In the least attractive example of such a redesign, "automation"
is used to make a process more efficient ("Your orders handled
in 1 day!") while greatly reducing the number of people needed
to complete the process (e.g., three-quarters of the non-management
staff in the organization are fired). The results of projects
such as this have raised a debate between academics and other
assorted pundits about the social utility of computing (indeed,
several prominent academics built their careers on the social
implications of automation long before "ethics" became
a recognized part of business school curricula). We won't go into
this debate here except to note that the emphasis in this course
is placed very strongly on systems that enhance
the expertise of people who currently work within an organization
rather than on automation systems that replace variable-cost
labor with fixed-cost capital. The effect is the same - do a greater
volume of business using in-house resources - but the means are
different (an enhancement approach does not threaten to strip
an organization of existing and potentially valuable human expertise).
In this representation, the dashed box in the upper lefthand
corner of the Source/Sink symbol refers to an identification number.
In Computer-Aided Systems Engineering software packages (CASE),
it is possible to derive database specifications and programming
code directly from suitably detailed DFDs and ERDs. In such packages,
each DFD symbol receives its own id number.
Black hole is a highly technical term which has been
developed through years of research. Some evidence exists, in
fact, to support the hypothesis that the existence of black holes
in distant galaxies implies that God screwed up several early