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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Out of the Closed World: how the Computer Revolution helped to End the Cold War

  • Author(s): Skinner, Rebecca Elizabeth
  • et al.

   The Twentieth century's history of technology begs for integration with its cultural and political history. The development of computers is often studied expertly, but in relative isolation to culture. Political and cultural history are often studied, but without a great deal of reference to the computer. This is unfortunate because of the immense influence of computing upon both world culture since its consumer commercial introduction, and political and social culture, most notably regarding the conclusion of the Cold War’s culture. The increasing wealth, technological progress and opportunities, both entrepreneurial and intellectual, brought about by the computer’s development, helped to render the Soviet Union economically obsolete, and the American and European Left intellectually impotent retrograde. Thus, the Cold War's tools helped to end the Cold War.

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