Published Date 6/15/10 1:11 PM
Shifting names and identities has been a recurring theme in these Podcasts. Now it is time for the Podcasts itself to adopt to a new name.
For 4 years, these Podcasts have had a split identity. The column was called "The Known World" and the podcasts were called "In Our Time." From henceforth, they will have a single name: "The Known World."
The reason for the split is complicated to explain. I was originally asked to write a column on historical themes to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the ENIAC. Being fond of irony, I called it "In Our Time," which suggested to me that the historical ideas had real impact on our lives. When I was asked to continue the column, I wanted to distance the work from history, even though I continued to use historical examples. Hence I took the name "The Known World" as it suggested, in an ironical sense, things that we did not know or took for granted.
In the switch, it was difficult to change the name of the podcast, so it remained "In Our Time." But now we have an opportunity realign the two on a single title, so we are going to use "The Known World" exclusively.
Some readers noted that both titles had literary antecedents. I have wanted to record the stories of computers and computing people in a literary language, in words that captured the depth and intensity of their word. If I have done even a little of that, I will be pleased. So from today, we will have a single name. It is The Known World.
You can find it at www.computer.org/theknownworld.