Joseph-Marie Jacquard

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pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

“Using the Jacquard loom,” James Essinger writes, “it was possible for a skilled weaver to produce two feet of stunningly beautiful decorated silk fabric every day compared with the one inch of fabric per day that was the best that could be managed with the drawloom.” Joseph-Marie Jacquard displaying his loom The Jacquard loom, patented in 1804, stands today as one of the most significant innovations in the history of textile production. But its most important legacy lies in the world of computation. In 1839, Charles Babbage wrote a letter to an astronomer friend in Paris, inquiring about a portrait he had just encountered in London, a portrait that when viewed from across the room seemed to have been rendered in oil paints, but on closer inspection turned out to be woven entirely out of silk. The subject of the portrait was Joseph-Marie Jacquard himself. In his letter Babbage explained his interest in the legendary textile inventor: You are aware that the system of cards which Jacard [sic] invented are the means by which we can communicate to a very ordinary loom orders to weave any pattern that may be desired.

Though several working prototypes were built, the machine never found a home in the French textile industry. But one of those prototypes survived long enough to find its way into the collection of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, an institute formed in the early days of the French Revolution, more than a decade after Vaucanson’s death. In 1803, an ambitious inventor from Lyon named Joseph-Marie Jacquard made a pilgrimage to the conservatoire to inspect Vaucanson’s automated loom. Recognizing both the genius and the limitations of the pinned cylinder, Jacquard hit upon the idea of using a sequence of cards punched with holes to program the loom. In Jacquard’s design, small rods, each attached to an individual thread, pressed against the punch cards; if they encountered the card’s surface, the thread remained stationary.


pages: 220 words: 64,234

Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects by Glenn Adamson

big-box store, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, dumpster diving, haute couture, informal economy, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Mason jar, race to the bottom, trade route, white flight

A fabric made with a consistent pattern of floats is described as a satin weave, so that gives you an idea of the tactile result. More complexity can be achieved by introducing multiple colors or multiple types of fiber, each of which gets the equivalent of its own sheet of graph paper pattern in the design process. As you may appreciate, the possibility for complication becomes enormous rather quickly. This is why the Jacquard loom, named for its French inventor, Joseph Marie Jacquard, and publicly unveiled in 1801, was so important. He devised a means for storing the pattern of each pick (again, that’s each single passage of the weft thread through the textile) into a series of punch cards, chained together and fed automatically into the loom. This system completely revolutionized the textile industry. The most ancient forms of weaving had been done on standing frames or so-called “backstrap looms,” in which the warp threads were anchored by the weaver’s body.

Inflexible narratives of tradition imprison makers in an unsustainable production model, while narratives that emphasize progress tend to assume that new is necessarily better, and therefore ignore the material intelligence of established ways of doing things. We don’t need to set up game preserves for endangered species of craft, nor do we need to turn every workshop into an R&D hub. There is a middle way, which is anchored in equal respect for all forms of material intelligence, no matter how established or novel. Once we think in these unprejudiced terms, we can see that the weaver Joseph Marie Jacquard and the coconut carver Murage Ngani Ngatho, for all of the obvious differences in their situations, had a great deal in common. Both found ways to create value through ingenious experimentation. Both dedicated themselves not just to the shaping of materials, but also to the tools that do the shaping. And both created a body of knowledge, or “cleverness,” from which others could benefit. Thinking of Jacquard as a pioneering engineer and Murage as a traditional artisan obscures these points of similarity, and hence the essential human value that both men exemplify.


pages: 485 words: 126,597

Paper: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

Ada Lovelace, clean water, computer age, Edward Snowden, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lone genius, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, moveable type in China, paper trading, trade route, Vannevar Bush

He disliked the papermakers’ guild and the papermakers, with all their rights and privileges—as did many on the management side of papermaking—and was candid about his goal of finding a way to unseat them from their perch. This was one of the first signs to the careful observer that Diderot’s promised century was not going to unfold the way he imagined. Soon weavers would be in a death struggle with Joseph-Marie Jacquard’s automatic punch-card-operated looms, another French invention put into operation in Britain. The weavers, like the paper workers, were a highly skilled and well-organized group who had won many rights. The continuous-paper-machine patent caught the interest of the Fourdrinier brothers, Henry and Sealy, papermakers who built several prototypes of the huge and complicated machine, and went bankrupt in the process.

The computer age does seem to have its origins in the Industrial Revolution, and Ada Lovelace was probably the first to write about a machine that could be programmed to work on any problem. But her ideas were based on those of Charles Babbage, who had built a machine, the Difference Engine, that could make calculations. Her most famous work is an 1843 treatise on the potential of Babbage’s machine. Forty years earlier, Joseph-Marie Jacquard had invented a loom that could be programmed with punch cards. Ada Lovelace was probably familiar with that machine because when the Luddites tried to smash them, her father, Lord Byron, famously spoke in the Luddites’ defense. Jacquard’s work probably also led Babbage to imagine his calculating machine, also programmable with punch cards. In any event, Jacquard must be given some credit for the 1890 US Census, which Herman Hollerith was able to complete in one year instead of the estimated eight through the use of punch cards and electronics.

Three years later it changes its name to The Times. 1790 Thomas Bewick becomes the most sought-after illustrator in Britain. 1798 Nicolas-Louis Robert applies for a patent for his continuous-paper machine. 1798 Artist J. M. W. Turner begins his experiments with watercolors. 1799 Alois Senefelder invents the lithograph. 1800 Lord Stanhope invents a cast iron printer. 1801 Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents the automatic loom, operated by punch cards. 1804 Bryan Donkin builds the first working Fourdrinier machine. 1809 John Dickinson patents his cylinder papermaking machine. 1810 Friedrich Koenig invents a steam-powered printer. 1811 The Luddites start smashing automatic looms in England. 1814 The Times of London uses Koenig’s steam-powered printer. 1818 Joshua Gilpin builds the first continuous-paper machine in America. 1820 More than 29 million newspapers are sold in Britain this year. 1825 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce makes the first photograph. 1830 New bleaching process makes white paper from colored rags possible. 1833 An English patent is granted for making paper from wood. 1840 William Henry Fox Talbot makes first permanent photo on paper. 1841 Ebenezer Landells starts the London satirical magazine Punch. 1843 American Richard M.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

It’s tempting to assume that the machinery of cultural innovation is closer to that engineer tinkering with her model airplane than it is to the lucky Archaeopteryx leaping off the treetop and discovering that its feathers are more than just a down jacket. No one contests the role of intelligent design in the history of human culture. But the history of human creativity abounds with exaptations. In the early 1800s, a French weaver named Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed the first punch cards to weave complex silk patterns with mechanical looms. Several decades later, Charles Babbage borrowed Jacquard’s invention to program the Analytical Engine. Punch cards would remain crucial to programmable computers until the 1970s. Lee de Forest created the Audion with one clear aim: to create a device that would detect electromagnetic signals and amplify them.

STEAM LOCOMOTIVE (1805) A number of engineers built working steam-powered vehicles, some designed to run on roads, some on rails, in the last decades of the eighteenth century, though historians generally consider the train designed by Richard Trevithick in Wales in 1805 to be the first fully functioning steam locomotive. PUNCH CARDS (1805) The idea of using punch cards for programming mechanical looms is generally credited to Joseph Marie Jacquard, but weavers in the early 1700s, including Basile Bouchon and Jean Falcon, experimented extensively with punch card control of warp threads. SPECTROSCOPE (1814) German lenscrafter Joseph von Fraunhofer invented the spectroscope, a device that measures properties of light, in order to study dark lines occurring in various forms of spectra, which he later discovered were areas of the spectrum where light is absorbed.


pages: 261 words: 81,802

The Trouble With Billionaires by Linda McQuaig

"Robert Solow", battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vanguard fund, very high income, wealth creators, women in the workforce

On the contrary, it was the product of a long series of technological developments going back decades (or even centuries), each one making possible the advance of science to the point that the next breakthrough became possible, indeed almost inevitable. In many ways, the story of the personal computer begins in France in the early 1800s with the invention of a superior loom for weaving silk. The intricately brocaded fabrics that were fashionable at the time could be produced by an instrument known as a drawloom, but only with extremely difficult and complex hand-weaving. Joseph Marie Jacquard, the fifth of nine children of a master weaver from Lyon, devised a loom that allowed the weaving function to be done without manual effort. The key to his invention was a series of punched cards. These were inserted into the loom, where metal rods attached to individual threads would hit against them. If a rod encountered a hole in a card, it would activate a thread; if it encountered solid card, it would do nothing.

Engelbart, who has been sadly disappointed by the commercial direction of the computer revolution, held the patent for the mouse, although he never actually received any royalties for it because he allowed it to expire in 1987, on the cusp of the desktop revolution. So if we were to present the story of the development of the personal computer as a stage play, it would be a rich and complex drama with a long list of characters. From early scenes featuring Joseph Marie Jacquard and his punched-card technology, the play would go on to include starring roles for Charles Babbage, Herman Hollerith, Thomas John Watson, J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly, Douglas Engelbart and Bill English, with a host of other largely unidentified characters playing crucial supporting roles onstage and off. Toward the end of this rather long drama, there’d be an intriguing subplot about how technological innovator Gary Kildall thought he had a deal with IBM, only to discover his friend Bill Gates had sold IBM an adaptation of Kildall’s own operating system for the first mass-market personal computer.


pages: 371 words: 93,570

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans

"side hustle", 4chan, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, East Village, Edward Charles Pickering, game design, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pets.com, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, rolodex, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

“The visible pattern” of any cloth, she writes, “is integral to the process which produced it; the program and the pattern are continuous.” This process, of course, historically concerns women. Around looms, at spinning wheels, in sewing circles, in ancient Egypt and China, and in southeastern Europe five centuries before Christianity, women have woven clothing, shelter, the signifiers of status, even currency. Like many accepted patterns, this was disrupted by the Industrial Revolution, when a French weaver, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, proposed a new way to create cloth—not by hand, but by the numbers. Unlike a traditional loom, singularly animated by its weaver’s ingenuity, Jacquard’s invention produced remarkably complex textiles from patterns punched into sequences of paper cards, reproducible and consistent beyond a margin of human error. The resulting damask, brocade, and quilted matelassé became highly coveted all over Europe, but the impact of Jacquard’s loom went far beyond industrial textile production: his punched cards, which separated pattern from process for the first time in history, would eventually find their way into the earliest computers.

In his maiden speech to the House of Lords in 1812, he defended the organized framebreakers by comparing the results of a Jacquard loom’s mechanical weaving to “spider-work.” Privately, he worried that, in his sympathy for the Luddites, he might be taken as “half a frame-breaker” himself. He was, of course, not—and he was dead wrong about the spider work, too. Even as Byron made his case, Jacquard looms were producing a quality and volume of textiles unlike anything the world had ever seen. The mathematician Charles Babbage owned a portrait of Joseph-Marie Jacquard woven from thousands of silk threads using twenty-four thousand punched cards, a weaving so intricate that it was regularly mistaken for an engraving by his guests. And although the portrait was a fine possession, it was the loom itself, and its punch card programs, that really ignited Babbage’s imagination. “It is a known fact,” Babbage proclaimed, “that the Jacquard loom is capable of weaving any design which the imagination of man may conceive.”


pages: 480 words: 112,463

The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History by Kassia St Clair

barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, butterfly effect, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Francisco Pizarro, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, gravity well, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, out of africa, Rana Plaza, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spinning jenny, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Works Progress Administration

The jacket, which can be tapped or stroked to play or pause music, skip through tracks and so on, and which will also alert you if you get a text, went on sale for 350 dollars. Although early reviews have found the technology rather limited – you’re only controlling the smartphone that’s in your pocket, after all – others see such smart fabric as the wearable tech of the future.8 The name chosen for this futuristic endeavour was Project Jacquard, a name with a nineteenth-century pedigree. In 1801 Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a loom that made it possible to mass-produce textiles with complex woven patterns, something that previously had taken a great deal of skill, time and expertise to produce. His ‘Jacquard Loom’ was controlled, or programmed, by pieces of card marked with a series of holes that determined the pattern. Much later, these ingenious, hole-punched cards paved the way for another invention: computing.

Fustian Coarse cloth made of cotton or flax. Now more commonly a thick, twilled cotton cloth usually dyed a dull, dark colour. H Heckling To split and straighten the fibres of hemp or flax for spinning. Holland Linen fabric from the province of Holland in the Netherlands. J Jacquard loom A loom fitted with a mechanism to control the weaving of figured fabrics. This mechanism was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard from Lyons in France. Jersey Knitted goods from Jersey, especially a kind of tunic. Later used to denote fine knitted fabrics. L Loom A machine or implement on which yarn or thread is woven. Lustring A very glossy silk fabric. The name derives from the word ‘lustre’. M Mercer A person who deals in textiles, especially luxurious ones including silks and velvet. Mordant Used to fix dyes to fabric so that the colourant would stay put after wear and washing.


pages: 210 words: 62,771

Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science by Chris Bernhardt

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, British Empire, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Conway's Game of Life, discrete time, Douglas Hofstadter, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture

Though the physical machines were not constructed during his lifetime, Babbage went on to design a new difference engine, Difference Engine No. 2, and the Analytical Engine.1 The Analytical Engine was far more sophisticated than the difference engines. Its most important and innovative feature was that it could be programmed using punched cards. This was an idea that he borrowed from mechanical looms. In 1801, Joseph-Marie Jacquard had designed a mechanical loom that could weave intricate patterns based on operations controlled by a sequence of punched cards. Babbage realized he could use the same idea for his machine. He had designed the programmable computer. Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, now usually known as just Ada Lovelace, was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Her mother, concerned about the mental instability in Lord Byron’s family, decided that her daughter should study mathematics to help build her mental defenses.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

Babbage himself had moved far beyond the machine on display in his drawing room; he was planning a new machine, still an engine of computation but transmuted into another species. He called this the Analytical Engine. Motivating him was a quiet awareness of the Difference Engine’s limitations: it could not, merely by adding differences, compute every sort of number or solve any mathematical problem. Inspiring him, as well, was the loom on display in the Strand, invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, controlled by instructions encoded and stored as holes punched in cards. What caught Babbage’s fancy was not the weaving, but rather the encoding, from one medium to another, of patterns. The patterns would appear in damask, eventually, but first were “sent to a peculiar artist.” This specialist, as he said, punches holes in a set of pasteboard cards in such a manner that when those cards are placed in a Jacquard loom, it will then weave upon its produce the exact pattern designed by the artist.♦ The notion of abstracting information away from its physical substrate required careful emphasis.

