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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 14 Number 3 -- Reviews

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129762D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 6 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

PAUL CERUZI: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The Reviews department features reviews of films, audio- and videotapes, exhibits, and publications relating to the history of computing. Full-length studies of any technical, economic, business, social, or institutional aspect of the history of computing will be given a complete review. Dissertations, articles, and other studies of interest to Annals readers will be listed in a section on Other Literature, with full bibliographic citation and notes on its nature and availability. Colleagues are encouraged to participate by indicating their wish to review a work or by suggesting titles to the Reviews Editor. Reviews without a byline are by the editor.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 15% of the total text.

Page 1 of 6

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Reviews

PAUL CERUZI, EDITOR

The Reviews department features reviews of films, audio- and videotapes, exhibits, and publications relating to the history of computing. Full-length studies of any technical, economic, business, social, or institutional aspect of the history of computing will be given a complete review. Dissertations, articles, and other studies of interest to Annals readers will be listed in a section on Other Literature, with full bibliographic citation and notes on its nature and availability.

Colleagues are encouraged to participate by indicating their wish to review a work or by suggesting titles to the Reviews Editor.

Reviews without a byline are by the editor.

REVIEWS

Herbert A. Simon, Models of My Life, Basic Books, New York, 1991, ISBN 0-465-04640-1, $26.95.

It is not for us civilians to attempt to judge the impact of Herbert A. Simon on economics. His receipt of the 1978 Nobel Prize for the dismal science" is sufficient evidence of the level of respect given to him and his work by those better qualified to make such judgments. Rather it is for us to consider the overall life and career of a man as described in this, likely his ultimate autobiographical statement, which has been made available to us in his 75th year.

Simon has written unexpectedly well, even when dealing with complex subjects. Obfuscation to show off his vocabulary is not his style. It was a great joy to read: "The mists [of time and distance] perform an important social function when they place a statute of limitations on man's memory of ancient wrongs." Not only is this single sentence elegant; it also reveals something about the man behind the words. Simon has grown weary of a cantankerous, endlessly litigious society. He comes from a better time and place, a world in which old errors were discarded and new sins not committed in the name of getting even, settling scores, or balancing the scales.

The book itself is printed in a very readable type style, and hardly any typos mar the publisher's performance. More personal photographs would have been nice, however: a few shots of the Simons in Chicago, China, or the USSR would not have detracted from the high purposes of the Sloan Foundation, under whose support this is the latest in a series of autobiographies by scientists. The harder task is trying to come to some judgment regarding Herbert A. Simon as a social scientist and as an individual. He refuses to fit into any single cell. He has been regarded, and perhaps he regards himself, as a student and practitioner of administrative behavior, political science, economics, cognitive psychology, computer science, university management, and science politics. Possibly he is the leading social scientist of the twentieth century.

Simon describes his life, as he moved from one di...