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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 society and technology.

Uncharted Territory

Innovation is not always a calm thing.  It can challenge our fundamental way of looking at the world and leave us not entire certain of our position.  A recent talk by a friend on his new ideas for organizing work led to a disruptive evening and an lingering question that hovers over everything that we do.  

 

Dumb Grids and Smart Markets

 

Every now and then your viewpoint shifts and suddenly you see things in a new light.  For years, I was following the development of the Smart Grid through the eyes of my dear friend, Doug the Rocket Scientist.  In his eyes, the Grid was a combination of existing transmission technologies with a substantial research project on data security.  As I can no longer rely on his wisndom to guide me, I have had to probe the subject on my own and have discovered much to my surprise, that there is a new market hidden deep in the bowels of Smart Grid research.  Hence we have a podcast that asks, "What is so Smart about a Smart Grid?"

 

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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.