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Mad Magazine cartoon shows computer anxieties of the 1970s

by Critical Commons Manager

A nice reading of this cartoon appears in Kevin Driscoll's article "From Punched Cards to "Big Data": A Social History of Database Populism" (2012), aligning the punch cards used for data storage in early mainframe computers with the draft cards used by the government to track and induct soldiers during the Vietnam War. This association is further evidenced by the cartoon's caption, "the punch cards are stacked against you." This cartoon was also republished in David H. Ahl's book The Best of Creative Computing: Volume 1 in an article by Tom Koch and Bob Clark.

Computer anxiety cartoon from Mad Magazine

This cartoon from Mad Magazine reveals cultural anxieties and popular perceptions of computers as ineffective but dangerous agents of social and governmental control

from We're losing our war against computers (1974)
Creator: Mad Magazine
Distributor: The Best of Creative Computing: Volume 1
Posted by Critical Commons Manager