Analogia: The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control

George Dyson (Author)
Available

Description

In Analogia, technology historian George Dyson presents a startling look back at the analog age and life before the digital revolution--and an unsettling vision of what comes next.

In 1716, the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz spent eight days taking the cure with Peter the Great at Bad Pyrmont in Saxony, seeking to initiate a digitally-computed takeover of the world. In his classic books, Darwin Among the Machines and Turing's Cathedral, Dyson chronicled the realization of Leibniz's dream at the hands of a series of iconoclasts who brought his ideas to life. Now, in his pathbreaking new book, Analogia, he offers a chronicle of people who fought for the other side--the Native American leader Geronimo and physicist Leo Szilard, among them--a series of stories that will change our view not only of the past but also of the future.

The convergence of a startling historical archaeology with Dyson's unusual personal story--set alternately in the rarified world of cutting-edge physics and computer science, in Princeton, and in the rainforest of the Northwest Coast--leads to a prophetic vision of an analog revolution already under way. We are, Dyson reveals, on the cusp of a new moment in human history, driven by a generation of machines whose powers are beyond programmable control.

Includes black-and-white illustrations

Product Details

Price
$28.00  $25.76
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
August 18, 2020
Pages
304
Dimensions
6.2 X 1.1 X 9.3 inches | 1.2 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780374104863
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

George Dyson, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, is an independent historian of technology whose subjects have included the development (and redevelopment) of the Aleut kayak (Baidarka, 1986), the evolution of artificial intelligence (Darwin Among the Machines, 1997), a path not taken into space (Project Orion, 2002), and the transition from numbers that mean things to numbers that do things in the aftermath of World War II (Turing's Cathedral, 2012).

Reviews

Pleasingly eccentric [and] impossibly wide-ranging . . . Racing from the Stone Age to the coming singularity, Dyson is in fine fettle . . . [A] lively, if deeply strange, narrative...A thoughtful--and most thought-provoking--exploration of where our inventions have taken and will take us." --Kirkus (starred review)

This is the most delightfully peculiar book I've ever read. It's grand and intimate, personal and cosmic, and about digital computing and archaic hunter gatherers. Every paragraph is a surprise. --Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired

Analogia is a work of originality and ambition unlike any you've encountered. George Dyson transmutes memoir, history, and forecast into a page-turning tale in which Geronimo, J. Richard Oppenheimer, Catherine the Great, Kurt Gödel, and Steller's sea cow play roles. It's no less the story of the magnificent Dysons, a larger-than-life family spanning physicist Freeman, mathematician Verena, tech influencer Esther, and the author himself, an off-the-grid public intellectual. Analogia offers more serious fun than a dozen of the usual bestsellers. --William Poundstone, author of The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation That Predicts the Future is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe

This strange, beautiful, haunting work is like a kaleidoscope of stories, its pattern locking into place at the end. Mixing the rise of computation, the brutal wars on the Apache, the construction of ancient kayaks, and a host of other matters with the author's own remarkable story, George Dyson's book will stick in readers' minds long after they close its covers. Analogia belongs on the shelf that holds Naipaul's Enigma of Arrival and Sebald's Rings of Saturn. And it can stand proudly in their exalted company. --Charles Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

This book pierces through the fog of everyday life. Read and you will become aware of history you need to know, and of how the last few centuries of the human story sit within a much larger, epochal frame. An extra treat is insight into the remarkable Dyson family. --Jaron Lanier, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

"A thought-provoking deep dive into the ideas and stories behind some of the biggest issues of our time. One of Dyson's best." --Greg Bear, author of Darwin's Radio

George Dyson, over the distance of a mere 250 pages, ties together the fine strands of time, space, science, and self, in a gossamer web as beautiful and strong as a spider's. A wondrous and stellar work." --Andrei Codrescu, author of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess