Acknowledgments have always been my favorite part of a book, a glimpse into all the people connected to the final manuscript. My own book is no different. It is the product of countless interactions, moments of generosity and friendship. In writing these last words, I am happy to remember all the people who made this book possible and stayed with me on the long journey to its completion. To all those below (and to those I erroneously omitted), thank you for being part of this project.
This book started to take shape under the supervision of Greg Elmer at Ryerson University. A friend and mentor, Greg has been the most constant and supporting part of my academic career. At Ryerson, I had the privilege of working with Robert Latham, who helped me understand interdisciplinary research, and Barbara Crow, who taught me the rigor of critical thought. My home at Ryerson was always the Infoscape Center for the Study of Social Media, or “the Lab.” Thanks to all members, past and present, including Paul Goodrick, Peter Ryan, Steven James May, Joanna Redden, Yukari Seko, Paul Vet, Erika Biddle, Brady Curlew, and Zachary Devereaux. A special thanks goes to Ganaele Langlois for being so influential on my thinking and theoretical approach. Many members of the Lab have helped shape this project long after my time at Ryerson. Thanks to Kenneth C. Werbin and Isabel Pedersen for the continued friendship, Matthew Tiessen for sharing a love of Harmony Lunch restaurant and Deleuze, as well as to Alessandra Renzi, who helped shape the style of the project through her brilliance and friendship.
This project really began at the Department of Communications at the University of Washington. Even though I had only one month of summer in Seattle, I miss the city and my friends there. Thanks to Phil N. Howard for giving me an opportunity to work in the Department of Communication and for the feedback as I refined this research agenda. Special thanks goes to Katy Pearce for being such an inspiring colleague and to Jessica Beyer for being a kind, most generous friend. Our conversations over beers and chips at the College Inn Pub are some of my fondest memories in Seattle, and I am so happy we have been able to continue talking about piracy and the weird internet long after I left Seattle. I am grateful to the department and David Domke for the chance to present my work before the faculty as part of its colloquia series.
Though writing is truly a lonely craft, research is not. I am so grateful for all those colleagues with whom I have had the chance to discuss common interests—so many great people. I thank Mike Ananny, Mark Andrejevic, Solon Barocas, Geneviève Bonin, Finn Brunton, Taina Bucher, Dave Choffnes, Nick Couldry, Kate Crawford, Laura DeNardis, Nicholas Diakopoulos, Joan Donovan, Kevin Driscoll, Elizabeth Dubois, Robert Gehl, Tarleton Gillespie, Alison Hearn, Tero Karppi, Tim Markham, Phil Mirowski, Milton Mueller, Taylor Owen, Frank Pasquale, Ben Peters, John Durham Peters, Jeff Pooley, Alison Powell, Sarah T. Roberts, Scott Rodgers, Nick Seaver, Tom Streeter, Lana Swartz, and Fred Turner for their feedback and comments on iterations of this project. I am so grateful to know and to have learned from so many of you. A special thanks to Robyn Caplan, danah boyd, and the great people at Data + Society for giving me a chance to attend many of their events and be a part of their community. I also thank Daniel Kriess, Dave Karpf, and C. W. Anderson for being scholars who inspire me and who have taught me so much about the field of communications. Sincere thanks to Dave Berry, Jennifer Gabrys, and especially Stephanie Schulte for their support and feedback at critical times in this book’s development. One final thank you to Daniel Paré, who, in his own subtle way, contributed greatly to this project.
I completed this book in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. From nuclear waste to newspapers, from games to visions of God, I never want for new ideas and ways to challenge my own thinking. Special thanks to Charles Acland, Bill Buxton, Maurice Charland, Mia Consalvo, Liz Miller, and Peter van Wyck for their feedback and insights that helped form this project. I have also had the room to succeed thanks to the dedication of my past two chairs, Monika Kin Gagnon and especially Sandra Gabriele. A few of my classes read earlier drafts of this book. Much respect goes to Roxanne, Olivier, Lindsay, Nicholas, Ramatoulaye, Maxim, Will, Harris, Tyler, Matthew, Simon, Christina, Margaret, Matthew, Quentin, Gavin, Anaïse, Adi, Krystal, Harleen, Bianca, Nicholas, and Amanda, all students of my Perspectives on the Information Society class that read a draft in its entirety.
