The essays in “The Things Not Known” deal with the aspects of computing technology that we often ignore or forget: security, crime, disposal and recycling. Of the group, security is more prominent than the others. By some counts, almost a third of all computer professionals hare engaged in some form of security work. One of the recurring characters in the book, “Major X” probes some of the more unusual corners of the security world.
In the essay “Data of the Night”, computing technology appears in the more conventional form of police work. By gathering information about gunfire, it restructures the landscape by limiting the importance of streets and neighborhoods and emphasizing danger and anger.