Computers & Society/Setting the scene

Setting the scene is necessary before a film shoot. It is also what one does in the theater for a play, a drama. Even in the writing of the film script or of the play one has to set the scene.

Here, in this place, we are setting the scene for the Wikibook you are reading. We imagine that you, the reader, exist. We imagine (and hope) that there will be many of you. We will never meet, except through this Wikibook.


The book is intended for all who are interested in the ways in which the society develops in a world of computers. To see where we are today, we need to know where we come from.

The book is in English. It would be nice if other language versions of it were to appear.

There are 3 levels of intended reader:

  • the 12 to 16 age group (junior and senior high school)
  • the 17 to 21 age group (college)
  • the 22+ age group (all the rest of us)

What does this mean? Well! There are exercises/questions in the book which might prove very challenging for the college group, for example. And the exercises/questions are not targeted at any specific group. Nor is level of difficulty given. Real life is like that. Here is a simple example of an exercise which some questions:

  • Why did eBay buy PayPal?
  • Why did eBay then buy Skype?
  • What do you think eBay ought to buy next?

Where are the answers? Good question. Perhaps they ought to go into a separate Wikibook? To find answers one must search. One must ask one's own questions.


Let us be hip in late 2008? We have iBook, iPhone, iPod... There is no reason for us to limit ourselves to particular commercial branding terms.

In the Internet society we expect to see all sorts of iStuff![1] We can think of the „i-“ in iStuff to stand for „Individual“, „Internet“, „Interactive“, „Interesting“,...

There was no Wikipedia article on iStuff at the time of writing.[2]

  • google iStuff gives 169,000 hits; "i-Stuff" gives 271,000 hits.[2]

The topic seems to be of significant widespread use to deserve a module of its own in this (wik)iBook.


  1. iStuff
  2. a b 2008-09-01