem of noise in analogue communications in 1948 with his Information Theory. The following selection from the Johnson article does not attempt a technical description of Shannon's Information Theory in synergy with Vorticism. However, selections from his theory underscore the same essential problem and motivations to solve a problem of "noise" on (analogue) waves which was achieved by punctuating continuous waves with a discrete signal: As far as a communications engineer is concerned, signals express information. Because systems manipulate signals, they also affect the information content. Information comes neatly packaged in both analog and digital forms. Speech, for example, is clearly an analog signal, and computer files consist of a sequence of bytes, a form of "discrete-time" signal despite the fact that the index sequences byte position, not time sample. Communication systems endeavor not to manipulate information, but to transmit it from one place to another....Because of [Shannon's] Sampling Theorem, we know how to convert analog signals into digital ones. Shannon showed that once in this form, a properly engineered The home page of Connexions describes itself as "a rapidly growing collection of free scholarly materials... Our Content Commons contains small "knowledge chunks" we call modules that connect into courses. Thanks to a Creative Commons open license, anyone can take our materials, adapt them to meet their needs, and contribute them back to the Commons...Connexions is internationally focused, interdisciplinary, and grassroots organized." 31 system can communicate digital information with no error despite the fact that the communication channel thrusts noise onto all transmissions. Transmitted signals next pass through.. .the evil channel. Nothing good happens to a signal in a channel: It can become corrupted by noise, distorted, and attenuated among many possibilities. The channel cannot be escaped (the real world is cruel), and transmitter design and receiver design focus on how best to jointly fend off the channel's effects on signals...Shannon showed in his 1948 paper that reliable — for the moment, take this word to mean error-free—digital communication was possible over arbitrarily noisy channels...[B]ecause of the Noisy Channel Coding Theorem, we have a specific criterion by which to formulate error-correcting codes that can bring us as close to error-free transmission as we might want. Even though we may send information by way of a noisy channel, digital schemes are capable of error-free transmission while analog ones cannot overcome channel disturbances [and] digital communication systems can transmit real-valued discrete-time signals. Data networking's solution to noise in analogue waves was found in "digital signals [which are] chains of discrete pulses...valued for [their] simplicity and flexibility" (Dewalt, 9). Johnson's account underscores the Romantic versus the Vorticist approach to form: "because systems manipulate signals they also affect the information content". It is the same Romantic act of manipulating voice-based communications using "signals" 32 (pronouns, connectives, and other ornamentation like the use of abstractions) which blurred poet communications that was the problem for data engineering. "However, the goal in "communication systems [is to] endeavor not to manipulate information" (Johnson). It is this very solution of a cleansing of poetry from the manipulation of poetry, i.e. the subjection of ideas to noise and errors in poetic "analogue" signals that was found in Vorticism's parataxis: "Pound juxtapos[es] concrete particulars that he considers meaningful in the conviction that they will speak for themselves" (Hesse, 48). While Shannon's Information theory is a cornerstone of the digital revolution, the solution to noise in the underlying form of data communications is a recurrence of Pound's parataxis of discrete signals of poetic text to solve the noise and errors in the analogue signals of connectives and ornamentation in the Romantic poetic aesthetic. The Romantic Inefficiency of Symbol Based Images: Pounding Images into Analytics For Vorticism, images created through the translation of symbols in the Symbolist method lacked the intensity of true poetic communications. The problem Pound had with the Symbolist method is encapsulated in his 1916 "Vorticism": Imagisme is not symbolism. The symbolists dealt in 'association,' that is, in a sort of allusion, almost of allegory. They degraded the symbol to the status of a word. They made it a form of metonymy. One can be grossly 'symbolic,' for example, by using the term 'cross' to mean 'trial'. The symbolist's symbols have a fixed value, like numbers in arithmetic, like 1,2, and 7. The imagiste's images have a variable significance like the signs a, b, and x in algebra. (Modern Tradition, 147). 33 Pound's categorical conclusion on the Symbolist method was that "almost anyone can realize that to use a symbol with an ascribed or intended meaning is, usually, to produce very bad art" (Modern Tradition, 148). The symbolist method for Pound was a trail of inefficiency as the Romantic poem moved from image to image requiring the reader to translate at each image the meaning ascribed to each symbol. The Vorticist solution to the inefficiency of symbol translation to communicate images was inspired by (if not directly correlated to) analytical geometry14. Pound describes the solution to the symbolist method writing that "Vorticism is an intensive art. I mean by this, that one is concerned with the relative intensity, or relative significance of different sorts of expression [and that his meaning can be best explained in the] four different intensities of mathematical expression: the arithmetical, the algebraic, the geometrical, and that of analytical geometry" (Modern Tradition, 151). The first three of which, Pound writes, are unable to create form, "they are a criticism of the form. The form is not created by them" (151). It is, Pound wrote, the fourth mathematical expression of "Descartian or 'analytical geometry' [in which] space is conceived as separated by two or three axes [that] one refers points to these axes by a series of co-ordinates. Given the idiom, one is able actually to create" (152). As Pound describes it 1 4 Cubism's aesthetic of multiple perspectives may have equally influenced Pound and may represent a more direct correlation between Imagism and fractal geometry for the creation of images in data communication. This would be the subject of a future paper. For example, Kern writes in Culture of Time and Space: "that cubists have followed scientists beyond the third dimension and have been led quite naturally...to preoccupy themselves with new possibilities of spatial measurement...This flattening was accomplished by the cubists in part by multiple perceptive but also by multiple light sources, the reduction of aerial overlapping [and]several points of view" (145). 