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George Dyson: „Google is just a very large set of numbers“

Im Rahmen der Next2012 in Berlin haben wir den Technologie-Historiker George Dyson interviewt, der das Buch “Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe” veröffentlicht hat. Das Buch beschreibt wie eine Gruppe rundum John von Neumann das MANIAC-Projekt durchführten, dessen Aufgabe es war einen Computer zu kreieren der zur Entwicklung der Wasserstoff-Bombe beitragen sollte. George Dyson und ich haben nach seiner Keynote über die Themen des analogen Computings, über die Möglichkeit, dass Menschen Telepathie anwenden könnten und über die moralisch ambivalenten Ursprünge des digitalen Zeitalters gesprochen. Im Folgenden lest Ihr das Gepräch im englischen Originalton.


I’m here at Next Berlin speaking with George Dyson, who just gave a keynote on the digital universe. Thanks for talking to Netzpiloten.

You’re welcome!

So, you grew up with a theoretical physicist for a father and a mathematician for a mother and very close to what you talk about in
the book you recently had published. Did that have a major influence on how you ended up feeling about computers and the digital world?

georg dysonYes, I mean, we all see what’s happening in so many different ways and I try look at it from the other side, which is the side of the numbers. We’re on the human side and the other side of the mirror is this universe of numbers. It’s an interesting thought experiment to ask what if you were in that world of numbers what would it look like from the other way? And that used to be something kind of crazy. You almost would be insane to think of it that way, but more and more that really is the way the world is. There is a universe of numbers that is starting to do things in our world and if you go to a meeting like this, you’re seeing all this people who are essentially trying to find a home for numbers. Even something like Google is just a very large set of numbers and if you can think of a new app, which is just something, a number, you can download to your phone. As we see you can be rewarded overnight for that.

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