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Manuel De Landa

Hacked by /.M4RY_PR0S4

Here's another optional reading, again from De Landa.  It starts with a discussion of Vannevar Bush, the U.S. computer scientist and technocrat that oversaw the administration of America’s wartime science and engineering efforts (including the early stage Manhattan Project).  Bush recognized that the discovery and retrieval of information would be crucial to the future of science, and created MEMEX, a system of linking documents that prefigures the Web’s hyperlinks over forty years later.   

Reading (Week 1): De Landa on Alan Turing

Mathematician and cryptologist Alan Turing will come up a lot over the course of our discussions.  It's hard to imagine a single more important figure in the history of computing, and it isn't a stretch to think him one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.    His mathematical model, dubbed the Turing Machine, provided the blueprint for the first computers (and solved many difficult problems in mathematics as well).

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On the face of it, Manuel De Landa's War in the Age of Intelligent Machines  (Zone Books, 1991) is a book of military history, and I find its cold militarism a little off-putting.   Nevertheless, it's very very smart, and will be a touchstone for a lot of the ideas I'll be bringing up for discussion.

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