34 "we learn that the equation (x-a)2 + (y - b) 2 = r 2 governs the circle. It is the circle. It is not a particular circle, it is any circle and all circles. It is nothing that is not the circle. It is the circle free of space and time limits". It is in this freedom from space and time in the underlying form of analytical geometry that Pound's revolutionary shift into the image as vortex that "we come upon a new way of dealing with form". The contrast of the Symbolist method with its inefficient images created through symbol translation, to images created through analytical geometry is described by Perloff: "Stevens carries on the Symbolist tradition, where Pound's Imagism and Vorticism constitute, in Donald Davies's words, 'a radical alternative to it'" (14). The image, wrote Pound, "presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time" (Modern Tradition, 143), and it was through a poetic adoption of analytical geometry that Pound achieved the compression of poetic images into complexes freeing up the poetic reader's physiological and psychological resources from the processing of symbol translation. In Vorticism, a "complex [communicated] in an instant of time" was delivered at the intensity of the physical layer. Pound's discovery that was an "equation, a pattern, but not one that has a literal repeat in it", is in synergy with fractal geometry that would follow in the 1960s. Pound described this discovery in "Vorticism": I found, suddenly, the expression. I do not mean that I found words, but there came an equation... not in speech, but in little splotches of colour. It was just that - a 'pattern,' or hardly a pattern, i f by 'pattern' you mean something with a 'repeat' in it . But it was a word, the beginning, for me of a language in colour... I realized quite vividly that i f I were a painter... I might find a new school of painting, of 'non-representative' painting, a 35 painting that would speak only by arrangements in colour. (Modern Tradition, 149) The compression of images to communicate complex information "in an instant of time" has been an essential focus of internet engineers particularly since the commercialization of the internet and the 'inescapable pressure' of these natural relationships [in engineering of the] pressure 'to do more with less'. (Designing Engineers, 16). Dewalt's description of the data networking problem of large images which required translations, and their inherent problems of channel capacity requirements, is not unlike the poetic image problems described by Pound in communicating the size, shape, style and intensities of a poetic image. Dewalt writes: Most messages with which we are familiar require more than a single choice of yes/no or A , B, C to Z . . . A facsimile page that also reproduces the original size, shape, style, and intensity of each letter, would require 200,000 bits. Hence a facsimile of a page from a Gutenberg Bible will require many more bits than a simple transcription of its text...The capacity of an information channel is really a measure of how many information bits it can carry in a given period of time. Channel capacity is generally measured in bits per second (b/s). (10) Data networking engineers faced the same Vorticist problem of a Romantic Symbolist method in the pixel by pixel translation required to create computer images, and they also resolved it using fractal geometry. As described at the interdisciplinary Math web site, fractals were invented by Mandlebrot, a mathematician and inventor who 36 was influenced in his 1970s research at IBM by the World War I era "Julia sets". Mandlebrot states that "fractals is basically the iterations of an equation forever, the unique thing about them is that they are equally complex at any magnification. If you took a fractal and magnified it by 500x, you would see the same level of detail as you did on the entire thing". In the Rosenblatt article, the fractal is defined as "the mathematical construct that enables computer animation systems to represent landscape features like mountains and shorelines in remarkably realistic ways"15. The commercialization of the Mandlebrot set into an internet solution came through Michael Barnsley, a developer and mathematician who set out, as described in "The Poetry of Data Compression", "to convince the computer industry to use highly compressed fractals to replace big inefficient gobes of pixels, in order to vastly improve both picture quality and transmission speeds". Barnsley makes overt gestures to poetry, in a particularly Vorticist type of language, to describe the move from pixel based images to analytical geometry in order to finesse smaller components. His discussion mirrors Pound's problems and solutions in his discussion of poetic images as "highly concentrated form" that are to be passed through [a Poundian] "running transformer" : Data compression is another form of poetry...a compression of thoughts and feeling into highly concentrated form....A few fractal equations can reproduce a scene while using only a fraction of the data required for pixel-based computer images. By a simple formula — a formula I call a 'transformer' (a mathematical transformer, not an electrical one) — you can make a tiny copy of a very big shape, and then from that tiny copy you can 1 5 Steven Holtzman, an alumnus of the MIT Media lab, also discusses digital tools to create art (in the converse of this thesis) in Digital Mosaics: The Aesthetics of Cyberspace. 