Jacquard loom

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pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler

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Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, automated trading system, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buttonwood tree, Claude Shannon: information theory, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Grace Hopper, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, packet switching, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, railway mania, RAND corporation, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Jacquard even figured out how to create a loop of punched cards so patterns could repeat. A Jacquard loom was destroyed in the public square in Lyon in 1806. It didn’t stop progress - by 1812, there were an amazing 18,000 Jacquard looms in France. Fashion anyone? Jacquard was awarded a lifetime pension by Napoleon and unlike anyone else in this story, Jacquard has a pattern named after him. Jacquard looms made their way to England in the 1820’s and by 1833, there were more than 100,000 working Power Looms. Surprise, surprise, not everyone was excited about this development. Disgruntled weavers in England burnt many a Jacquard loom. Others learned to shut them down by throwing a wooden shoe, known as a sabot in French, into the loom, and so became known as saboteurs. The Jacquard looms were the first mechanical computers used for commerce, as opposed to the Pascaline for finance.

The daughter of poet Lord Byron, the lovely Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was his assistant. This was key in getting government funding. Again, a few models were demonstrated, but like his Difference Engine, the Babbage Analytic Engine never actually worked. Still, he published many papers describing how the engine POSITIVELY ELECTRIC 41 would operate if he built it. Much like the Jacquard loom, it had punch cards that contained the program and that would be fed into the Engine, which would run the program and spit out a result. This was the first idea for a stored-program computer but it would lay dormant until World War II. Babbage’s son played around with models of it late in the century that actually computed pi to 29 places; a carriage jammed while computing the 30th. The Analytic Engine, on paper anyway, was a decimal machine - it did calculations using digits 0 through 9.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

The cards were far easier to manufacture than the metal cylinders, and they could be arranged to create an infinite number of patterns. The automated nature of Jacquard’s loom also made it more than twenty times faster than traditional drawlooms. “Using the Jacquard loom,” James Essinger writes, “it was possible for a skilled weaver to produce two feet of stunningly beautiful decorated silk fabric every day compared with the one inch of fabric per day that was the best that could be managed with the drawloom.” Joseph-Marie Jacquard displaying his loom The Jacquard loom, patented in 1804, stands today as one of the most significant innovations in the history of textile production. But its most important legacy lies in the world of computation. In 1839, Charles Babbage wrote a letter to an astronomer friend in Paris, inquiring about a portrait he had just encountered in London, a portrait that when viewed from across the room seemed to have been rendered in oil paints, but on closer inspection turned out to be woven entirely out of silk.

Others take the sexual conquests: A fine overview of the arguments for the evolutionary roots of music can be found in Daniel J. Levitin’s This Is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession (London: Atlantic Books Ltd., 2011). “We wish to explain,” the brothers: Imad Samir, Allah’s Automata: Artifacts of the Arab-Islamic Renaissance (800-1200) (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2015), 68–86. “Using the Jacquard loom”: James Essinger, Jacquard’s Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age (New York: Oxford University Press, Kindle edition), 38. “You are aware”: Essinger, 47. When his collaborator Ada Lovelace: Quoted in Johnson, How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, 249. A roster of instruments: Tim Carter, “A Florentine Wedding of 1608,” Acta Musicologica 55, Fasc. 1 (1983), 95.

227–30 artists as toolmakers, 175–81 Au Bonheur des Dames (Zola), 43–44 auditory illusions, 158–59, 165–66 automata clockworks, 6–7 Digesting Duck, 7, 79 flute player, 76–79 “Instrument Which Plays by Itself, The,” 73–76, 75 lifelike simulations of individual organisms, 7, 77 “Mechanical Turk,” 14 Writer, the, 7, 8 Babbage, Charles Analytic Engine, 10 Calculating Engine, 82 Difference Engine, 10, 14 On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, 10 inspired by Merlin’s Mechanical Museum, 9, 184, 284 interest in the technology of the Jacquard loom, 80–82 Baghdad (formerly Madinat al-Salam), 1–3 city design, 1–3 House of Wisdom (Bayt al-Hikma), 3 intellectual culture, 3–5 ball, importance of the, 210–15, 211, 212 Ballet Mécanique, 95–98 Balmat, Jacques, 263 Banu Musa, 3–5, 73–76 Banvard, John, 167, 172, 266 Barbon, Nicholas, 30 Barker, Robert, 5, 160–64, 167 baseball Cooperstown, New York, 199–200 lineage of, 199–200 Baudrillard, Jean, 273 Beethoven, Ludwig van, 166 Bellier-Beaumont, Ferréol, 129–30 Berry, Miles, 89 Birth of A Consumer Society, The (McKendrick, Brewer, and Plumb), 37 black belt, the, 33–34 Black Cat Tavern, 242–44 Black Death, 136–37 bodily humors, 134–35 bone flutes, 65–70, 66 Le Bon Marché, 41–46, 45 Book of Games of Chance, The (Cardano), 205, 207 Book of Ingenious Devices, The (Banu Masu), 3–5, 4, 73 Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanisms, The (al-Jazari), 2, 3–5 Boorstin, Daniel, 183 Boucicaut, Aristide, 40, 41–42, 48–49 Bradley, Milton, 195 Brand, Stewart, 219–20 Braudel, Fernand, 39–40 Brewer, John, 37 Brewster, David, 154–56, 156, 160 Brewster Stereoscope, 160 British East India Company, 28 British Magazine, 39 British Museum, 256–57 Brunelleschi, Filippo, 160, 175, 179 brutality of the Dutch regime Bandanese people of the Spice Islands, 119 Caribbean, 120, 120–21 Burrows, Edward G., 234 Burton, Mary, 235 “cabinet of wonders” (Wunderkammerns), 255–57, 256 caffeine as a memory enhancer, 247–48 as a natural weapon of the coffee plant, 247 calico “Calico Madams,” 28 made popular by window displays, 31 vivid colors of chintz and, 26–27, 27 capsaicin, 142 Cardano, Girolamo, 204, 205, 207–209, 222 Carlyle, Thomas, 153 casino games, 221–27 Caxton, William, 188 Cecil, William, 240 celebrities, 182–84 Cessolis, Jacobus de, 187–92, 194 chance.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Thus, even as he wrestled with the complexities of the Analytical Engine, Babbage the economist was never far below the surface. For about two years Babbage struggled with the problem of organizing the calculation—the process we now call programming, but for which Babbage had no word. After toying with various mechanisms, such as the pegged cylinders of barrel organs, he hit upon the Jacquard loom. Invented in 1802, the Jacquard loom had started to come into use in the English weaving and ribbon-making industries in the 1820s. It was a general-purpose device that, when instructed by specially punched cards, could weave infinite varieties of pattern. Babbage envisaged just such an arrangement for his Analytical Engine. Meanwhile, the funding difficulties of the original Difference Engine were still not resolved, and Babbage was asked by the Duke of Wellington—then prime minister—to prepare a written statement.

Lovelace had a poetic turn of phrase, which Babbage never had, and this enabled her to evoke some of the mystery of the Analytical Engine that must have appeared truly remarkable to the Victorian mind: The distinctive characteristic of the Analytical Engine, and that which has rendered it possible to endow mechanism with such extensive faculties as bid fair to make this engine the executive right hand of abstract algebra, is the introduction into it of the principle which Jacquard devised for regulating, by means of punched cards, the most complicated patterns in the fabrication of brocaded stuffs. . . . We may say most aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves. This image of weaving mathematics was an appealing metaphor among the first computer programmers in the 1940s and 1950s. One should note, however, that the extent of Lovelace’s intellectual contribution to the Sketch has been much exaggerated. She has been pronounced the world’s first programmer and even had a programming language (Ada) named in her honor. Later scholarship has shown that most of the technical content and all of the programs in the Sketch were Babbage’s work.

memex as predecessor to, 200 (photo), 278–279, 293 Minitel and, 196 (photo), 269–271 mobile computing, 296–299 privacy issues, 302, 305 privatization of, 291–296 regulation of, 304–305 role in political change, 303–305 social networking, 300–305 See also World Wide Web Internet Explorer, 290–291 Internet service provider (ISP), 290 Iowa State University, 68–70, 79 IT programming language, 174 Jacquard loom, 43, 44, 56 Jenner, Edward, 286 Jobs, Steve Apple Computer co-founded by, 238–241, 249, 251 computer liberation movement and, 234 consumer electronics and, 297–298 Macintosh development and, 261–263 personal computer development and, 229 Kahn, Herman, 137 Kay, Alan, 259, 260, 296 Kemeny, John, 192 (photo), 205–206 Keyboards, 22, 23 Kilburn, Tom, 93 (photo) Kildall, Gary, 246, 264–265, 267–268 Kurtz, Thomas E., 192 (photo), 205–206 Lake, Claire D., 57 Laplace, Pierre-Simon, 5 Laptop computers, 296, 298 Lardner, Dionysius, 45 LCD screens, 296 Learson, T.


pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, Donald Davies, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, zero-sum game

Babbage began the design of the analytical engine in 1834 and was still constructing pieces of it in his own workshops when he was eighty years of age. The engine was designed to be able to manipulate its own internal storage registers while reading and writing to and from an unbounded storage medium—strings of punched pasteboard cards, adapted by Babbage from those used by the card-controlled Jacquard loom. A prototype Jacquard mechanism had been introduced in 1801; some eleven thousand Jacquard looms were in use by 1812. In specifying punched-card peripheral equipment, Babbage set a precedent that stood for 150 years. The technology was proven, available, and suited to performing complex functions on extensive data sets. (One demonstration weaving project, a silk portrait of Jacquard, required a sequence of twenty-four thousand cards.) Babbage designated two species of cards for his machine: operation cards, containing programs to be executed; and variable cards, which indexed the location of data in the machine’s internal store that was to be processed by the mill.

The appearance of Marquand’s “vastly more clear-headed contrivance” prompted Peirce to compose a short paper titled “Logical Machines” (1887), in which he considered “precisely how much of the business of thinking a machine could possibly be made to perform, and what part of it must be left for the living mind.”13 Despite the primitive abilities evidenced so far, Peirce advised consideration of “how to pass from such a machine as that to one corresponding to a Jacquard loom.”14 Ill at ease in more academic surroundings, Peirce spent thirty years working for the U.S. Coast Survey, where his duties included working as a (human) computer on the Nautical Almanac and conducting gravitational research. He compiled large sections of the eight-thousand-page Century Dictionary and was both physically and mentally ambidextrous, able to write out a question and its answer using both hands at the same time.

