CS191 2019-02-25
Zhu, Justin

CS191 2019-02-25
Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Bush Paper

Vannevar Bush built a differential analyzer for solving differential equations. Shannon was hired as a research assistant. Clearly, some greatness was in the mix.

It’s nice to see that Bush first publicized this device in a 1945 Atlantic article where he called it a memex. Really goes to show the legitimacy and quality of the Atlantic, haha.

HG Wells also had a similar inspiration by writing that there is no practical obstacle that has led to the creation of an efficient index to all of human knowledge, ideas and achievements, for the memory of all mankind. It’s nice to contextualize Bush’s efforts in the midst of scientific developments. There exists a real intellectualization for human beings to access parts of their memory that have not fully been realized.

Bush’s journey was a story ingrained in the extent and variety of present day interests. Human experience has often become a reflection of what’s popular and what’s in the vogue, and Bush’s work was in full fashion. Having just had a good gig from the Manhattan Project, it’s interesting to notice that he himself was in all the action of all the major scientific breakthroughs that were happening in his time.

Bush’s developments in microphotography are pretty interesting. He has a pretty broad range and develops some great creativity in microphotography. Bush just needs to take advantage of existing mechanisms and alter the language at the time.

I find it interesting how Professor Lewis describes it being a “girl who strokes [its] keys languidly and looks about the room and sometimes at the speaker with a disquieting gaze.” Kill your darlings, so this imagery goes.

Licklider Paper

Licklider’s ultimate aim is to achieve a man–computer symbiosis. Semi-automatic systems are those that started out fully automatic but fell short of the goal.

Comparing computational speed to Brooklyn students is a pretty hilarious analogy. It might be worthwhile to avoid arguments with other enthusiasts for artificial intelligence researchers.

Such a relationship specifies that computers formulate formal thinking and men cooperate in making decisions without dependence on certain programs.

There is a delegation of duties: the visionary and the executioner. The computer also has to divide its time among many different users. Chiefly, timesharing systems are in active development, which keep users from “clobbering anything but their own personal programs.”

There is mention of a trie structure where the trie memory structure is inefficient for small memories but increasingly efficient in available storage space as memory size increases.

If two arguments have the same initial characters in common, there exists the same storage space for these characters. I think this is pretty important, as we can then establish variable lengths for whatever characters we are interested in and find out.

Computers achieve courses while human beings achieve goals.

Lewis’s Notes

Doug Englebart is widely considered the mother of all demos.

“A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect”

There was a mouse and everything! Politicizing of science makes this a rather dangerous time.

Bush had this early vision of the way computers store and retrieve information.