Technomanifestos is the story of the information revolution as it
was shaped and imagined in the writings of its most inspired
revolutionaries. Each manifesto-writer is a "technological
humanitarian"; each has a worldly, bold, optimistic vision of how
computers will change and serve humankind. Manifestos include
Vannevar Bush's "As We May Think" (1945), Alan Turing's "Computing
Machinery & Intelligence" (1950) Norbert Wiener's The Human Use
of Human Beings (1951), Doug Englebart's "Augmenting Human
Intellect (1962), JCR Licklader's "Man-Computer Symbiosis (1962),
Seymour Papert's Mindstorms (1980), Richard Stallman's "GNU
Manifesto (1984), Ted Nelson's "The Future of Information" (1993)
and Jaron Lanier's "1/2 a Manifesto" (2000), among others. Key to
this book are the evolution of concepts like "information,"
"computer," "intelligence," "system," "noise," "feedback,"
"network," "ownership," and "life." Technomanifestos will link
these individuals, their writings and the information revolution to
larger social movements of the post World War II era onward:
education reform, environmentalism, anti cold war and nuclear arms,
anti-monopolization, and anti-globalization. It will draw
associations and conclusions based on the manifestos,
autobiographical and biographical writings about the
manifesto-writers, and period histories. It will examine the
decisions -- good and bad -- made by the technologists. It will
reveal tensions among one another or with the "establishment," and
chronicle the legacies of each milestone idea. Most of all, this
book will examine the interplay between technology and society,
computers and culture, information and meaning.
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