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Automation, a curse or a blessing?

Dr. D.B.B. Rijsenbrij

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This web-site contains an adaptation of an inaugural address held on the occasion of the acceptance of a named professorship in Business Information Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam on December 10, 1993. The original text was written in Dutch.

Information Technology (IT) in the form of computing devices, computer networks and computerised information systems, is penetrating our modern society deeper and deeper.
Is this a curse, that condemns us to an increasing dependence on computerised solutions ? Or is it a blessing that liberates us from routine activities and creates room for a more creative existence ?
In this web-site a great number of questions are raised in order to find ourselves an answer. The suggested direction for an answer can be found in regaining the proper measure, one of Plato's four cardinal virtues. A powerful aid for the process of refinement towards the proper measure is the discovery of the aspect of 'beauty'. Beauty in the process of design and development of IT products, beauty in the IT product itself, beauty in the usage of the IT product and beauty in that which arises from its usage.




1. Introduction
2. History
3. The Computer Pull
4. The computer on the road to Self-knowledge
5. The beauty in automation
6. Where are we now?
7. Where will this lead to?
8. Conclusion



Appendix A. Software-related bibliography
Appendix B. Contemplative bibliography
Appendix C. Ideal profile for the disciple of Business
Information Science

Appendix D. Interpretation of the job of professor
Appendix E. Theses

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website: Daan Rijsenbrij