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(PJ Media)   One man is responsible for digital switching, computers, the internet, digital TV, information theory, bioinformatics, and damn near everything else. No, not that guy. And not that guy either   (pjmedia.com) divider line 53
    More: Cool, information theory, logarithms, yes-no questions, bioinformatics, slide rules, Algebra, differential equations, War Department  
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4546 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Sep 2013 at 1:07 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-14 12:05:24 PM
Claude Shannon?
(Checks article)
Yup.
 
2013-09-14 12:24:32 PM
Jeebus?
(Checks article)
Nope.
 
2013-09-14 01:22:46 PM
Done in one. Information theory is the new chaos theory, bandied about by people who know nothing of it. One of the English teachers at the college where I work was "using" "Shannon" for her Composition II class with some half-assed metaphor for source and channel that was actually from McLuhan (who she'd obviously never heard of either).
 
2013-09-14 01:24:36 PM
Anybody who's been in an intro CS, CE, or EE course should of heard of Shannon.
 
2013-09-14 01:28:34 PM
It's not the size of the bit that counts it's the size of the surprise when you whip it out.
 
2013-09-14 01:28:48 PM
+1 for the Star Trek: TOS reference.
 
2013-09-14 01:29:09 PM

beer4breakfast: Anybody who's been in an intro CS, CE, or EE course should of heard of Shannon.

 
2013-09-14 01:29:14 PM
A) I know who that guy is and B) I disagree with this line in the article "This one man, Claude Shannon, is directly responsible for computers "

Because if you really really want to start that shiat with largely electro-mechanical/pure mechanical computational devices then Babbage and his designs for the Difference Engine pretty much trumps this guy.

I'd expect someone who's Bio reads "Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. " to know this sort of shiat.  Perhaps he's never heard of Charles Babbage.
 
2013-09-14 01:38:02 PM
Vaneshi:

I'd expect someone who's Bio reads "Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. " to know this sort of shiat.


I wouldn't.
 
2013-09-14 01:52:54 PM
Any article that claims one person is largely responsible for a brazillion derivative inventions or breakthroughs is wrong.   Inventions are slow and cumulative, built on a general level of understanding by a larger group of communities.    This is why simultaneous invention is a very common thing.  Chances are there were multiple people waiting in the wings who would have figured out the same things nearly at the same time if Shannon hadn't, and the derivative technologies mentioned required the maturation of many other innovations to come together.

A pioneer, definitely.   But modern digital computing theory and the resultant litany of inventions would have come along sooner or later in the larger scheme of things.
 
2013-09-14 02:12:17 PM
Pajamas Media? Aw, hell naw.
 
2013-09-14 02:24:07 PM
for a "media" company, the fact his site doesn't work on a smartphone or in Opera doesn't bode well.
 
2013-09-14 02:31:45 PM
In other news, Charlie Martin doesn't realize he is the last person to have heard of Claude Shannon.
 
2013-09-14 02:34:58 PM

calbert: beer4breakfast: Anybody who's been in an intro CS, CE, or EE course should of HAVE heard of Shannon.

 
2013-09-14 02:39:51 PM

harlock: Any article that claims one person is largely responsible for a brazillion derivative inventions or breakthroughs is wrong.   Inventions are slow and cumulative, built on a general level of understanding by a larger group of communities.    This is why simultaneous invention is a very common thing.  Chances are there were multiple people waiting in the wings who would have figured out the same things nearly at the same time if Shannon hadn't, and the derivative technologies mentioned required the maturation of many other innovations to come together.

A pioneer, definitely.   But modern digital computing theory and the resultant litany of inventions would have come along sooner or later in the larger scheme of things.


It's the typical Randian belief in a class of supermen who are being hampered by the rest of humanity. Mix that in with the standard right wing love of idols and symbols, and you get sole creator type of thinking. People come in all levels of ability and some contribute more than others  but everyone takes from the intellectual commons.
 
2013-09-14 02:57:23 PM
I look forward to the next article on the impact of an obscure scientist "nobody" has heard of. Maybe it will be Richard Feynman.
 
