Thursday, December 22, 2011

Computers and Society: Computing For Good Arrives Without a Flourish

I am pleased to announce that my book "Computers and Society: Computing For Good" arrived on my doorstep yesterday, and is now officially out.

Many of the people I profiled in this book about computing and computers being used for social and environmental good, are both passionate about what they do and humble. As fate would have it, the arrival itself occurred in such a way as to reinforce the importance of being humble and remembering to value balance in life.

The guy from Fedex sprinted up the stairs and handed me a box while I was having a conversation with a guy trying to (at the very least) scam me for several hundred dollars. I suspect he was high on something as he kept hopping around and babbling. So busy trying to figure out what was going on with this guy that I set the box inside the door and forgot about it. Much later, after the growing evidence made me realize I had been dealing with a potentially dangerous criminal and I had called the police, I noticed the box from my publisher partially wedged behind a footstool. So much for the big moment of arrival!

I pried open the box and pulled out the book, not quite sure whether I was still upset with myself for having turned my back on the crazy guy when my computer chose the wrong moment to make a lot of noise. (This is how people get killed, I thought - don't turn your back on crazy people no matter what your computer does).

However, here it was in my hands - my first book. A book about people who are making the world a better place. Lots of people. The hundred or so people who shared their time and stories with me far outweigh the one crazy guy in my doorway. Whether working to save endangered sea turtles, helping kids in the neonatal intensive care unit, or modeling earthquakes, these people "rock" as they say. Life is short and precious and I'm honored beyond words to be able to share their work with you.

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