video - Turing's Cathedral

Ray Arachelian ray at arachelian.com
Fri Apr 18 18:39:13 CDT 2008


I stumbled across this today, if you can get past the light stuttering, 
it's a fascinating watch.

There are some notes here: 
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dyson05/dyson05_index.html

If you want to download this, copy the url below and feed it into 
keepvid.com. :)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=KRBR4W8ft2g&feature=user

Added: April 18, 2008 (Less info)
Google Tech Talks
April, 9 2008

ABSTRACT

New Light on the Dawn of Digital Computing, 1945-1958

The digital universe consists of two kinds of bits: differences in space 
and differences in time. Digital computers translate between these two 
forms of information--structure and sequence--according to definite 
rules. Sixty-three years ago, at the Institute for Advanced Study in 
Princeton, NJ, John von Neumann and a small group of nonconformists 
launched a project to do this at electronic speed. The resulting 
architecture and coding has descended directly to almost all computers 
now in use.

Von Neumann succeeded in jump-starting the computer revolution by 
bringing engineers into the den of the mathematicians, rather than by 
bringing mathematicians into a den of engineers. The stored-program 
computer, as conceived by Alan Turing and delivered by John von Neumann, 
broke the distinction between numbers that *mean* things and numbers 
that *do* things. Our universe would never be the same.

With a mere 5 kilobytes of random access memory, von Neumann and 
colleagues tackled previously intractable problems ranging from 
thermonuclear explosions, stellar evolution, and long-range weather 
forecasting to cellular automata, genetic coding, and the origins of 
life. Programs were small enough to be completely debugged, but hardware 
could not be counted on to perform consistently from one kilocycle to 
the next. This situation is now reversed.

Speaker: George Dyson
Category:  People & Blogs
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