ETech – Von Neumann’s UniversePosted: March 15, 2005
George Dyson. Institute of Advanced Studies.
How the digital universe we work in emerged. John Von Neumann went to Los Alamos where the machines they built where originally used to calculate bomb stats. He concluded then that computers would be much more important and impact the world more than bombs.
Addresses, order codes, and/or, command line (to execute orders), shift registers, memory, first bit mapped pixels (graphics), no propriety rights to the things built, were all ideas that came from the group of researches that Van Neumann put together at the institute. He also had a pet project on artificial life which he brought people in to research (create virtual organisms). The first virus was made in a punch card. Human biology took 4B years to evolve. Digital life is happening much faster. The title wave of computation power will change the world (that’s what Van Neumann and his other researches concluded in the 40s). Cool talk.