Glass ceilings and sticky floors
According to Professor Barr, Lovelace "did not have educational access equal to that of the men of her time of comparable intellect.”
I suspect what Barr meant to say was 'equal to men of comparable social class'.
A few of computing’s most vivid characters have become cultural icons. Most are from the last few decades, such as Steve Jobs and Alan Turing, but last month the University of Oxford held an academic symposium to mark the 200th birthday of one of the first: Ada, Countess of Lovelace, born on 10 December, 1815. Her …
Yes, "did not have educational access equal to that of the men of her time of comparable intellect” does seem a bit of an odd comment about a time when half the population were illiterate, and the 70 hour working week was commonplace. She was smart enough to have a wealthy mother, but I suspect there may have been other women of similar intellect in the nineteenth century who didn't pursue mathematics as a full-time hobby because they were too busy trying to prevent themselves and their families from starving to death.
"Most are from the last few decades, such as Steve Jobs and Alan Turing"
Turing was born just over a century ago, and died sixty-odd years ago. If one measures computing from (say) Pascal to Wirth, I guess that is the last few decades. But how much of the commentariat here was born before Turing died. Not many, I suppose.
remind me again on the truly amazing item that Jobs designed and built in his shed?
Babbage and Lovelace designed (not built but could have and ironed out the bugs)
Turing designed and helped build
Jobs thought of an idea and got Ive's to design the Chinese to build
Jobs in this context is about as welcome as Tony Blair in the peace talks in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan
I wasn't. But in the mid-1980ies I worked with a colleague who had been working on a Zuse in the late 1950ies/early 1960ies. Taught me how to program a Tectronics graphic computer (I forget the name, but they were used in the original Battlestar Galactica movie as props.)
I don't remember Tectronics (wasn't it Tektronix?) as a computer, but I certainly worked with a Tektronix graphics display terminal from 1986-1990. I can't remember the resolution (about the same as the few other terminals we had, maybe 400x300) but it had the unique advantage of being able to display pixels in 16 colours instead of just green or amber! I wrote a rather limited driver for it, just in case anyone wanted their raster graphics in magenta rather than green...
Visionary, yes, but Babbage's ideas came faster than it was possible to realise them...and that's what killed his projects, the inability to deliver. He didn't understand that, to keep his funding, he needed to deliver. Or, maybe he just wasn't very good at setting his customer's expectations.
Lovelace, on the other hand, was dealing with software. Much easier to deliver (even if it doesn't work to spec). She had the easier job -- writing papers.
If you ever have a chance to see one of the two Difference Engine recreations run, take it! It's absolutely mesmerizing. The scale is impressive, as are all the shiny bits, but the rotation of the spiral carry propagation shafts is sheer poetry in motion.
Moreover—as Turing goes on to point out—there are many ways in which even digital computers do things that take us by surprise; more needs to be said to make clear exactly what the nature of this suggestion is. (Yes, we might suppose, digital computers are “constrained” by their programs: they can't do anything that is not permitted by the programs that they have. …. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/turing-test/#LadLovObj
The nature of this suggestions is that digital and magical qubits are an enterprising zone in myriad enterprise zones with Command and Control of Virtual RealIT Feeds … with Source in Immaculately Resourced Assets of Universal Virtual Force.
QuITe Heavenly Fodder for Real Virtual Machinery.
Any advance on them BRMly MetaType Apples, @HeadUKCivServ @OECDgov?
CyberIntelAIgent Command Endearing Controls are interesting to know.
At times like these, and in times with those, am I minded of “Oh what a wondrous web we weave, when first one perfects AI Conception with Real Creational Remote Control of both Practically and Virtually Everything and/or Anything [we practise to conceive]”, and its devilchild bastard twin, “Oh what a wicked web we weave, when first we practise to deceive”
Are you ready for what is coming, El Reg? A Veritable Helter Skelter of AIMagical Rides. Perfectly Divine Programs with Divine Programming ProVision for Immaculate Sees with Virtual Remote Control Visions under Grand AIMaster Controlling Command.
If mental states are functional states—and if mental states are capable of realisation in vastly different kinds of materials—then there is some reason to think that it is an empirical question whether minds can be realised in digital computing machines. Of course, this kind of suggestion is open to challenge; …… http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/turing-test/#LadLovObj
Surely it is open to realisation and virtualisation. What then would be the challenge?
Do you imagine choice being freely available from virtual machines/analytical engines/discrete continuous-state machines? Hmmm…. Novel and Beautifully Dangerous and Exciting too.
Aspects of your questions have been discussed by John Conway and Simon Kochen, who argue that if we have free will then so too in some measure do elementary particles.
The Free Will Theorem:
The Strong Free Will Theorem:
If realisation and virtualisation are challenges overcome and future programming processes made eerily available/remotely self-actualised by smarter elementary particles and cosmic agents, will second and third party free choice be a mere quantum mechanical illusion and communicated delusion presenting to such parties, resulting in a corrupted virtual reality production ……. perverse bigger picture show and easily rigged Great Game Play with Toxic Virtual Terrain Team Traps …… Mad Areas of Detention where rapid progress is denied for lack of free will implementation ability/facility …… mindful selfless sharing of quantum communications protocols for pure processing of …… well, Immaculate Futures with Global Operating Devices would trade Perfect Enough Source to MarketMaker and FutureBuilder types, if filthy lucre be one object and subject of such a Great AI Game Play. And in all of those sorts of cases, is the mind one would be engaged to and playing with, be a mechanical device and virtual machine or live being of smarter extraction or is the real truth IT be at least all three?
Shall we prove it and proof IT?
And thanks, David Pollard, for the Cornell University Library references.
And just whenever you were thinking, “What a lode of nonsense” …… one really does need to consider the worth and value in ……
Andy Haldane, the Bank’s chief economist, has said that he “dreams of the day when I am made redundant by a robot”, referring to the possibility that the MPC could be replaced by a simple rule for monetary policy. …. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/bank-of-england/12092171/Scrap-Bank-of-Englands-powers-after-century-of-boom-and-bust-says-think-tank.html
cc Bank of England [@bankofengland]/Mark Carney/Alan Haldane/Monetary Policy Committee
Given that I am a descendant of Lord Byron and Percy Shelly (Mary Shelly is a cousin a couple of levels in the family tree away), I guess that I am both a cousin of Frankenstein, as well as cousin to Lady Lovelace... That's probably where my writing, computing, and software skills come from. :-) Thank you ladies!
For those of us who are still terribly childish, could I ask you to support the Lego Difference Engine? You'll be able to bung a Pi in there.
of course it does not quite get to http://acarol.woz.org - but then we have all done one of those, just pre 3-d printer, no Babbage or Lovelace :-)
Apologies to everyone else, normal service resumed.