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Many others are much more sanguine. University of Chicago Philosopher of Science Stephen Toulmin predicts that computers will "re-intellectualize" the television generation. "TV relieved people of the necessity to do anything," says Toulmin. "Computers depend on what you do yourself." Catholic Theologian David Tracy argues that "using computers sharpens the mind's ability to deal with our world: the world of technology."
The final word may be simpler, and not pronounced by elders who find a devil ish soul in the new machine. More so than adults, the young know the computer for what it is. Says a ten-year-old at Manhattan's Bank Street School: "It's dumb. I have to tell it everything." They also know something important is afoot. Says Shawn Whitfield: "When I grow up it's going to be the Computer Age. It won't affect parents. They're out of the Computer Age. They had their own age."
By Frederic Golden. Reported by Philip Faflick/New York and J. Madeleine Nash/Chicago
* References to computer commands to send (POKE) or retrieve (PEEK) information to or from a particular location in the machine's memory.