The punched-card information-processing industry was developed by Herman Hollerith (1860–1929), employed as a special agent for the tenth U.S. census, in 1879. The 1880 census took almost seven years to completely count. If methods were not improved, the 1890 census would not be completed by the time the 1900 census began. Hollerith’s supervisor, Dr. John S. Billings, encouraged his protégé to tabulate data by means of perforated cards, citing the precedent of railway tickets but not Babbage’s engine or the Jacquard loom. Once a card was punched the data could then be read, sorted, and tabulated by machine. As a demonstration project Billings arranged for Hollerith to tabulate vital statistics for the Baltimore Department of Health. Hollerith made the most of this opportunity, although, as his mother-in-law wrote in 1889, “he is completely tired out. He has been punching cards at the rate of 1,000 per day—and each card has at least a dozen holes.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

For the 10 SECRET WAR volume is not only an exquisite nineteenth-century reinterpretation of the medieval book of hours, it is also the unknown—and unknowing—origin point for contemporary screen culture. Manufactured in Lyon by A. Roux between 1886 and 1887, this Livre de prièrs was the first and apparently only woven rather than printed book in bibliographic history.17 Manufactured on the programmable Jacquard loom that enabled French industry to dominate the market for complex textiles, the Livre de prières was so intricate that it required hundreds of thousands of punch cards to produce.18 It took A. Roux fifty tries to create the first salable version of this marvel of mixed technological metaphors, wherein Ariadne meets Gutenberg. The product of an industrial era, it simulated medieval content and anticipated by a century the information age.

campaign, 31 Gould, Stephen Jay, 133 Graphic design, 31, 45, 64, 102, 181n7 Graphic user interface, 161 Great Depression, 107 Great Wall of China, 75 Greek myths, 75, 175 Greenwich Village, 84–85 Grey Album, The (Danger Mouse), 54–55 Gropius, Walter, 36 Guardian syndrome, 85–86 Guggenheim Bilbao, 39 Gulags, 107 Gutenberg press, 11, 137–138 Gysin, Brion, 52 Habits of mind, 9–10 Hackers, 22–23, 54, 67, 69, 162, 170–173 Hartmann, Frank, 125 Harvard Business Review, 112 Harvard Crimson, 36 Hasids, 135 Headline News (CNN), 58 Heidegger, Martin, 29 Heisenberg, Werner, 37 Hello Kitty, 90 Hewlett, Bill, 145, 157 Hewlett-Packard (HP), 149, 153, 172 Hierarchies cultural, 1, 24, 29, 93, 114 technical, 123, 155, 175–176, 189n8 High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), 4, 7–9, 181n6 Hindus, 135 Hip-hop, 53–54, 61 Hirai, Kazumasa, 108 Hiroshima, 100–101 Hitchcock, Alfred, 44 Holocaust, 107 Homebrew Computer Club, 163 Homer, 28, 93–95 Hope (campaign poster), 31 Hosts Berners-Lee and, 144, 167–169, 175 description of term, xv Stallman and, 170–171 Torvalds and, 144, 167–173 World Wide Web and, xv “House of Cards” (Radiohead), 39 Howe, Jeff, 189n14 Hustlers, 156 description of term, xv desktops and, xv Gates and, 144, 162–166, 196n21 Jobs and, 144, 162–167, 186n12, 196n21 Hypercontexts, xvi, 7, 48, 76–77 Hyperlinking, 52–53, 57, 150 205 INDEX Hypertextuality, 51–53, 108, 145, 150, 158, 166, 168 IBM, 145, 170, 195n11 as Big Blue, 156, 164 Gates and, 164–165 650 series and, 154–155 System/360 series and, 155 Watsons and, 144, 153–157, 165–166 Iliad (Homer), 28 I Love Lucy (TV show), 47 India, 135 Individualism, 13, 98 Information, 98 algorithms and, 46, 144, 174–177 bespoke futures and, 100–101, 124– 126, 190n8, 193n34 culture machine and, 143–149, 152– 153, 163, 167–168, 172, 176–178, 196n17, 197n29 downloading/uploading and, 1, 4, 11 Gutenberg press and, 11, 137, 138 mashing and, 25, 54–55, 57, 74 Neurath and, 125 overload of, 81 peer-to-peer networks and, 15, 54, 92, 116, 126 Shannon and, 148 stickiness and, 22–23, 32–35, 184n15 storage and, 47, 60, 153, 196n17 unimodernism and, 45–49, 55, 60, 65–66, 74 Web n.0 and, 80–81, 92 World War II and, 146–147 Information overload, 22, 149 Info-triage, xvi, 20–23, 121, 132, 143 Infoviz, 58 Intel, 149, 156 Intellectual property copyright and, 54, 88–95, 123, 164, 166, 173, 177 Mickey Mouse Protection Act and, 90 public domain and, 91 Interactive environments, xiv, 24, 39, 57, 69, 71, 83, 114–119, 126 Intergalactic Computer Network, 108, 152, 168 International System of Typographic Picture Education, 125 Internet, xiii, 180n1, 184n15 AOL television and, 9 development of computer and, 145, 168–171, 174 stickiness and, 15, 22, 27, 30 unimodernism and, 56 viral distribution and, 30, 56, 169 Web n.0 and, 79, 83, 92 Interpretation of Dreams (Freud), 43–44 Interventionism, 14, 41, 126, 190n8 IOD, 39 IPad, 167 IPhone, 15, 167 Iraq, 100 Islam, 134 Isotypes, 44, 125, 193n34 Israeli settler movement, 135 ITunes, 167 Jackson, Samuel L., 30 Jacobs, Jane, 84–86 Jacquard loom, 11 James, William, 128 Japanese art, xi, 49 Jay Z, 55 Jazz, 25–27, 160 Jevbratt, Lisa, 39 Jobs, Steve, 144, 162–167, 186n12, 196n21 Joyce, James, 94–95 Junk culture, 5–10 Kael, Pauline, 135 Kawai art, xi Kay, Alan, 144, 157, 160–167, 195n16, 206 INDEX as patriarch, 144, 147–148, 151–152, 163, 168 personal computers and, 152 symbiosis and, 151–152 vision of participation by, 151–152 Life hacking, 22 Lincoln Center, 85 Linnaeus, Carolus, 80 Linux, 75, 169–173, 197n27 Livre de prières tissé’ d’apres les enlumineurs des manuscrits du XIVe au XVIe siècle (Roux), 10–11 London, 25–26, 100, 130 Looking Backward (Bellamy), 108 Lorenz, Edward, 117–118 Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (Banham), 10 Lost (TV show), 181n8 Love letter generator, 18–19 Lucky Jim (Amis), 32 Luhrmann, Baz, 60–63 Lynn, Greg, 64 Kay, Alan (continued) 196n17 Kennedy, John F., xi Kino-eye, 44 Kiss (band), 63 “Kitch’s Bebop Calypso” (song), 25–27 Koblin, Aaron, 39 Kodak, 15 Koolhaas, Rem, 49 Koran, 28 Kraus, Karl, 66, 75 Krikalev, Sergei K., 50–51 Kubrick, Stanley, 107 Kuwata, Jiro, 108 Langer, Ellen J., 183n6 Language bespoke futures and, 126, 135 calypso and, 25 hypertextuality and, 51–53, 108, 145, 150, 158, 166, 168 Joyce and, 94 mass culture and, 31 PostScript and, 55–56 Larrey, Dominique Jean, 21 Larson, Jonathan, 61 Latour, Bruno, 130, 185n19 Leary, Timothy, 145 Le Corbusier, 44 Léger, Fernand, 45 Legibility wars, 31 Lehmann, Chris, 184n16 Leibniz, Gottfried, 149 Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Agee and Burroughs), 40–41 Levine, Sherrie, 41 Libertarianism, 13, 98 Library of Congress, 89 Licensing, 164–165 Licklider, J.C.R.

, 71 Spielraum (play space), 75 Spin, 124 Stallman, Richard, 170–171 Stanford, 144, 149, 158–159, 162, 175 Stardust@home, 122–123 Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector (SIDC), 193n33 Sterling, Bruce, 101–102 Stewart, Jimmy, 44 Stickiness defining, 28, 184n15 downloading and, 13–17, 20–23, 27–29, 184n15 duration and, 28 fan culture and, 28–32, 48, 49, 87 gaming and, 70–74 214 INDEX Systems theory, 151 Stickiness (continued) information and, 22–23, 32–35 markets and, 13, 16, 24, 30–33, 37 modernism and, 36 networks and, 16–17, 22, 24, 29–36 obsessiveness and, 28 play and, 32–34, 70–74 power and, 32–34 simulation and, 15–19, 27, 32, 35 Teflon objects and, 28–32, 49, 87 toggling and, 33–34, 43, 102, 197n30 tweaking and, xvi, 32–35, 185nn22,23 unfinish and, 34–37, 76–77 unimodernism and, 70–74 uploading and, 13–17, 20, 23–24, 27–29 Web n.0 and, 79, 87 Stock options, 98 Stone, Linda, 34 Storage, 47, 60, 153, 196n17 Strachey, Christopher, 18–19 Strachey, Lytton, 19 Strange attractors, xvi, 117–120, 192n27 Sturges, Preston, 88 Stutzman, Fred, 22 Stewart, Martha, 49 Suburbs, 3, 8 Suicide bombers, 100–101 Sullivan’s Travels (Sturges), 88 Sun Microsystems, 172, 176 Superflat art, xi, 49 Supersizing, 3–4 Suprematism, 117 Surfing, 20, 80, 180n2 Surrealism, 31 Sutherland, Ivan, 160–161 Swiss Army Knife theory, 17 Symbiosis, 151–152 Synthetism, 117 Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics (Jacobs), 85–86 Take-home consumption, 3 Tarantino, Quentin, 49 Taxonomies, 80–83 Technology analog, 18, 53, 150 anticipated, 108–110 bespoke futures and, 98–104, 107–113, 116, 119, 125–127, 131– 133, 136–139 broadband, 9, 57 cell phones, xiii, xvii, 17, 23, 42, 53, 56, 76, 101 commercial networks and, 4–5 compact discs (CDs), 2, 48, 53 computer mouse, 158–159 culture machine and, 143–163, 173–174 cyberpunk maxim on, 87 determinism and, 131–132 difference engine, 149 digital video discs (DVDs), 2, 7–8, 15, 58 dot-com bubble and, 79, 174 Dynabook, 161–162, 196n17 Ethernet, 161 Exhibition of the Achievement of the Soviet People’s Economy (VDNX) and, 102–105 film cameras, 15 Gutenberg press, 11, 137–138 hierarchical structures and, 123, 155, 175–176, 189n8 historical perspective on computer, 143–178 hypertext and, 158 information overload and, 22, 149 Jacquard loom, 11 mechanical calculator, 149 Metcalfe’s corollary and, 86–87 microfilm, 149–150 215 INDEX Technology (continued) Moore’s law and, 156, 195n13 New Economy and, 97, 99, 104, 131, 138, 144–145, 190n3 personal digital assistants (PDAs), 17 Photoshop, 131 progress and, 132 RFID, 65 secular culture and, 133–139 storage, 47, 60, 153, 196n17 technofabulism and, 99–100 teleconferencing, 158–159 3–D tracking, 39 tweaking and, 32–35, 185nn22,23 videocassette recorders (VCRs), 15, 23 wants vs. needs and, 4 woven books, 10–11 Teflon objects, 28–32, 49, 87 Teleconferencing, 158–159 Television as defining Western culture, 2 aversion to, xii bespoke futures and, 101, 108, 124, 127–129, 133–137 delivery methods for, 2 dominance of, xii, 2–10 downloading and, 2 as drug, xii, 7–9 general audiences and, 8–9 habits of mind and, 9–10 Internet, 9 junk culture and, 5–10 Kennedy and, xi macro, 56–60 marketing fear and, xvii overusage of, 7–9 as pedagogical boon, 14 quality shows and, 7 rejuveniles and, 67 Slow Food and, 6–7 spin-offs and, 48 as time filler, 67 U.S. ownership data on, 180n2 Telnet, 169 “Ten Tips for Successful Scenarios” (Schwartz and Ogilvy), 113 Terrorism, 99–101, 130–131, 134, 137 Textiles, 11 Text-messaging, 82 3COM, 86 3–D tracking, 39 Tiananmen Square, 104 Timecode (Figgis), 58 Time magazine, xii, 145 Time Warner, 63, 91 Tin Pan Alley, 28, 63 Tintin, 90 Toggling, xvi, 33–34, 43, 102, 197n30 Tools for Thought (Rheingold), 145 Torvalds, Linus, 144, 167–173 Tracy, Dick, 108 Traitorous Eight, 156 Trilling, Lionel, 79 Turing, Alan, 17–20, 52, 148 Turing Award, 17, 156 Tweaking, xvi, 32–35, 185nn22,23 20,000 Leagues beneath the Sea (Verne), 108 Twins paradox, 49–50 Twitter, 34, 180n2 2001 (film), 107 Ubiquity, xiii bespoke futures and, 125, 128 culture machine and, 144, 166, 177–178 folksonomies and, 80–81 Freedom software and, 22–23 hotspots and, xiv information overload and, 22, 149 isotypes and, 125 stickiness and, 22–23 unimodernism and, 39, 53, 57–59, 62, 74 216 INDEX simulation and, 39, 49, 53–54, 57, 71–76 soundscape and, 53–55 stickiness and, 70–74 twins paradox and, 49–50 unconscious and, 43–44 unfinish and, 51, 67, 70, 76–78 unimedia and, 39–40 uploading and, 42, 49, 53, 57, 67, 77 WYMIWYM (What You Model Is What You Manufacture) and, 64–67 WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) and, 55–56, 64–65 United States Cuban Missile Crisis and, xi September 11, 2001 and, 99–101, 130 television’s dominance and, 2, 180n2 Universal Resource Locator (URL), 168–169 Universal Turing Machine, 18–19 University of Pennsylvania, 148 University of Utah, 160 UNIX, 170–171 “Untitled (After Walker Evans)” (Levine), 41 Uploading, xiii–xiv, 180nn1,2 activity levels and, 5 animal kingdom and, 1 bespoke futures and, 97, 120–123, 128–129, 132 commercial networks and, 4–5 communication devices and, 15–16 conversation and, 13 cultural hierarchy of, 1–2 culture machine and, 143, 168, 173, 175 disproportionate amount of to downloading, 13 humans and, 1–2 information and, 1, 4, 11 meaningfulness and, xvi, 29 stickiness and, 13–17, 20, 23–24, 27–29 Ubiquity (continued) Web n.0 and, 79–95 Ublopia, 101 Ulysses (Joyce), 94–95 Uncertainty principle, 37 Unfinish, xvi bespoke futures and, 127–129, 136 continuous partical attention and, 34 perpetual beta and, 36 stickiness and, 34–37, 76–77 unimodernism and, 51, 67, 70, 76–78 Web n.0 and, 79, 92 Unimedia, 39–40 Unimodernism Burroughs and, 40–42 common sense and, 44–45 DIY movements and, 67–70 downloading and, 41–42, 49, 54–57, 66–67, 76–77 figure/ground and, 42–43, 46 gaming and, 70–74 hypertextuality and, 51–53 images and, 55–56 information and, 45–49, 55, 60, 65–66, 74 Krikalev and, 50–51 macrotelevision and, 56–60 markets and, 45, 48, 58–59, 71, 75 mashing and, 25, 54–55, 57, 74 mechanization and, 44–45 microcinema and, 56–60 modders and, 69–70 Moulin Rouge and, 60–63 narrative and, 58–59, 67, 71, 76 networks and, 39, 47–48, 54–57, 60, 64–65, 68–69, 73–74 participation and, 54, 66–67, 74–77 perception pops and, 43–49 play and, 67–77 postmodernism and, 39–41, 74 remixing and, 39, 53–54, 62–63, 70 running room and, 74–77 217 INDEX Uploading (continued) unimodernism and, 42, 49, 53, 57, 67, 77 Web n.0 and, 79–83, 86–87, 91 Urban planning, 84–86 U.S.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

