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By George B. Dyson

George Dyson grew up on the Institute for complicated research, the place such scientists as his father, Freeman Dyson, and John von Neumann laid the rules for the knowledge Age. From this vantage aspect, and with an remarkable forged of characters, Dyson strains the process the knowledge revolution, illuminating the lives, paintings and ideas of visionaries who foresaw the improvement of synthetic intelligence, synthetic existence, and the worldwide brain.

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Extra info for Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence (Helix Books)

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Concerning the development of species, Butler wrote in Luck, or Cunning? "15 Butler espoused a theory of species-level intelligence and grappled with the behavior of complex and self-organizing systems, as these lingering mysteries have more recently been framed. He favored Erasmus Darwin over Charles. "16 This was not Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species of 1859, but Erasmus Darwin in his Zoonomia of 1794. On one level, Zoonomia; or, the Laws of Organic Life was an encyclopedic medical text, a massive catalog of the great diversity of disease, contrasted by the appalling insufficiencies of what eighteenth-century medicine could do to help.

Through the opened gates small cubes or marbles are to fall into tracks, through the others nothing. "11 In the shift registers at the heart of the electronic microprocessor voltage gradients and pulses of electrons have taken the place of gravity and marbles, but otherwise things are running exactly as envisioned by Leibniz in 1679. Leibniz's ambitions in symbolic logic were similarly prescient, but also incomplete. "12 But he never got around to completing more than a bare outline of his plan.

Leibniz's tragedy was that he met the lawyers before the scientists," concluded E. T. 4 Nonetheless, Leibniz made fundamental contributions to mathematics on several fronts. The development of a calculus of continuous functions he shared, controversially, with Isaac Newton, while in combinatorial analysis–the study of relations among discrete sets–Leibniz had the field to himself. Leibniz continued reasoning about reasoning where Hobbes left off. He attempted to formalize a consistent system of logic, language, and mathematics by means of an alphabet of unambiguous symbols manipulated according to definite rules.

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