Life in Code

Life in Code

A Personal History of Technology

Book - 2017
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Named one of the best books of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review , GQ , Slate , San Francisco Chronicle, Bookforum , and Kirkus

The never-more-necessary return of one of our most vital and eloquent voices on technology and culture, the author of the seminal Close to the Machine

The last twenty years have brought us the rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers, and the thorough transformation of our economy and society. Through it all, Ellen Ullman lived and worked inside that rising culture of technology, and in Life in Code she tells the continuing story of the changes it wrought with a unique, expert perspective.

When Ellen Ullman moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s and went on to become a computer programmer, she was joining a small, idealistic, and almost exclusively male cadre that aspired to genuinely change the world. In 1997 Ullman wrote Close to the Machine, the now classic and still definitive account of life as a coder at the birth of what would be a sweeping technological, cultural, and financial revolution.

Twenty years later, the story Ullman recounts is neither one of unbridled triumph nor a nostalgic denial of progress. It is necessarily the story of digital technology's loss of innocence as it entered the cultural mainstream, and it is a personal reckoning with all that has changed, and so much that hasn't. Life in Code is an essential text toward our understanding of the last twenty years--and the next twenty.

Publisher: New York :, MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374534516
Branch Call Number: 005.1092 Ull
Characteristics: viii, 306 pages : illustrations


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Mar 22, 2019

This was a well written memoir but it was far too technical for my computer knowledge. Someone who was interested in programming would enjoy it but I just basically skimmed through the high tech info. It seemed to me though that programmers are probably people who like to work alone and can take repeated failures. The main thing that I did get from this is that the internet may not be our friend. It can consume you and your privacy is in jeopardy. In life I notice the younger generations seem to have oodles of online social lives but their social interaction with real people is limited and they don't seem to know how to act or be comfortable in a setting where the technology is not the first means of communication. More of a balance may be the answer.

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