Master's Paper

Interesting thought for the day

I’m in the middle of reading a book that I rescued from ALA Midwinter titled The New Humanists, and came across the most lovely description of what computer science should be…I haven’t tracked down the exactly quote yet, so no attribution, but I wanted to get this blogged before I forgot it. The sentiment was, essentially, that we should come to realize that much like cosmology is the study of the cosmos and uses tools like optical and radio telescopes, computer science should realize that the study of computers should use computers as tools, and study the interaction and supervenient properties that emerge within computer networks. Computer = tool. Network = interesting. Properties of complex communication networks = most interesting.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

2 replies on “Interesting thought for the day”

this seems like a very limited viewpoint. telescopes, and other measuring devices, are typically single-purpose tools for gathering one type of information. computers are much, much more versatile than the author gives them credit.

also, to say that computers are tools for the analysis of networks is completely ignoring the study of sociology, which developed the idea of a social network long before TCP/IP was invented.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *