60 years ago this week, on July 23, 1962, President Kennedy addressed the US and Europe simultaneously by video via a Telstar satellite link. As with the transatlantic telegraph cable about a century before, it was a major development. (Bill and Rachel.)
Bill and Rachel explore how Western Union went from the first nationwide US telegraph monopoly to putting the first US commercial communication satellite into space and becoming the global remittance leader.
Bill and Rachel managed to add a third fascinating hour-plus of material on containerization, looking at present-day supply chain vulnerabilities, the rise of container freeports, product waste, and Soviet container history.
Bill and Rachel continue the history of containerization with a look at the mature industry that emerged out of the 1970s and soon revolutionized global manufacturing supply chains, with sweeping and ruinous effects.
Originally seen as a marginal innovation on existing shipping, containerization ended up revolutionizing the global economy and destroying many local economies. This resulted directly from (and enabled) the US war in Vietnam. (Bill and Rachel.)
Biotechnology has been important to other US industries from the auto industry to medicine and agriculture, before eventually becoming its own industry, dominated by venture capitalists. Bill and Rachel.
Description: Bill and Rachel discuss the book “Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile” by Eden Medina (MIT Press, 2011) on the unfinished democratic socialist computer system “Project Cybersyn.”