37 recreate the big shape whenever and wherever you want to...A picture is just a collection of edges, smooth surfaces and textures...You can create big pictures by a process of iteration — repeating little pictures of edges, surfaces and textures over and over again to transform all the little pictures into a big picture. For Pound, analytical geometry was a transformer of images into "first intensities" forging an evolutionary path. Although sparse, there is some direct critical support for the correlation between modernist image compression and fractal imaging. For example, Alice Fulton, who is described on the "Computing at Cornell" web site in relation to her essay "Of Formal, Free, and Fractal Verse: Singing the Body Eclectic", writes that the term 'fractal verse' [is used] to describe an emerging form between order and chaos. In a later essay, "Fractal Amplifications," she introduces the notion of the "poem plane" and "writing in three dimensions". Amongst the strong gestures between Vorticism and engineering's digital compression methods is an underlying form that moved from pixel-based creation methods to fractal geometry. The Romantic Vulnerabilities of Centralized Authority: Pounding an Authorial Centre into Fragments Vorticism's most pointed rupture was with the centralized authority of the heroic, Romantic poet, who communicated in linear, dedicated paths down to the reader. The inherent vulnerabilities of the Romantic authorial poet's communications were the dedicated, lyric sequences which carried the potential for a cut in the thread of the poem, 38 and the loss of the poetic message. Stevens' poetry, again, best illuminates the vulnerable thread of the lyric poem medium of the Romantic poet. Perloff writes that "[Romantic] poetry takes the lyric paradigm for granted... Poundians, of course, also believe that poetry matters, but in a very different sense. They regard Modernism less as a continuation of Romanticism than as a very real rupture with it" (Perloff, 21). Stevens' thread in a "point to point" line of communication typifies the vulnerabilities of a central authority in the communication channel between Romantic poet and reader. This "thread" is characterized by Perloff in "Steven's poem [as being] like an ode by Keats, [it] is still discursive; it moves from point to point, always forward from first to last. Lose the thread, and you may go back and look for it" (Perloff, 17). Further, "as Guy Davenport observes: 'the placing of events in time is a Romantic act, the tremendum is in the distance'" (Perloff, 20). Vorticism eliminated the vulnerabilities of the Romantic poet's point to point thread by dispersing the poem into fragments to be intellectually unpacked and assembled by the reader in a dynamic, virtual peer to peer relationship with the poet. The poem's fragments were communicated over multiple intellectual communication paths or links, and in disparate languages, and in a collage of mediums. Pound cut the point to point, thread of lyric poetry, exemplified in the Cantos, much to the disdain of the Romantics: "accordingly, when critics complain....of the ultimate incoherence of the Cantos, what they really mean is that Pound violates the norms of the lyric, specifically the Romantic lyric" (Perloff, 17). Although the influence of Fenellosa on Pound was important in the underlying form of Pound's fragmented ideograms, there is a distinct departure from Chinese poetry 39 in the functioning of fragments within a Vorticist poem. Instead of being sequential, the fragments are disjunctive and by nature non-sequential. Fenellosa describes the sequential nature of English and Chinese in The Chinese Written Character As A Medium for Poetry writing that "all that poetic form requires is a regular and flexible sequence, as plastic as thought itself...Perhaps we do not always sufficiently consider that thought is successive, not through some accident or weakness of our subjective operations but because the operations of nature are successive" (7). His research further revealed that: A different sentence order is frequent in inflected languages like Latin, German or Japanese. This is because they are inflected, i.e. they have little tags and word-ends, or labels, to show which is the agent, the object, etc. In uninflected languages, like English or Chinese, there is nothing but the order of words to distinguish their functions. And this order would be no sufficient indication, were it not the natural order. (13) However, the very nature of Pound's fragment of ideograms were non-sequential, and it is the very non-sequential nature of Pound's fragments that break the linear central, authority of the Romantic poet. As Perloff concludes, "here is the opposite pole from Steven's strenuous effort to reimagine what he calls the First Ideas": Pound's opposition] to the solitary and central consciousness of an expanded self in Note toward a Supreme Fiction, [is found] in Canto L X X X I [which is ] a galaxy of times frames that coexist" (19). In this poetic revolution "the Romantic and Modernist cult of personality [gave way] to what the new poets call 'the dispersal of the speaking subject, ' the denial of the unitary, authoritative ego'" 40 (Perloff, page x). Perloff further cites Denis Donoghue's comments at the 1973 Pound Symposium at Queen's College Belfast on Pound's "attempt not to impose one man's will upon a reading of time but to enter into such intimate liaison with fact, with time, with history, with the luminous details which history offers, that the result is a rhythm, a profound sense of life which surely constitutes meaning" (19). Pound called it "'Logopoeia:...'the dance of the intellect among words'" (Perloff, x). The flowing, Romantic, aristocratic waltz was revolutionized