The Victorian computer pioneers ahead of their time.

I’m read­ing Syd­ney Padua’s The Thrilling Adven­tures of Lovelace and Bab­bage. It’s a fun alter­nate his­to­ry, told in comics, of the work of Charles Bab­bage and Ada, Count­ess of Lovelace—between them, the pre­cur­sors of (respec­tive­ly) auto­mat­ed com­put­ing and com­put­er pro­gram­ming (for the unfa­mil­iar, Steven Wolfram’s Untan­gling the Tale of Ada Lovelace puts their work and rela­tion­ship […]

Blogging The Highlights: Sapiens [Part One]

Ear­li­er this year I read Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Sapi­ens: A Brief His­to­ry of Humankind. It is, with­out a doubt, one of the most amaz­ing, eye-open­ing, mind-expand­ing books I’ve ever read. I’ve want­ed for some time to write a review of it, but have been slight­ly daunt­ed by the thought of try­ing to do it jus­tice. Even using quotes […]

Blaming technology for human problems

There’s some­thing I find real­ly objec­tion­able about this adver­tis­ing cam­paign that’s doing the rounds at the moment. “The more you con­nect, the less you con­nect”, made by Ogilvy Bei­jing, shows a giant phone screen phys­i­cal­ly com­ing between fam­i­ly mem­bers: Far from find­ing it “bru­tal­ly hon­est”, I find it dimwit­ted­ly dis­hon­est. It sug­gests a notion that before mobile phones we […]