I Am a Mathematician (Wiener) iatroepidemics IBM, 8.1, 9.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 14.1, 14.2 ideas, compared to biosphere, 11.1, 11.2; see also memes idiographic writing Iliad (Homer) images compressibility of memes as recording of, 14.1, 14.2 imagination, 2.1n, 4.1, 4.2, 7.1 Imitation Game (Turing), 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 incompleteness theorem algorithmic proof of randomness and, 12.1, 12.2 chaos theory and, 12.1, 12.2 decision problem and, 7.1, 7.2 proof of, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 significance of, 6.1, 6.2 Turing machine and indexes, 15.1, 15.2, epl.1, epl.2, epl.3 inductive reasoning Infinities, The (Banville) “Information Is Inevitably Physical” (Landauer) “Information Is Physical” (Landauer) information overload in Borges’s “Library of Babel,” 14.1 e-mail and, 15.1, 15.2 filter and search strategies to prevent, 15.1, 15.2 historical fears of, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 human–computer comparison of effects of knowledge and, 15.1, 15.2 manifestations of, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 meaning and, epl.1, epl.2, epl.3, epl.4 psychological studies of, 15.1, 15.2 technological progress and, prl.1, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4 information theory attempts to add semantic counterpart to on control of redundancy in messages, 7.1, 7.2 cryptography and development in England, 8.1, 8.2 diagram of communication in, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 genetic science and, prl.1, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 language as possibility in, epl.1, epl.2 measurement of information in, 7.1, 7.2 message value in, 12.1-3.1 noise source in, 7.1, 7.2 origins of, prl.1, prl.2, prl.3, prl.4, 7.1; see also Mathematical Theory of Communication, The (Shannon, Weaver) physics and, prl.1, prl.2, prl.3 place of meaning in, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, epl.1, epl.2 response of wider scientific community to, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9 response to Shannon’s initial publication, 8.1, 8.2 significance of, prl.1, prl.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 in Soviet Union, 12.1, 12.2 system states in theories of psychology and, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7 see also quantum information science Internet, 11.1, 11.2, epl.1, epl.2, epl.3 It from Bit (Wheeler), prl.1, 13.1 Jacobson, Homer Jacquard, Joseph-Marie Jacquard loom, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 12.1 James, William, 8.1, 8.2 János, Neumann; see John von Neumann Jaynes, Julian, 2.1, 2.2 Jennings, Allan Johannsen, Wilhelm John of Salisbury Johnson, John B. Johnson, Samuel, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 Johnstone, James Joncourt, Élie de, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 Jones, Alexander Jonsson, Lars Jowett, Benjamin Judson, Horace Freeland Just, Ward Kahn, David Karinthy, Frigyes Kele language, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Kelvin, William Thomson, Lord Kepler, Johannes Kermode, Frank, 2.1, 2.2 Keynes, John Maynard Khwarizmi, Abu Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Musa al- Kierkegaard, Søren King, August Ada; see Lovelace, Ada King, William Klüver, Heinrich knowledge curse of omniscience, epl.1, epl.2 emergence of global consciousness, epl.1, epl.2, epl.3 epistemological theory of information information overload and, 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 limits to scientific investigation, 12.1, 12.2 in literate cultures, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 power of as product of logic requirements for communication, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 transmission of, through human history, prl.1, prl.2 Knuth, Donald, 2.1, 2.2 Kolmogorov, Andrei Nikolaevich, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6, 12.7, 12.8 Kolmogorov-Chaitin complexity, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4 Konversations-Lexikon, epl.1 Lacroix, Sylvestre François Lagrange, Joseph Louis Landauer, Rolf, 13.1, 13.2 Landowska, Wanda Landsberg, Peter Lane, Anthony, 15.1, 15.2 language adaptations for telegraphy, 5.1, 5.2 Babbage’s work on, 4.1, 4.2 compressibility of concept of mind and for discussing language, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 functions of, 5.1, 5.2 as infinite possibility, epl.1, epl.2 limitations of measuring redundancy in, 1.1, 1.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 paradoxes of, 2.1, 2.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 pattern analysis perfect redundancy in, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 12.1 as shared experience statistical structure of, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 symbolic expression of, 5.1, 5.2 technical, 3.1, 3.2 transmission capacity of Internet and, 3.1, 3.2 universal, 4.1, 6.1 see also oral culture; writing; specific language Language Instinct, The (Pinker), 3.1, 3.2 Lanier, Jaron Laplace, Pierre-Simon, 14.1, 14.2 Lardner, Dionysius, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2 Lasker, Edward Latin language, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Laws of Thought, The (Boole), 5.1, 5.2 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 15.1, epl.1 Lem, Stanislaw Le Roy, Édouard Le Sage, Georges-Louis Lever, Ralph Levor, Norma, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Leyland numbers Li, Ming, 11.1, 11.2 liar’s paradox libraries, organization of materials in, 3.1, 3.2, 15.1 Library of Alexandria, 14.1, 14.2 “Library of Babel, The” (Borges), 14.1, 14.2, 15.1, epl.1, epl.2 Library of Congress, 7.1, 14.1, 14.2, epl.1 Licklider, J.


pages: 222 words: 74,587

Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski, Peter Krapp

business process, continuation of politics by other means, double entry bookkeeping, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, index card, Index librorum prohibitorum, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacques de Vaucanson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, paper trading, Turing machine

Remington & Sons Typewriter Company, spun off by gun producer Eliphalet Remington II in 1886, acquires both Library Bureau and Globe Wernicke, merging them the following year with Rand Kardex to form Remington Rand Inc.78 A department called Remington Kardex Bureau spurs the decisive advancement of the index card to an automated storage device principle whose origins refer once more to Europe, that is, to the eighteenth century and Jacques de Vaucanson as well as Joseph Marie Jacquard’s punch cards.79 After 1958, five electric-pneumatically linked Remington Rand typewriters print the paper slips of the last analog catalog of the Austrian National Library, five copies synchronized by compressed air. However, they prove inferior to the more robust and soon widely used electric typewriters of the International Business Machines Corporation, and as a result are disposed of.80 The intertwined genealogy of card index makers and typewriter manufacturers, leading to the production of the universal discrete machine, remains an American history of mergers and acquisitions.


pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler

Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, animal electricity, automated trading system, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buttonwood tree, Claude Shannon: information theory, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Grace Hopper, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, railway mania, RAND corporation, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Frog’s legs were one thing, but there was an industrial revolution going on, and more important tasks to be done. Remember the Edmund Cartwright automated loom from 1785? Stream engines would drive the looms, but the cloth that came out was one color or one thickness. The bland Brits didn’t complain, at least it was more comfortable than itchy wool. The French, on the other hand, demanded a little style, and were willing to pay for it. The son of a French silk weaver, Joseph-Marie Jacquard had a thriving business operating looms. But to meet the demands of discerning customers for interesting patterns, he needed weavers to lift or depress warp threads before each pass of the shuttle of the loom. This was painstaking work so output was slow and expensive. In 1801, Jacquard came up with an automated loom that operated with a set of punched cards. If there was a hole in the punch card, a spring-loaded pin and corresponding warp thread would be depressed.