For the admission price of a shilling, a visitor could touch the “electrical eel,” listen to lectures on the newest science, and watch a model steamboat cruising a seventy-foot trough and the Perkins steam gun emitting a spray of bullets. For a guinea, she could sit for a “daguerreotype” or “photographic” portrait, by which a faithful and pleasing likeness could be obtained in “less than One Second.”♦ Or she could watch, as young Augusta Ada Byron did, a weaver demonstrating the automated Jacquard loom, in which the patterns to be woven in cloth were encoded as holes punched into pasteboard cards. Ada was “the child of love,” her father had written, “—though born in bitterness, and nurtured in convulsion.”♦ Her father was a poet. When she was barely a month old, in 1816, the already notorious Lord Byron, twenty-seven, and the bright, wealthy, and mathematically knowledgeable Anne Isabella Milbanke (Annabella), twenty-three, separated after a year of marriage.

Inspiring him, as well, was the loom on display in the Strand, invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, controlled by instructions encoded and stored as holes punched in cards. What caught Babbage’s fancy was not the weaving, but rather the encoding, from one medium to another, of patterns. The patterns would appear in damask, eventually, but first were “sent to a peculiar artist.” This specialist, as he said, punches holes in a set of pasteboard cards in such a manner that when those cards are placed in a Jacquard loom, it will then weave upon its produce the exact pattern designed by the artist.♦ The notion of abstracting information away from its physical substrate required careful emphasis. Babbage explained, for example, that the weaver might choose different threads and different colors—“but in all these cases the form of the pattern will be precisely the same.” As Babbage conceived his machine now, it raised this very process of abstraction to higher and higher degrees.

It would be, he said, “a locomotive that lays down its own railway.” Bitter as he was about England’s waning interest in his visionary plans, Babbage found admirers on the continent, particular in Italy—“the country of Archimedes and Galileo,” as he put it to his new friends. In the summer of 1840 he gathered up his sheaves of drawings and journeyed by way of Paris and Lyon, where he watched the great Jacquard loom at Manufacture d’Étoffes pour Ameublements et Ornements d’Église, to Turin, the capital of Sardinia, for an assembly of mathematicians and engineers. There he made his first (and last) public presentation of the Analytical Engine. “The discovery of the Analytical Engine is so much in advance of my own country, and I fear even of the age,”♦ he said. He met the Sardinian king, Charles Albert, and, more significantly, an ambitious young mathematician named Luigi Menabrea.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

By 1837 he had already begun the design of a revolutionary new machine that could perform any calculation. Like the Difference Engine, this new ‘Analytical Engine’ – as he called it – was also inspired by manufacturing. The Analytical Engine Singularity During his studies of manufacturing in England, Babbage had noticed the significant innovations in the textile industry. In 1801, the Jacquard loom8 used punched cards in order to automate the mechanical weaving of very complex patterns. In the separation of the mechanical part of the machine from the patterns to be woven, the Jacquard loom foretold the computing dichotomy between hardware and software; i.e. between the physical medium that executes the processing and the informational ‘pattern’ that is either the set of instructions for the processing, or the object of processing, or both. Furthermore, punched cards could be stitched together to form long tapes of patterns that were input and ‘executed’ by the looms.

When finite differences between the parameters of a difference equation become infinitesimal, then the equations are called ‘differential’ and are fundamental to calculus. 7Difference Engine No. 2 was reconstructed under Doron Swade, the then Curator of Computing at the London Science Museum. Reconstruction took place between 1989 and 1991, in order to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of Babbage’s birth. In 2000, the printer, which Babbage originally designed for the difference engine, was also completed. 8The Jacquard Loom was invented by French weaver and merchant Joseph Marie Charles, nicknamed Jacquard. It was based on an earlier invention by the master of automata, Jacques Vaucanson – of mechanical duck fame. 9The next ‘Turing-complete’ machine after the Analytical Engine would be ENIAC, which was constructed in 1946. 10Ada Lovelace called her notes simply ‘Notes’. 11The Bernoulli numbers are a sequence of rational numbers with many applications in engineering, and of great interest to mathematicians.

