George Dyson – Analogia NF The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control (2020)

George Dyson – Analogia NF: The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control (2020)
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In Analogia, technology historian George Dyson presents a startling look back at the analog age and life before the digital revolution―and an unsettling vision of what comes next.

In 1716, the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz spent eight days taking the cure with Peter the Great at Bad Pyrmont in Saxony, seeking to initiate a digitally-computed takeover of the world. In his classic books, Darwin Among the Machines and Turing’s Cathedral, Dyson chronicled the realization of Leibniz’s dream at the hands of a series of iconoclasts who brought his ideas to life. Now, in his pathbreaking new book, Analogia, he offers a chronicle of people who fought for the other side―the Native American leader Geronimo and physicist Leo Szilard, among them―a series of stories that will change our view not only of the past but also of the future.

The convergence of a startling historical archaeology with Dyson’s unusual personal story―set alternately in the rarified world of cutting-edge physics and computer science, in Princeton, and in the rainforest of the Northwest Coast―leads to a prophetic vision of an analog revolution already under way. We are, Dyson reveals, on the cusp of a new moment in human history, driven by a generation of machines whose powers are beyond programmable control.

Dyson, an independent historian of technology and son of noted physicist Freeman and brother of tech maven Esther
“Nothing is to be gained by resisting the advance of the discrete-state machines,” Dyson memorably writes, “for the ghosts of the continuum will soon return, when the grass is eight inches high in the spring.”
With luck, the machines will tolerate us, for the culminating point in Dyson’s lively, if deeply strange, narrative is that the intelligence of tomorrow will not be human alone but will be shared with machines and nature (plants and animals and microbes and such) in time to come, fulfilling Leibniz’s dream

Editorial Reviews

“This is the most delightfully peculiar book I’ve ever read. It’s grand and intimate, personal and cosmic, and about digital computing and archaic hunter gatherers. Every paragraph is a surprise.”
―Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired

“An Odyssey of discovery…part autobiography, part science manual, part history book.”
―Izabella Kaminska, The Financial Times
“Only George Dyson could have written this book. Equal parts scholar, natural scientist, and adventurer, Dyson seamlessly blends science, history, philosophy, engineering, cultural commentary and memoir to give us a meditation on time and the relationship between mind and matter; people and machines; and what it all means for the future of humankind and the earth.”
―Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of You Just Don’t Understand, You’re Wearing THAT? and Finding My Father

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