The Scientist Speculates: an Anthology of Partly-Baked Ideas

Good, Irving John, General Editor

Published by Basic Books, 1962
ISBN 10: 0465074545 / ISBN 13: 9780465074549
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Synopsis: With over 900 papers to his credit, Good had used his learning and writing skills to give deep insights into not only the present state of science, mathematics, statistics, computing, and philosophy, but also into their future. Arthur C. Clarke used Good's name in 1968, along with that of Marvin Minsky, to explain the thinking capabilities of HAL 9000, his science fiction machine of the book and film "2001 - A Space Odyessy". Good himself made some remarkable predictions of the future, including the 1962 speculation that by 1978 "a pulse repetition frequency of 109 per second [i.e. a nanosecond] will be attained ... and a machine of a million units might well be large enough [to model the cerebral cortex], especially if it had an additional 1010 binary digits [about a gigabyte] of comparatively slow subsidiary storage. Good's refusal to go on working when tired was vindicated by a subsequent incident. During another long night shift, he had been baffled by his failure to break a doubly enciphered Offizier message. This was one of the messages which was supposed to be enciphered initially with the Enigma set up in accordance with the Offizier settings, and subsequently with the general Enigma settings in place. However, while he was sleeping before returning for another shift, he dreamed that the order had been reversed; the general settings had been applied before the Offizier settings. Next day he found that the message had yet to be read, so he applied the theory which had come to him during the night. It worked; he had broken the code in his sleep.

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Title: The Scientist Speculates: an Anthology of ...
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 1962
Binding: Hardcover

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