About Digital Athena Many people believe that the digital revolution we are living through is the most dramatic cultural upheaval since the invention of moveable type and the Gutenberg press. Is this really the case? To what extent are the changes we're experiencing a good thing and for whom? What are we losing in the process? Cultural critic Neil Postman wrote that “New technologies change what we mean by “knowing” and "truth”; they alter those deeply embedded habits of thought which give to a culture its sense of what the world is like—a sense of what is the natural order of things, of what is reasonable, what is necessary, of what is inevitable, of what is real.”
Digital technology is in fact changing the fabric of our lives, the nature of our experiences, and even the way we think, the way we relate to one another, the way we work and play. These are large issues, raising perhaps ultimately unanswerable questions. Many good minds have been writing about aspects subjects. Digital Athena covers some of these books, articles, and forums. It also reports on trends and assesses some of the innovative products and services that are changing our lives. We invite others to join in with comments or their own articles. Submitted materials are published only after an internal review.
Yale computer scientist David Gelernter writes about the need to articulate just how digital technology is changing our world: “Before we who remember typewriters and linotype machines get old, lose our memories and die, we ought to take stock of the big changes we have lived through and helped along.” It is in this spirit of bearing witness to the changes we are experiencing that Digital Athena explores what is now, what was then, and what may be.
Cynthia Rettig, Editor
Cynthia Rettig has spent over 20 years working in the software industry. She has had clients in a range of software specialties, including enterprise planning systems (ERPs), supply chain management (SCMs), development tools, data quality, business process integration, asset management software, and computer development systems. Working with these complex technologies led her to question much of the hype surrounding digital technologies and products, particularly the enthusiasm of many who do not understand the real capabilities and limitations of digital technologies. She also believes it's possible contemporary culture has much more in common with that of the nineteenth and twentieth century than is widely thought today. Cynthia is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan. In addition to editing Digital Athena, she is currently at work on a book about digital technology and culture with the working title “Athena Digitized: The Search for Knowledge in the Information Age.” You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.