\\1 Too many principals of said history are still alive, still influential, and still kicking too much to allow much in the way of historical analysis. It is much easier for a historian to stick with a subject where those who remember events are safely dead.
\\2 It would be improper to expect anyone to write informatively about ideas they cannot themselves understand. And it would be improper (as the author of the article writes) to expect a historian to understand an unrelated technical field.
This is unfortunate, because "history", the preferences of historians notwithstanding, is the story of technology. I do not believe there is any great difference between any of us and some goober fingerpainting on the walls of a cave.
So, what the heck
was Goober doing with his abilities that were
crucial? He found the cave, kept out animals
that could hurt him, built a fire to keep it warm, built
families, found food and water,
make tools, weapons, and clothes, etc. Apparently
found good uses for his brain.
"The computer and its software nervous system brought a revolution in human development as significant as the steam engine, the automobile or the aeroplane, and even more effective in shrinking the planet"
What would you get from a history of recent revolutions in human development from someone who doesn't know why steam-powered airplanes never really caught on? It doesn't matter what kind of geo-political story they can put together; the idea just doesn't work.
A Margaret Gowing told C-K about his history of EDSAC, "What you have written
is clearly very good. I know practically nothing about computers, but I can tell that what you have written is good history, so far as it goes. However, let me urge you to look beyond programming technology to consider the kinds of people who were using computers and the problems that they were solving." Which is excellent advice, certainly, but part of what he comes up with years later, in his embarrassment over not following the advice the first time, is, "Jim Wilkinson investigated errors and stability in digital numerical methods and developed advanced matrix programs. These were to prove vital in understanding and preventing “flutter” for the British aircraft industry, which was still reeling from the de Havilland Comet air disaster of 1954," which makes me suspect he knows about as much about numerical methods as I do.