A material history of bits

@article{Blanchette2011AMH,
  title={A material history of bits},
  author={Jean-François Blanchette},
  journal={JASIST},
  year={2011},
  volume={62},
  pages={1042-1057}
}
In both the popular press and scholarly research, digital information is persistently discussed in terms that imply its immateriality. In this characterization, the digital derives its power from its nature as a mere collection of 0s and 1s wholly independent from the particular media on which it is stored—hard drive, network wires, optical disk, etc.— and the particular signal carrier which encode bits—variations of magnetic field, voltages, or pulses of light. This purported immateriality… CONTINUE READING
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