The largest part of the ENIAC team by far were the people that were actually building the thing. And it’s interesting they’ve been forgotten by history, because although their job titles were wiremen, technicians, and assemblers, being a business historian I looked up the accounting records, and sometimes they spell out the payroll. You suddenly see all these women’s names like Ruth, Jane, Alice, Dorothy, Caroline, Eleanor showing up.
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I think there’s something interesting about a discipline that historically is tied to political intrigue, to secrecy, being linked into this debate over what is good magic or true divine magic, and what is the work of demons. And I think there is something interesting to be said about the moment we are in right now and how states themselves kind of identify and invent existential threats to justify their own behavior.
What if we arrive at fun not through expanding the circumstances that we’re in in order to make them less wretched, but actually by embracing the wretchedness of the circumstances themselves? What if, in a literal way, fun comes from impoverishment, from wretchedness?