Saturday, May 05, 2012

‘Turing’s Cathedral,’ by George Dyson - NYTimes.com

Turing's Cathedral is still on my recommended reading list
"Unlike many historians, Dyson has no need to reach for contemporary relevance. He quotes Julian Bigelow, the Maniac’s chief engineer, in a passage that could serve as the book’s précis: “What von Neumann contributed” was “this unshakable confidence that said: ‘Go ahead, nothing else matters, get it running at this speed and this capability, and the rest of it is just a lot of nonsense.’ . . . People ordinarily of modest aspirations, we all worked so hard and selflessly because we believed — we knew — it was happening here and at a few other places right then, and we were lucky to be in on it. . . . A tidal wave of computational power was about to break and inundate everything in science and much elsewhere, and things would never be the same.”"
‘Turing’s Cathedral,’ by George Dyson - NYTimes.com
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