20 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. The first sense is the one in which we speak of ourselves as reading newspapers, magazines, or anything else that, according to our skill and talents, is at once thoroughly intel­ligible to us. Such things may increase our store of informa­tion, but they cannot improve our understanding, for our understanding was equal to them before we started. Otherwise, we would have felt the shock of puzzlement and perplexity that comes from getting in over our depth-that is, if we were both alert and honest.

      Here they're comparing reading for information and reading for understanding.

      How do these two modes relate to Claude Shannon's versions of information (surprise) and semantics (the communication) itself. Are there other pieces which exist which we're not tacitly including here? It feels like there's another piece we're overlooking.

  2. Jun 2021
    1. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.

      His definition of a Memex is simply a mechanized (or what we would now call digitized) commonplace book, which has a long history in the literature of knowledge management.


      I'll note here that he's somehow still stuck on the mechanical engineering idea of mechanized. Despite the fact that he was the advisor to Claude Shannon, father of the digital revolution, he is still thinking in terms of mechanical pipes, levers, and fluids. He literally had Shannon building a computer out of pipes and fluid while he was a student at MIT.

  3. Apr 2021
    1. A reproduction of Carroll’snotes on his number alphabet will be found in Warren Weaver’s arti-cle “Lewis Carroll: Mathematician,” inScientific Americanfor April1956.)

      I need to track down this reference and would love to see what Weaver has to say about the matter.

      Certainly Weaver would have spoken of this with Claude Shannon (or he'd have read it).

  4. Feb 2021
  5. Aug 2020
    1. Without Shannon’s application of Dembski’s theorem, the internet and cable TV would not exist.

      This is a bit disingenuous as Shannon's body of thought preceded that of Dembski by several decades.

  6. Mar 2019
    1. In June 1954, Fortune magazine ran an article featuring the 20 most talented scientists under 40; Pitts was featured, next to Claude Shannon and James Watson.
    2. it had been Wiener who discovered a precise mathematical definition of information: The higher the probability, the higher the entropy and the lower the information content.

      Oops, I think this article is confusing Wiener with Claude Shannon?

    3. Which got McCulloch thinking about neurons. He knew that each of the brain’s nerve cells only fires after a minimum threshold has been reached: Enough of its neighboring nerve cells must send signals across the neuron’s synapses before it will fire off its own electrical spike. It occurred to McCulloch that this set-up was binary—either the neuron fires or it doesn’t. A neuron’s signal, he realized, is a proposition, and neurons seemed to work like logic gates, taking in multiple inputs and producing a single output. By varying a neuron’s firing threshold, it could be made to perform “and,” “or,” and “not” functions.

      I'm curious what year this was, particularly in relation to Claude Shannon's master's thesis in which he applied Boolean algebra to electronics.

      Based on their meeting date, it would have to be after 1940. And they published in 1943: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02478259

  7. Jul 2017