Computers should not be black boxes but rather understood as engines for creating powerful and persuasive models of the world around us. The world around us (and inside us) is something we in the humanities have been interested in for a very long time. I believe that, increasingly, an appreciation of how complex ideas can be imagined and expressed as a set of formal procedures — rules, models, algorithms — in the virtual space of a computer will be an essential element of a humanities education. Our students will need to become more at ease reading (and writing) back and forth across the boundaries between natural and artificial languages. Such an education is essential if we are to cultivate critically informed citizens — not just because computers offer new worlds to explore, but because they offer endless vistas in which to see our own world reflected.por Matthew Kirschenbaum que é Professor Associado de Inglês do Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities na University of Maryland.