REVIEW: "Revenge of the Computer Widow", Nattalia Lea
- BKRVNGCW.RVW 20000529
"Revenge of the Computer Widow", Nattalia Lea, 1999, 0-9699864-1-6,
%A Nattalia Lea
%C 2323E 3rd Ave NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 0K9
%I Platypus Publishers
%O C$29.95 403-283-0498 Fax: 403-270-3023 platypus@...
%P 256 p.
%T "Revenge of the Computer Widow"
The introduction states that this book is based on a survey to do with
computers and lifestyle, separate from work. There were supposedly
800 contacts, which resulted in 426 responses. Interestingly, only 72
of those were from the net.
Chapter one is a history of computers; very brief, with lots of
errors, and very hard to follow since there doesn't seem to be any
thread running through it. The material sounds a lot like the TV
news: the individual sentences sound profound until you start to
wonder how they relate to the text around them. Chapter two is about
Calgary. (Nice place. I've been there.)
Chapter three begins to get into the survey, and starts to present
some data. Unfortunately, any analysis that exists is quite weak.
The content is also repetitive: many paragraphs simply restate the
adjacent table. Some material is contradictory: one paragraph starts
by saying that the survey is poor because males would not admit their
weaknesses and ends by saying that the survey is poor because males
talked about their weaknesses.
Thereafter we get chapters that talk about sex vs computers (along
with meals and bedrooms), consumer preferences (with no control
group), careers (which follows the myth of the high tech labour
shortage), some personal reflections on the terms "geek" and "nerd,"
women in computing history (with more errors), computer "religious
wars" (with the most jokes of any chapter), more computer jokes,
something about relationships (it's difficult to say just what), myths
about the Internet and some personal reminiscences about email,
cybersex (in which we learn that the author doesn't like chat), some
stories of reasonably mild obsessions, odd snippets about computer
purchases (getting Murphy's Law wrong--I suppose there is some irony
in that), random notes on childhood play and computer games,
astrological personalities, luddite acts, and an interview with Frank
About the only thing I really learned was that I read twice as fast as
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000 BKRVNGCW.RVW 20000529
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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade