BACONIAN EMPIRISM, COMPUTER ART, AND THE NEW SCIENCE OF CHAOS. AT THE HEART OF HARDISON'S INQUIRY US THE NOTION OF "HOLISTIC COMMUNICATIONS" - THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN "MESSAGE" AND "STATIC" IN MODERN CULTURE - WHICH WILL BE MADE TANGIBLE IN THE TEXT ITSELF THROUGH THE USE OF BLACK AND WHITE (AND POSSIBLY COLOUR) ILLUSTRATIONS. SAYS SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE: "IF ANYONE QUALIFIES FOR THAT MUCH-ABUSED DESCRIPTION - RENAISSANCE MAN - OB HARDISON DOES ...NO AREA IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR HIM." THE PROOF WILL BE READILY FOUND IN DISAPPEARING THROUGH THE SKYLIGHT, A BOOK READERS WILL COMPARE TO GODEL, EACHER, BACH, GEORGE JOHNSON'S MACHINERY OF THE MIND, OR JAMES GLEICH'S CHAOS.
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Hardison, English professor (Georgetown), Shakespearean scholar, and amateur physicist, is always entertaining and often thought-provoking, as in Entering the Maze: Identity & Change in Modern Culture (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1981); here, he is very successful at placing the advent of technology within the context of our century. Through witty and elegantly written chapters on art, architecture, music, and poetry, he weaves a cogent and coherent theory on how the world left the domain of philosophers and classical artists and entered that of mathematicians and computer scientists. When our capacity to envision nature as solid and tangible "disappeared through the skylight," our ability to envision what nature and science consist of was irrevocably altered. Of the current titles that seem to address this subject, this is by far the best: Hardison illustrates, cleverly and vividly, by example. Challenging but highly readable, the book should spark discussion. Fascinating and well conceived.
- Mark Shelton, Columbus, Ohio
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Armed with the opinion that technological and cultural trends are negating history and the idea of humanity itself, Hardison takes readers on a tour of the modern age. Described by PW as "by turns incisive and glib," this volume offers "engaging discussions of all manner of topics, from the British cracking of the Germans' Enigma code in WW II to automobiles as 'thin-steel sculptures.' " Illustrated.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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