Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag von Klaus Fuchs-Kittowski
Edited By Frank Fuchs-Kittowski and Werner Kriesel
Die algorithmische Revolution
Computing science as an academic discipline can look back to almost fifty years of its development since the mid and late 1960s. Situated between the sciences and the humanities, but engineering also playing a major role, and even fine arts participating a bit, it has undergone an unparalleled stampede to the forefront of all aspects of society. The term society here refers to all current societies, not only Western capitalism. Computing has been the driving force of globalization at an accelerating pace, and the computer as the semiotic machine has become the postmodern ubiquitous device that everybody now carries with him- or herself wherever they roam.
A cautious discourse has been a companion of the great narrative of computing: the discourse on Computers and Society. In German, it was called “Informatik und Gesellschaft”. The term was chosen in its innocent and pale wording such that the mainstream could accept it (what it reluctantly and gruntingly did). Positions were established for professors at several university departments in West Germany. They now disappear as the men and women retire who had held them. There is a reason for this silent vanishing. Its name is “Algorithmic Revolution”. “Computers and society” was only the naive and pretty term for a tremendous turnover of the entire infrastructure of modern society. We felt it but did by far not recognize its unimagined impact. This paper takes a glimpse of it. At face value, the paper’s contribution seems to be...
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