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The computing profession's purpose is to promote, for the greater community's benefit, the use of formal representations of facts or ideas and of machines and processes for the storage and transformation of such representations. Thus, our profession's history originated in the culture of the printers and scribes who promoted the use of the written languages from which our present binary representations developed. The article argues that ideas published decades ago may suggest solutions to some of today's most pressing technological and social challenges. It also suggests that the computing profession can develop faster and better through cumulative innovation, building on its past instead of ignoring it.