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The Computerization of Society by Simon Nora
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The Computerization of Society

by Simon Nora

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0262640201, Paperback)

First published in 1978 as a report to France's president, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, The Computerization of Society became a best-seller abroad and the cause of instantaneous and widespread public discussion. When the Industrial Revolution was beginning, few people realized the importance of what was taking place. The singular importance of this report is that it comes to grips with a similar major technological event, showing how a new technology can reshape society and why the political system has to change to meet the new scale of economic life and the new patterns of social life that result.

The authors coined the word télématique (or telematics in English) to describe the growing interconnection between computers and telecommunications. In his introduction, Daniel Bell writes that this term "expresses a new reality, an innovation that has the possibility of transforming society in the way that railroads and electricity did in the nineteenth century."

Bell, who remarks that The Computerization of Society "has the impact of a modern Jules Verne story," outlines the areas where telematics are likely to change patterns of transactions—in data processing networks, information banks and retrieval systems, teletext systems, facsimile systems, and interactive on-line computer networks. He notes, "In a broader political and sociological sense, the Nora/Minc report raises a different question for the United States. In this volume, two astute observers, aided by a team of technical specialists, have surveyed a major technological and social innovation and have proposed a unified national policy to deal with the impending changes. In the United States, where the scale of activities in this field is considerably larger than in France, there is as yet no national policy."

The book includes a summary of the four-volume supporting document and a glossary.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:43 -0400)

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