Usually I won’t pick up a book that uses the word “Paradigm” (which I pronounce: para-dig-mmmm). In the case of The Fourth Paradigm, this would be a serious mistake. If you are an inventor, thinker, artist, then this book is something you should download and read.
The 93 megabyte download is certainly worth the wait, however, I actually read the printed version and it is extremely well written. Tony Hey, Senior VP of Research at Microsoft has written a number of books and with his collection of papers by Richard Feynman this has brought the true editor in him. The Fourth Paradigm is a well done assortment of papers that bridge all of the critical science areas in this era.
The nice thing is that the papers are scientific, and make little or no editorial comments. Environmental science doesn’t start off with: “The Sky Is Falling”. The environmental section is oriented toward: “The support for the sky need to be investigated and here is how that is being accomplished.” After all if the sky is warming, then the next folks that need to be involved is engineers, not politicians who flunked precalc and bonehead chemistry.
This book clearly demonstrates the way that computing is the handmaiden of science,which, if for no other reason this should be a required reading for every Computer science major. Every computer scientist should keep in mind that most of the great scientific findings did not use computational science (if there is such a thing) and the world could find a way to exist without computers. Humans did quite well without them for 10,000 years.
I hope not, but keep that always in mind. The Fourth Paradigm shows how science uses computers, but it also raises the question that does science need computers.