The Enlightened Mind: Investigating the Science of Thinking Like a Computer focuses on three primary areas of computer studies. The book provides a broad but in-depth review of issues that a Christian in the computer field should think about. This collection of more than a hundred essays, drawn from ten volumes submitted for the International Conference on the Convergence of Information and Computer Technology, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in January 2020, highlights current scholarship on computer technologies with a sociological perspective. The conferences discussed topics such as interaction, social technology, knowledge, and new technologies and applications.
The first main article focuses on what information technology is and why people might be interested in studying it. Then there is a short article on studying religion and a look at the future of information technology. And finally, an introduction and review of Peter Hanley’s book, God’s Cathedral: A Pilgrimage to the Center of the Mind. The second main article looks at the potential for developing “human, virtual assistants” and provides an outline of information technology and its applications.
The third article examines current scholarship on information technology, focusing on the sociological aspects of the discipline. It then turns to a brief survey of current literature on information technology study, examining eleven different technology types. Finally, I conclude this article by briefly reviewing two books, one written by Hanley and another focusing on a software engineering study.
The fourth chapter looks at current issues concerning information technology, including privacy concerns, security, and problems associated with computer technology’s rapid spread. The authors describe five potential threats to computer security: abuse of programmers, viruses, and malware. They also note that government regulations and standards bodies are creating more tightly regulated software packages. Finally, they describe how web design and application development are affected by increased software quality.
Chapter 5 details the growth of computer systems over the last twenty years and their impact on organizations. It begins with a description of how computer systems have changed over the years and goes through several examples of significant developments. It then describes information technology professionals, their relationships with business users, their interactions with developers, and the impact that their activities have on organizational culture and practices. It then describes the impact of changes in computer systems on web design and software engineering. It concludes this chapter by briefly examining the role of universities in the transformation of computer systems.
The closing chapter focuses on the future of computer technology. It describes some of the challenges to be addressed if researchers are to create computer systems that can effectively run individuals’ social, technical, economic, and emotional lives. It notes that there is an increasing interdependence between computers and their human users. It continues the book’s theme by briefly describing the impact of emerging information technologies on computer systems. It concludes by briefly looking at potential threats to the future development of computer systems.
It is hoped that the writing will stimulate others to investigate topics such as the relationship between computers and culture, software engineering, and the impact of emerging technologies on workers.