2. The 'Computer Society'


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




Hutton, D.M. (2000), "2. The 'Computer Society'", Kybernetes, Vol. 29 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/k.2000.06729bae.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

2. The 'Computer Society'

Keywords: Publication, Cybernetics, Systems, Computing

2. The "Computer Society"

There is certainly no scarcity of new books on what is now called the "Computer Society" or the "Information Society" or indeed a multitude of other titles that cover our "High-tech age". Recent publications include:

Talking Back to the Machine: Computers and Human AspirationEdited by Peter J. DenningSpringerLondon228 pp.ISBN 0-387-98413-5Price £18 (about $27)

At the ACM's Golden Jubilee Conference (1997) a number of computer scientists explained the anthropological effects of computers in the near future. This book includes the views of 19 of the conference presentations. It is concerned with the effect of computers on humans and as such leads to a fascinating study. Unfortunately, some of the views are two years old or more but nevertheless are worth reading. The future, undoubtedly, is unknown, but predictions of the impact of computers on people and the development of new systems that will change the way in which we exist still continue to excite us.

Computer Science Education in the 21st CenturyEdited by Tony GreeningSpringerNew York1999/2000280 pp.ISBN 0-387-98881-5 (hardcover)Price $49.95 (about £32)

This book contains contributions from Peter Denning, Ronald Curtis, Roy Radia and many others who have been gathered together by its editor Tony Greening. It is another book that looks to the future. It targets 2020 which is thought to be far enough away, we are told, to encourage the contributors to the book to risk being visionary while being close enough to the present to ensure some anchorage to reality. It aims to consider the effects of rapid change from within the computing disciplines, by allowing computing educationists to deliver a considered verdict on the future of their discipline. The flavour of the text is given by a short listing of some of the contributions: shifting paradigms; teaching and learning in an animated Web-connected world; curriculum 2020; towards truly educational programming environments and tools; new technologies in computer science education.

Further details of these books can be obtained from the publisher: http://www.springer-ny.com and http://www.springer.co.uk

Still concerned about the future, another new book has been published that examines the future of communicating over the information superhighway. The book is:

Networked Futures, Trends for Communication Systems DevelopmentW.S. WhyteWiley Interscience1999 (March)406 pp.ISBN 0471-98794-8 (hardback)Price £39.95 (about $64)

The author is from Leeds University, UK and a specialist in the field. He explores what will happen as a result of the increase in information transmitted using various media in the future. He considers how markets and social issues gradually change the way in which we communicate. He aims to cover, in depth, several key areas. These include:

  • How to assess the potentials and pitfalls of emerging multimedia networks and intelligent applications.

  • What are the diverse technologies required to build wired and wireless superhighways? How will the social and market issues affect them?

  • What are the major technological components and what can they do?

Further details from the publishers, visit www.interscience.wiley.com

Related articles