2013-09-14 02:58:22 PM
Claude Shannon?  I demand a recount!

globalclimatefacts.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-09-14 02:59:33 PM

harlock: Any article that claims one person is largely responsible for a brazillion derivative inventions or breakthroughs is wrong.   Inventions are slow and cumulative, built on a general level of understanding by a larger group of communities.    This is why simultaneous invention is a very common thing.  Chances are there were multiple people waiting in the wings who would have figured out the same things nearly at the same time if Shannon hadn't, and the derivative technologies mentioned required the maturation of many other innovations to come together.

A pioneer, definitely.   But modern digital computing theory and the resultant litany of inventions would have come along sooner or later in the larger scheme of things.


Keep in mind that "sooner" was critically important during WWII, when it appears much of Shannon's ideas were being put to use to win the war!

Yeah, I'll agree that pretty much EVERYTHING will EVENTUALLY be invented, but I'd like to see a cure for cancer and flying cars NOW, during my lifetime!!!
 
2013-09-14 02:59:58 PM

FloydA: I wouldn't.


Ohh it's one of THOSE sorts of sites eh?

At least the spelling was pretty good, we should praise him on that I mean it must be hard typing something other than DESU in caps.
 
2013-09-14 03:08:35 PM

Vaneshi: FloydA: I wouldn't.

Ohh it's one of THOSE sorts of sites eh?



It's a "media" website founded by a guy who calls himself "Joe the plumber," who is neither named Joe, nor a plumber.   Its main contribution to journalism is to make the Weekly World News seem reasonable.
 
2013-09-14 03:15:31 PM

FloydA: It's a "media" website founded by a guy who calls himself "Joe the plumber," who is neither named Joe, nor a plumber.   Its main contribution to journalism is to make the Weekly World News seem reasonable.


Seriously?  Founded by that dumbass?
 
2013-09-14 03:16:58 PM
Not a badly written or reasoned piece, for a change, though for such I grandiose title I would say it should go to Nikola Tesla.

But hey, to each their own.
 
2013-09-14 03:21:53 PM

FloydA: Vaneshi: FloydA: I wouldn't.

Ohh it's one of THOSE sorts of sites eh?


It's a "media" website founded by a guy who calls himself "Joe the plumber," who is neither named Joe, nor a plumber.   Its main contribution to journalism is to make the Weekly World News seem reasonable.


Why do you think it's connected to "Joe the plumber"? Checking Google, the site was founded in 2004, and Wurzelbacher got his 15 minutes of fame in 2008.
 
2013-09-14 03:33:43 PM
i thought it was Hedley Lamarr
 
2013-09-14 03:37:08 PM

itcamefromschenectady: FloydA: Vaneshi: FloydA: I wouldn't.

Ohh it's one of THOSE sorts of sites eh?


It's a "media" website founded by a guy who calls himself "Joe the plumber," who is neither named Joe, nor a plumber.   Its main contribution to journalism is to make the Weekly World News seem reasonable.

Why do you think it's connected to "Joe the plumber"? Checking Google, the site was founded in 2004, and Wurzelbacher got his 15 minutes of fame in 2008.


I believe that Joe Mcfarknuts  managed to parlay his single news cycle as GOP retard of the day into a writing gig at PJ media. That may be the source of the confusion.
 
2013-09-14 03:41:09 PM
Looks like he was an almost exact contemporary of, and duplicated the work of, Link.
Flowers and the British code breakers at Bletchly Park built the worlds first programmable electronic computer to break the Enigma code so quickly that the British spy chiefs could read the messages before the German officers the message was actually sent to.

After the war they stupidly kept the computer a secret so they could carry on breaking Enigma messages from other countries that still used it. Had the gone public and started to build and use computers we could have ended up with the internet ten years earlier.
 
2013-09-14 03:42:34 PM

Flint Ironstag: Looks like he was an almost exact contemporary of, and duplicated the work of, Link.
Flowers and the British code breakers at Bletchly Park built the worlds first programmable electronic computer to break the Enigma code so quickly that the British spy chiefs could read the messages before the German officers the message was actually sent to.

After the war they stupidly kept the computer a secret so they could carry on breaking Enigma messages from other countries that still used it. Had the gone public and started to build and use computers we could have ended up with the internet ten years earlier.


