Computers in the Human Context

Information Theory, Productivity, and People

Edited by Tom Forester





Our technical knowledge about computers is not matched by a knowledge of their social consequences and possibilities. Computers in the Human Context provides a challenging reappraisal of the information technology revolution. It shows that many companies and organizations are using computers ineffectively, wasting much of the over $300 billion that is being spent each year on computer and communications hardware and software. It is clear from the studies reported here that the economic payoff from the information technology revolution has been slow in coming. The euphoria that greeted the arrival of the microchip in the 1970s has been displaced by a more critical assessment of the social benefits of computerization. Several contributors debunk popular notions such as artificial intelligence, the electronic cottage, teledemocracy, and postindustrial society. Others describe the growing ethical problems of the information technology revolution, including computer crime, workplace surveillance, intellectual property rights, and government control of information. Together these contributions are a major statement of the increasing awareness that what decides the success or failure of computer systems in all contexts in the human factor.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262061247 560 pp. |


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262560504 560 pp. |

Not for sale in Europe or the UK Commonwealth, except Canada.


Tom Forester

Tom Forester is a Lecturer in the, Division of Science and Technology at Griffith University in Australia. He is editor of The The Microelectronics Revolution and The Information Technology Revolution and author of High Tech Society.