Issue No.05 - September/October (1970 vol.3)
C.G. Bell , Camegie Mellon-University
Computer networks have the ability to bring the power of large machines to work on a single problem and to provide reliable computer services to large populations. They also may become an unmanageable structure that can cripple itself in a fashion akin to the great Northeast power failure in 1965. Imagine the following sequence: computer X does not have the sine subprogram but relies on computer Y for it; computer Y on the other hand solves the sine subprogram using the cosine subprogram which it doesn't have; computer Y therefore calls X for a cosine; X solves for cosine using sine which it asks Y for.& Of course, you say, no computer network would be so simplistic. But would you guarantee it could never happen for any set of computer resources among N computers-and that the network might not head for the buried recursive disaster like a lemming for a cliff?
C.G. Bell, A.N. Habermann, J. McCredie, R. Rutledge, W. Wulf, "Computer Networks", Computer, vol.3, no. 5, pp. 13-23, September/October 1970, doi:10.1109/C-M.1970.216702