Now with a link that works!
/serves me right for not previewing.
 
2013-09-14 03:45:30 PM

Tigger: itcamefromschenectady: FloydA: Vaneshi: FloydA: I wouldn't.

Ohh it's one of THOSE sorts of sites eh?


It's a "media" website founded by a guy who calls himself "Joe the plumber," who is neither named Joe, nor a plumber.   Its main contribution to journalism is to make the Weekly World News seem reasonable.

Why do you think it's connected to "Joe the plumber"? Checking Google, the site was founded in 2004, and Wurzelbacher got his 15 minutes of fame in 2008.

I believe that Joe Mcfarknuts  managed to parlay his single news cycle as GOP retard of the day into a writing gig at PJ media. That may be the source of the confusion.


Yeah,  I was mistaken, he's not the founder.  He is just the most well-known person on their staff.   I had never heard of PJ Media until non-Joe the non-plumber became their "war correspondent."  (Sad commentary in itself.)
 
2013-09-14 04:24:53 PM
Huh, it wasn't Lincoln, Tesla, or Einstein.
 
2013-09-14 04:29:24 PM

xaks: Not a badly written or reasoned piece, for a change, though for such I grandiose title I would say it should go to Nikola Tesla.

But hey, to each their own.


Tesla was excellent at many things - leader, businessman or people person he wasn't. And you need that to deliver an invention into real peoples hands or change the world.
 
2013-09-14 04:36:16 PM

FloydA: Tigger: itcamefromschenectady: FloydA: Vaneshi: FloydA: I wouldn't.

Ohh it's one of THOSE sorts of sites eh?


It's a "media" website founded by a guy who calls himself "Joe the plumber," who is neither named Joe, nor a plumber.   Its main contribution to journalism is to make the Weekly World News seem reasonable.

Why do you think it's connected to "Joe the plumber"? Checking Google, the site was founded in 2004, and Wurzelbacher got his 15 minutes of fame in 2008.

I believe that Joe Mcfarknuts  managed to parlay his single news cycle as GOP retard of the day into a writing gig at PJ media. That may be the source of the confusion.

Yeah,  I was mistaken, he's not the founder.  He is just the most well-known person on their staff.   I had never heard of PJ Media until non-Joe the non-plumber became their "war correspondent."  (Sad commentary in itself.)


I think the bloggers who started it were well-known in the context of conservative/pro war political bloggers in the early '00s.

Although I am and was a Democrat who wished we hadn't gone to war, I was reading right-of-center blogs at the time the Iraq war was getting underway because I preferred to read positive rationalizations why it was going to turn out well once it became clear there was no going back. I don't remember exactly who the founders of PJ Media were, but I remember it happening and that it was a few of the more popular conservative bloggers that linked to each other.
 
2013-09-14 04:46:46 PM

Elegy: Claude Shannon?
(Checks article)
Yup.


Yup, first "that guy" here, too.
 
2013-09-14 04:51:15 PM

neuroflare: calbert: beer4breakfast: Anybody who's been in an intro CS, CE, or EE course should of HAVE heard of Shannon.


thankyousomuch!
 
2013-09-14 05:57:18 PM
Hi guys. I popped over from the politics tab to say:

Your blog sucks.

This little rat's hole of random words, is the place that had the above phrase invented for it.
 
2013-09-14 06:16:30 PM

chrylis: Elegy: Claude Shannon?
(Checks article)
Yup.

Yup, first "that guy" here, too.


Yeah, the "information theory" kind of gave it away.

Shannon is also semi-famous in chess circles, for being one of the early pioneers of computer chess theory and practice.

Sadly, he thought heuristic minmax algorithms would be the key to success, and that computers would never be fast enough to use brute force to play effectively.

Granted, he was writing his early papers before anyone had successfully programmed a computer to play chess, so I suppose he deserves some slack.
 
2013-09-14 07:44:18 PM
Dennis Ritchie is more unknown, which is sad. Without him, no C... Without C, there'd be a lot different computer programs that we know today (iOS, Windows, and the vast majority of programs written for them were written in C or one of its derivatives).
 
2013-09-14 07:55:40 PM

E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: i thought it was Hedley Lamarr


filmdope.com

Do you mean Hedy?
 
