European Visions for the Knowledge Age: A Quest for New Horizons in the Information Society

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Paul T Kidd
Cheshire Henbury, 2007 - Computers - 250 pages
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How will information and communication technologies shape our future? What will the world be like in 10, 20 or even 30 year's time as a result of further advances in such technologies as the Internet? Will the application of these technologies in every aspect of human activity - in the home, at work, in public spaces, in hospitals, etc. - be a blessing or a curse? This book attempts to provide some answers to such questions, but without the resorting to unrealistic and exaggerated expectations. Based on the considered views of several European experts, European Visions for the Knowledge Age provides a multidisciplinary glimpse into some radical, and sometimes controversial, European perspectives on the future of the information society. The contributors to this edited book address what could be, what should be, and sometimes warn about what should not be the future. All the contributions have been written with a wide audience in mind and both the technically and the non-technically oriented will find elements in the chapters that will challenge their world views and their taken for granted assumptions. The contents of the book are organised into five self-contained parts: European Manufacturing 2035; Novel Perspectives for Networked Intelligence; The Future of Body and Mind; New Directions for Power and Participation; and The Distant Horizon. Each section brings together a number of essays under a broad theme relevant to the future.

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Page 218 - Heaven in a wild flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour. — William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence...
Page 122 - A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.
Page 65 - ... 1986). An evaluative decision support system is one that takes a set of proposed decisions and evaluates and predicts the results of these decisions. A generative decision support system is one that takes a set of criteria and constraints and generates a set of decisions. Thus, in the example from CACSD, the use of a computer algorithm to undertake controller tuning is a generative approach. The manual tuning method is an evaluative approach. Simulation is also an evaluative approach.
Page 176 - In principle, a fuel cell operates like a battery. Unlike a battery, a fuel cell does not run down or require recharging. It will produce energy in the form of electricity and heat as long as fuel is supplied.
Page 150 - Information is transportable — at the speed of light and, perhaps, through telepathy, faster than that. . . . 5. Information is diffusive. It tends to leak; the more it leaks the more we have and the more of us have it. ... 6. Information is...
Page 218 - ... a community of equals, aiming at the best life possible. Now, whereas happiness is the highest good, being a realization and perfect practice of virtue, which some can attain, while others have little or none of it, the various qualities of men are clearly the reason why there are various kinds of states and many forms of government; for different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government.
Page 147 - Intangibles are frequently embedded in physical assets (for example, the technology and knowledge contained in an airplane) and in labor (the tacit knowledge of employees), leading to considerable interaction between tangible and intangible assets in the creation of value.
Page 176 - FUEL CELLS A fuel cell is an electrochemical device in which the chemical energy of a conventional fuel is converted directly into electrical energy.
Page 64 - In essence therefore, an open system is one where the relationship between people and computers is determined by each individual user, and not by the designers of the technical system. The role of the designers of the technical system is to create a system that will satisfy...
Page 64 - Essentially, a closed system is one where we determine, through the system design, the actions of people to a degree that is more than required, say, by hardware, or software or performance constraints. In other words, a closed system is one in which we overdetermined the user-computer relationship.

About the author (2007)

Paul T Kidd’s professional background lies in science, technology and engineering, but writing his is vocation. He has also been involved in the social sciences, business, and management. The result has been the development of a transdisciplinary perspective on the world, and freed from the self-imposed intellectual prison that disciplinary perspectives create, he writes.

His professional experience spans several sectors, including: discrete parts manufacturing; pharmaceuticals; nuclear power; marine; retail; agriculture; ICT; higher education; and publishing. This gives him a perspective on the world that those bound by sector interests do not have. And from this viewpoint he sees many common issues that to most others remain unseen. His forte is most definitely on the higher level perspective, so he focuses on strategic issues and the development of research policies and strategies for sustainable manufacturing and sustainable agriculture.

As an author and writer his work was initially mainly focused on writing in the area of manufacturing and the related technology management issues, but now encompasses a wider range of technologies, subjects and application domains. In 2001 he began to develop his writing career in the area of fiction.

His main concern at the present time is dealing with the collective belief that leads people to continue applying more of the science, engineering and technology (SET) that is so evidently responsible for the many problems that are threatening the wellbeing of humanity and the planet. He aims to open peoples’ eyes to the possibility of developing new approaches to SET. This he explore through his writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Paul also believes that it is not only necessary to reinvent these important aspects of modern civilisation, but to also to begin a similar process in the domains of free-market economics and religion, because these too are also threatening the wellbeing of humanity and the planet, and it is time also to bring together science, religion and free-market economics in a new, positive, respectful and productive relationship.  

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