in the World War I era to sharpened, mobilized words communicated between active peers. The architectural foundation of Vorticism and the Internet is the "vortex of ideas", of fragmented packets of information that are "constantly rushing through open form" (Perloff, 19). They are both "constantly ingesting incoming unprocessed data": What Vendler calls the 'massively solid structure' of the lyric sequence has little in common with the serial mode of the Cantos, a form which is, in Kenner's words, 'a gestalt of what it can assimilate,' or, as I have put it elsewhere, a running transformer, constantly ingesting incoming unprocessed data. (Perloff, 17) For data networking engineers in the 1960s Cold War era, the main goal was to find a solution for the vulnerable and inefficient central authority of the (typically IBM) mainframe with its sequential stream of data sent on point to point, A T & T circuit switched communications to "dumb" terminal endpoints who relied on the intelligence and protocol of the mainframe to send and receive messages. It was inefficient, but most importantly it was highly vulnerable because authority and intelligence were centralized 41 at the mainframe and communications relied on paths leading only to and from it. Dewalt describes the inefficiency of the Romantic point to point, circuit-switched telephony connection writing: the problem with the "public telecommunication network [designed and suited for voice traffic] was the inefficient way that circuits were allocated to users. Telephone companies [predominantly AT&T] followed standard practice in allocating a single circuit...before transfer of information began and reserving it until the transaction was complete" (23). The mainframe sent a message in lyric form to the endpoint devices who, with little to no intelligence, required communications in a sequence of data sent on the dedicated point to point, circuit switched connection with the mainframe. Beyond the inefficiencies, the Sterling article16 at Yale's on-line library captures the essential problem of the Romantic central authority of the mainframe for the 1960s Cold War data engineers. Sterling writes that, "postnuclear America would need a command-and-control network [because] any central authority, any network central citadel, would be an obvious and immediate target for an enemy missile. The center of the network would be the very first place to go". As Abbate writes in Inventing the Internet, "one of my aims in this book is to show how military concerns and goals were built in the Internet digital communication. My account of the origins of the network demonstrates that the design of both the A R P A N E T and the Internet favored military values, such as survivability, flexibility, and high performance" (5). It was military values that drove data communications engineers in the 1960s to find a solution for, as Abbate argues it, a communications system that was in its infancy and without any ancestor to provide guidance (218). 1 6 The Sterling article is published as "freeware". 42 The inefficiencies and vulnerabilities of a Romantic authorial mainframe communicating with circuit-switched connections was solved by a packet-switched internet architecture proposed by Paul Baran in 1964: the network would *have no central authority.*...It would be *designed from the beginning to operate while in tatters* [and] assumed to be unreliable at all times. It would be designed from the get-go to transcend its own unreliability...During the 60s, this intriguing concept of a decentralized, blastproof, packet-switching network was kicked around by R A N D , MIT and U C L A . . . B y December 1969, there were four nodes on the infant network, which was named ARPANET, after its Pentagon sponsor. (Sterling) Fragmented packets, instead of streams of sequential data would be the new medium. Packets are defined in data networking as a "message fragment in a computer network: a small piece of a message for transmission through a computer network" (Encarta), where, Sterling writes, "each packet would wind its way through the network on an individual basis" with only a destination address. As he puts it, Basically, the packet would be tossed like a hot potato from node to node to node, more or less in the direction of its destination, until it ended up in the proper place. If big pieces of the network had been blown away, that simply wouldn't matter; the packets would still stay airborne, lateralled wildly across the field by whatever nodes happened to survive. 4 3 The ability to make this happen relied on the nodes in the network having intelligence and being cooperative peers to one another so that "all the nodes in the network would be equal in status to all other nodes, each node with its own authority to originate, pass, and receive messages" (Sterling). Dewalt provides a somewhat more technical description, of the solution that packet-switching provided: The answer to the limitations of circuit and message switching was packet switching...The modification that distinguished it from message switching was that long messages were broken up into smaller "packets". Each packet was addressed and sent as i f it were a separate message, passing along one or a number of routes and being reassembled at the destination. ....The central switching elements in a packet network were the nodes, minicomputers that received, acknowledged, checked for errors, stored and forwarded packets along their way. ...In the "datagram" variation on packet switching, each packet in a message could even be routed by a different path, depending on the availability of circuits when the path was ready to be sent. (23) The design of packet-switching networks addressed the same problems of an IBM "unitary, authoritative ego" who communicated through an ATT voice-based aesthetic, with the 'the dispersal of the speaking subject'...[It was a] 'Logopoeia' [a] dance of [processing power] among [data] between "radiant node[s] or cluster[s]...a V O R T E X " (Perloff, page x). 