Digital representations, inspiring stories, and chemical works combine to form this month's pick of alumni-penned books.
|Degree||Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science|
The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information
Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds and online stores, are backed by the large-scale physical infrastructures of server farms, fiber optic cables, power plants and microwave links. But another domain of material constraints also shapes digital living: the digital representations sketched on whiteboards, encoded into software, stored in databases, loaded into computer memory and transmitted on networks. These digital representations encode aspects of our everyday world and make them available for digital processing. The limits and capacities of those representations carry significant consequences for digital society.
In 'The Stuff of Bits', Paul Dourish examines the specific materialities that certain digital objects exhibit. He presents four case studies: emulation, the creation of a "virtual" computer inside another; digital spreadsheets and their role in organizational practice; relational databases and the issue of 'the databaseable'; and the evolution of digital networking and the representational entailments of network protocols. These case studies demonstrate how a materialist account can offer an entry point to broader concerns – questions of power, policy and polity in the realm of the digital.
Take Me With You
Scott Jackson’s story begins during America’s Civil Rights movement, a time when his own family fell apart, and his childhood became a struggle to escape his brutal reactionary father to live with his mother — an idealistic young woman with opposite values, sympathies and ambitions – and her new husband, an African American pastor who would fill the role of a good father where his natural father had fallen short.
Out of this complicated childhood Scott Jackson found himself on a life course that is focused on charity and spreading goodwill. He has risen to the highest levels of international charity, serving as senior vice-president of World Vision US and vice-president of PATH before joining Global Impact as CEO.
However, the main idea of 'Take Me With You' is not to deliver a narrative of one man’s life and times; this is a carefully articulated call to action to help those in need. Running parallel to the story of Scott’s experiences are short essays written to encourage others to make the connection between our own personal struggles and the larger cultural problems of people worldwide.
Take Me with You is an inspiring story with practical instruction for getting people involved, either in important small ways or making a larger commitment to achieve justice and an ecologically sustainable world.
An Enormous Reckless Blunder: The Story of the Lewis Chemical Works
If you are a member of the alumni community and have recently published a book, we would be delighted to include it in the Alumni Bookshelf. Email the details, along with your degree details, to Brian Campbell:
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