Thursday, December 26, 2013

Power to the programmers! is it ok?

Have you noticed how your behavior is influenced by computer code written by programmers hired by technology companies? They write the code that sometimes requires you to identify yourself with a credit card; also the code that allowed the U.S. government to spy citizens; and the code that makes it difficult to identify who is the real sender of an email message and so on. As well as the code that dictates different behaviors among users of different apps.

As more of our life is intermixed with the internet, more power is assumed by unelected programmers. Is that ok? See my review at Amazon of Lawrence Lessig's "Code 2.0" book.

Surfaces and Essences by Hofstadter & Sanders - a summary/review

In this accelerated life when available time gets ever squeezed, I had never read huge books like Tolstoi’s War and Peace… until I encountered Hofstadter & Sanders “Surfaces and essences”, a 500+ page book which may some day be considered a literary masterpiece like Hofstadter’s Pulitzer-prize-winning book, “Godel, Escher, Bach”.   I have always been captivated by Hofstadter’s thinking depth, and clear and witty writing style; qualities rarely found together in academic researchers. See my review at Amazon.

(Acknowledgement: editorial improvement of the review by Joana Kennington of More English