44 TCP/IP Architecture To understand the relationship between Pound's nodes or vortexes, and the internet's nodes, a description of the underlying form that makes packet switching possible is necessary. The TCP/IP architecture (originally the "DARPA" model) is the protocol stack that is implemented on all the peer nodes which pass the rushing, unprocessed data (Sterling's "hot potato" analogy), to the ultimate destination node who assembles the fragments or packets into a message as the fragments come rushing in from various of its peers. It is a layered networking architecture17 as described in the "Introduction to Specific Recurrences" section as being comparable to Saussure's linguistic layers in the speaking circuit and depicted in the following figure from the Microsoft site. 1 ' The layers in TCP/IP were made to adhere to the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model which is the international model for internets. The International Standards Organization (ISO) is responsible for, for example, defining the particular functions of each layer and how they behave in relation to the other layers. A rather heated competition occurred in the politics between these two protocol structures as to which would define the commercial Internet. TCP/IP "won" and it is the protocol stack implemented on Internet nodes today. 45 OSI Model Layers Application presentation I. ayer Sess ion T r a n s p e t L d f c r network Layer D J * 3 Link L a : e r Phvjical Layer TCP/IP Protocol Architecture Layers TCP/IP Protocol Suite A o p l i c a t ; c n L*yer Host to*Ho5t 1'rarisDort l.<!ver Interne1: Later Network Interface Layer FTF SMTP D N 3 RIP I ;NN-P TCP I.I DP 4RP (P IJGMP liCMPi TfclfSP P i n g Pel<3/ Figure 3: TCP/IP Core Protocols18 The TCP/IP Core Protocols are described by Microsoft beginning with "IP" where the disjunctive nature of packet delivery is at its most extreme. IP packets rush between peers with no guarantee that delivery will be confirmed, nor of the placement of the fragment within the message. It is: a connectionless, unreliable datagram protocol primarily responsible for addressing and routing packets between hosts [nodes]. Connectionless means that a session is not established before exchanging data. Unreliable means that delivery is not guaranteed. IP will always make a best effort attempt to deliver a packet. An IP packet might be lost, delivered out of 1 8 Reading from top to bottom and left to right, Figure 3 reads OSI Model Layers: Application Layer, Presentation Layer, Session Layer, Transport Layer, Network Layer, Data Link Layer, Physical Layer. The middle column is the TCP/IP Protocol Architecture Layers: Application Layer, Host-to-Host Transport Layer, Internet Layer, Network Interface Layer, and last, the TCP/IP Protocol Suite (reading left to right) Telnet, FTP, SMTP, DNS RIP, SNMP, TCP, UDP, ARP, IP, IGMP, ICMP, Ethernet, Token Ring, Frame Relay, ATM. 46 sequence, duplicated, or delayed. IP does not attempt to recover from these types of errors. The acknowledgment of packets delivered and the recovery of lost packets is the responsibility of a higher-layer protocol, such as TCP. IP is defined in RFC 791. TCP is the relatively disciplined part of TCP/IP because it formally establishes a connection with a peer before sending off packets. Moreover, the packets are sequenced though they may arrive by different means and at different times (the very characteristic that makes the Internet invulnerable), and the destination node can confirm a complete message as being in order because of sequence numbers assigned to the packets. The Microsoft site defines TCP as: a reliable, connection-oriented delivery service. The data is transmitted in segments. Connection-oriented means that a connection must be established before hosts can exchange data. Reliability is achieved by assigning a sequence number to each segment transmitted. A n acknowledgment is used to verify that the data was received by the other host. For each segment sent, the receiving host must return an acknowledgment (ACK) within a specified period for bytes received. If an A C K is not received, the data is retransmitted. TCP is defined in RFC 793. Although TCP is the relatively reliable part of the protocol stack, it can deliver datagrams which are the type of packet that most closely resemble Pound's fragments. Even more specifically, the type of datagram known as the unreliable datagram (UDP) which are 47 used by applications wanting, "a connectionless datagram service that offers unreliable, best-effort delivery of data transmitted in messages. This means that the arrival of datagrams is not guaranteed; nor is the correct sequencing of delivered packets. UDP does not recover from lost data through retransmission. UDP is defined in RFC 768". (Microsoft) The following figure from the Center for Information Technology illustrates the flow of packets through the TCP/IP peer based network, using an email message as an example. In the figure, the email is fragmented into six packets and sent out by various paths with each packet taking a different route as it is passed between various peer nodes, ultimately reaching the destination node where the packets, the fragments of the email, are assembled into a message. S T E P 2 Message is sent Message is received Figure 4: Illustration of a message being packetized and routed/assembled amongst peers 48 Tracing Packets in The Cantos Architecture Tracing "seemingly random elements" (or "unreliable datagrams") which leave the receiver to "put the elements together" (or "packet assembly") in the TCP/IP-like architecture of the Cantos was conveniently undertaken in a Pound seminar as described in Perloff s Dance of the Intellect. Perloff writes that: one of the most interesting treatments of Canto LXXXI is that of D.S. Carne-Ross, who submits the Canto's first twelve lines to a patient analysis, in dialogue with the students in his Pound seminar. The discussion makes three main points: (1) the seemingly random elements in the Canto do have necessary connections: thus line 12, ' and Dolores said, 'Come