Computer scientists and computer users : data versus documents


Nicolas REIMEN

Directeur de projets à la BRED Banque Populaire

Seminar Business life | Friday May 11, 2001

Although computers are essential tools in company management, they are nevertheless scarcely understood by managers and have not been assimilated by various organisations. The norm continues to consist of conflicts, fiascos, and the unbridled obsolescence of material and concepts. Nicolas Reimen suggests that to understand this difficult situation, one has to analyse the relentless conflict of two aspects : the data and the documents. It is possible to follow the emergence of this conflict during the last thirty years of the history of computerised administration, but it can also be felt in our everyday lives. The development of information systems in every company is marked by this conflict. Its origin lies deep in the logical and linguistic roots of computers whose fragile nature is illustrated by Gödel’s theorem. In this context, the divisions, such as those who oppose “computer scientist” with “computer user”, can take on a dimension which corresponds to a particular identity. If this is the case, then we are more in the land of Brahma than of Gödel.

The entire article was written by:

Lucien CLAES

Nicolas REIMEN