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Welcome to On Computing

Grady Booch reads from his On Computing columns from IEEE Software magazine for this podcast on Computing Now.

Give them a listen and join Grady as he discusses the impact of computing on humanity.

This podcast is brought to you by IEEE Software.

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Grady Booch: The Persistence of Memory

Author Grady Booch provides an audio recording of his On Computing column, in which he discusses how even in the face of the tumultuous changes brought about by computing, the threads that define our very humanity still persist and bring a poignant texture to a fully digital life. Subscribe to the On Computing podcast on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ieee-softwares-on-computing. From IEEE Software's November/December 2014 issue: http://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/so/2014/06/index.html. Visit IEEE Software: http://www.computer.org/software.


To Code or Not to Code

Author Grady Booch provides an audio recording of his On Computing column, in which he discusses how much a functioning member of society today should know about computing.


The Big Questions

Author Grady Booch provides an audio recording of his On Computing column, in which he discusses the big questions whose answers shape the systems with which we engage.


The Incredible Lightness of Software

Author Grady Booch provides an audio recording of his On Computing column, in which he discusses how from the inside of a software-intensive system, there are many different styles of implementation, each with its own subtle characteristics. From the outside, it all looks the same: it’s completely invisible.


The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Storytelling involves weaving abstractions about fundamental truths regarding the world and the human experience to entertain and educate. When it comes to movies and television, producers and directors often make computer technology look like magic. It doesn’t have to be that way.


Wizard pulling bionic rabbit out of computer on movie screen

The Human and Ethical Aspects of Big Data

Every line of code represents a moral decision; every bit of data collected, analyzed, and visualized has moral implications.


Deus ex Machina

No matter your individual position on the matter, faith is a powerful element of the human experience. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that computing intersects with the story of belief in many ways. Here, we explore computing as a medium for faith, as a ritual space, and as a technology that itself raises certain metaphysical issues.


Monks coding at old computers

The Stories of Possibility

There are three things that future generations may never experience: the smell of books, the sound of a computer, and the sanctuary of privacy. These human considerations are all unintended consequences of computing.


The Wonder Years

For those on the outside of the curtain of computing, there is much mystery behind the matter of software-intensive systems. To some, it looks like magic; to most, its inner workings are irrelevant insofar that it simply works. To those of us behind the curtain, however, we know that such systems are filled with chaos, regularity, and beauty.


Boy taking apart watch

Illustration by Robert Stack.

In Defense of Boring

On the one hand, we seek to build software-intensive systems that are innovative, elegant, and supremely useful. On the other hand, computing technology as a thing unto itself is not the place of enduring value, and therefore, as computing fills the spaces of our world, it becomes boring. And that’s a very good and desirable thing.


From Minecraft to Minds

The subject of the computability of the mind introduces complex philosophical, ethical, and technical issues. That aside, this topic draws us in to the nature of algorithms. We are surrounded by algorithms; much of the history of computing is also the history of the advance of algorithms. For the public, algorithms are part of computing’s self-made mystery, but to understand their nature is an important part of computational thinking.


The Great and Terrible Oz

Computing is transforming every aspect of the human experience. As creators of this technology, what obligations do we have to the general public, for whom we make the complex machinery of computing increasingly invisible?


Woven on the Loom of Sorrow

Computing was once a companion to conflict; computing is now an instrument of war; computing is becoming a theater of war. Along the way, conflict has shaped computing, and computing has changed the nature of warfare.


The Human Experience

Computing has transformed humanity in ways that we have only begun to metabolize. Computing amplifies what we celebrate most about being human, but it also has the capacity to magnify that which we mourn. Exploring the story of computing has value, for an educated populace is far more able to reconcile its past, reason about its present, and be intentional about its future.



Grady Booch introduces listeners of On Architecture to his new podcast, On Computing.


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About the Speaker

Grady Booch

Grady Booch is recognized internationally for his innovative work on software architecture, software engineering, and modeling. He was chief scientist of Rational Software Corp. from its founding in 1981 until it became part of IBM, where he's an IBM Fellow. Grady was one of the original authors of the Unified Modeling Language and one of the original developers of several Rational products. Grady has served as architect and architectural mentor for complex, software-intensive projects around the world in just about every domain imaginable. He is currently developing Computing: The Human Experience, a major transmedia project for public broadcast. Contact him at grady@computingthehumanexperience.com.