pan, nino, eat bread me lad', relates back to the divine marriage of sky and earth in line 1, "Zues lies in Ceres' bosom,' the eating of bread (cereal) being for Pound not just symbols as in the Christian sacrament but a real part of the Eleusinian mystery; (2) such connections are curiously elusive just because Pound leaves it to us to put the elements together with the force of a personal discovery'...In other words, the stress is always on what Pound called "costation of fact," however disjunctively those "facts" are structured in a given Canto. (9) Perloff continues with an example of the movement of poetic fragments in the Cantos which equates to the movement or routing of an "unreliable datagram" in TCP/IP. The "teasing allusions" are the disjunctive poetic fragments or packets that make their way 49 between vortexes. Making the "connections between references" is the assembling of the poetic message. Perloff writes: The first step in dealing with the surface is, of course, to track down Pound's endlessly teasing allusions. Why does "Taishan" appear in line 2 of Canto L X X X I ? Because the high peak seen from his prison cell at Pisa reminds the poet of the sacred mountain of china, the home of the Great Emperor. And where does the Mount Taishan motif reappear? Some sixty lines later, when "Benin" (the friendly Black soldier whose face reminds Pound of a Benin bronze) supplies him with a "table expacking box, " a gift "light as the branch of Kauanon." Kuanon is the daughter of the Emperor, the Chinese goddess of mercy. To make connections between references is to discover, not a cluster of possible meanings as in the case of the Canon Aspirin and his sister, but rather the way the structure of Pound's long poem works. (11) The reference to "Taishan" in line 2 could be, for example, Packet #1, and another packet, call it Packet #2, delivered by a different route and via different peer nodes arrives some "sixty lines later" when the "the Mount Taishan motif [reappears]. The packets are delivered via multiple, disparate communication links of differing rhythms and syntax, who deliver the packets to the reader through the structure of the Cantos. After receiving the packets (only two packets are identified in this example, Packet #1 and Packet #2, but of course the Cantos is replete with these fragmented packets) the reader passes the packets up through the physiological and psychological layers for processing where the 50 "discovery" of the poem is assembled. The decisions on how to assemble the packets, are determined by the "references". For example, Packet #1 and Packet #2, are determined as "connected" because of the reference to "'Benin' (the friendly Black soldier whose face reminds Pound of a Benin bronze) [who] supplies him with a 'table expacking box,' a gift 'light as the branch of Kauanon'. Kuanon is the daughter of the Emperor, the Chinese goddess of mercy". The packets arrived via various, disparate connections, and were assembled in the "making of connections" in the TCP/IP-like structure of the Cantos. It was a revolutionary poetic structure which blasted the dedicated and delicate lines of a point-to-point lyric sequence into invulnerable, multi-nodal vortexes that could pass information between lines of the poem through UDP connections and which were assembled by the intelligent "force of a personal discovery" of a reader no longer reliant on the "unitary ego" of the Romantic (mainframe) poet. The Poetic and Economic Returns of the Vortex For Pound, the artistic returns of his revolutionary Vorticist theories did not occur until the 1960s. For data communication engineers of the 1960s, their design efforts for a communications system became a commercial circus by the 1990s. However, the commercialization of the internet, based primarily on multi-media, began even as early as "1962 [when] the president of Bell Canada told company shareholders of the opportunity that data communications offered for diversification, and stated that: 'our aim is to carry over the telephone network virtually every kind of information that can be translated into suitable signals'" (Dewalt, 20). The present day Internet seems to be the wayward son of a poet caught-up in the commercialization of art and the "Internet bubble" of the 1990s. It was at the height of the recognition of Vorticism "in the 51 artworks of the sixties...[that] assemblage has been re-invented...'as a running transformer of the external world, constantly ingesting incoming data to be mapped in an overcharged field" (Perloff, 24). It was again a clash with Romanticism that is, "as Northrop Fry says, 'The paradoxical technique of the poetry which is encyclopedic and yet discontinuous, the technique of the Waste Land and of Ezra Pound's Cantos, is, its direct opposite in Wordsworth, a technical innovation heralding a new mode'" (Perloff, 16). It was largely the ability to communicate a collage of media in a manifestation of the Vorticist "encyclopedia" that brought the Internet to the height of commercialization and the insanity of a financial bubble. It was the root of the "elective nature of the Cantos, their capacity to assimilate all kinds of material and to incorporate many voices [and the] phonetic spelling, the insertion of foreign phrases, documentary evidence puns, and other jokes, the juxtaposition of disjunctive images" (Perloff, 22) that is the multi-media of the Internet. Pound concluded "The Plastic of Machines" discussing economy and describing a possible revolutionary future led by machinery, which is a worthy forecast of the commercialization of the Internet and issues of copyright and intellectual property: It is possible that machinery will lead men to cooperate more sanely, and break up a too virulent concept of private property, in so far as that concept relates to machines; or it is equally possible that it won't, and that a nation imbecile enough to produce our current bureaucracy, copyright villainy, custom cretinism and paraphernalia, will merely fall into the pit of Byzantinism. 52 The aim of economy, according to the more enlightened economists is to release more energy for invention and design. Bureaucracy doesn't. (77) As Sterling writes of our present Internet, it is "a rare example of a true, modern, functional anarchy". The original data communication designers perhaps also shared Pound's wariness of the "advertising agent for a new soap" who has found their way onto the commercial Internet, and his desire for the scientific method and a "dance of the intellect" on the internet. Conclusion The influence of Vorticism in the development of the internet is perhaps a highly debatable proposition. A contention that data communication engineers looked up poetry, much less Vorticist poetic theory specifically, to solve a Romantic aesthetic data communications problem is seemingly improbable. It is equally improbable, however, that data communication engineers, given the task of designing a new means of communication, while immersed in an academic social community, developed their ideas in a vacuum without being effected directly or indirectly by other existing communication methodologies, as Buciarelli would argue it. What is most probable is that Vorticism first defined the communication problems of a Romantic aesthetic in a threatened and tattered Word War I culture. It was a time when the most elegant and invulnerable communication form was needed to speak to an immediate and desperate need to assemble, crystallized comfort, such as are found in the fragments of T.S. Eliot's 53 Four Quartets. It was the same, but pre-emptive, remedy that was sought in the 1960s Cold War era which was threatened by a nuclear disaster. It is also plausible that it was merely a coincidence of communication necessity that: Shannon discovered his Information Theory to solve noise in analogue waves with digital pulses; the use of analytical geometry to develop image compression techniques was a natural consequence and a coincidence of Pound's compression techniques; and that the internet itself, with its primary characteristics of decentralization of authority and packets, was, as Abbate argues, the result of the community values of "collegiality, decentralization of authority, and open exchange" (5) amongst academic data communications engineers. However, Abbate's contention would seem much more likely if it were not for the fact that the Cold War was at the forefront of U.S. concerns, and it was the U.S. military that funded DARPA. It is unlikely that a military organization funding the development of a system would design it for the purposes of openness and collegiality. Rather, the need to fortify a vulnerable Romantic telephony communication system against assault is much more likely rooted in a Vorticist architecture designed by an engineering mind, influenced by the immediacy of the Chinese written language, and in the context of World War I. Perhaps the most curious aspect of the present historical recounting of the invention of the development of the internet architecture is the consistent historical accounts that engineers in Britain and the U.S., completely independent of each other, inexplicably and simultaneously came upon the idea that fragmented packets of data over a layered architecture of peer nodes was a means to resolve their Romantic communication problems. 54 It is in the backgrounds and interests of the engineers who were immersed in the development of essential elements of the internet that there is the clear echo of poetic Vorticism. A note in "The Poetry of Data Compression" describes Michael Barnsley as "the son of the English novelist and painter Gabriel Fielding, who took his pseudonym from a famous forebear, the great 18th century novelist Henry Fielding, author of Tom Jones". Likewise, Pound's vigour for mathematics, engineering and machines declaring that "mathematics is dull ditchwater until one reaches analytics" (Modern Tradition, 152) is echoed in the Mandlebrot "Oral Interview" and his discussion of fractals as being "among the most beautiful of all mathematical forms. It was my contribution to a mathematical system of thought that could not describe the shape of a mountain, or the graceful curvature of a cloud. It was an attempt to make mathematics slightly less cold and dull". In response to the interviewer's comment that "along with the dependence on technology, however, comes a wider range of possible applications, especially artistic ones", Mandlebrot replied "quite true, and I feel blessed to have been one of the individuals who launched the study of them". In the oral interview by the IEEE History Centre, Dr. Vinton Cerf 1 9, one of the ultimate authorities on the development of the Internet having managed the Internet program and the packet communications technology program at A R P A , documents the informal methods and types of documents that were I y The IEEE oral interview describes [Dr. Vinton Cerf ] as having developed all of the host software that was used to actually exercise the A R P A N E T from U C L A [and] participating] with the Network Working Group in the development of the ARPANET protocols, the host-to-host protocols and the higher-level protocols like Telnet for remote access and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and email". 55 exchanged amongst those developing the Internet. In the only odd exchange between the interviewer and Dr. Cerf, Dr. Cerf stops in the middle of the discussion to ask and then answer his own question. When the Interviewer asked him to "explain what you mean when you use [the] term 'knowledge robot'". Dr. Cerf responded with his own question, "What is 'RFC'?". The interruption and interjection of Dr. Cerf with his own question and response to the issue of "RFC's" underscores the importance he placed on them in the historical record of the design and development of the Internet.. He said: Steve Crocker [who was running the Network Working Group to develop the A R P A N E T protocols] came up with the idea of calling these notes [to communicate ideas with one another] "request for comment," [which was abbreviated to "RFC"]. RFC1 came out in something like April 1969, about 30 years ago. They have become, in effect, the memory of the project. They're the place where all the standards from the Internet Engineering Task Force get published. There still continues to be published in the RFC series papers of a more general nature and a few of their earlier on works, even whimsical fiction pieces and occasionally poetry. At the conclusion of the interview Dr. Cerf was asked, "do you have any last thoughts to add?" to which he responded, "only that revolutions like this don't come along very often". 56 Works Cited Abbate, Janet. Inventing the Internet. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1999. Albright, Daniel. Quantum Poetics: Yeats, Pound Eliot and the Science of Modernism, New York: Cambridge, 1997. Answers.Com. "Fastfacts: Telecommunications". 1999-2005. <http://www.answers.com/topic/telecommunication>. —. "Fastfacts:Data Communications". 1999-2005. http://www.answers.com/data%20networking> Ardizzone, Maria Louisa. Machine Art and Other Writings: The Lost Thought of the Italian Years, Ezra Pound. Durham & London: Duke University Press, 1996. Barnsley, Micheal, Oral Interview. "The Poetry of Data Compression", Educom Review. May/June 1999. Educom Review, Volume 34 Number 3 1999. Bloom, Harold. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination (1951; rpt. New York, 1965), p. 40. Bondy, Louis W. Miniature Books. London: Sheppard Press Limited, 1981 Boroff, Marie, ed. "Notes towards a Supreme Fiction: A Commentary, "in Wallace Stevens: A Collection of Critical Essays, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1963, p. 19) Bucciarelli, Louis L. Designing Engineers. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994. Bush, Vannevar. "As We May Think". The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945 Center for Information Technology. National Institutes of Health. "InterNic 15 Minute Series: Packet". May 15, 2000. <http://irm.cit.nih.gov/15min/packet/sld08.htm> Cerf, Vinton. Electrical Engineer, an oral history conducted in 1999 by David Hochfelder, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. <www.ieee.org/organizations/history_center/oral_histories/transcripts/cerf.html> Cooper, John Xiros. "Music As Symbol and Structure in Pound's Pisan Cantos and Eliot's Four Quartets". Ezra Pound and Europe. Ed. Richard Taylor, Claus Melchoir. Atlanta: Rodopi, 1993. 177-189. Computing at Cornell: "CU People: Fulton, Al ice" . February 6, 2004. <http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/af89/books/content-faafl.html> Con Davis, Robert and Ronald Schleifer, ed. Literary Criticism: Literary and Cultural Studies. New York: 1998 Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Costain, Thomas B. Chord of Steel: The story of the Invention of the Telephone. New York: Double Day, 1960. Davie, Donald. "On Translating Mao's Poetry." The Nation. 200:26 (28 June 1965): 704-705. Dewalt, Bryan, building a Digital Network: Data Communications and Digital Telephony, 1950-1990. National Museum of Science and Technology, 1992 Fenollosa, Ernest. The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry. Ed. Ezra Pound. San Francisco: City Lights, 1936. F. S. Flint and Pound, Ezra. "Imagism." The Modern Tradition: Backgrounds of Modern Literature. Ed. Richard Ellmann and Charles Fedidelson, Jr. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965. 142-45. F. S. Flint and Pound, Ezra. "Imagisme," and "A Few Don'ts by an Imagiste." The Modern Tradition: Backgrounds of Modern Literature, ed. by Richard Ellmann 58 and Charles Feidelson, Jr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965)., Poetry (Chicago), (1913), pp. 198-206 Hsieh Wen Tung. "English Translations of Chinese Poetry." The Criterion 17:68 (April 1938): 403-424. Hesse, Eva. ed. "Persephone's Ezra," in New Approaches to Exra Pound, (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1969), pp. 157, 161. HostingWorks. 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Computer History Museum. 2004 <http://www.ieee.org/organizations/history_center/related_sites/internet.html> 59 Institute for Telecommunication Sciences. "Telecom Glossary 2000: Node". April 01, 2002. <http://glossary.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/dir-024/_3555.htm IT-Director, " A l l you Ever Wanted to Know about IP and it's History". August 20, 2002. <http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid26_gci845 480,00.html> Johnson, Don "Information Communication". <http://cnx.rice.edu/content/m0513/latest/> Kenner, Hugh. Pound Era, Berkley: University of California Press, 1971. Kern, Stephen. The Culture of Time and Space 1880-1918. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1983 Mandelbrot, Benoit. Oral Interview. Sequential III Honors math class 2001-02 Math Marvels. <http://www.3villagecsd.kl2.ny.us/wnms/Departments/Math/OBrien/mathmarvel s.html> Microsoft. Technet. 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Richard Ellmann and Charles Fedidelson, Jr. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965. 145-52. Rosenblatt, Bill. "Digital aesthetics: artistic movement or oxymoron?". August 1997. <http://sunsite.uakom.sk/sunworldonline/swol-08-1997/swol-08-bookshelf.html> Serengeti Systems. "What is Bisync? A Short History Lesson". 1994-2005. <http://www.serengeti.com/what_is_bisync.php3> Sterling, Bruce. "A Short History of the Internet." March 6, 1996. <http://www.library.yale.edu/div/instruct/internet/history.htm> Techno-media Philippines 2004 Summit."In the Beginning: Telephone". 2004. <http://www.technomediasummit.ph/articles/related.html> University of Sussex. Support: Tutorial: "Datagram". <http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/local/support/doc/java/tutorial/networking/datagram s/definition.html> 61 Unix, The Open Group. "Chapter 1. Overview of TCP/IP Administration". 1999 O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. <http://www.unix.org.ua/orelly/networking/tcpip/ch01_02.htm> 

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