In the 1940s and 1950s, a group of brilliant engineers led by John von Neumann gathered in Princeton, New Jersey with the joint goal of realizing Alan Turing’s theoretical universal machine-a thought experiment that scientists use to understand the limits of mechanical computation. As a result of their fervent work, the crucial advancements that dominated 20th century technology emerged. In Turing’s Cathedral, technology historian George Dyson recreates the scenes of focused experimentation, mathematical insight, and creative genius that broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things-giving us computers, digital television, modern genetics, and models of stellar evolution. Also a philosopher of science, Dyson’s previous books include Baidarka, Darwin Among the Machines, and Project Orion. (recorded 3/13/2012)
Tagged with “computers” (6)
As our fast paced digital world continues what does that mean for the way we think about preserving things like old webpages and obsolete media formats. Are there possible lessons from our digital past for our digital future? We explore the fragility of our electronic data and also the temporary nature of the technology we use to access it. We also join the excavation of a 1970s computer chip - called the 6502!
Finn Brunton, Assistant Professor of Digital Environments at the University of Michigan’s School of Information.
Jim Boulton, Curator of the ‘Digital Archaeology’ exhibition and Deputy Managing Director of Story Worldwide.
Greg James, Digital archaeologist, part of the visual 6502 team and software engineer.
Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian and Founder of the Internet Archive.
Paul Koerbin, Manager of web archiving at the National Library of Australia.
Finn Brunton’s profile (http://finnb.net/)
Finn Brunton interview on ‘dead media’ (http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/390536/_dead_media_never_really_die/)
The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/)
Pandora Archive (http://pandora.nla.gov.au/)
Digital Archaeology Exhibition (http://www.storyworldwide.com/digital-archaeology/)
Visual 6502 Project (http://visual6502.org/)
Archaeology Magazine feature on digital archaeology (http://www.archaeology.org/1107/features/mos_technology_6502_computer_chip_cpu.html)
Cory Doctorow’s talk at the 28c3.
TED Talks Kevin Slavin argues that we’re living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by — algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t control.
University of Toronto Physics professor Robert K. Logan on The Origin and Evolution of Language and the Emergence of Concepts
A Little Bit Pregnant: Why it’s a Bad Idea to Regulate Computers the Way We Regulate Radios, Guns, Uranium and Other Special-Purpose Tools - Cory Doctorow
In his keynote speech Cory addresses the issue of computer regulation in general and, more specifically, asks: What happens when we take the failed regulatory model from the copy-right realm and try to import it into other realms too? What are the consequences?