adactio / tags / history

Tagged with “history” (226)

  1. How Aristotle Created the Computer - The Atlantic - Chris Dixon

    The philosophers he influenced set the stage for the technological revolution that remade our world.

    Read the full text version here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/03/aristotle-computer/518697/

    The history of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II. In fact, it is better understood as a history of ideas, mainly ideas that emerged from mathematical logic, an obscure and cult-like discipline that first developed in the 19th century. Mathematical logic was pioneered by philosopher-mathematicians, most notably George Boole and Gottlob Frege, who were themselves inspired by Leibniz’s dream of a universal “concept language,” and the ancient logical system of Aristotle.

    ===
    Original video: https://soundcloud.com/user-154380542/how-aristotle-created-the-computer-the-atlantic-chris-dixon
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:21:33 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. The Clock

    The clock was invented in 1656 and has become an essential part of the modern economy.

    There’s no such thing as “the correct time”. Like the value of money, it’s a convention that derives its usefulness from the widespread acceptance of others. But there is such a thing as accurate timekeeping. That dates from 1656, and a Dutchman named Christiaan Huygens. In the centuries since, as Tim Harford explains, the clock has become utterly essential to almost every area of the modern economy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04skkw4

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. An Antarctic Chef

    Charles Green. Chas to his family, ‘cook’ to his colleagues. A young baker whose sense of adventure drew him to a career cooking on the sea. You may never have heard of Charles, but you certainly will have heard of an expedition on which he played a crucial role…

    Charles was cook for the crew of the 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. A disastrous expedition which ended up lasting for more than two years. The men were forced to camp on moving ice flows, and eventually a remote Antarctic beach on Elephant Island. But against all odds, every man on Shackleton’s ship The Endurance survived. In August 1916, the men were rescued. They were on the edge of starvation.

    During their time on the ice, Charlie Green cooked tirelessly using his creative flair to concoct meals out of exceptionally meagre means. His food kept the men alive. He went back to the Antarctic with Shackleton on the expedition which would be Shackleton’s last. But then, despite living until the 1970s, he faded into obscurity. Known only for slide shows that he gave locally with the well-known images of the expedition.

    One hundred years on, another Antarctic chef Gerard Baker, uncovers the extraordinary life led by Charles Green and his version of two years cooking for the men of the Endurance. One of the greatest survival stories of all time.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07vk71m

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. The Compiler—50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    Installing Windows might take 5,000 years without the compiler, a remarkable innovation which made modern computing possible. Tim Harford tells a compelling story which has at its heart a pioneering woman called Grace Hopper who – along the way – single-handedly invented the idea of open source software too.

    The compiler evolved into COBOL – one of the first computer languages – and led to the distinction between hardware and software.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04n04cm

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. The Barcode—50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    How vast mega-stores emerged with the help of a design originally drawn in the sand in 1948 by Joseph Woodland as he sat on a Florida beach, observing the furrows left behind, an idea came to him which would – eventually – become the barcode. This now ubiquitous stamp, found on virtually every product, was designed to make it easier for retailers to automate the process of recording sales. But, as Tim Harford explains, its impact would prove to be far greater than that. The barcode changed the balance of power between large and small retailers.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04k0066

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. audioBoom / The Bletchley Park Podcast - E54 - The Zimmermann Telegram

    January 2017

    The Zimmermann Telegram tells the story of how the US became embroiled in World War One. The threat from Germany came home to the United States 100 years ago this month, courtesy of an intercepted telegram sent by the German Foreign Secretary, Arthur Zimmermann. The tricky thing was, British intelligence didn’t want the US finding out they were reading what was coming over those cables. That made it rather difficult to warn the US, without giving the game away and thereby doing enormous diplomatic damage.

    We hear from the grandsons of two key figures in this story; Nigel de Grey played his part in decrypting this all-important message in Room 40, and went on to be crucial to codebreaking during World War Two. The other, Thomas Hohler, was our man in Mexico at the time. Last summer their grandsons met up at Bletchley Park, reflecting on the significance of the telegram and their ancestors’ involvement in bringing it to light.

    Also in this episode, you really never do know who you might meet at Bletchley Park. Eagle-eyed listeners may have spotted the TV historian, Dan Snow, waxing lyrical on social media recently, about the wonders of the Home of the Codebreakers. He came to visit and - like most people when they first see how brilliantly the story is now told - was moved and amazed. He stopped for a chat with Bletchley Park’s very own broadcast-friendly historian, Dr David Kenyon.

