[Humanist] 22.625 a beautiful sentence on programming

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Mar 17 07:32:14 CET 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 625.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 06:24:29 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: a beautiful sentence

 From Herman H. Goldstine and John von Neumann, "Planning and Coding of 
Problems for an Electronic Computing Instrument", Part II, Vol. I 
(Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1947):

> Since coding is not a static process of translation, but rather the
> technique of providing a dynamic background to control the automatic
> evolution of a meaning, it has to be viewed as a logical problem and
> one that represents a new brarch of fomal logics. (p. 2)

I must admit, that sentence stopped me in my tracks, so I thought I'd 
pass it on, especially to those whose lives are spent in designing and 
building that "dynamic background".

The report, along with Part II, Vol. II, and the preceeding "Preliminary 
Discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic Computing Instrument" 
written the previous year in conjunction with Arthur Burks, is 
downloadable from The Institute digital archives of the Electronic 
Computer Project, at library.ias.edu/hs/digiarchives.php. Part 2, Vol. 
III is listed but not yet up. I am told that the remainder of the 
Institute papers on the Project are being digitized now.

Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

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