Dyson: Turing’s Cathedral

The reason I started this blog was basically that I had been reading „Turing’s Cathedral“ about the life of John von Neumann by George Dyson. The reason I am writing about the book is that I am reading a biography about Alan Turing at the moment. If you add some Konrad Zuse here, you have the beginning of the digital age. I will focus mostly on the first part of the book about the invention of the digital. Whether machines will one day be able to replicate themselves will be left to transhumanism.


“What began as an isolated 5-kilobyte matrix is now expanding by over two trillion transistors per second (a measure of the growth in processing and memory) and five trillion bits of storage capacity per second (a measure of the growth in code). Yet we still face the same questions that were asked in 1953. Turing’s question was what it would take for machines to begin to think. Von Neumann’s question was what it would take for machines to begin to reproduce.”

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Hafner, Lyon: Where Wizards stay up late

If you are 30 years old or about to turn 30, you might still remember Boris Becker doing commercials for AOL. One day – in the mid-90ies the internet was here, and with it its culture. Why? Because the internet has just evolved organically from the day it was born – without much planning. Freedom and neutrality were always fostering principles, say Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon in „Where wizards stay up late“. This is the only way the internet could have been.


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