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The Steam Engine and the Computer: What Makes Technology Revolutionary


This article was originally printed in EDUCOM Bulletin Vol. 22, no. 1 (spring 1987) pp. 2-5.

The author suggests that in the midst of the "second industrial revolution" ushered in by the computer, that perhaps we can learn some lessons from the first industrial revolution, the one triggered by the steam engine. Lessons on what we can and should do with computers and on what computers might do to and for us.

Herbert A. Simon

Professor of Computer Science and Robotics
Carnegie Mellon University


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