• book: the philosopher of palo alto

    From Ogg@VERT/EOTLBBS to dove-net.internet on Sat Feb 18 21:36:00 2023
    Coming soon..

    The Philosopher of Palo Alto: Mark Weiser, Xerox PARC, and the
    Original Internet of Things | 1st Edition | Hardcover

    John Tinnell

    University of Chicago Press | University of Chicago Press
    Technology & Engineering / History / Social Science / Technology Studies / Computers / Internet of Things (IoT)

    Release date May 18, 2023

    "This riveting, up-close account reveals how one man's dream
    of benevolent computing helped set us on the road to the hyper-
    connected, surveillance-driven nightmare we inhabit today. A
    deeply unsettling and cautionary tale." - Fred Turner, author
    of From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the
    Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

    "A compelling biography of Mark Weiser, a pioneering innovator
    whose legacy looms over the tech industry's quest to connect
    everything-and who hoped for something better.

    "When developers and critics trace the roots of today's
    Internet of Things-our smart gadgets and smart cities-they may
    single out the same creative source: Mark Weiser (1952-99), the
    first chief technology officer at Xerox PARC and the so-called
    "father of ubiquitous computing." But Weiser, who died young at
    age 46 in 1999, would be heartbroken if he had lived to see the
    ways we use technology today.

    "As John Tinnell shows in this thought-provoking narrative,
    Weiser was an outlier in Silicon Valley. A computer scientist
    whose first love was philosophy, he relished debates about the
    machine's ultimate purpose. Good technology, Weiser argued,
    should not mine our experiences for saleable data or demand our
    attention; rather, it should quietly boost our intuition as we
    move through the world.

    "Informed by deep archival research and interviews with
    Weiser's family and colleagues, The Philosopher of Palo Alto
    chronicles Weiser's struggle to initiate a new era of
    computing. Working in the shadows of the dot-com boom, Weiser
    and his collaborators made Xerox PARC headquarters the site of
    a grand experiment. Throughout the building, they embedded
    software into all sorts of objects-coffeepots, pens, energy
    systems, ID badges-imbuing them with interactive features.
    Their push to integrate the digital and the physical soon
    caught on. Microsoft's Bill Gates flagged Weiser's Scientific
    American article "The Computer for the 21st Century" as a must-
    read. Yet, as more tech leaders warmed to his vision, Weiser
    grew alarmed about where they wished to take it.

    "In this fascinating story of an innovator and a big idea,
    Tinnell crafts a poignant and critical history of today's
    Internet of Things. At the heart of the narrative is Weiser's
    desire for deeper connection, which animated his life and
    inspired his notion of what technology at its best could be.
    ---
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