2013-09-14 07:58:18 PM
Vaneshi:
Because if you really really want to start that shiat with largely electro-mechanical/pure mechanical computational devices then Babbage and his designs for the Difference Engine pretty much trumps this guy.

Agree on that, though I didn't know of this gentleman's contributions.
 
2013-09-14 09:11:30 PM

EngineerAU: It's the typical Randian belief in a class of supermen who are being hampered by the rest of humanity. Mix that in with the standard right wing love of idols and symbols, and you get sole creator type of thinking. People come in all levels of ability and some contribute more than others but everyone takes from the intellectual commons.

nanos gigantum humeris insidentes

 
2013-09-14 09:21:36 PM

machoprogrammer: Dennis Ritchie is more unknown, which is sad. Without him, no C... Without C, there'd be a lot different computer programs that we know today (iOS, Windows, and the vast majority of programs written for them were written in C or one of its derivatives).


Without C, it is possible that computing might have moved to a standardized chipset for all devices, enabling a single version of assembly language to be used, which might not have been an entirely bad thing. However, there would certainly be a lot fewer programmers, so who knows what the consequences would have been. Somebody else probably would have invented a similar language anyway, eventually. Interesting to think about though.
 
2013-09-14 09:28:19 PM
...and now I'm trying to imagine Windows written in Fortran lol.
 
2013-09-14 11:05:58 PM

beer4breakfast: Anybody who's been in an intro CS, CE, or EE course should of heard of Shannon.


Of you any idea how annoying that is?
 
2013-09-15 01:45:58 AM
Shannon gave us H.

H can say so very much.
 
2013-09-15 08:41:06 AM

theusercomponent: Without C, it is possible that computing might have moved to a standardized chipset for all devices, enabling a single version of assembly language to be used, which might not have been an entirely bad thing.


Not sure I agree with that. That might merely have ossified CPU design, or at best limiting it to ever-better VM implementations of that Golden Assembly Language.

One of the most annoying things about C is that there are parts of it that are barely more than syntactic sugar on top of the assembly language of its original target machine. The point of high-level languages is to abstract beyond the idiosyncrasies of individual processors or architectures, allowing the programmer to think in higher level abstractions and letting the compiler do the hard work of optimizing the mapping to the instruction set. At the time that C was invented, however, compilers weren't remotely good enough to fulfill their part of the bargain... which explains a lot of the shortcomings of C.

To be clear, C was an incredibly valuable step forward in its time, but IMO we would all be much better off if subsequent language creators had paid more attention to which language elements were actually useful versus which were inelegant hacks for performance to directly map to the underlying processor and compensate for the crude limitations of contemporary compiler optimizations. Yes, I'm looking at you, Java.

Or to put it another way: programming would be a lot more advanced today if ALGOL hadn't suffered Death By Committee.
 
2013-09-15 10:26:41 AM
FTA: This young man, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, was named Claude Shannon, Jr. Shannon, while working on the differential analyzer,

They named him "Claude Shannon Jr" while he was working on the differential analyzer? What did they call him before?
 
2013-09-15 11:37:55 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil

Insane?  Yes.  -but awesome
 
2013-09-15 12:27:50 PM
Shannon was great, but it is hard to compare him to Turing. I mean, I have no idea how much farther ahead we'd be in terms of technology if Turing had had the fortune to be heterosexual and not bullied to death by the very people he helped save.
 
2013-09-15 01:01:52 PM
Tesla invented logic gates long before this guy did. And he patented them as well. Many others tried after and found Tesla got there first.
 
2013-09-15 01:29:07 PM

firefly212: Shannon was great, but it is hard to compare him to Turing. I mean, I have no idea how much farther ahead we'd be in terms of technology if Turing had had the fortune to be heterosexual and not bullied to death by the very people he helped save.



They are very comparable in terms of their depth of thought and impact. They were also friends and had tea together daily for some period of time (forget when, but during the last days of WWII). Highly recommend reading "The Information."
 
2013-09-15 01:29:39 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: beer4breakfast: Anybody who's been in an intro CS, CE, or EE course should of heard of Shannon.

Of you any idea how annoying that is?


[snort]
 
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