[Air-l] a question

Luiz Carlos Baptista lucabaptista at sapo.pt
Thu Feb 12 05:57:54 PST 2004

Yes indeed.
In comparing Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine with Joseph Jacquard's
loom, Ada Lovelace said:

"We may say most aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical
patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves."

According to Ada, the Analytical Engine

"might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual
fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of
operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the
action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine."

It seems to be only fair to atribute to Ada Lovelace the primacy in regard
to the acknowledgment of the media-universal nature of computers.


Luiz Carlos Baptista
lucabaptista at sapo.pt
lucabaptista at hotmail.com

----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Bryson
To: air-l at aoir.org
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 6:11 AM
Subject: Re: [Air-l] a question

Alan Kay?
--maybe not...
I'd venture to say we could go back a little further back
And say it was a woman
what a surprize :)
I'd say it was Ada Lovelace who wrote eloquently about the ways in which
digital code could simulate all kinds of media
This is discussed at some length
in Plant's Zeros and Ones


On 2/11/04 12:12 PM, "Jonas Heide Smith" <jonas at autofire.dk> wrote:

> Jesper,
>> Who was the first to say that the computer can simulate all former
> kinds
>> of media?
> I believe the honour goes to Alan Kay ("Personal Dynamic Media", 1977):
> "...the ability to simulate the details of any descriptive model means
> that the computer, viewed as a
> medium itself, can be all other media if the embedding and viewing
> methods are sufficiently well provided. Moreover, this new "metamedium"
> is active..."
> But you could - I think - call the statement an extension of Alan
> Turing's description of the computer as a machine which could simulate
> (or be, if you like) all other machines.
> Best,
> Jonas
> -----Original Message-----
> From: air-l-admin at aoir.org [mailto:air-l-admin at aoir.org] On Behalf Of
> jespert
> Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 3:50 PM
> To: air-l at aoir.org
> Subject: [Air-l] a question
> Dear list,
> Who was the first to say that the computer can simulate all former kinds
> of media?
> Best Regards
> Jesper

Mary Bryson, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Human Learning,
Development and Instruction Graduate program,
Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia
Research Site: http://www.shecan.com
Online C.V.:  http://www.educ.ubc.ca/faculty/bryson/cv.html

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