The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop



  • I'm only a couple chapters in but thus far it's much more rooted in indivuals, their personalities and upbringing, than I expected
  • This is really an account of how a movement starts, and how individuals congregate on new ideas and form a community. The way the book moves through time and the careers of individuals communicates really well how these individual journeys pull together into ecosystem journey
  • Grant making and giving was essential to this whole thing, I wonder if that's the same for other "revolutions" of this kind.

The Last Transition

  • I love how the book takes an idea like Von Neumann architecture and not only spells out the circumstances in which Von Neumann arrived at it (his goals, the constraints etc) but also all the people who influenced it. I know Von Neumann but I didn't know McCulloch and Pitts.
  • The patent dispute around the idea of software (storing programs as data) is incredibly apt, given the licensing drama in it's future
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