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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.

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Entries with tag data mining.

The Honest Give-and-Take

We are our data.  There are perhaps a fews other bits to our identity but we increasingly seem to be nothhing but a historic collection of data that drag through the days.  I generally try to protect that collection, though my reasons are perhaps not as good as they ought to be.  Nonetheless, I occasionally find a reason to defend by protectiveness as I did the day that I met a data mechanic.

 

The Habit of Change

We know about change.  We have Moore's Law for hardware or at least we are used to the idea that chips improve on an 18 month regime.  The plans for software are not as well defined but we do know that vendors regularly release new systems that will ultimately require us to reorganize our lives on regular schedules.  What do we do for data?  Increasingly, our work is not only data drive but data controlled.  We work with systems that learn our needs from a stream of data.  The problems of how we consider data updates is considered in this month's essay, the Habit of Change.

 

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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.