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Reckoning with matter : calculating machines, innovation, and thinking about thinking from Pascal to Babbage

Author: Matthew L Jones
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2017.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
From Blaise Pascal in the 1600s to Charles Babbage in the first half of the 19th century, inventors struggled to create the first calculating machines. All failed - but that doesn't mean we can't learn from the trail of ideas, correspondence, machines, and arguments they left behind. Jones draws on the extensive and well-preserved records of the quest to explore the concrete processes involved in imagining,  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew L Jones
ISBN: 9780226411637 022641163X 9780226411460 022641146X
OCLC Number: 990322047
Notes: Previously issued in print: 2016.
Target Audience: Specialized.
Description: 1 online resource : illustrations (black and white)
Responsibility: Matthew L. Jones.

Abstract:

From Blaise Pascal in the 1600s to Charles Babbage in the first half of the 19th century, inventors struggled to create the first calculating machines. All failed - but that doesn't mean we can't learn from the trail of ideas, correspondence, machines, and arguments they left behind. Jones draws on the extensive and well-preserved records of the quest to explore the concrete processes involved in imagining, elaborating, testing, and building calculating machines. He explores the writings of philosophers, engineers, and craftspeople, showing how they thought about technical novelty, their distinctive areas of expertise, and ways they could coordinate their efforts. In doing so, he argues that the conceptions of creativity and making they exhibited are often more incisive - and more honest - than those that dominate our current legal, political, and aesthetic culture.

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"Rather than being yet another history of calculating machines, this book rises much higher by its scholarly examination, explanation, and interpretation of that history from the perspectives of Read more...

 
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