umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
En informationsteknisk atombomb: Lars Kristiansson och mikrodatorn, 1970–1983
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The atomic bomb as a metaphor for the computer : Lars Kristiansson and the microcomputer, 1970–1983 (English)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, the 1970s saw widespread public concerns about data privacy. The use of computers in the 1970 census sparked debate, and in 1973 Sweden's data privacy law, datalagen, came into force. In 1980, a parliamentary delegation was tasked with investigating further options for political action. In the years around 1980, computers, and how they should be used, was a topic of hot political and public debate.

One particularly influential voice in this debate was professor Lars Kristiansson. He shared his visions of the future in debate articles, radio and television interviews, and books. Moreover, he co-hosted two educational series in Swedish public service television. Kristiansson took it on himself to educate Swedish citizens on the perils of a future, Big Brother-like society.

Kristiansson frequently expressed his concerns in drastic terms. He repeatedly associated computers in general, and microcomputers in particular, with the atomic bomb. In this thesis, I set out to interpret Kristiansson's visions of the future computer society, including his atomic bomb metaphor. His work is placed in a context of contemporary ideas, such as those of the Cold War and the 1960s popular left-wing movements, as well as his own academic and professional background. The atomic bomb metaphor was, in this interpretation, shaped both by Kristiansson's personal experience and by widespread popular ideas of an imminent "intelligence explosion".

Much of Kristiansson's criticism, directed against the computerized society of the future, concerned what he viewed as a conflation of theory and reality. The criticism was originally directed against a naïve positivism, as Kristiansson warned his engineering students against confusing mathematical models with physical reality. This criticism of positivism evolved into a warning against a society shaped by governmental computer models, but the examples, including some illustrations, were largely retained from his teaching materials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 105
Keywords [en]
computer, future, atomic bomb, artificial intelligence
Keywords [sv]
dator, framtid, atombomb, artificiell intelligens
National Category
History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152800OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152800DiVA, id: diva2:1258352
Subject / course
History of ideas
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-10-24 Created: 2018-10-24 Last updated: 2018-10-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(3439 kB)127 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 3439 kBChecksum SHA-512
0043e9d074624577a9cb5bb3da011802d06634648d357a5f01f4543c45d7191faccb041788617953129eef7e861564336ad40d176666895b5afc5c7bd245d06c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies
History of Ideas

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 127 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 729 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf