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Demystifying Information Technology and All Things Cyber - Overview

In recent years several authors have published articles and books in which they make predictions on how IT (information technology) will affect society in the mid to long-term future. Some of these writers claim the advent of digital technology has ushered in a fundamentally new era in human history, and that IT prompts profound new philosophical, ethical, and even religious questions. By contrast, in these topics I do not offer any far ranging predictions, but instead take a deliberately short-term pragmatic view, assessing IT in the ‘here and now’. While the future is far from certain, I believe some commentators are assigning an unfounded mysteriousness to current and short-term-future computing. My goal is therefore to demystify the current state of Information Technology.

Overview:

  • Why the mysteriousness?
    Digital devices are poor candidates for mysterious behavior, divine activity or ‘free’ or self-determined behavior since their main property is reliability.
  • What is the ‘information’ part of IT exactly?
    Information is a tricky word and means different things to different people.
  • What is software exactly?
    A computer functions once it has been configured in a particular physical program-state. Software is not immaterial.
  • What does it mean to be digital?
    ‘Digital’ is just a particular way to design the behavior of physical devices.
  • What and where is cyberspace?
    Cyberspace does not have an existence separate from the human minds that imagine it and experience it.

Email link | Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: Adrian Wyard

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