Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “technology”

From Immigrant to Inventor: The Great Serbian-American Scientist Michael Pupin on the Value of a Penniless Immigrant Boy Full of Promise
From Immigrant to Inventor: The Great Serbian-American Scientist Michael Pupin on the Value of a Penniless Immigrant Boy Full of Promise

“An immigrant can see things which escape the attention of the native.”

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7 Favorite Science Books of 2017
7 Favorite Science Books of 2017

From trees to consciousness to black holes, an immersion into the glory of the knowable and the splendor of the unknown.

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Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: A Lovely Children’s Book About the World’s First Computer Programmer
Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: A Lovely Children’s Book About the World’s First Computer Programmer

How a little girl with dreams of flying changed the world in footnotes.

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Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Powered Early Space Exploration
Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Powered Early Space Exploration

A heartening testament to “the triumph of meritocracy” and to the idea that “each of us should be allowed to rise as far as our talent and hard work can take us.”

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How the Bit Was Born: Claude Shannon and the Invention of Information
How the Bit Was Born: Claude Shannon and the Invention of Information

“Information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle … transforming every branch of knowledge.”

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The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener on Communication, Control, and the Morality of Our Machines
The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics Pioneer Norbert Wiener on Communication, Control, and the Morality of Our Machines

“We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves. A pattern is a message.”

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Code Girls: The Untold Story of the Women Cryptographers Who Fought WWII at the Intersection of Language and Mathematics
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the Women Cryptographers Who Fought WWII at the Intersection of Language and Mathematics

“Virtually as soon as humans developed the ability to speak and write, somebody somewhere felt the desire to say something to somebody else that could not be understood by others.”

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The Binary Code of Body and Spirit: Computing Pioneer Alan Turing on Mortality
The Binary Code of Body and Spirit: Computing Pioneer Alan Turing on Mortality

“The body provides something for the spirit to look after and use.”

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The Möbius Strip of Remembering and Forgetting: Teju Cole on How the Paradox of Photography Clarifies the Central Anxiety of Existence
The Möbius Strip of Remembering and Forgetting: Teju Cole on How the Paradox of Photography Clarifies the Central Anxiety of Existence

“Photography is at the nerve center of our paradoxical memorial impulses: we need it there for how it helps us frame our losses, but we can also sense it crowding in on ongoing experience, imposing closure on what should still be open.”

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It from Bit: Pioneering Physicist John Archibald Wheeler on Information, the Nature of Reality, and Why We Live in a Participatory Universe
It from Bit: Pioneering Physicist John Archibald Wheeler on Information, the Nature of Reality, and Why We Live in a Participatory Universe

“All things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe… Observer-participancy gives rise to information.”

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