A. 61–2, 68 Hofstadter, Douglas 186–8 Hohlenstein Stadel lion-man statuette 3–5, 19–20 holistic approach to knowledge 174–5 holistic scientific methods 41–2 Holocene period 10 Holy Scripture, authority of 113–14 homeostasis 173 Homo erectus 6–7, 8, 10 Homo habilis 6, 12 Homo heidelbergensis 7 Homo sapiens archaic species 7, 8, 10 emergence of modern humans 8 Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals) 4, 7–8, 9–10 Homo sapiens sapiens 9–10 human ancestors aesthetic practices 9 archaic Homo sapiens 7, 8, 10 arrival in Europe 3–5 australopithecines 5, 6, 22 changes in the Upper Palaeolithic Age 9–10, 11 common ancestor with chimpanzees 5 emergence of art in Europe 3–5 emergence of modern humans 8 exodus from Africa 3–4, 6–7, 8–9 Homo erectus 6–7, 8, 10 Homo habilis 6, 12 Homo heidelbergensis 7 Homo sapiens 7, 8, 10 Homo sapiens sapiens 9–10 in Africa 5–7 Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) 4, 7–8, 9–10 Human Brain Project (HBP) xiv–xvi, 164–5, 287 see also brain (human) human culture, approaches to understanding 74–9 human replicas, disturbing feelings caused by 66–73 humanity becoming like machines (cyborgs) 79–85 future of 304–17 Hume, David 139–40 humors theory of life 31–4 humour, and theory of mind 54 Humphrey, Nicholas 11 hunter-gatherer view of the natural world 20–2 hydraulic and pneumatic automata 32–6 IBM (International Business Machines) 230, 263, 264 Ice Age Europe 4, 10, 21–2 iconoclasm 67 idealism versus materialism 92–4 identity theory 144–5 imagined world of the spirits 22–3, 25, 27 inanimate objects, projection of theory of mind 15–18 Incompleteness Theorem (Gödel) 180, 186, 206–9, 211–16 inductive logic 196, 197 information disembodiment of 146–52 significance of context 151–2 the mind as 123–5 information age 232–4 information theory 147–52 Ingold, Tim 20 intelligence, definitions of 48–9, 52 intelligent machines as objects of love 48–59 Internet brain metaphor 43 collection and manipulation of users’ data 250–3 origins of 238 potential for sentience 214–15 Internet of things 251–3 intuition 200, 211 Iron Man (film) 82 Ishiguro, Hiroshi 72 Islam 102 Jacquard loom 225 James, William 162 Johnson, Samuel 140 Kasparov, Garry 263 Kauffman, Stuart 295 Kempelen, Wolfgang von 37 Kline, Nathan 79 Koch, Christof 167–8 Krauss, Lawrence 244–5 Krugman, Paul 269 Kubrick, Stanley 56, 257 Kuhn, Thomas 29, 75 Kurzweil, Ray 126, 270–1 Lang, Fritz 50 language and genesis of the modern mind 13–15 and human relationship with objects 15–18 evolution of 13–15 naming of objects 16–17 LeCun, Yann 255 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm 116–17, 218–20 Lettvin, Jerry 293 liberty, end of 313–17 life algorithms of 292–6 origins of 181–3 Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Tutuola) 19 linguistics, descriptions of reality 75 lion-man statuette of Stadel cave 3–5, 19–20 Llull, Ramon (Doctor Illuminatus) 218 Locke, John 139 locked-in syndrome 307 logic x–xi, 195–202 logical substitution method 180, 183, 186 Lokapannatti (early Buddhist story) 34 London forces 107 love conscious artefacts as objects of 48–59 human need for 55–6 human relationships with androids 53–9 Lovelace, Ada 62, 226–7, 228 Luddites 268 Machine Intelligence Research Institute 58–9 machine metaphor for life 36–8 Magdalenian period 21 magnetoencephalography (MEG) 159–60, 161 Maillardet, Henri 218 Marconi, Guglielmo 239 Maria (robot in Metropolis) 50, 51 Marlowe, Christopher 63 Mars colonisation 291 Marx, Groucho 205 materialism versus idealism 92–4 mathematical dematerialisation view 92 mathematical foundations of the universe 103–6 mathematical reflexivity 186–7 mathematics 31 formal logical systems 200–11 views on the nature of 136 Maturana, Humberto 294 McCarthy, John 256, 307 McCorduck, Pamela 45, 67 McCulloch, Warren S. 36, 175, 176–8, 256, 293 Mead, Margaret 175 mechanical metaphor for life 36–8 mechanical Turk 37 medicine, development of 31–2 meditation 157 memristors 286–7 Menabrea, Luigi 226, 227 Mesmer, Franz Anton 40 mesmerism 40 Mesopotamian civilisations 30 metacognition 184 metamathematics 202, 205, 207 metaphors confusing with the actual 44–5 for life and the mind 28–47 in general-purpose language 75 misunderstanding caused by 308–13 Metropolis (1927 film) 50, 51 Middle Palaeolithic 6 Miller, George 154, 155 Milton, John 1 mind altered states 110, 111 as pure information 123–5 aspects of 85–7 debate over the nature of 91–4 disembodiment of 42 empirical approach 143–6 quantum hypothesis 106–9 scientific theory of 152–3 search for a definition 189–91 self-awareness 86–7 separate from the body 110–15 view of Aristotole 137–8 mind-body problem 32, 114–19, 129–31 Minsky, Marvin 178, 256 modern mind big bang of 10, 12–15 birth of 10–15 impacts of the evolution of language 13–15 monads 117, 119 monism versus dualism 92–3 Moore’s Law 244–5, 263, 270–1, 287 moral decision-making 277–8 Moravec paradox 275–6 Morris, Ian 222 Morse, Samuel 42 mud metaphor for life 29–31, 45 My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (music album) 19 Nabokov, Vladimir 167 Nagel, Thomas 120, 121 Nariokotome boy 7 narratives 18–27, 75 see also metaphor Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) 4, 7–8, 9–10 Negroponte, Nicholas 243–4 neopositivism 141 neural machines 282–7 neural networks theory 36 neural synapses, functioning of 117–19 neuristors 286–7 neurodegenerative diseases xiii–xiv, 163–4 Neuromancer (Gibson) 36 neuromorphic computer archtectures 286–7 neurons, McCulloch and Pitts model 177–8 neuroscience 158, 306–8 Newton, Isaac 38, 103 Nike’s Fuel Band 81 noetic machines (Darwins) 284 nootropic drugs 81 Nouvelle AI concept 288 Offray de La Mettrie, Julien 37 Ogawa, Seiji 158–9 Omo industrial complex 6 On the Origin of Species (Darwin) 289–90 ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’ concept 10 Otlet, Paul 239–40 out-of-body experiences 110–11 Ovid 49, 64 Paley, William 289 panpsychism 92, 117, 252 paradigm shifts 75 in the concept of life 29–47 Pascal, Blaise 219–20 Penrose, Roger 106–9, 117, 211–12, 214 Pert, Candace B. 170 physics, gaps in the Standard Model 105 Piketty, Thomas 267, 269 pineal gland 115–16 Pinker, Steven 13, 275 Pinocchio story 56 Pitts, Walter 36, 177–8, 256, 293 Plato 134, 143, 152, 176, 189, 305 central role of mathematics 103–6 idea of reality 78, 83 influence of 95–106 notion of philosopher-kings 98–9 separation of body and mind 112 The Republic 97–101, 309, 310 theory of forms 99–101, 104, 106 Platonism 101–2, 135–7, 139, 142, 146, 147, 182, 189, 190, 242–3, 296 Pleistocene epoch 7 Poe, Edgar Allan 79 Polidori, John William 60, 62 Popov, Alexander 239 Popper, Karl 98 Porter, Rodney 282 posthuman existence 147 postmodernism 208 post-structuralist philosophers 75–9 precautionary principle 64–5 predicate logic 198–200, 206 Principia Mathematica 205–6, 207 Prometheus 29–30, 63–4 psychoanalysis 50 psychons 118, 119 Pygmalion narrative 49–52 qualia of consciousness 120–3, 157 Quantified Self movement 81–2 quantum hypothesis for consciousness 106–9 quantum tunnelling 118–19 Ramachandran, Vilayanur 70 rationalism 116 Reagan, President Ronald 237 reality, impact of acquisition of language 15–18 reductionism 41–2, 104–5, 121, 184 reflexivity 183–4, 186–9 religions condemnation of human replicas 67 seeds of 22–3, 25–6 Renaissance 34, 103, 139, 218 RepRap machines 290 res cogitans (mental substance) 38, 113–14 res extensa (corporeal substance) 38, 113–14 resurrection beliefs 126–7 RoboCop 80 robot swarm experiments 287–8 robots human attitudes towards 50–1 rebellion against humans 53, 57–9 self-replication 289–92 see also androids Rochester, Nathaniel 256 Romans 31 Rubenstein, Michael 287–8, 291 Russell, Bertrand viii, 92, 198, 204, 205–6, 207, 208, 215 Russell, Stuart 270 Sagan, Carl 133 Saygin, Ayse Pinar 69 science as a cultural product 75–9 influence of Aristotle 134–8 influence of Descartes 113–19 influence of Plato see Plato scientific method 102–5, 121 scientific paradigms 75 scientific reasoning, as unnatural to us 133–4, 137 scientific theory, definition 166, 196 Scott, Ridley 53 Searle, John, Chinese Room experiment 52, 71 Second Commandment (Bible) 67 second machine age, impact of AI 266–9 Second World War 234–6 self-awareness 16, 86–7, 157, 215–16, 273–5 self-driving vehicles 263–4 self-organisation in cybernetic systems 273–4 in living things 292 self-referencing 186–9, 215–16 see also reflexivity self-referencing paradoxes 204–6 self-replicating machines/systems 179–82, 289–92 sensorimotor skills, deficiency in AI 275–6 servers, dependence on 245–9 Shannon, Claude 147–52, 154, 176, 230–1, 256 Shaw, George Bernard Shaw 49–50 Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein 40, 60–5, 165 Shelley, Percy Bysshe 60, 62, 63–4 Shickard, Wilhem 219 Silvester II, Pope 35 Simmons, Dan 160 simulated universe concept 127–9 smart drugs 81 Snow, C.


pages: 372 words: 101,174

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

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Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, brain emulation, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer age, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, George Gilder, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, linear programming, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

That perspective goes a long way, in my view, toward explaining the outcome of the war. There is actually one genuine forerunner to von Neumann’s concept, and it comes from a full century earlier! English mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage’s (1791–1871) Analytical Engine, which he first described in 1837, did incorporate von Neumann’s ideas and featured a stored program via punched cards borrowed from the Jacquard loom.4 Its random access memory included 1,000 words of 50 decimal digits each (the equivalent of about 21 kilobytes). Each instruction included an op code and an operand number, just like modern machine languages. It did include conditional branching and looping, so it was a true von Neumann machine. It was based entirely on mechanical gears and it appears that the Analytical Engine was beyond Babbage’s design and organizational skills.

She wrote programs for the Analytical Engine, which she needed to debug in her own mind (since the computer never worked), a practice well known to software engineers today as “table checking.” She translated an article by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea on the Analytical Engine and added extensive notes of her own, writing that “the Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns, just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.” She went on to provide perhaps the first speculations on the feasibility of artificial intelligence, but concluded that the Analytical Engine has “no pretensions whatever to originate anything.” Babbage’s conception is quite miraculous when you consider the era in which he lived and worked. However, by the mid-twentieth century, his ideas had been lost in the mists of time (although they were subsequently rediscovered).

