Slaves of the Machine

The Quickening of Computer Technology

In Moths to the Flame, Gregory J.E. Rawlins took lay readers on a tour of the exciting and sometimes scary world to which compters are leading us. This new book is for those who are new to computers and want to know what is "under the hood." It shows what computers can do for us and to us. It tells the story of how we became slaves to our machines and how our machines may one day become slaves to us. Written in an accessible, anecdotal form, Slaves of the Machine presents the birth of the computer, charts its evolution, and envisions its development over the next fifty years.

Each of the six chapters asks a simple question: What are computers? How do we build them? How do we talk to them? How do we program them? What can't they do? Could they think? After answering its question, each chapter views its topic in terms of the state of the art as of 1997 and into the near future. Rawlins successfully demystifies the computer—the first step away from slavery to it.

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. 1. A Strange New Machine
  3. 2. The Greed for Speed
  4. 3. Precisely Speaking
  5. 4. The Subjunctive Mood
  6. 5. Limits to Growth
  7. 6. Thinking About Thinking
  8. Index