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Once the process was thus simplified, it could be reversed and the tasks parceled out to untutored laborers. One would be in charge of adding 2 to the last number in column B, and then would hand that result to another person, who would add that result to the last number in column A, thus generating the next number in the sequence of squares. Replica of the Difference Engine. Replica of the Analytical Engine. The Jacquard loom. Silk portrait of Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834) woven by a Jacquard loom. Babbage devised a way to mechanize this process, and he named it the Difference Engine. It could tabulate any polynomial function and provide a digital method for approximating the solution to differential equations. How did it work? The Difference Engine used vertical shafts with disks that could be turned to any numeral. These were attached to cogs that could be cranked in order to add that numeral to (or subtract it from) a disk on an adjacent shaft.

The Analytical Engine was the product of what Ada Lovelace, in her essay on imagination, had called “the Combining Faculty.” Babbage had combined innovations that had cropped up in other fields, a trick of many great inventors. He had originally used a metal drum that was studded with spikes to control how the shafts would turn. But then he studied, as Ada had, the automated loom invented in 1801 by a Frenchman named Joseph-Marie Jacquard, which transformed the silk-weaving industry. Looms create a pattern by using hooks to lift selected warp threads, and then a rod pushes a woof thread underneath. Jacquard invented a method of using cards with holes punched in them to control this process. The holes determined which hooks and rods would be activated for each pass of the weave, thus automating the creation of intricate patterns.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Each gear was a “step” representing an increment of ten. This design was used to build calculating machines for the next 275 years.12 Leibniz had no time for mere arithmetic; he had more important math to do. After he invented his machine, he famously said: “It is beneath the dignity of excellent men to waste their time in calculation when any peasant could do the work just as accurately with the aid of a machine.” When Joseph Marie Jacquard released the punch-card loom in 1801, it got mathematicians thinking differently about machines that might help calculate. Jacquard’s loom ran on binary logic: a hole in the card meant binary one; no hole meant binary zero. The machine wove its intricate patterns based on whether there was a hole or not. It took a few decades for people to figure out the details, but finally there was a breakthrough in in 1822, when English scientist Charles Babbage began work on what he called a difference engine.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

It is the general-purpose technologies – such as steam and electricity – that generate economic revolutions. And computing is a fantastically powerful general-purpose technology. Engineers tinkered with computing machines for millennia, but the pace of advance in mechanical computing truly picked up in the nineteenth century. Early computing innovation found its way into a loom invented by a Frenchman called Joseph Marie Jacquard, which used punch cards to ‘programme’ the loom to produce particular patterns in the fabric. In the early twentieth century, the vacuum tube (a light-bulb-like device in which an electrical current is transmitted from one electrode to another) became the guts of early electronic computers. Early computer scientists learned that the tubes could be used as electrical switches, which meant that they could be used to calculate.* It was the Second World War, however, which transformed the computing world.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, animal electricity, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

