By James Bailey
Read Online or Download After Thought: The Computer Challenge To Human Intelligence PDF
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Extra info for After Thought: The Computer Challenge To Human Intelligence
The same is true of the genetic recombination of chromosomes. Wondrous results have emerged, but over millions of years. Neither were viable candidates for computing before computing became electronic. Now, more and more scientists are heeding the advice of the physicist Stanislaw Ulam: "Ask not what mathematics can do for biology. Ask what biology can do for mathematics. "27 In the abstract, nobody is likely to quarrel with Ulam. The reality, however, is new enough and different enough to be scary.
He did not, however, miss the new software technology of the period. He was at the very forefront of it. While Regiomontanus was a young man working as the royallibrarian in Budapest, Constantinople fell to the Turks. Large numbers of Greek scholars made their way west, carrying ancient manuscripts, some unknown in Christian Europe at the time. Regiomontanus, in Hungary, was the first to intercept and study this new wave of software. Among the works was a book about arithmetic by Diophantus, unique among Greek works for its focus on numerical manipulations rather than geometric ones.
There were important problems even within early astronomy, however, that could not be solved in diagrams but could be solved with the art of the thing. " Today, the orthodoxy of numbers and equations is at least as strong as the orthodoxy of circles and diagrams was in Columbus's time. But once again there are problems, even in the classical domains of forces and mutual attractions, that cannot be computed with the orthodox approaches but can with the art of the tangled web. For example, drug designers need to predict how a string of molecules will curl up into a protein.