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Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Copernicus; 1997 edition (October 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387985883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387985886
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,891,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A prodigious effort encompassing 20 lengthy essays, this work attempts to illuminate the future by asking computer professionals and academics how computing and computers will change over the next 50 years. The varied responses come under such titles as "Growing Up in the Culture of Simulation" and "Why It's Good That Computers Don't Work Like the Brain." A typical passage reads: "[The Internet] has grown from an idea motivated by the need to interconnect heterogeneous packet-communication networks to our present-day ubiquitous communication web joining people, businesses, [and] institutions, through various forms of electronic equipment in a common framework." The essays are of course speculative, almost in a free-for-all way, and the conclusions, once unearthed from layers of scholarly expatiation, are something less than astonishing. Marginally recommended for academic libraries.?Robert C. Ballou, Atlanta
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

...a useful, interdisciplinary benchmark of the ever-evolving state of computer capability near the turn of the century. -- Computers in Physics

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Customer Reviews

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Unfortunately, this also bodes the rest of the book, too.
Eugene N. Miya
Educators, business people and those with an interest in learning what technology can (and might) do should definitely open and read this book.
Ted Phillips
Environments of hyperlearning will replace classrooms with a linear model of learning.
Melanie Tucker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LeeAnn Stone on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Beyond Calculation is a collection of 20 essays by some of the cream of computing's top echelon. For the most part, these are not futuristic scenarios- the authors present fairly conservative observations regarding the future of computing. This circumspection is no accident - most of the authors have lived and worked through the full range of computing's evolutionary development and they are quite aware of the disjunction between earlier futuristic predictions and today's realities. On the other hand, they are also cognizant of the grand surprises in innovation and culture that have taken computing in directions that futurists of yore never foresaw. On another level, Beyond Calculation provides a fascinating view into a particular community of practice. For as one reads the individual essays, one encounters similarities in references that undoubtedly arise from the fact that many of these essayists have collaborated in a variety of ways over (in some cases) several decades. Many (all?) are associated with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) which published the compendium. What is a common conclusion drawn among these essayists? The message is clear- that this is an environment in which surprises have been and will continue to be the norm (Frankston, 56), and that "we should expect that our understanding is incomplete and wrong so that we can adapt to surprises" (55). The surprises in innovation and the social implications of these innovations preclude us from envisioning at this point whatever the full future of computing will bring.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ted Phillips on February 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
A compilation of 20 essays which speculate about the impacts of future technological advances on society. Divided into sections, the essays address three themes: The Coming Revolution (speculation about hardware, software and networks); Computers and Human Identity (the impact cheap computing may have in regard to the way people live and work); and Business and Innovation (the impact technology will have on business practices and on the process of innovation). The individual authors whose essays were included in the book are all members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The authors responded to a call, in 1997, for papers which would attempt to look 50 years into the future to, "...examine the current realities of how people are using computers and what they [authors] are concerned about, and then project the consequences over the next few decades." (xv)
A 'futures' book, Beyond Calculation offers a positive look at how technology might interact with us in the not-so-distant future. The most impressive quality of the book is the grounded-ness of the essays. As readers, we are not presented with a mountain of pie-in-the-sky predictions that have no basis in reality, or Star Wars-like oohs and ahs. To the contrary, anyone with any knowledge of technology will see that these are serious essays, by qualified technologists taking care to work within a framework of common sense. The futures they paint seem plausible, yet are still surprising. I found myself saying, "of course" many times as I read through the scenarios.
The book itself should be of great interest to anyone who is struggling to get a view of how technology will impact us in the future.
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Format: Paperback
This books serves as a collection of essays from various experts in the field of computing. These essays speculate on the future of computing over the next fifty years. While the material was quite interesting; most of the essays were quite dry. A couple of the essays seemed like a chore to read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SUZANNE ORCUTT on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
In the first fifty years of computing, the machine was center stage as we looked at ways the computer could resemble the human mind. In the next fifty years a shift of focus will occur to view the human element first in the design of computers. What will this shift bring into play? Representative authors foresee the onset of 'ubiquitous computing,' 'calm technology,' and a new field of 'interaction design.' The relationship between the individual and the institution will change dramatically, with most institutions ceasing to exist as we currently know them today. We will see profound change in the way we learn and innovate. Moreover, computers will become part of our individual identities. "We will have become the technology we have created." But, will 'smart machines' be able to advise us on how to improve our lives? Is computing helping us to advance our own humanness? Read on.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am the chief editor of series books called "Computer Culture" that includes this book. Hebei University Publishing House in Baiding, China, has brought its Chinese translation copyright through Copyright Agency of China in Beijing. We will publish it in 1998. The series also include books Out of Their Mind and The State of the Cybernation. My email address is: huajie@usa.net
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