., 34 Human Connectome Project, 129 human genome, see genome, human Human Genome Project, 251, 273 humans: merger of intelligent technology with, 266–72, 276, 279–82 tool-making ability of, 3, 27, 276, 279 Hume, David, 234–35 IBM, 6–7, 108, 128, 165–66 Cognitive Computing Group of, 195 ideas, recursive linking of, 3 identity, 10, 11, 240–47 as pattern continuity, 246, 247 thought experiments on, 242–47 importance parameters, 42, 60, 66, 67 incompatibilism, 234, 236 incompleteness, Gödel’s theorem of, 187, 207–8 inference engines, 162–63 information, encoding of: in DNA, 2, 17, 122 evolution and, 2 in human genome, 90, 147, 155, 271, 314n–15n information structures, carbon-based, 2 information technologies: exponential growth of, 278–79 LOAR and, 4, 249–57, 252, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 261 inhibitory signals, 42, 52–53, 67, 85, 91, 100, 173 insula, 99–100, 99, 110 integrated circuits, 85 Intel, 268 intelligence, 1–2 emotional, 110, 194, 201, 213 as evolutionary goal, 76–78, 277, 278 evolution of, 177 as problem-solving ability, 277 International Dictionary of Psychology (Sutherland), 211 “International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors,” 268 Internet, exponential growth of, 254 Interpretation of Dreams, The (Freud), 66 intuition, linear nature of, 266 invariance, in pattern recognition, 30, 59–61, 133, 135, 137, 175 and computer emulation of brain, 197 one-dimensional representations of data and, 141–42 vector quantization and, 141 inventors, timing and, 253, 255 I, Robot (film), 210 Jacquard loom, 189, 190 James, William, 75–76, 98–99 Jeffers, Susan, 104 Jennings, Ken, 157–58, 165 Jeopardy! (TV show), 6–7, 108, 157–58, 160, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 172, 178, 232–33, 270 Joyce, James, 55 Kasparov, Garry, 39, 166 K Computer, 196 knowledge bases: AI systems and, 4, 6–7, 170–71, 246, 247 of digital neocortex, 177 exponential growth of, 3 as inherently hierarchical, 220 language and, 3 professional, 39–40 as recursively linked ideas, 3 Kodandaramaiah, Suhasa, 126 Koene, Randal, 89 Koltsov, Nikolai, 16 Kotler, Steven, 278 KurzweilAI.net, 161 Kurzweil Applied Intelligence, 144 Kurzweil Computer Products, 122 Kurzweil Voice, 160 lamina 1 neurons, 97 language: chimpanzees and, 3, 41 and growth of knowledge base, 3 hierarchical nature of, 56, 159, 162, 163 as metaphor, 115 as translation of thinking, 56, 68 language software, 51, 72–73, 92, 115–16, 122–23, 144–45, 145, 156, 157–72, 174, 270 expert managers in, 166–67 hand-coded rules in, 164–65, 166, 168 HHMMs in, 167–68 hierarchical systems in, 162–65 Larson, Gary, 277 “Last Voyage of the Ghost, The” (García Márquez), 3–4 lateral geniculate nucleus, 95, 100 law of accelerating returns (LOAR), 4, 6, 7, 41, 123 as applied to human brain, 261–63, 263, 264, 265 biomedicine and, 251, 252, 253 communication technology and, 253, 254 computation capacity and, 281, 316n–19n information technology and, 4, 249–57, 252, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 261 objections to, 266–82 predictions based on, 256–57, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261 and unlikelihood of other intelligent species, 5 “Law of Accelerating Returns, The” (Kurzweil), 267 laws of thermodynamics, 37, 267 learning, 61–65, 122, 155, 273–74 conditionals in, 65 and difficulty of grasping more than one conceptual level at a time, 65 in digital neocortex, 127–28, 175–76 environment and, 119 Hebbian, 80 hierarchical, 164, 195, 197 in neural nets, 132–33 neurological basis of, 79–80 pattern recognition as basic unit of, 80–81 of patterns, 63–64, 90 recognition as simultaneous with, 63 simultaneous processing in, 63, 146 legal systems, consciousness as basis of, 212–13 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, 34, 223 Lenat, Douglas, 162 Leviathan (Hobbes), 278 Lewis, Al, 93 Libet, Benjamin, 229–30, 231, 234 light, speed of, 281 Einstein’s thought experiments on, 18–23 linear programming, 64 LISP (LISt Processor), 153–55, 163 pattern recognition modules compared with, 154, 155 Lloyd, Seth, 316n, 317n Loebner, Hugh, 298n Loebner Prize, 298n logic, 38–39 logical positivism, 220 logic gates, 185 Lois, George, 113 love, 117–20 biochemical changes associated with, 118–19 evolutionary goals and, 119 pattern recognition modules and, 119–20 “Love Is the Drug,” 118 Lovelace, Ada Byron, Countess of, 190, 191 lucid dreaming, 72, 287n–88n Lyell, Charles, 14–15, 114, 177 McCarthy, John, 153 McClelland, Shearwood, 225 McGinn, Colin, 200 magnetic data storage, growth in, 261, 301n–3n magnetoencephalography, 129 Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, 189 Mandelbrot set, 10–11, 10 Marconi, Guglielmo, 253 Mark 1 Perceptron, 131–32, 134, 135, 189 Markov, Andrei Andreyevich, 143 Markram, Henry, 80–82, 124–27, 129 mass equivalent, of energy, 22–23 Mathematica, 171 “Mathematical Theory of Communication, A” (Shannon), 184 Mauchly, John, 189 Maudsley, Henry, 224 Maxwell, James Clerk, 20 Maxwell, Robert, 225 Mead, Carver, 194–95 medial geniculate nucleus, 97, 100 medicine, AI and, 6–7, 39, 108, 156, 160–61, 168 memes: consciousness as, 211, 235 free will as, 235 memory, in computers, 185, 259, 260, 268, 301n–3n, 306n–7n memory, memories, human: abstract concepts in, 58–59 capacity of, 192–93 computers as extensions of, 169 consciousness vs., 28–29, 206–7, 217 dimming of, 29, 59 hippocampus and, 101–2 as ordered sequences of patterns, 27–29, 54 redundancy of, 59 unexpected recall of, 31–32, 54, 68–69 working, 101 Menabrea, Luigi, 190 metacognition, 200, 201 metaphors, 14–15, 113–17, 176–77 Michelson, Albert, 18, 19, 36, 114 Michelson-Morley experiment, 19, 36, 114 microtubules, 206, 207, 208, 274 Miescher, Friedrich, 16 mind, 11 pattern recognition theory of (PRTM), 5–6, 8, 11, 34–74, 79, 80, 86, 92, 111, 172, 217 thought experiments on, 199–247 mind-body problem, 221 Minsky, Marvin, 62, 133–35, 134, 199, 228 MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 134 MIT Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, 101 MobilEye, 159 modeling, complexity and, 37–38 Modha, Dharmendra, 128, 195, 271–72 momentum, 20–21 conservation of, 21–22 Money, John William, 118, 119 montane vole, 119 mood, regulation of, 106 Moore, Gordon, 251 Moore’s law, 251, 255, 268 moral intelligence, 201 moral systems, consciousness as basis of, 212–13 Moravec, Hans, 196 Morley, Edward, 18, 19, 36, 114 Moskovitz, Dustin, 156 motor cortex, 36, 99 motor nerves, 99 Mountcastle, Vernon, 36, 37, 94 Mozart, Leopold, 111 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 111, 112 MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), 129 spatial resolution of, 262–65, 263, 309n MT (V5) visual cortex region, 83, 95 Muckli, Lars, 225 music, as universal to human culture, 62 mutations, simulated, 148 names, recalling, 32 National Institutes of Health, 129 natural selection, 76 geologic process as metaphor for, 14–15, 114, 177 see also evolution Nature, 94 nematode nervous system, simulation of, 124 neocortex, 3, 7, 77, 78 AI reverse-engineering of, see neocortex, digital bidirectional flow of information in, 85–86, 91 evolution of, 35–36 expansion of, through AI, 172, 266–72, 276 expansion of, through collaboration, 116 hierarchical order of, 41–53 learning process of, see learning linear organization of, 250 as metaphor machine, 113 neural leakage in, 150–51 old brain as modulated by, 93–94, 105, 108 one-dimensional representations of multidimensional data in, 53, 66, 91, 141–42 pattern recognition in, see pattern recognition pattern recognizers in, see pattern recognition modules plasticity of, see brain plasticity prediction by, 50–51, 52, 58, 60, 66–67, 250 PRTM as basic algorithm of, 6 pruning of unused connections in, 83, 90, 143, 174 redundancy in, 9, 224 regular grid structure of, 82–83, 84, 85, 129, 262 sensory input in, 58, 60 simultaneous processing of information in, 193 specific types of patterns associated with regions of, 86–87, 89–90, 91, 111, 152 structural simplicity of, 11 structural uniformity of, 36–37 structure of, 35–37, 38, 75–92 as survival mechanism, 79, 250 thalamus as gateway to, 100–101 total capacity of, 40, 280 total number of neurons in, 230 unconscious activity in, 228, 231, 233 unified model of, 24, 34–74 as unique to mammalian brain, 93, 286n universal processing algorithm of, 86, 88, 90–91, 152, 272 see also cerebral cortex neocortex, digital, 6–8, 41, 116–17, 121–78, 195 benefits of, 123–24, 247 bidirectional flow of information in, 173 as capable of being copied, 247 critical thinking module for, 176, 197 as extension of human brain, 172, 276 HHMMs in, 174–75 hierarchical structure of, 173 knowledge bases of, 177 learning in, 127–28, 175–76 metaphor search module in, 176–77 moral education of, 177–78 pattern redundancy in, 175 simultaneous searching in, 177 structure of, 172–78 virtual neural connections in, 173–74 neocortical columns, 36–37, 38, 90, 124–25 nervous systems, 2 neural circuits, unreliability of, 185 neural implants, 243, 245 neural nets, 131–35, 144, 155 algorithm for, 291n–97n feedforward, 134, 135 learning in, 132–33 neural processing: digital emulation of, 195–97 massive parallelism of, 192, 193, 195 speed of, 192, 195 neuromorphic chips, 194–95, 196 neuromuscular junction, 99 neurons, 2, 36, 38, 43, 80, 172 neurotransmitters, 105–7 new brain, see neocortex Newell, Allen, 181 New Kind of Science, A (Wolfram), 236, 239 Newton, Isaac, 94 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 117 nonbiological systems, as capable of being copied, 247 nondestructive imaging techniques, 127, 129, 264, 312n–13n nonmammals, reasoning by, 286n noradrenaline, 107 norepinephrine, 118 Notes from Underground (Dostoevsky), 199 Nuance Speech Technologies, 6–7, 108, 122, 152, 161, 162, 168 nucleus accumbens, 77, 105 Numenta, 156 NuPIC, 156 obsessive-compulsive disorder, 118 occipital lobe, 36 old brain, 63, 71, 90, 93–108 neocortex as modulator of, 93–94, 105, 108 sensory pathway in, 94–98 olfactory system, 100 Oluseun, Oluseyi, 204 OmniPage, 122 One Hundred Years of Solitude (García Márquez), 283n–85n On Intelligence (Hawkins and Blakeslee), 73, 156 On the Origin of Species (Darwin), 15–16 optical character recognition (OCR), 122 optic nerve, 95, 100 channels of, 94–95, 96 organisms, simulated, evolution of, 147–53 overfitting problem, 150 oxytocin, 119 pancreas, 37 panprotopsychism, 203, 213 Papert, Seymour, 134–35, 134 parameters, in pattern recognition: “God,” 147 importance, 42, 48–49, 60, 66, 67 size, 42, 49–50, 60, 61, 66, 67, 73–74, 91–92, 173 size variability, 42, 49–50, 67, 73–74, 91–92 Parker, Sean, 156 Parkinson’s disease, 243, 245 particle physics, see quantum mechanics Pascal, Blaise, 117 patch-clamp robotics, 125–26, 126 pattern recognition, 195 of abstract concepts, 58–59 as based on experience, 50, 90, 273–74 as basic unit of learning, 80–81 bidirectional flow of information in, 52, 58, 68 distortions and, 30 eye movement and, 73 as hierarchical, 33, 90, 138, 142 of images, 48 invariance and, see invariance, in pattern recognition learning as simultaneous with, 63 list combining in, 60–61 in neocortex, see pattern recognition modules redundancy in, 39–40, 57, 60, 64, 185 pattern recognition modules, 35–41, 42, 90, 198 autoassociation in, 60–61 axons of, 42, 43, 66, 67, 113, 173 bidirectional flow of information to and from thalamus, 100–101 dendrites of, 42, 43, 66, 67 digital, 172–73, 175, 195 expectation (excitatory) signals in, 42, 52, 54, 60, 67, 73, 85, 91, 100, 112, 173, 175, 196–97 genetically determined structure of, 80 “God parameter” in, 147 importance parameters in, 42, 48–49, 60, 66, 67 inhibitory signals in, 42, 52–53, 67, 85, 91, 100, 173 input in, 41–42, 42, 53–59 love and, 119–20 neural connections between, 90 as neuronal assemblies, 80–81 one-dimensional representation of multidimensional data in, 53, 66, 91, 141–42 prediction by, 50–51, 52, 58, 60, 66–67 redundancy of, 42, 43, 48, 91 sequential processing of information by, 266 simultaneous firings of, 57–58, 57, 146 size parameters in, 42, 49–50, 60, 61, 66, 67, 73–74, 91–92, 173 size variability parameters in, 42, 67, 73–74, 91–92, 173 of sounds, 48 thresholds of, 48, 52–53, 60, 66, 67, 111–12, 173 total number of, 38, 40, 41, 113, 123, 280 universal algorithm of, 111, 275 pattern recognition theory of mind (PRTM), 5–6, 8, 11, 34–74, 79, 80, 86, 92, 111, 172, 217 patterns: hierarchical ordering of, 41–53 higher-level patterns attached to, 43, 45, 66, 67 input in, 41, 42, 44, 66, 67 learning of, 63–64, 90 name of, 42–43 output of, 42, 44, 66, 67 redundancy and, 64 specific areas of neocortex associated with, 86–87, 89–90, 91, 111, 152 storing of, 64–65 structure of, 41–53 Patterns, Inc., 156 Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich, 216 Penrose, Roger, 207–8, 274 perceptions, as influenced by expectations and interpretations, 31 perceptrons, 131–35 Perceptrons (Minsky and Papert), 134–35, 134 phenylethylamine, 118 Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein), 221 phonemes, 61, 135, 137, 146, 152 photons, 20–21 physics, 37 computational capacity and, 281, 316n–19n laws of, 37, 267 standard model of, 2 see also quantum mechanics Pinker, Steven, 76–77, 278 pituitary gland, 77 Plato, 212, 221, 231 pleasure, in old and new brains, 104–8 Poggio, Tomaso, 85, 159 posterior ventromedial nucleus (VMpo), 99–100, 99 prairie vole, 119 predictable outcomes, determined outcomes vs., 26, 239 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 269 price/performance, of computation, 4–5, 250–51, 257, 257, 267–68, 301n–3n Principia Mathematica (Russell and Whitehead), 181 probability fields, 218–19, 235–36 professional knowledge, 39–40 proteins, reverse-engineering of, 4–5 qualia, 203–5, 210, 211 quality of life, perception of, 277–78 quantum computing, 207–9, 274 quantum mechanics, 218–19 observation in, 218–19, 235–36 randomness vs. determinism in, 236 Quinlan, Karen Ann, 101 Ramachandran, Vilayanur Subramanian “Rama,” 230 random access memory: growth in, 259, 260, 301n–3n, 306n–7n three-dimensional, 268 randomness, determinism and, 236 rationalization, see confabulation reality, hierarchical nature of, 4, 56, 90, 94, 172 recursion, 3, 7–8, 56, 65, 91, 153, 156, 177, 188 “Red” (Oluseum), 204 redundancy, 9, 39–40, 64, 184, 185, 197, 224 in genome, 271, 314n, 315n of memories, 59 of pattern recognition modules, 42, 43, 48, 91 thinking and, 57 religious ecstacy, 118 “Report to the President and Congress, Designing a Digital Future” (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology), 269 retina, 95 reverse-engineering: of biological systems, 4–5 of human brain, see brain, human, computer emulation of; neocortex, digital Rosenblatt, Frank, 131, 133, 134, 135, 191 Roska, Boton, 94 Rothblatt, Martine, 278 routine tasks, as series of hierarchical steps, 32–33 Rowling, J.


pages: 238 words: 46

When Things Start to Think by Neil A. Gershenfeld

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Bretton Woods, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Dynabook, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, invention of movable type, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, means of production, new economy, Nick Leeson, packet switching, RFID, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

Lazarus, Inst. Imp. (Acad. Moral.) Paris Corr., Acad. Amer. Art. et Sc. Boston, Reg. Oecon. Boruss., Phys. Hist. Nat. Genev., Acad. Reg. Monac., Hafn., Massi!., et Divion., Socius. Acad. Imp. et Reg. Petrop., Neap., Brux., Patav., Georg. Floren., Lyncei. Rom., Mut., Philomath. Paris, Soc. Corr., etc." No hidden compartments for him. Babbage set out to make the first digital computer, inspired by the Jacquard looms of his day. The patterns woven into fabrics by these giant machines were programmed by holes punched in cards that were fed to them. Babbage realized that the instructions could just as well represent the sequence of instructions needed to perform a mathematical calculation. His first machine was the Difference Engine, intended to evaluate quantities such as the trigonometric functions used by mariners to interpret their sextant readings.

