From: Andreas Strotmann <strotman@nu.cs.fsu.edu>

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:57:51 -0400 (EDT)

To: www-math@w3.org

Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.10.10004151844560.5687-100000@xi.cs.fsu.edu>

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:57:51 -0400 (EDT)

To: www-math@w3.org

Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.10.10004151844560.5687-100000@xi.cs.fsu.edu>

Folks, I just discovered this by accident (first a bit of context, and on the second page marked with "*"s the prophetic piece of text I wanted to share with you): Quoted from Vannevar Bush: "As We May Think" (The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945) "The scientist, however, is not the only person who manipulates data and examines the world about him by the use of logical processes, although he sometimes preserves this appearance by adopting into the fold anyone who becomes logical, much in the manner in which a British labor leader is elevated to knighthood. Whenever logical processes of thought are employed - that is, whenever thought for a time runs along an accepted groove - there is an opportunity for the machine. Formal logic used to be a keen instrument in the hands of the teacher in his trying of students' souls. It is readily possible to construct a machine which will manipulate premises in accordance with formal logic, simply by the clever use of relay circuits. Put a set of premises into such a device and turn the crank, and it will readily pass out conclusion after conclusion, all in accordance with logical law, and with no more slips than would be expected of a keyboard adding machine. Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to produce more assurance in its use. The machines for higher analysis have usually been equation solvers. Ideas are beginning to appear for equation transformers, which will rearrange the relationship expressed by an equation in accordance with strict and rather advanced logic. * Progress is inhibited by the exceedingly crude way in which * mathematicians express their relationships. They employ a symbolism * which grew like Topsy and has little consistency; a strange fact in that * most logical field. * A new symbolism, probably positional, must apparently precede the * reduction of mathematical transformations to machine processes. * Then, on beyond the strict logic of the mathematician, lies the * application of logic in everyday affairs. We may some day click off arguments on a machine with the same assurance that we now enter sales on a cash register. But the machine of logic will not look like a cash register, even a streamlined model. " URL: http://www.isg.sfu.ca/~duchier/misc/vbush/vbush-all.shtml ____________________________________________________________ "The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." - G.K.Chesterton: A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901 www.chesterton.org/acs/quotes.htmReceived on Saturday, 15 April 2000 18:57:53 UTC

*
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1
: Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:27:29 UTC
*