The big bang of the modern mind. 380 BC: Plato writes The Republic. 330 BC: Aristotle describes ‘syllogisms’, a way to mechanise thought. 150 BC: The Antikythera mechanism is constructed, a mechanical calculating machine, probably by students of astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes. AD 50: Hero of Alexandria designs first mechanical automata. 1275: Ramon Lull invents Ars Magna, a logical machine. 1637: Descartes declares cogito ergo sum (‘I think therefore I am’). 1642: Blaise Pascal invents the Pascaline, a mechanical cal-culator. 1726: Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver’s Travels, which includes the description of a machine that can write any book. 1801: Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a textiles loom that uses punched cards. 1811: Luddite movement in Great Britain against the auto-mation of manual jobs. 1818: Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein. 1835: Joseph Henry invents the electronic relay that allows electrical automation and switching. 1842: Charles Babbage lectures at the University of Turin, where he describes the Analytical Engine. 1843: Ada Lovelace writes the first computer program. 1847: George Boole invents symbolic and binary logic. 1876: Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. 1879: Thomas Edison invents the light bulb. 1879: Gottlob Frege invents predicate logic and calculus. 1910: Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead publish Principia Mathematica. 1917: Karel Capek coins the term ‘robot’ in his play R.U.R. 1921: Ludwig Wittgenstein publishes Tractatus Logico-philosopicus. 1931: Kurt Gödel publishes The Incompleteness Theorem. 1937: Alan Turing invents the ‘Turing machine’. 1938: Claude Shannon demonstrates that symbolic logic can be implemented using electronic relays. 1941: Konrad Zuse constructs Z3, the first Turing-complete computer. 1942: Alan Turing and Claude Shannon work together at Bell Labs. 1943: Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts demonstrate the equivalence between electronics and neurons. 1943: IBM funds the construction of Harvard Mark 1, the first program-controlled calculator. 1943: Charles Wynn-Williams and others create the computer Colossus at Bletchley Park. 1945: John von Neumann suggests a computer architecture whereby programs are stored in the memory. 1946: ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is built. 1947: Invention of the transistor at Bell Labs. 1948: Norbert Wiener publishes Cybernetics. 1950: Alan Turing proposes the ‘Turing Test’. 1950: Isaac Asimov publishes I, Robot. 1952: Alan Turing commits suicide with cyanide-laced apple. 1952: Herman Carr produces the first one-dimensional MRI image. 1953: Claude Shannon hires Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy at Bell Labs. 1953: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations pub-lished in German (two years after his death). 1956: The Dartmouth conference; the term ‘Artificial Intel-ligence’ is coined by John McCarthy. 1957: Allen Newell and Herbert Simon build the ‘General Problem Solver’. 1958: John McCarthy creates LISP programming language. 1959: John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky establish AI lab at MIT. 1963: The US government awards $2.2 million to AI lab at MIT for machine-aided cognition. 1965: Hubert Dreyfus argues against the possibility of Artificial Intelligence. 1969: Stanley Kubrick introduces HAL in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. 1971: Leon Chua envisions the memristor. 1972: Alain Colmerauer develops Prolog programming language. 1973: The Lighthill report influences the British government to abandon research in AI. 1976: Hans Moravec builds the ‘Stanford Cart’, the first auto-nomous vehicle.


pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

A. Roger Ekirch, Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Shoshana Zuboff, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

A British patent was issued for a crude barrel piano, activated by pins on a large cylinder, in 1829. Most of these devices, though, were intended for taverns, dance halls, or street performances rather than bourgeois homes.19 Nineteenth-century automation promoted new devices and ambitions. Beginning in 1815, the silk mills of Lyons and other cities were using strings of cards with punched holes to reproduce designs on special looms developed by the manufacturer Joseph Marie Jacquard. This was one of the earliest forms of automatic process control in industry Pianos, organs, and other keyboard instruments were obvious candidates for more advanced systems for reproducing recorded notes. The first automatic pianos were rudimentary instruments for places of cheap popular entertainment. The 1880s and 1890s saw a wave of more sensitive players, beginning with organs, that used air pressure controlled by holes in rolls of paper.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Between 1740 and 1780,36 the French inclination to reward inventors not by enforcing a natural right but by the grant of pensions and prizes resulted in the award of nearly 7 million livres—approximately $600 million today*—to inventors of largely forgotten devices, but Claude-François Jouffroy d’Abbans (inventor of one of the first working steamboats), Barthélemy Thimonnier (creator of the first sewing machine), and Aimé Argand (a partner of Boulton and friend of Watt whose oil lamp became the world’s standard) all died penniless. Other than Joseph-Marie Jacquard, the creator of the eponymous loom, and perhaps the Montgolfiers, the French did not lionize their inventors.37 This didn’t mean they didn’t understand the strategic importance of technology. Carnot himself wrote, “to deprive England of her steam engines,38 you would deprive her of both coal and iron; you would cut off the sources of all her wealth, totally destroy her means of prosperity, and reduce this nation of huge power to insignificance.


pages: 566 words: 122,184

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold

Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Eratosthenes, Grace Hopper, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Daguerre, millennium bug, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

For example, Pascal's design of the carry mechanism prohibited the machine from subtracting. To subtract, the nines' complement had to be added the way that I demonstrated in Chapter 13. Successful mechanical calculators that real people could use weren't available until the late nineteenth century. One curious invention that was to have a later influence on the history of computing—as well as a profound influence on the textile industry—was an automated loom developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752–1834). The Jacquard loom (circa 1801) used metal cards with holes punched in them (much like those of a player piano) to control the weaving of patterns in fabrics. Jacquard's own tour de force was a self-portrait in black and white silk that required about 10,000 cards. In the eighteenth century (and indeed up to the 1940s), a computer was a person who calculated numbers for hire.


