[Humanist] 25.472 differences computing has made?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Nov 13 10:27:30 CET 2011


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 472.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 09:25:40 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: differences actually made?

Those interested in critical thought about the difference that computers 
have actually made to research will welcome the following:

Jon Agar, "What difference did computers make?", Social Studies of 
Science 36.6 (2006): 869-907;

Joel B. Hagen, "The introduction of computers into systematic research 
in the United States during the 1960s", Studies in the History and 
Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32.2 (2001): 291-314.

Those committed to promoting the doctrine of a revolutionary change 
will, however, be less pleased by their arguments.

I haven't yet seen Agar's more recent book, *The Government Machine: A 
Revolutionary History of the Computer*, which I gather is an 
historically developed account of the close relationship between 
computing and bureaucracy. As far as I know Agar is the only one to have 
noticed Turing's mathematical bureaucrat as such (in his 1936 paper on 
the Entscheidungsproblem).

Yours,
WM
-- 
Professor Willard McCarty, Department of Digital Humanities, King's 
College London; Professor (fractional), University of Western Sydney; 
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.isr-journal.org); Editor, 
Humanist (www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/); www.mccarty.org.uk/





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