Papers

For over four years I wrote the column “On Computing” for IEEE Software, a journal of the IEEE Computer Society, wherein I explored themes associated with Computing: The Human Experience. You can download the podcast of each column on iTunes, or you can listen to them here.

      Once Upon A Time
      The creation stories and myths of computing
      No Laughing Matter
      The journey to understand the theories, mechanisms, and algorithms that discern and define funny
      Disrupting The Disrupters
      To disrupt an industry is to question the fundamental, sacred assumptions on which that industry is founded
      It Is Cold. And Lonely
      The next generation of software-intensive systems will be taught instead of programmed
      Then A Miracle Occurs
      Developing software-intensive systems is like many other things, but it is also like no other thing
      Anarchy And Order
      Computing amplifies the actions of governments, but can also temper its behavior by enabling mechanisms for private communication as well as for open and transparent communication by the people
      All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
      We must coming to grips with a number of practical and ethical conundrums as machines of our own creation become our companions, helpmates, and servants
      Of Boilers, Bits, And Bots
      Parallels exists between the Industrial Revolution and our current computing revolution regarding risk, transparency, and responsibility
      Remembrance Of Things Past
      Although we live in a world of unprecedented complexity and astonishing possibility, we should never forget our past: those who came before us in computing enabled those possibilities
      The Persistence Of Memory
      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 our digital life
      To Code Or Note To Code
      What a functioning member of society should know about computing
      The Big Questions
      The big questions whose answers shape the systems with which we engage
      The Incredible Lightness Of Software
      Viewed 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 Stores 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, but it doesn’t have to be that way
      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; it comes as no surprise that computing interacts with the stories of belief
      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
      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 but to most, its inner workings are irrelevant insofar that it simply works; to those of us behind the curtain, we know that such systems are filled with chaos, regularity, and beauty
      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
      From Minecraft To Minds
      The subject of the computability of the mind introduces complex philosophical, ethical, and technical issues
      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 the theater of war
      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
      Transition
      An introduction to Computing: The Human Experience
      The Computational Human
      The different ages of humanity have required different modes of thinking
      I, For One, Welcome Our New Computer Overlords
      We reject the fear that machines with superintelligent computing powers will eventually spell the end of humanity
      My Autobiography
      The story of computing is the story of humanity: this is a story of ambition, invention, creativity, vision, avarice, and serendipity, powered by a refusal to accept the limits of our bodies and minds