This was to be a machine that could reason with abstract concepts and not just numbers. Babbage and his accomplice, Lady Ada Lovelace, realized that an engine could just as well manipulate the symbols of a mathematical formula. Its mechanism could embody the rules for, say, calculus and punch out the result of a derivation. As Lady Lovelace put it, "the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard Loom weaves flowers and leaves." Although Babbage's designs were correct, following them went well beyond the technological means of his day. But they had an enormous impact by demonstrating that a mechanical system could perform what appear to be intelligent operations. Darwin was most impressed by the complex behavior that Babbage's engines could display, helping steer him to the recognition that biological organization might have a mechanistic explanation.


pages: 261 words: 81,802

The Trouble With Billionaires by Linda McQuaig

battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, very high income, wealth creators, women in the workforce

These were inserted into the loom, where metal rods attached to individual threads would hit against them. If a rod encountered a hole in a card, it would activate a thread; if it encountered solid card, it would do nothing. So the actions of the loom were determined by the placement of a series of holes in the punched cards. With the insertion of the cards, the loom could effectively be programmed to carry out the complex weaving tasks on its own. The Jacquard loom, notes technology historian James Essinger, ‘was a machine of a caliber and sophistication that had never been seen before. In fact, when it was patented in 1804, it was unquestionably the most ‌complex mechanism in the world’.3 Its punched-card technology was the germ of the idea for the computer. (Indeed, the first computers Gates worked on as a student still used punched cards.) Jacquard’s loom was the inspiration for an ambitious calculating machine that is now considered to be a Victorian-age ‘computer’.

In the same way that Jacquard had used punched cards to control the metal rods on his loom, Babbage’s machine used punched cards to control metal rods that in turn activated cogwheels carrying out calculating functions. His ‘Analytical Engine’ even had a memory, which he called ‘the store’, and a processor, which he called the ‘mill’. Babbage openly acknowledged that his idea was derived from Jacquard, even displaying a magnificent portrait of the French weaver in his home, made of silk using the Jacquard loom. While Babbage developed highly sophisticated portions of his machine, as well as detailed plans and drawings for its completion, he failed to make it actually operational. More than a century and a half later, in 2004, scientists built a full model of his extraordinary apparatus – with eight thousand parts and weighing five tons – based faithfully on his drawings. Babbage is now considered the father of the modern computer.


pages: 566 words: 122,184

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold

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Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Eratosthenes, Grace Hopper, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Daguerre, millennium bug, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

To subtract, the nines' complement had to be added the way that I demonstrated in Chapter 13. Successful mechanical calculators that real people could use weren't available until the late nineteenth century. One curious invention that was to have a later influence on the history of computing—as well as a profound influence on the textile industry—was an automated loom developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752–1834). The Jacquard loom (circa 1801) used metal cards with holes punched in them (much like those of a player piano) to control the weaving of patterns in fabrics. Jacquard's own tour de force was a self-portrait in black and white silk that required about 10,000 cards. In the eighteenth century (and indeed up to the 1940s), a computer was a person who calculated numbers for hire. Tables of logarithms were always needed, and trigonometric tables were essential for nautical navigation using the stars and planets.

What's most intriguing about the Analytical Engine is that it could be programmed using cards that were adapted from the cards used in the Jacquard pattern-weaving loom. As Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852), put it (in notes to her translation of an article written by an Italian mathematician about Babbage's Analytical Engine), "We may say that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves." Babbage seems to be the first person to understand the importance of a conditional jump in computers. Here's Ada Byron again: "A cycle of operations, then, must be understood to signify any set of operations which is repeated more than once. It is equally a cycle, whether it be repeated twice only, or an indefinite number of times; for it is the fact of a repetition occurring at all that constitutes it such.

Fearing that the 1890 census would take longer than a decade to process, the Census Office explored the possibility of automating the system and chose machinery developed by Herman Hollerith (1860–1929), who had worked as a statistician for the 1880 census. Hollerith's plan involved manila punch cards 6 ⅝ x 3 ¼ inches in size. (It's unlikely that Hollerith knew about Charles Babbage's use of cards to program his Analytical Engine, but he was almost certainly familiar with the use of cards in the Jacquard loom.) The holes in these cards were organized into 24 columns of 12 positions each, for a total of 288 positions. These positions represented certain characteristics of a person being tallied in the census. The census taker indicated these characteristics by punching ¼-inch square holes into the appropriate positions on the card. This book has probably so accustomed you to thinking in terms of binary codes that you might immediately assume that a card with 288 possible punches is capable of storing 288 bits of information.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

Automated machines existed before World War II. James Watt’s steam engine, the original prime mover of the Industrial Revolution, incorporated an ingenious feedback device—the fly-ball governor—that enabled it to regulate its own operation. As the engine sped up, it rotated a pair of metal balls, creating a centrifugal force that pulled a lever to close a steam valve, keeping the engine from running too fast. The Jacquard loom, invented in France around 1800, used steel punch cards to control the movements of spools of different-colored threads, allowing intricate patterns to be woven automatically. In 1866, a British engineer named J. Macfarlane Gray patented a steamship steering mechanism that was able to register the movement of a boat’s helm and, through a gear-operated feedback system, adjust the angle of the rudder to maintain a set course.41 But the development of fast computers, along with other sensitive electronic controls, opened a new chapter in the history of machines.

., 153–76 Human Condition, The (Arendt), 108, 227–28 humanism, 159–61, 164, 165 Human Use of Human Beings, The (Wiener), 37, 38 Huth, John Edward, 216–17 iBeacon, 136 IBM, 27, 118–20, 195 IBM Systems Journal, 194–95 identity, 205–6 IEX, 171 Illingworth, Leslie, 19, 33 imagination, 25, 121, 124, 142, 143, 215 inattentional blindness, 130 industrial planners, 37 Industrial Revolution, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 106, 159, 195 Infiniti, 8 information, 68–74, 76–80, 166 automation complacency and bias and, 68–72 health, 93–106, 113 information overload, 90–92 information underload, 90–91 information workers, 117–18 infrastructure, 195–99 Ingold, Tim, 132 integrated development environments (IDEs), 78 Intel, 203 intelligence, 137, 151 automation of, 118–20 human vs. artificial, 11, 118–20 interdependent networks, 155 internet, 12–13, 33n, 176, 188 internet of things, 195 Introduction to Mathematics, An, (Whitehead), 65 intuition, 105–6, 120 Inuit hunters, 125–27, 131, 217–20 invention, 161, 174, 214 iPads, 136, 153, 203 iPhones, 13, 136 Ironstone Group, 116 “Is Drawing Dead?” (symposium), 144 Jacquard loom, 36 Jainism, 185 Jefferson, Thomas, 160, 222 Jeopardy! (quiz show), 118–19, 121 Jobless Future, The (Aronowitz and DiFazio), 27–28 jobs, 14–17, 27–33, 85, 193 automation’s altering of, 67, 112–20 blue-collar, 28, 109 creating, 31, 32, 33 growth of, 28, 30, 32 loss of, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31, 40, 59, 115–18, 227 middle class, 27, 31, 32, 33n white-collar, 28, 30, 32, 40, 109 Jobs, Steve, 194 Jones, Michael, 132, 136–37, 151 Kasparov, Garry, 12 Katsuyama, Brad, 171 Kay, Rory, 58 Kelly, Kevin, 153, 225, 226 Kennedy, John, 27, 33 Kessler, Andy, 153 Keynes, John Maynard, 26–27, 66, 224, 227 Khosla, Vinod, 153–54 killing, robots and, 184, 185, 187–93 “Kitty Hawk” (Frost), 215 Klein, Gary, 123 Knight Capital Group, 156 know-how, 74, 76, 115, 122–23 knowledge, 74, 76, 77, 79, 80–81, 84, 85, 111, 121, 123, 131, 148, 153, 206, 214, 215 design, 144 explicit (declarative), 9, 10–11, 83 geographic, 128 medicine and, 100, 113, 123 tacit (procedural), 9–11, 83, 105, 113, 144 knowledge workers, 17, 148 Kool, Richard, 228–29 Korzybski, Alfred, 220 Kroft, Steve, 29 Krueger, Alan, 30–31 Krugman, Paul, 32–33 Kurzweil, Ray, 181, 200 labor, 227 abridging of, 23–25, 28–31, 37, 96 costs of, 18, 20, 31, 175 deskilling of, 106–12 division of, 106–7, 165 intellectualization of, 118 in “Mowing,” 211–14 strife, 37, 175 see also jobs; work Labor and Monopoly Capital (Braverman), 109–10 Labor Department, U.S., 66 labor unions, 25, 37, 59 Langewiesche, William, 50–51, 170 language, 82, 121, 150 Latour, Bruno, 204, 208 lawn mowers, robotic, 185 lawyers, law, 12, 116–17, 120, 123, 166 learning, 72–73, 77, 82, 84, 88–90, 175 animal studies and, 88–89 medical, 100–102 Lee, John, 163–64, 166, 169 LeFevre, Judith, 14, 15, 18 leisure, 16, 25, 27, 227 work vs., 14–16, 18 lethal autonomous robots (LARs), 188–93 Levasseur, Émile, 24–25 Leveson, Nancy, 155–56 Levesque, Hector, 121 Levinson, Stephen, 101 Levy, Frank, 9, 10 Lewandowsky, Stephan, 74 Lex Machina, 116–17 Licklider, J.

Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, battle of ideas, biofilm, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, Mark Zuckerberg, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, Saturday Night Live, Vernor Vinge

And that is the most frightening thing imaginable. Freud introduced the concept of the id in his 1920 essay “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” Forbidden Planet, the greatest science-fiction film ever inspired by Shakespeare, explored the id more tangibly in 1956. “ONLY SPARTAN WOMEN GIVE BIRTH TO REAL MEN.” —QUEEN GORGO, 300 “THE ANALYTICAL ENGINE WEAVES ALGEBRAIC PATTERNS, JUST AS THE JACQUARD LOOM WEAVES FLOWERS AND LEAVES.” —ADA LOVELACE, ON CHARLES BABBAGE’S ANALYTICAL ENGINE THE REAL QUEEN GORGO of Sparta was a political mover and shaker on par with the modern age’s most respected power brokers. She was also a geek and early cryptanalyst, helping her fellow Spartans find the code hidden in a chiseled wooden board that warned of impending Persian attack. And, predictably, she may also have been one of the first targets of geek sexism, for she is lauded in many historians’ accounts not for her own (substantial) accomplishments, but primarily for her relationship to the men around her—as the daughter, wife, and mother of kings.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

As Hollerith later recalled, “One Sunday evening at Dr. Billings’ tea table, he said to me there ought to be a machine for doing the purely mechanical work of tabulating population and similar statistics. We talked the matter over. . . . He thought of using cards with the description of the individual shown by notches punched in the edge of the card.”13 Punch cards had been used to control machinery since the 1801 invention of the Jacquard loom, a French machine that used thousands of cards to weave extremely complicated patterns in textiles. Their application to data processing held tantalizing potential. When General Walker left the Census Bureau in 1881 to take over as the president of MIT, he invited Hollerith to join him as an instructor in mechanical engineering. Hollerith soon tired of teaching, however, and found his way back to Washington to work as a patent examiner.

