Humanizing Technology: Computers in Community Use and Adult by Elisabeth Gerver (auth.)

By Elisabeth Gerver (auth.)

A few years in the past, a e-book of this kind and elegance couldn't or wouldn't have been written. it is because, till many years in the past, no genuine in-depth knowl­ fringe of desktops and automatic apparatus was once on the disposal of these with a nonscience, nonquantitative history. a few humans from different disciplines-including company, the humanities, and the social sciences-had been operating with such gear, yet they'd "gone over" and tended to be much more computer-conscious than these whom they served. it's only relatively lately that individuals like Elisabeth Gerver with an organization arts and grownup schooling history to start with turned an expert after which remained precise to that heritage. To her everlasting credits, Elisabeth Gerver, while she grew to become concerned, refrained from being sucked into the realm of the jargon or maybe that of the considering the pc scientists and the digital engineers. to the contrary, she insisted that she was once an informed lady facing different expert humans, and they might all converse within the language of daily discourse. It labored! One end result of her adventure and her inspiration is that this remarkably lucid and readable booklet. it's going to end up to be of great price to many on this planet of grownup and group schooling. however the beneficiaries will run past these sectors of society. people with a nonscience, nonquantitative heritage would definitely locate it of giant price of their early, unavoidably hesitant and defective, grappling with the area of recent technology.

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It is possible electronically to monitor the speed and efficiency with which a computer operator enters words on to a computer, thereby increasing rigid managerial control over the work process. In such circumstances, a secretary who used to balance her working life among typing, talking, and other forms of work, may well find that the quality of her office life is seriously diminished, not because of the computer itself but because of how her manager has decided to use the power at his disposal.

Well, there are compelling arguments that can be made about the need for our economies to use to the fullest the talents of both men and women. The moral arguments in favor of gender equality are becoming more generally accepted. But there are also specific reasons why the participation of women in the world of computing is necessary both for that world and for the economic position of women themselves. It is to these that I shall now tum, before considering some of the ways that have already been found to enable women to interact more fully with computers.

Nearly all of the volunteer programmers were men and boys. The project also required the help of voluntary organizations to coordinate and manage computer exhibitions which would give ordinary people a chance to experience the machines for themselves. Nearly all of the individuals who offered to help with these exhibitions were men. At that time, there were no women among the senior staff and computer programmers em31 32 Chapter 2 ployed by the government-funded project to introduce computers into schools in Scotland, a project with which SCEMP was closely associated, and most of the visitors to both projects appeared to be men.

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