pages: 551 words: 174,280

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Bonfire of the Vanities, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales of Miletus, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam, zero-sum game

But when it was reinvented by the printer Johannes Gutenberg in Europe in the fifteenth century, using alphabetic type, it initiated an avalanche of further progress. Here we see a transition that is typical of the jump to universality: before the jump, one has to make specialized objects for each document to be printed; after the jump, one customizes (or specializes, or programs) a universal object – in this case a printing press with movable type. Similarly, in 1801 Joseph Marie Jacquard invented a general-purpose silk-weaving machine now known as the Jacquard loom. Instead of having to control manually each row of stitches in each individual bolt of patterned silk, one could program an arbitrary pattern on punched cards which would instruct the machine to weave that pattern any number of times. The most momentous such technology is that of computers, on which an increasing proportion of all technology now depends, and which also has deep theoretical and philosophical significance.


France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams

active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, post-work, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Boarders and bladers buzz around the fountains of place Louis Pradel, surveyed by the Homme de la Liberté (Man of Freedom) on roller skates, sculpted from scrap metal by Marseille-born César (1921–98). West of place des Terreaux, well-known Lyonnais peer out from the seven-storey Fresque des Lyonnais (Map; cnr rue de la Martinière & quai de la Pêcherie, 1er; Hôtel de Ville), a mural featuring loom inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), Renaissance poet Maurice Scève (c 1499–c 1560), superstar chef Paul Bocuse and the yellow-haired Little Prince, created by Lyon-born author Antoine de St-Exupéry (1900–44). South along the quay, inspired contemporary art installations fill the white space of La BF15 ( 04 78 28 66 63; www.labf15.org; 11 quai de la Pêcherie, 1er; Bellecour; admission free; 2-7pm Wed-Sat), a cutting-edge riverside art gallery.


Lonely Planet France by Lonely Planet Publications

banking crisis, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Frank Gehry, G4S, glass ceiling, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Murano, Venice glass, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

On its northern side, boarders and bladers buzz around the fountains of place Louis Pradel , surveyed by the Homme de la Liberté Offline map Google map (Man of Freedom) on roller skates, sculpted from scrap metal by Marseille-born César. Fresque des Lyonnais MURAL Offline map Google map (cnr rue de la Martinière & quai de la Pêcherie, 1er; Hôtel de Ville) Well-known Lyonnais peer out from this seven-storey mural, including loom inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), Renaissance poet Maurice Scève (c 1499–1560), superstar chef Paul Bocuse (b 1926), puppet Guignol, and the yellow-haired Little Prince, created by author/aviator Antoine de St-Exupéry (1900–44). Musée des Tissus SILK MUSEUM (www.musee-des-tissus.com; 34 rue de la Charité, 2e; adult/child €10/7.50, after 4pm €8/5.50; 10am-5.30pm Tue-Sun; Ampère) Extraordinary Lyonnais and international silks are showcased here.


Europe: A History by Norman Davies

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, centre right, charter city, clean water, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of DNA, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equal pay for equal work, Eratosthenes, Etonian, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial independence, finite state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, global village, Honoré de Balzac, Index librorum prohibitorum, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land reform, liberation theology, long peace, Louis Blériot, Louis Daguerre, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, Peace of Westphalia, popular capitalism, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, spinning jenny, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Transnistria, urban planning, urban sprawl

This was achieved through a number of innovations, including underground pumps, Humphry Davy’s safety lamp (1816), and the use of gunpowder for blasting. Machines, equally, which had to be made of hardened steel, could not be built in quantity unless the production of iron and steel could be expanded. This was achieved through a series of improvements, including those introduced at the Carron ironworks in Scotland (1760) and Henry Cort’s patents for the puddling and rolling of steel (1783–4). JACQUARD IN 1804 Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), textile engineer of Lyons, perfected a loom which could weave cloth into any number of predetermined patterns, using sets of punched cards to control woof and shuttle. In textile history, Jacquard’s loom was a major advance on the earlier inventions of Arkwright, Hargreaves, and Crompton. In the wider history of technology, it was an important step in the direction of automated machinery, the predecessor of all sorts of contraptions, from the pianola and the barrel-organ to punched-card data storage systems.