    Throughout this year, we’ll bring you more never-heard-before interviews with veterans of Bletchley Park and its outstations, celebrating the ongoing Oral History project, as well as freshly researched stories about what the Codebreakers achieved and the difference it made to the outcome of the war, in the Bletchley Park Podcast’s exclusive It Happened Here series.

    https://audioboom.com/posts/5502643-the-bletchley-park-podcast-e54-the-zimmermann-telegram

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Darwin: In Our Time, Darwin: On the Origins of Charles Darwin

    To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 2009 and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, Melvyn Bragg presents a series about Darwin’s life and work. Melvyn tells the story of Darwin’s early life in Shropshire and discusses the significance of the three years he spent at Cambridge, where his interests shifted from religion to natural science. Featuring contributions from Darwin biographer Jim Moore, geneticist at University College London Steve Jones, fellow of Christ’s College Cambridge David Norman and assistant librarian at Christ’s College Cambridge Colin Higgins.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00g9z9x

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. The Gin Craze

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the craze for gin in Britain in the mid 18th Century and the attempts to control it. With the arrival of William of Orange, it became an act of loyalty to drink Protestant, Dutch gin rather than Catholic brandy, and changes in tariffs made everyday beer less affordable. Within a short time, production increased and large sections of the population that had rarely or never drunk spirits before were consuming two pints of gin a week. As Hogarth indicated in his print ‘Beer Street and Gin Lane’ (1751) in support of the Gin Act, the damage was severe, and addiction to gin was blamed for much of the crime in cities such as London.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084zk6z

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  9. Steven Johnson: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World - The Long Now

    Inventing toward delight

    Humanity has been inventing toward delight for a long time.

    Johnson began with a slide of shell beads found in Morocco that indicate human interest in personal adornment going back 80,000 years.

    He showed 50,000-year-old bone flutes found in modern Slovenia that were tuned to musical intervals we would still recognize.

    Beads and flutes had nothing to do with survival.

    They were art, conforming to Brian Eno’s definition: “Art is everything you don’t have to do.”

    It looks frivolous, but Johnson proposed that the pursuit of delight is one of the prime movers of history—of globalization, innovation, and democratization.

    Consider spices, a seemingly trivial ornament to food.

    In the Babylon of 1700 BCE—3,700 years ago—there were cloves that came all the way from Indonesia,

    5,000 miles away.

    Importing eastern spices become so essential that eventually the trade routes defined the map of Islam.

    Another story from Islamic history: when Baghdad was at its height as one of the world’s most cultured cities around 800 CE, its “House of Wisdom” produced a remarkable text titled “The Book of Ingenious Devices.”

    In it were beautiful schematic drawings of machines years ahead of anything in Europe—clocks, hydraulic instruments, even a water-powered organ with swappable pin-cylinders that was effectively programmable.

    Everything in the book was neither tool nor weapon: they were all toys.

    Consider what happened when cotton arrived in London from India in the late 1600s.

    Besides being more comfortable than itchy British wool, cotton fabric (called calico) could easily be dyed and patterned, and the democratization of fashion took off, along with a massive global trade in cotton and cotton goods.

    Soon there was an annual new look to keep up with.

    And steam-powered looms drove the Industrial Revolution, including the original invention of programmable machinery for Jacquard looms.

    Consider the role of public spaces designed for leisure—taverns, coffee shops, parks.

    Political movements from the American Revolution (Boston’s Green Dragon Tavern) to Gay Rights (Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles) were fomented in bars.

    Whole genres of business and finance came out of the coffee shops of London.

    And once “Nature” was invented by Romantics in the late 1800s, nature-like parks in cities brought delight to urban life, and wilderness became something to protect.

    Play invites us to invent freely.

    —Stewart Brand

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02017/jan/04/wonderland-how-play-made-modern-world/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  10. How Aldus Manutius Saved Civilization with G. Scott Clemons

    On Monday October 26th, Scott Clemons was guest speaker at Type@Cooper in the Herb Lubalin Lecture series and delivered this talk at The Cooper Union. In the last decade of the 15th century, a middle-aged private tutor named Aldus Manutius made the stunning decision to leave the comfortable employ of a noble family and enter the cutthroat world of printing. The implications of that career change reverberate to this day throughout the worlds of textual criticism, book design, typography, book production, copyright law, collecting and classical philology. Whether by accident or design, Aldus’s decision put him in the right place at the right time to apply the relatively new technology of printing with movable type to the difficult task of printing Greek. As a result, virtually the entire surviving Greek canon found its way into print for the first time, and therefore into posterity. G. Scott Clemons has collected the Aldine Press since his days as an undergraduate in the Classics Department at Princeton University. He currently serves as the President of the Grolier Club, Treasurer of the Bibliographical Society of America, and is a past Chairman of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Outside of his bibliophilic interests, Scott is the Chief Investment Strategist of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., a privately-owned investment firm in New York City. Scott curated the exhibition Aldus Manutius: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze, on display at the Grolier Club this past spring, and is the co-author of a companion volume to the exhibition, is available from Oak Knoll Books.

    ===
    Original video: https://vimeo.com/144912861
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:31:07 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by adactio

Page 1 of 23Older