"You can ignore computers," Mark says, "but they're not going to go away. The computer is only going to get more important as an intellectual model, more important as a fact of our everyday lives."
Computer science is especially important at a school like Marlboro, Mark says, because it contributes to interdisciplinary dialogues across the whole curriculum. "Computers aren't the private property of the hard sciences any more," he says. "There's a rich traffic in ideas nowadays, for example, between computer science and the sciences of the mind: psychology, philosophy, linguistics. A background in computer science is crucial for appreciation of the value and limitations of this kind of fertilization."
Trained as an anthropologist, Mark is particularly interested in the social and political implications of computer technology. "The machines don't decide for themselves what uses they are put to. That's up to us. In the same way that a knowledge of scientific ecology underlies sound environmental politics, so too knowledge of computers affords a kind of digital self-defense."
In his next life Mark would like to play for the Chicago Bulls, but settles in this one for "being low scorer on a Brattleboro basketball team sponsored by a hearing-aid company."
B.A. University of Chicago, 1976; M.A., University of Chicago, 1978; Ph.D. Candidate, University of Chicago; Marlboro College, 1992 -