Outside the department, I have been welcomed as a member of the Milieux Institute and the Media History Research Center thanks to Bart Simon and Darren Wershler. Concordia is home to many colleagues whom I count as good friends. Thanks to Joshua Neves for all the opportunities to share my work. I greatly benefited from a chance to speak in his Piracy class in the Global Emergent Media Lab and from being a participant at the fantastic 2017 Seminar in Media and Political Theory: CAPTURE. Thanks especially to Jeremy Clark, Martin French, Lisa Lynch, and Elena Razlogova for being such good friends and colleagues. I would also like to acknowledge my colleagues at McGill—Gabriella Coleman, Darin Barney, Marc Raboy, Becky Lentz, and Jonathan Sterne—who have made Montreal a much richer community.
Throughout this book, I have been welcomed into the small but vital area of Canadian media policy. In the depths of writing about the ARPANET’s history, I relied on this group to find meaning relevant to my own scholarship. A special thanks goes to my academic colleagues who inspire me in their engaged scholarship: Reza Rajabiun, Dwayne Winseck, Catherine Middleton, Ben Klass, David Skinner, Charles Davies, and Leslie Regan Shade. Thanks to past and present members of OpenMedia, especially Steve Anderson and Josh Tabish. I would also like to thank Hyman Glustein, Cynthia Khoo, JF Mezei, Lex Gill, and Tamir Israel for being so patient and generous with their profound knowledge of media policy. The field is now a big part of my life, and I am thankful to share this interest with such great people.
Though mentioned only in brief, my interest in internet measurement coincided with the launch of Canada’s first open, public internet-measurement system. I am proud to have played a small part in the project led by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. Thank you to Jacques Latour, Rock Chantigny, Allan MacGillivray, and Don Slaunwhite for letting me feel a part of the project and for their commitment to building the best internet for Canadians. My own knowledge of internet measurement would be greatly wanting without the advice and insights of the Measurement Lab Consortium and the Open Technology Institute. Chris Ritzo and Colin Anderson have answered countless emails, offering constant support and in-depth knowledge of the internet.
I have had a few chances to present chapters from this book or discuss my research in depth. These are institutions, reflecting on it now, that have had a profound impact on this project. I made a major step forward in the concept of internet daemons thanks to Valerie Belair-Gagnon and Colin Agur, then at the Yale Information Society Project. In addition to your friendship, the opportunity to present gave me an important push to start piecing the final project together. I also had the chance to present an early draft of what are now chapters 1 and 2 at the “Bits, Bots, and Bytes” reading group led by Gabriella Coleman. The reading group has been the site of some of my favorite discussions in Montreal. Thanks to key members, including Sophie Toupin, Christina Haralanova, and especially Gabriella Coleman for her truly generous comments. Finally, I thank the Citizen Lab for allowing me to participate in its Summer Institute. Ronald Deibert, Christopher Parsons, and Masashi Nishihata are scholars whose impact and dedication motivate me to do better, more engaged research.
I cannot begin to describe the support and guidance offered by Rob Hunt as he suffered through my desire to write in sentence fragments. His editing and support made this book possible. I cannot imagine it being completed without him. Also thanks to Margaret Macdonald for her enthusiasm and for help in the late stages of this project.
Thanks to the entire team at the University of Minnesota Press for seeing this project through to its completion.
A final thank you goes to my friends and family for supporting me through this project. I’ve been lucky to count David Mason, Jeremy Shtern, and Evan Light as friends willing to indulge my own daemonic obsession. A big thanks goes to Luke Simcoe, for being great and for also appreciating the dread (now a Spotify playlist called “Internet Daemons”).
This book has been written through the love and support of my partner Jillian, who not only has listened to countless discussions of internet policy but reminds me every day of the joy in life and the awesome unknown. Finally, a last thank you to Wallace, my own demon of writing, whom I love without end.
This book has been graciously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in addition to the Open Access Fund and the Aid to Research-Related Event grant from Concordia University.