The Known World Podcast
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.

NOTE: This podcast is no longer being updated, but please explore this archive of the valuable content that was published while it was active.

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By David Alan Grier
The Known World podcast is no longer updated. You can find David Alan Grier at Closer Than You Might Think, his blog about computing technologies.
By David Alan Grier
Although they might bring great utility to the world, innovations always involve fundamental challenges to the way we think.
By David Alan Grier
Information technology has not only expanded the scale and scope of global markets, it has also provided the means for probing the meaning of every give-and-take transaction.
By David Alan Grier
As technology has changed, the fundamental way of extracting meaning from data has also changed.
By David Alan Grier
While it might seem otherwise to most individuals, we live in an age of leisure as much as we live in an age of information or industry or globalization.
By David Alan Grier
As with all engineering problems, we need to balance the twin factors of stability and control and do so in a way that doesn’t damage either of them.
By David Alan Grier
Social networking has neither altered the way that technical knowledge is presented nor has it dislodged computer science from its central place in the technical canon.
By David Alan Grier
The task of building a smart grid requires us to solve two kinds of problems: technical and social.
By David Alan Grier
Crowdsourcing is one of the more intriguing forms of computation that employs markets.
By David Alan Grier
In the Internet’s artificial geography, an organization is identified by what it can do rather than by where it’s located.
By David Alan Grier
In most circumstances, computing has faded into the background of our lives as part of the global infrastructure. However, it still has the ability to remind of us its presence.
By David Alan Grier
The grand ideas that led to the 1991 High-Performance Computing Act shaped the modern Internet only as they sifted through layers of the vertical division of labor.
By David Alan Grier
As we look to the future, we must not only anticipate a year of innovation and progress but also a migration of labor that will remake the field of digital technology.
By David Alan Grier
The task of navigating the information hierarchy is harder than we would like to think and involves more uncertainty than we care to admit.
By David Alan Grier
The idea that an organized team of computer scientists might have created a major worm comes at an uneasy time for engineers.
By David Alan Grier
Activities that attempt to coordinate the contributions of the general public with the Internet have a way of disciplining work and overcoming gross inefficiencies with mass labor.
By David Alan Grier
When we adopt augmentative technologies, we usually find that we have to adjust our ideas, goals, and habits to fit our new tool.
By David Alan Grier
The practices of engineering and computer science are influenced by the same forces that shape manual labor and office work. Occasionally, it’s useful to reassess our skills and question the value of our training.
By David Alan Grier
Games on the internet, Wikipedia, and Diderot, and the structure of knowledge.
By David Alan Grier
In the modern age, identity may not be a name or a number. It’s a story. And the question may be “who owns it?"
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   About the Author
David Alan Grier is a writer and scholar on computing technologies and was President of the IEEE Computer Society in 2013. He writes for Computer magazine. You can find videos of his writings at video.dagrier.net. He has served as editor in chief of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, as chair of the Magazine Operations Committee and as an editorial board member of Computer. Grier formerly wrote the monthly column "The Known World." He is an associate professor of science and technology policy at George Washington University in Washington, DC, with a particular interest in policy regarding digital technology and professional societies.