- Taschenbuch: 304 Seiten
- Verlag: Basic Books; Auflage: 2 (4. September 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 9780465031627
- ISBN-13: 978-0465031627
- ASIN: 0465031625
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 13 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 2,2 x 21 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 422.549 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Darwin among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. September 2012
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An extraordinarily exciting, intriguing and very idiosyncratic book.... An almost perfect example of the effective literary treatment of scientific subjects.”
Los Angeles Times
An original, creative work of intellectual history.”
A cogent, succinct history of thinkers and thinking that paved the way, occasionally unwittingly, to today's technology.”
"As remarkable an intellectual history as any I have read."-Oliver SacksAlle Produktbeschreibungen
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The Chapter on Butler is worth the price of the book. Readers will also encounter many obscure names brought alive with interesting detail and then fit into the evolution of a familiar technology. For example, Dyson explains how wooden tally sticks, used as a primitive, secure means of record keeping in the English (twelfth century) pre-history of banking, both facilitated the establishment of a banking system and served as an early precursor and model for encryption keys.
Familiar, iconographic names, Charles Babbage and John Von Neuman, to name just two examples, are shown in somewhat different, and more human, light than they are usually presented. Babbage, for example, was a prophet of telecommunications whose early ideas for what we now call packet switching revolutionized the British mail system. Babbage analyzed the operations of the British postal system and found that its costs were governed more by switching than by distance. His recommendaton of a flat rate service was introduced in 1840 as the penny post. Von Neuman's influence is described in detail in many places, for his contributions to mathematics, game theory, computing, the Cold War defense system, and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton.
Students looking for a concise description of the history of "distributed communication" (most familiarly now the Internet) will also find a great and amusing chapter in this book. Dyson has written a remarkably compact description of how the issues and concerns of the defense establishment encouraged the creation of what we now know as the Internet.
The boundlessness of the book, its avoidance of the shelter of one or a few strict disciplines, is among its greatest attractions. If anyone ever asks you what a liberal arts education is, point them to this book. There is no better book on how ideas live and grow across generations.
Darwin Among the Machines is science writing, intellectual history, personal essay, and more.
Dyson's presentation is full of reliable information. It is humorous and he makes connections where I would have missed them otherwise. His argument is astounding, but plausible and probable. He is subtle and never argues with the reader. Rather, he takes ideas and gives them to you in a manner that says "What if we consider these things in this way?"
I think that the theory suggested about the future of global intelligence here is actually too deep for many people to catch the first time through. It is so different from the other predictions that I have read. Perhaps people choose not to pay attention to this, I don't know.
I have the utmost respect for the mind that put these pieces together. I think that this book is ahead of its time, and the ideas presented here will be returned to in a decade or so. AT that point, the book will no longer be a predictor, but rather our guide to the world we live in.
I encourage everyone interested in the relationship between techonology and society to read, re-read, and ponder this book. It can and will fundamentally alter the way you think about everything.
Bravo, Mr. Dyson!
I found the book very difficult to read, with very little relevant details for modern researchers in Artificial Life and complex systems. Even as a 'historical' book it is long winded, and does not bring the people being described alive. Rather dissaponting for a book with such a nice title.