Every Revolution Gives Birth to Another

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Every Revolution Gives Birth to Another Talk to a middle-aged American about what has changed most in our society in the decades since they were children and they are more than likely than not to talk about the ways in which computers have revolutionized the world in every arena from work to how we play poker. While this seems to be undeniably true, it also true that it provides a dramatic simplification: There was no such thing as a unified computer revolution. Each jump in computer technology sends ripple effects through the industry (and society) as a whole so that the changes brought about by computers do not have the qualities of a single event that instantaneously shifted the world of computing from the state it was in as Tracy Kidder discusses it in The Soul of a New Machine in her ethnography of an industry. This essay explores the state of the computer world as Kidder describes it to the state of the computer industry, bearing in mind that the state of the computer industries at both points in time should be seen as a single frame pulled from a video rather than a single photograph. Kidder's book, which was published in 1981, focuses on two different aspects of the computer industry that can be compared and contrasted to the state of the industry today. While the most obvious difference is that between the level of technology that was considered to be cutting edge at the time, equally interesting is the way in which computer development teams create and
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