Computers are everywhere. Some of them are highly visible, in laptops, tablets, cell phones, and smart watches. But most are invisible, like those in appliances, cars, medical equipment, transportation systems, power grids, and weapons. We never see the myriad computers that quietly collect, share, and sometimes leak vast amounts of personal data about us. Through computers, governments and companies increasingly monitor what we do. Social networks and advertisers know far more about us than we should be comfortable with, using information we freely give them. Criminals have all-too-easy access to our data. Do we truly understand the power of computers in our world? Join us for a presentation and discussion with Brian Kernighan, and you will be able to begin to say yes to this question.
Understanding the Digital World explains how computer hardware, software, networks, and systems work. Topics include how computers are built and how they compute; what programming is and why it is difficult; how the Internet and the web operate; and how all of these affect our security, privacy, property, and other important social, political, and economic issues. This book also touches on fundamental ideas from computer science and some of the inherent limitations of computers. It includes numerous color illustrations, notes on sources for further exploration, and a glossary to explain technical terms and buzzwords. Kernighan explains, precisely and carefully, not only how computers operate but also how they influence our daily lives, in terms anyone can understand, no matter what their experience and knowledge of technology.
"This is the clearest and simplest explanation of the world we now all depend on—how it works and why it does what it does—from one of our best-known inventors. Everyone on Earth needs to read it."—Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. and Google
Brian W. Kernighan is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University. He is the coauthor of ten other books, including the computing classic The C Programming Language.