., 205–6 indoor positioning systems, 272 Industrial Dynamics (Forrester), 77 industrialization, of cities in nineteenth century, 5 information technology, 192–93, 241, 280 history of urban relationship to, 4–14 as undermining need for cities, 6 In-Stat, 39 “instrumentation,” sensor grids in, 32 Intel, 131–32, 153 alliance with Microsoft of, 290 Intellec-8, 153 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, on aging infrastructure, 38 International Energy Agency, 278 Internet: broadband vs. cable for, 2–3 “bufferbloat” problem in, 266 cafes for, 26 Cisco as leading supplier for, 44 cloud infrastructure for, 289, 294 dot-com bubble of, 121 DSL for, 2, 195 fiber-optic lines for, 2, 46, 171, 262, 287–89 hubs for, 260–61 human right as access to, 288 invention of, 107–11 “kill switch” of, 300 local area networks (LANs) for, 45 net neutrality for, 288 rapid expansion of, 6 social media for, 304 untethering from wire of, 49–56 of Victorian age, 44 voice calls in protocol of, 37 Internet of Things (big data), 3–4, 134–36, 139–41 Invisible Cities (Calvino), 305 iPhone, 6, 271 apps for, 200–201, 292 rapid spread of, 148 Iran, 266–67 Istanbul, 308 Italy, 61 Ito, Joi, 109 iTrans, 232 iTunes App Store, 148–49, 234 Ivrea, 137 Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) at, 137 Jabber, 293 Jacob, Nigel, 213–17, 224, 239, 242 Jacobs, Jane, 16, 97–98, 102–6, 234–35 Jacquard loom, 59 Jaguar, E-Type, 21 Jana, 183 Japan, 26, 262–63 Jevons paradox, 317 Jordan, Vincent, 197–98 Joroff, Michael, 25, 219–20, 305–6, 308 Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 78, 81 Jungle, The (Sinclair), 318 Jupiter Communications, 121 Kaczynski, Ted, 70 Kahn, Herman, 277 Kansas City, Mo., 36 Kaplan, Daniel, 225 Kargon, Robert, 96 Karnataka, India, corruption in, 12–13 Kasarda, John, 24 Katz, James, 56 Kaufman, Sarah, 159 Kenya, 179–80, 184–89 M-Pesa smart banking in, 179 Safaricom wireless carrier in, 179 Khanna, Parag, 224 Kirkpatrick, Robert, 181–84 Koolhaas, Rem, 112 Koonin, Steve, 314 Krugman, Paul, 74 Kundra, Vivek, 200, 204 Landau, Royston, 22 Langner, Ralph, 267 Lara, Marcos, 131 Lee, Douglass, 81–82, 88, 296–98 Lehrer, Jonah, 312 Leibowitz, Jon, 197, 287 Lerner, Sandy, 44 Levitas, Jake, 230 Levittown, N.Y., 231 LG, 23, 49 Light, Jennifer, 78–79 Lindsay, Greg, 24, 25, 28 Lindsay, John, 80, 207, 212 Linux, 241 Lippmann, Walter, on 1939 World’s Fair, 18 Living Cities, 206 Living Labs Global, 10, 244–45 Awards from, 245–46 Living PlanIT, 249, 289–90 load shedding, 39–41 load shifting, 39–41 Locke, Gary, 4 London, 94–95 congestion-pricing system in, 279–80 Crystal Palace in, 19–21, 23 first public electric streetlamps in, 35 growth of, 6 industrialization of, 5 Oyster card in, 316 Longmont, Colo., 197–98 Look Before We Leap, 197–98 “look smart,” 68 Löscher, Peter, 8, 38 Lynch, Kevin, 160 Macfarlane, W.


pages: 517 words: 139,824

The Difference Engine by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling

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card file, clockwatching, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Plutocrats, plutocrats, spinning jenny, the scientific method

The Difference Engine William Gibson & Bruce Sterling Copyright 1991 FIRST ITERATION The Angel of Goliad Composite image, optically encoded by escort-craft of the trans-Channel airship Lord Brunel: aerial view of suburban Cherbourg, October 14, 1905. A villa, a garden, a balcony. Erase the balcony's wrought-iron curves, exposing a bath-chair and its occupant. Reflected sunset glints from the nickel-plate of the chair's wheel-spokes. The occupant, owner of the villa, rests her arthritic hands upon fabric woven by a Jacquard loom. These hands consist of tendons, tissue, jointed bone. Through quiet processes of time and information, threads within the human cells have woven themselves into a woman. Her name is Sybil Gerard. Below her, in a neglected formal garden, leafless vines lace wooden trellises on whitewashed, flaking walls. From the open windows of her sickroom, a warm draft stirs the loose white hair at her neck, bringing scents of coal-smoke, jasmine, opium.

Mallory glimpses a group of students seated by the open windows, quietly debating, while twilight settles over the crouching plaster behemoths of the Palace's rock gardens. A breeze disturbs the long linen curtains. Mallory turned, right-face, left-face, before the wardrobe mirror. Unbuttoning the coat, he thrust his hands into the trouser-pockets, the better to display the waistcoat, which was woven in a dizzy mosaic of tiny blue-and-white squares. Ada Checkers, the tailors called them, the Lady having created the pattern by programming a Jacquard loom to weave pure algebra. The waistcoat carried off the whole business, he thought, though still it needed something, perhaps a cane. Flicking the hinge of his cigar-case, he offered a prime Havana to the gent in the mirror. A fine gesture but one couldn't carry a silver cigar-case about like a lady's muff; that was a faggot-above-a-load, surely. A sharp metallic tapping issued from the speaking-tube set into the wall beside the door.


pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

This is the Musée des Arts et Métiers, founded in 1794, one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. A former church abbey tucked in the middle of Paris’s third arrondissement, it’s at once sprawling and unassuming. A mold of the Statue of Liberty greets visitors in the stone courtyard. You’ll find some of the most important precursors to the modern computer here, from Pascal’s calculator (the first automatic calculator) to the Jacquard loom (which inspired Charles Babbage to automate his Analytical Engine). And you’ll find the pendulum. Jean-Bernard-Léon Foucault—not to be confused with the more strictly philosophical Foucault, Michel—had set out to prove that the Earth rotated on its axis. In 1851, he suspended a bob and a wire from the ceiling of the Paris Observatory to show that the free-swinging pendulum would slowly change direction over the course of the day, thus demonstrating what we now call the Coriolis effect.

Oshima (via email) helped me understand the advances in camera technology that led to the modern smartphone camera. Some additional quotes are drawn from a previous interview with Oshima archived at the Japan Patent Office. A 60 Minutes story about Apple’s camera factory provided the figures and data about the company’s current camera operations. 7. Sensing Motion A visit to the Musée des Arts et Métiers kicked off this chapter; in addition to housing the famed pendulum, it’s also home to the Jacquard loom, Pascal’s calculator, and other early computer ancestors. Sid Harza helped explain MEMS tech to the humble layman—myself—while Brian Huppi explained how Apple developed the sensors here, and Brett Bilbrey shed more light on sensor development in general. The articles by Economist writer Glenn Fleishman on GPS were a useful reference. For accelerometers, Patrick L. Walter’s “The History of the Accelerometer,” published in Sound and Vibration, provided exactly that.


pages: 210 words: 62,771

Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science by Chris Bernhardt

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, British Empire, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Conway's Game of Life, discrete time, Douglas Hofstadter, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture

Although Turing’s definition has an elegant simplicity, the other definitions, though equivalent, give us different vantage points from which to view computation. As we commented before, things that are difficult to see from one viewpoint become easier from another. We will look at some of these ideas in the next chapter. 5 Other Systems for Computation “We may say most aptly, that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves.” Ada Lovelace In 1823, with substantial funding from the British government, Charles Babbage began the construction of his first “Difference Engine.” The mathematical tables of the time contained many errors that were caused by human computers. Babbage’s Difference Engine was to be a mechanical calculator. It would provide a quicker, cheaper, and more accurate way of generating these tables.

Victorian Internet by Tom Standage

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British Empire, financial independence, global village, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jacquard loom, paper trading, QWERTY keyboard, technoutopianism

At the receiving end, messages were printed out as dots and dashes by a standard Morse printer, and could then be decoded into letters and numbers in the usual way. Admittedly, messages had to be punched onto a tape by hand before sending, but this was less skilled work than operating a Morse key, and it could be done in advance; long messages could be punched by several operators in parallel, each punching a different paragraph, and then spliced together. The Wheatstone Automatic telegraph was widely com pared with the Jacquard loom, which wove cloth into a pattern determined by holes punched in cards—indeed, it was sometimes referred to as the "electric Jacquard." Following its invention, Wheatstone further refined his design, and it entered widespread use after 1867, particularly for news transmission, for which it was particularly well suited; news needed to be sent quickly because its value rapidly diminished. The Automatic was certainly fast: One night in 1886, following the introduction of Prime Minister William Gladstone's Bill for Home Rule in Ireland, no fewer than 1.5 million words were dispatched from the central telegraph station in London by one hundred of Wheatstone's transmitters.


pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

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biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

Cotton or linen toweling in bird’s eye or honeycomb dobby weave, or with a rough, pebbly surface, and with loosely twisted filling yarns or long floats to increase absorbency. See Huck towel. Tending to attract water; absorbent (of water). Tending to repel water; unabsorbent (of water). Tweed made in Ireland, usually with white warp and colored filling yarns. Any fabric woven on a jacquard loom. The jacquard loom creates intricate designs woven into the cloth by means of punched cards that enable it to handle far more threads than other looms. Brocades, damasks, and tapestries are all types of jacquard fabrics. A smooth, plain-knit fabric of wool, cotton, rayon, or synthetic blends. Used for dresses, shirts, sportswear, underwear. Called stockinet in handknitting. See illustration on page 201.

Velvet. A woven rug that, unlike Wiltons and Brussels, is woven on ordinary, not Jacquard, looms, so its color design is limited. The pile is woven over wires that are pulled out, cutting the loops and leaving standing tufts. Because the pile yarn is all brought to the surface, it is quite a durable carpet. It is the least expensive and most common type of woven rug sold in this country. Wiltons. Cut-pile rugs considered to be among the best of all machine-made woven rugs. Wiltons are expensive. They used to be made only of wool (with pile of either worsted or woolen yarns), but now are made in a number of synthetic fibers as well. Unlike Axminsters, they use only three to six colors and are woven on a Jacquard loom using a method that produces a thick cushion of fibers. Worsted Wiltons, considered the best wool carpets made, are extremely durable and tightly woven, with a fine texture, delicate design, and short pile.

