Welcome to The Known WorldThe Known World Logo

You think that you understand technology but when you arrive at The Known World, you discover a land where software pirates sail the seven seas, Derek the Rocket Scientist holds a communal barn raising to install his solar roof, and the future of technology policy is perpetually debated by the Society for the Promotion of Goodness and its rival, the Association for the Prevention of Bad Things.  These are some of the people and institutions that populate The Known World and help explain the nature of society and technology.

This blog contains the essays of David Alan Grier, which appear each month to discuss the ideas, the culture and the stories of the digital age. These blog postings and podcasts come from the column of the same name in Computer.

This podcast is brought to you by Computer magazine, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society.

Subscribe iTunes | Google | RSS

Entries with tag crowdsourcing.

Not For All Markets

I have been a reluctant participant in  social computing.  My real interest began a year ago when I had phone call asking me to talk about one field of social computing that was starting to develop a real industry, a field known as crowdsourcing.  It took a couple of days and few repeated calls for me to get convinced that I actually knew something about the field.  However, as I came to learn more about the field, I could see that it represented an interesting extention of the computing model, an extention that combined the rational behavior of programs and computer systems with the judgement of human beings and the evaluative power of markets.  

 

Crowds - Old and New

 I have been spending a lot of time considering the issue of how we incorporate large numbers of workers into computing systems.  I recently gave a talk at MIT on the subject which draws not only on my books but also on this column.  It argues that the new trend of involving crowds in computing systems introduces market mechanisms into computing.  

 

 

 

Showing 2 results.

Blogs of Note

Out Of Print: Notes from the IEEE-CS Director of Publications and Services

IT History: A blog by Paul Ceruzzi of the Smithsonian

David Alan Grier

David Alan Grier is a computer scientist, an established observer of the technology industry and a writer on issues of science and society.  In addition to producing The Known World, he has written two books,  When Computers Were Human, (Princeton University Press, 2005), which is the story of the workers who did scientific calculation before we had electronic computers.  In addition he has published Too Soon to Tell: Essays for the End of the Computer Revolution, (John Wiley/IEEE Computer Society, 2009).  A video of When Computers Were Human can be found here while a brief talk about Too Soon to Tell is found here. 

He is currently an associate professor at the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at the George Washington University.  

Despite sharing a common hometown and a common birth year with David Alan Grier the actor, he is an entirely different person.