In its most fundamental essence, the stuff of computing is symbol structures (systems of symbols, that is, entities that ‘stand for’, represent, or denote other entities like data, information or knowledge).
Computing is symbol processing.
Any automaton capable of processing symbol structures is a computer.
The ‘phenomena’ associated with computers as Perlis, Newell, and Simon suggested are all ultimately reducible to symbol structures and their processing.
We may choose to call such symbol structures information, data, or knowledge depending on the particular ‘culture’ within computer science to which we belong.
Computer science is, ultimately, the science of automatic symbol processing, an insight which Allen Newell and Herbert Simon have emphasized.
The present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.
We must operate with partial knowledge, and be provisionally content with probabilities.
Since man is a moment in astronomic time, a transient guest of the earth, a spore of his species, a scion of his race, a composite of body, character, and mind, a member of a family and a community, a believer or doubter of a faith, a unit in an economy, perhaps a citizen in a state or a soldier in an army, we may ask under the corresponding heads—astronomy, geology, geography, biology, ethnology, psychology, morality, religion, economics, politics, and war—what history has to say about the nature, conduct, and prospects of man.