Lappet-woven fabrics tend to be more durable than swivel-woven fabrics because the ends of the decoration threads are more securely fastened. The dobby weave creates simple designs by means of a mechanical attachment to a plain loom. Bird’s-eye is the name of a typical fabric having dobby weave. The jacquard weave creates fabrics with highly intricate designs. Jacquard weaving is done on a jacquard loom, which uses punched cards that control the movements of the warp yarns. This intricate type of weaving is used to make fine linen damasks, upholstery fabrics, silk brocades, and tapestries. Many weaves that were associated entirely with one sort of fiber a hundred years ago are now often available in virtually any sort of fiber one might wish. Serge, for example, once meant a very strong worsted (that is, a fabric of combed wool fibers) in a twill weave.


pages: 272 words: 83,378

Digital Barbarism: A Writer's Manifesto by Mark Helprin

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, computer age, crowdsourcing, hive mind, invention of writing, Jacquard loom, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, the scientific method, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Moving from analog to digital, from the general, unmodulated application of force to its controlled and targeted application—as in precision-guided munitions in contrast to a blind artillery barrage, or in individually targeted advertising in contrast to roadside billboards—we are adjusting the processes of industrialization to bring them more in line with those of the pre-industrial era. This has always been the motivating factor in the design of machines such as the Jacquard loom (which can do what the most skillful weaver can do), or the sewing machine, or the Cuisinart.™ We build mechanisms either to do what we are incapable of doing—flying, communicating across the seas, shattering mountains, lifting 100-foot trees—or to relieve us of what we can do. The machines of the first category have far outperformed those of the second, until now, when we are approaching a kind of critical mass that will usher-in the eventual predominance of mechanization’s new phase.


pages: 330 words: 102,178

Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader by Mike Ashley, Paul Di Filippo

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Fellow of the Royal Society, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, Plutocrats, plutocrats

The current lasts only a second or two, but it is sufficient to bring our 500 eighty-six mile copper wires up to blood-heat. Cast your eye, please” — here Glissman coughed with humility — “on the gigantic switch at your elbow. It is moved by an electrometer, which breaks and closes the current in six hundred places simultaneously, and produces a copper arc seventy feet long.” Then, with a fresh glitter of his peculiar eyes, he pointed out certain leather belts perforated on a definite plan, like a Jacquard loom-card. These belts governed the motor and current controller constantly, with short intervals for return signals. “The engines and dynamo.” He said. “If worked continuously, couldn’t give more than five thousand horse-power. But we do not take electricity from the machine more than one-hundredth of the time. Hence the enormous potential energy of the fly wheel if; capable of causing a current to be sent out which, during its brief period, is equal to one hundred and eighty thousand horse-power.”


pages: 337 words: 93,245

Diaspora by Greg Egan

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conceptual framework, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, Fermat's Last Theorem, gravity well, Jacquard loom, stem cell, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing machine

But the womb was a virtual machine designed to execute the seed's instructions, and a dozen more layers of software led down to the polis itself, a lattice of flickering molecular switches. A sequence of bits, a string of passive data, could do nothing, change nothing-but in the womb, the seed's meaning fell into perfect alignment with all the immutable rules of all the levels beneath it. Like a punched card fed into a jacquard loom, it ceased to be an abstract message and became a part of the machine. When the womb read the seed, the seed's first shaper caused the space around it to be filled with a simple pattern of data: a single, frozen numerical wave train, sculpted across the emptiness like a billion perfect ranks of sand dunes. This distinguished each point from its immediate neighbors further up or down the same slope-but each crest was still identical to every other crest, each trough the same as every other trough.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

In translating, as Stephen Jay Gould says, “we reveal ourselves in the metaphors we choose for depicting the cosmos in miniature.”22 This is true of the translation process as a way of trying to bring separate languages into resonance. Sometimes words can be translated straightforwardly. For example, this work, an interdisciplinary exercise in the emerging field of network studies, seeks to articulate a fluid discourse around the central term network. The term network, like other keywords in digital discourse, packs more meaning than is usually seen and has roots in the textile industry of lacework, like the Jacquard loom behind computer programming techniques (there may be more silk than silicon to the information age). The Russian term set’ maps fairly well onto my three English uses of the term network—(1) a technical communication network understood as interlinked digital, electronic, telephonic, or other channels of communication; (2) the complex sociotechnical assemblage of heterogeneous relations that link people, institutions, and the administration of markets, states, and other actors in everyday life; and (3) an abstract organizational mode that maps the linkages between any set of objects, such as graph theory in mathematics.23 Although all of these meanings are in play here, what we assume to be a relatively settled term today behind the concept of network (set’) took up in Soviet discussions an even wider set of terms such as base, complex, cluster, and most characteristically for computers connected over distances, system.


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

Babbage’s description of the Analytical Engine in “On the Mathematical Powers of the Calculating Engine,” written in 1837, is reprinted as appendix B in Anthony Hyman’s Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982). 3 Joel Shurkin, in Engines of the Mind, p. 104, describes Aiken’s machine as “an electromechanical Analytical Engine with IBM card handling.” For a concise history of the development of the Mark I, see Augarten’s Bit by Bit, 103-107. I. Bernard Cohen provides a new perspective on Aiken’s relation to Babbage in his article “Babbage and Aiken,” Annals of the History of Computing 10 (1988): 171-193. 4 The idea of the punched card, which Babbage borrowed from the Jacquard looms (automatic weaving machines controlled by punched metal cards), also survived and formed the basis for automating the increasingly popular calculators of the nineteenth century. This culminated in the 1890 U.S. census, which was the first time that electricity was used for a major data-processing project. The punched card itself survived as a mainstay of computing until the 1970s. 5 Turing’s Robinson was not a programmable computer.


pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

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barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Donald Knuth, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Shoshana Zuboff, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

The concept of the stored-program computer was so significant that it has come to define the essence of the modern computer; today a device is only considered to be a true computer if it is a stored-program machine. And this is what brings us back to the centrality of software to the history of computing: it was not so much the original invention of the electronic computer that launched the computer revolution but the later discovery that such computers could be made programmable. To be sure, prior to the electronic computer there were machines that could be controlled automatically. A Jacquard loom, for instance, used a series of steel cards, as many as twenty thousand at a time, to control the weaving of patterns on fabric.15 Tabulating machines could also be programmed to a certain degree by rewiring their components. But the combination of speed and flexibility provided by the combination of an electronic digital computer and well-designed software was unprecedented. The electronic digital computer would eventually become a universal machine whose potential applications were limited only by the imagination of its programmers.


pages: 434 words: 135,226

The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

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Ada Lovelace, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, computer age, Dava Sobel, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Erdős number, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, German hyperinflation, global village, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, music of the spheres, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine, William of Occam, Wolfskehl Prize, Y2K

His blueprint for the Analytical Engine, as he named it, was a forerunner of Turing’s plan for a universal machine. It was the poet Lord Byron’s daughter, Ada Lovelace, who recognised the enormous programming potential of Babbage’s machine. While translating into French a copy of Babbage’s paper describing the machine, she couldn’t resist adding some extra notes to extol the machine’s capability. ‘We may say most aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves Algebraic patterns, just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.’ Her notes included many different programs that could be implemented on Babbage’s new machine, even though the machine was purely theoretical and had never been built. By the time she had finished the translation, her additions had become so out of hand that the French version was three times the length of the English edition. Lovelace is generally regarded today as the world’s first computer programmer.


pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

Babbage’s projects appear to be so indefinitely expensive, the ultimate success so problematical, and the ultimate expenditure so large and so utterly incapable of being calculated, that the government would not be justified in taking upon itself any further liability.”28 For Babbage, the cold rejection of his new plan was a serious blow that embittered much of his later life. He continued to produce books and articles on an array of subjects, wistfully tinkering with the design of the analytical engine until his death in 1871. But the design is still an intellectual monument. Babbage’s inspiration was from the Jacquard loom, which used punch cards to signify any pattern of threads whatsoever. Experts rendered patterns in sequences of punch cards. The textile mill then created additional sequences of cards to specify the thread colors for the pattern. The Analytical Engine similarly had two main components, the mill and the store. A set of operation cards, similar to IBM punch cards, defined the sequence of operations to be performed by the mill, while a second set of variable cards summoned the sequence of data to be manipulated.


pages: 551 words: 174,280

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Bonfire of the Vanities, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam, zero-sum game

But when it was reinvented by the printer Johannes Gutenberg in Europe in the fifteenth century, using alphabetic type, it initiated an avalanche of further progress. Here we see a transition that is typical of the jump to universality: before the jump, one has to make specialized objects for each document to be printed; after the jump, one customizes (or specializes, or programs) a universal object – in this case a printing press with movable type. Similarly, in 1801 Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a general-purpose silk-weaving machine now known as the Jacquard loom. Instead of having to control manually each row of stitches in each individual bolt of patterned silk, one could program an arbitrary pattern on punched cards which would instruct the machine to weave that pattern any number of times. The most momentous such technology is that of computers, on which an increasing proportion of all technology now depends, and which also has deep theoretical and philosophical significance.


pages: 687 words: 189,243

A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr

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Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern

As argued by Tuschman (2014), personalities may be hard wired for shifts over the life cycle and changes in gene expression may alter openness to new ideas, conscientiousness, and other traits. 7 The term “hopeful monstrosity” was coined by the evolutionary biologist Richard Goldsmith (1940) in his now largely discredited view that evolution could at times advance by discrete quantum leaps in which altogether new species emerged quite suddenly. 8 In Mokyr (1991), I provide five examples of such macroinventions during the Industrial Revolution: gaslighting, the breast wheel, the Jacquard loom, chlorine bleaching, and hot-air ballooning. 9 For a similar argument, with a slightly different emphasis, see Mesoudi et al (2013). 10 A good example can once again be found in the history of technology. In Mokyr (2002), I distinguish between propositional and prescriptive knowledge, the former roughly corresponding to a genotype, the latter to an observable technique. There is no easy mapping between the two.

The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental Algorithms by Donald E. Knuth

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discrete time, distributed generation, Donald Knuth, fear of failure, Fermat's Last Theorem, Gerard Salton, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, linear programming, linked data, Menlo Park, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Richard Feynman, sorting algorithm, stochastic process, Turing machine

In the 19th century, Charles Babbage envisioned a library of routines for his Analytical Engine [see Charles Babbage and His Calculating Engines, edited by Philip and Emily Morrison (Dover, 1961), 56]; and we might say that his dream came true in 1944 when Grace M. Hopper wrote a subroutine for computing sin x on the Harvard Mark I calculator [see Mechanization of Thought Processes (London: Nat. Phys. Lab., 1959), 164]. However, these were essentially "open subroutines," meant to be inserted into a program where needed instead of being linked up dynamically. Babbage's planned machine was controlled by sequences of punched cards, as on the Jacquard loom; the Mark I was controlled by a number of paper tapes. Thus they were quite different from today's stored- program computers. Subroutine linkage appropriate to stored-program machines, with the return address supplied as a parameter, was discussed by Herman H. Goldstine and John von Neumann in their widely circulated monograph on programming, written during 1946 and 1947; see von Neumann's Collected Works 5 (New York: Macmillan, 1963), 215-235.

France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams

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active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

CROIX ROUSSE Soulful Croix Rousse (Map; Croix Rousse), a hilltop quarter with its own village crier Click here, quietly buzzes north up the steep pentes (slopes). Famed for its bohemian inhabitants and lush outdoor food market, it is historically known for its silk-weaving tradition, illustrated by the Mur des Canuts (off Map; cnr bd des Canuts & rue Denfert Rochereau, 4e; Hénon), a fresco painted on the side of an apartment block. Following the introduction of the mechanical Jacquard loom in 1805, Lyonnais canuts (silk-weavers) built workshops in this quarter with large windows to let in light and hefty wood-beamed ceilings more than 4m high to accommodate the huge new machines. These workshops are chic loft apartments today. * * * LYON’S MOST EXCITING URBAN SPACE … is the Lyon Confluence (www.lyon-confluence.fr), the spot where the Rhône and the Saône meet south of Gare de Perrache.

Lonely Planet France by Lonely Planet Publications

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banking crisis, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Columbine, double helix, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Murano, Venice glass, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Buy it online (www.en.lyon-france.com/Lyon-City-Card), from the tourist office, or at some hotels. CROIX ROUSSE Independent until it became part of Lyon in 1852, and retaining its own distinct character with its bohemian inhabitants and lush outdoor food market, the hilltop quarter of Croix Rousse slinks north up the steep pentes (slopes). Following the introduction of the mechanical Jacquard loom in 1805, Lyonnais canuts (silk weavers) built tens of thousands of workshops in the area, with large windows to let in light and hefty wood-beamed ceilings more than 4m high to accommodate the huge new machines. Weavers spent 14 to 20 hours a day hunched over their looms breathing in silk dust. Two-thirds were illiterate and everyone was paid a pittance; strikes in 1830–31 and 1834 resulted in the death of several hundred weavers.