The Nation: Computer Pollution?

Less than a generation ago, a species of future shock overcame many laymen when they contemplated a new invention—the electronic computer. There was vague anxiety about machines that could think, a corner-of-the-eye vision of humanoid steel creatures winking out their possibly baleful computations. It was—and still is—modern man's version of the Frankenstein anxiety.

Now, of course, in most industrialized nations the computer is as familiar and useful as the automobile. It could in fact create some of the same problems. Last week, at a conference in Chicago marking the 25th anniversary of the invention of the electronic computer, one speaker adumbrated a...

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