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Words and Power Bernadette Longo

Words and Power By Bernadette Longo

Words and Power by Bernadette Longo


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Words and Power Summary

Words and Power: Computers, Language, and U.S. Cold War Values by Bernadette Longo

When viewed through a political lens, the act of defining terms in natural language arguably transforms knowledge into values. This unique volume explores how corporate, military, academic, and professional values shaped efforts to define computer terminology and establish an information engineering profession as a precursor to what would become computer science.

As the Cold War heated up, U.S. federal agencies increasingly funded university researchers and labs to develop technologies, like the computer, that would ensure that the U.S. maintained economic prosperity and military dominance over the Soviet Union. At the same time, private corporations saw opportunities for partnering with university labs and military agencies to generate profits as they strengthened their business positions in civilian sectors. They needed a common vocabulary and principles of streamlined communication to underpin the technology development that would ensure national prosperity and military dominance.

  • investigates how language standardization contributed to the professionalization of computer science as separate from mathematics, electrical engineering, and physics
  • examines traditions of language standardization in earlier eras of rapid technology development around electricity and radio
  • highlights the importance of the analogy of the computer is like a human to early explanations of computer design and logic
  • traces design and development of electronic computers within political and economic contexts
  • foregrounds the importance of human relationships in decisions about computer design

This in-depth humanistic study argues for the importance of natural language in shaping what people come to think of as possible and impossible relationships between computers and humans. The work is a key reference in the history of technology and serves as a source textbook on the human-level history of computing. In addition, it addresses those with interests in sociolinguistic questions around technology studies, as well as technology development at the nexus of politics, business, and human relations.

About Bernadette Longo

Bernadette Longo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is also the author of the books Edmund Berkeley and the Social Responsibility of Computer Professionals (2015), Spurious Coin: Science, Management, and a History of Technical Writing (2000), and the IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields (2017). Among her other publications, she is co-editor of Critical Power Tools: Technical Communication and Cultural Studies (2006) and Transnational Research in Technical Communication: Realities and Reflections (forthcoming). Dr. Longo is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves on the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) History Committee.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 From Hot War to Cold Peace

Chapter 3 Who Will Control Atomic Power

Chapter 4 Sharing Information (or Not) for Computer Development

Chapter 5 Defining Relationships among Computers, People, and Information

Chapter 6 Technology Development Strains Standardization of Human Communication

Chapter 7 Defining Terms and Establishing Priorities

Chapter 8 Establishing the Field of Computer Science


Additional information

GOR012759314
9783030703752
3030703754
Words and Power: Computers, Language, and U.S. Cold War Values by Bernadette Longo
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
20220728
143
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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