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Bell Labs - The Mini Epcot

I just completed a great book, and any futurist geek with a interest in Math, Science and Futurism should take some time and settle in with this excellent read.
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A Mind at Play details the live and accomplishments of Claude Shannon, the father of the mathematics model which drives information exchange. This accomplishment isn't celebrated nearly as much as Apples "boot strap garage business" story, yet none of the modern technology we enjoy today would be possible with out the basics.

Claude was more than a single patent, computer cryptographer. He was an inventor, tinker and well connected with greatest thinkers of the Atomic Age. The more I read of him, the more I could appreciate just how much Walt Disney would have loved this man who created juggling robots and made a serious study of the math of roulette wheels.

Claude worked at Bell Labs, a restriction free research division of Bell Telephone. It was here that scientists were treated with open checkbooks to create the future, very much like EPCOT would have been directed to emulate and continue. Here science was free to discover things that only had vague goals of being under the umbrella of future profitability for Bell.

I rarely ever have a negative thing to say about Disney rides. But I'm going to express disappointment in Spaceship Earth after reading this book. For a ride that deals almost exclusively about communication, Claude is unfortunately absent. I submit that rather than a view of back of Woz's head, working in garage to represent the birth of Apple Computer. Claude, surrounded by his various creations from his "toy room" working on his communication thesis that lead to the explosion of communication today; would have been far more applicable to the ride.


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