Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Difference Engine

If you were intrigued by the article in today's Bulletin about Babbage's Analytical Engine, there is a terrific book by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, which describes the world as it might have been if the "The Difference Engine" had actually been built.

Steampunk and adventure and speculative fiction at it's best.

I love these 'out-of-time' inventions. I love good old Tesla. Einstein. Napoleon.

People who come out of nowhere. (They are also examples of why doubting Shakespeare is moronic.)

Black Swan people.


Anonymous said...

Tesla a huckster and self promoter.

Einstein much of the same, right place at the right time, and the ADL wanted a Jewish scientist to embrace for world opinion. The fact is nothing that Einstein did was new to scientists. His math for general relativity came from his flat-mate a mathematician, as in actuality Einstein was mathematically illiterate, all his work around the time of his PHD was algebraic. His ideas of special relativity all came from Lorentz 30 years earlier.

Tesla had many ideas, but why not mention Edision? Because he succeeded, and how about Westinghouse?

Then Napoleon? A war monger? How is he added to your list?

None of Tesla's science manifested into product for a reason.

H. Bruce Miller said...

I was going to say the same thing about Napoleon. Definitely a remarkable character, but not an admirable one.

Duncan McGeary said...

Tesla was the real deal in the first part of his life.

He was a bird man in his old age.

Einstein was the real deal, obviously. Unless just about every scientist alive is faking their admiration.

I didn't say Napoleon was a nice guy, I said he was a black swan.