IBM punch card myth - Supercomputers in 1970's - cc. Phil. of De-Design study U. of Cal. San Jose '72 - ViFrU Ellul Colloquy 181010



Media free times


Digitized reconstruction of Media Free Times vol. 1 - vol. 3 (1972)

Media Free Times

Periodical Multi-Media Random Sampling of Anarchic Communications Art

One of the worlds first experimental interactive multi-media periodicals and a prototype for what are now commonly called Web Pages, E-Zines and like YouTube without the ads, was started by g~k~ and associates at the University of California San Jose in 1972 and continued via the University of British Columbia 1973-1975, as a community public media access project entitled Media Free Times and is now still the official E-journal of

The PeaceMaker Virtual Free University

This is a VFU* - Archive Page - Media Free Times 1972 - digitized reconstruction of MFT Vol. 1-Vol. 3

update 100207 - work in progress :


Media Free Times multi-media periodical experimental communications de-design, was dedicated to promote public access, to public media and for the preservation of Free Speech and Free Thought through universal de-schooling . "THIS" was an individual attempt to orchestrate the mind numbing cacophony of "Information Overload" and the constant bombardment of psychological and chemical anti-nutrients, into a meaningful interactive assemblage. "THIS" the fragmented journal of the avant-garde media artist / writer / director, was a seeking of an effectual understanding of the new media technologies of domination, rapidly becoming procurable in the seventies and towards emancipation from the bondage of "THIS" the industrial matrix .

From the authors discovery that the early Dadaists were speaking the same language as himself and that he was basically in agreement, in principle, with the thinking of others like Kandinsky, who demanded a "total art, that would unite theater" and that art had a duty to be spiritual in nature, emerged his own unique form of "NADAism" ...not as abstraction that indicates a departure from reality, but a direct look at the "meaningless Data Piles" with the grainy textures and micro details of a technologically dehumanized culture. Of making "something out of nothing." NADA!!!

Note: These works were originated as conceptual rough drafts, arranged in an embryonic information architecture, under conditions of extreme penury, physical and social duress, in inner city environments, with very limited resources. It will probably be difficult for people to comprehend that "THIS" in 2010, could now be assembled in a few hours with today's technology, but it took several years to "make it for the first time" with the media available to the public back in the '70's. "THIS" work conceptualized back in the 20th CE, is now being actualized through the digital technology of the 21st CE.

"THIS" is Progress???

Please keep an open mind:

Transatlantic Interview, 1946 Picasso said, 'You see, the situation is very simple. Anybody that creates a new thing has to make it ugly. The effort of creation is so great, that trying to get away from the other things, the contemporary insistence, is so great that the effort to break it gives the appearance of ugliness. Your followers can make it pretty, so generally followers are accepted before the master. The master has the stain of ugliness. The followers who make it pretty are accepted...'

Picasso, the great clown and art thief, recognized that the stolen primitive Polynesian art, that he was 'making pretty' was done by masters ...




Media Free Times Vol. 1 no. 1 [1972-1974]:


v. 1, no. 1A (PDF - Digitized, 2009):



MFT Vol. 1, no. 1B ( PDF - Digitized, 2009):


Phil. of De-Design study U. of Cal. San Jose '72 :


M.F.T. prototypes of conceptual "man-machine v. computer-state" decentralization memes that were "...homogenized & cloned"  by MIGRc monopoly into "New Speak" versions i.e.: The Matrix trilogy


 image of conceptualization for digital input v. punch cards...Media Free Times experimentation with magnetic tape "Mail Art" circa 1973 




You may not have a very good picture of computing technology pre-1974.

Time-sharing, multi-user, systems were invented in the late fifties, but they were comparatively rare through all through the 60s. Most computers ran in batch mode, running a single program at a time, with no facilities for interacting with users other than the card reader, the line printer, and maybe a separate teletype for the console operator. Terminals you say? Up until the late 60s, electronic terminals with video displays were exotic, fabulously expensive gadgets limited to research facilities and specialized jobs like air traffic control, and national defense. Those computers that did support interactive sessions generally used teletypes. Entering a program on a teletype was just as unpleasant as punching it onto cards

Let me expand a little bit on the problem of batch processing since it so foreign to the way most people use computers now. It would certainly have been possible even in the 50s to write an interactive editing program that would have worked with with a teletype. However, because of batch processing, the editing program would have completely monopolized the computer the entire time you were sitting at the teletype editing your program. Since several hundred to several thousand other people would have been waiting their turn to run their programs, you would have been a very unpopular person. You would also have been charged several dollars a minutes while your editor was running. It was much more cost-effective to write your program out in long hand, hand the final draft to a key punch operator, and let them transcribe your program onto punch cards or paper tape. That avoided wasting the CPU's precious milliseconds waiting for you to type 'GOSUB'.

Hard disk drives were also invented in the late fifties, but they were small (around 1mb), rare, and expensive, not something you gave users casual access to. Obviously users did need some sort of long term storage. The choices were paper tape, punch cards, and magnetic tape. Magnetic tape was new and expensive. Paper tape was used by some systems, but punch cards were an established technology used in non-computer business machines like tabulators and sorters since 1928, so a lot of businesses already had a major investment in punch card machinery and storage.


MIGRc Big M.O.T.H.E.R. (Multiple Output Telecommunications Home Enduser Resources ) has been deploying obsolete technology that dominates slow public input by fast MIGRc capture i.e. :

"C3I"  ...slow for the public, fast for MIGRc monopolies:


History of supercomputing

The history of supercomputing goes back to the early 1920s in the United States with the IBM tabulators at Columbia University and a series of computers at Control Data Corporation (CDC), designed... More


System for storing digital information on magnetic tape using digital recording

Magnetic tape data storage is a system for storing digital information on magnetic tape using digital recording. Modern magnetic tape is most commonly packaged in cartridges and cassettes... More

Magnetic tape data storage -

Magnetic tape data storage is a system for storing digital information on magnetic tape using ... Magnetic tape was first used to record computer data in 1951 on the



Q.: ...hybrid input via telecommunications, even over copper wire, of teletype, voice and visual analogue data was fast enough, but not accessible in the late '60's. Why?

A.: MIGRc C3I  domination technology priorities over democratic process



"...the bridge between the corporate scientific probe and the personal viewpoint was made by the deliberate organization of ignorance, by the suppression of data…" M. McLuhan

and because it's surrounded by a lot of drivel the basic point is missing, there is what I call "artificial ignorance*"







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