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?
J. McCredie, W. Wulf, R. Rutledge, C. Bell and A. Habermann, "Computer Networks," in Computer, vol. 3, no. , pp. 13-23, 1970.