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Technology sometimes falls short

This issue is a collection of stories about new technologies, about optimism, and about limits. A technological advantage that allows humans to travel to space, to build higher, longer, faster, or to bridge one condition or another may not always have the outcome that we really hoped for. And some technologies reshape our ways of thinking and living to such an extent that they themselves become platforms for new speculation.

Article 13 of 18

Polymorphic Computing: Isn’t This a Lot of Fun?

A film primer based on a doodle essay by Simon Ramo, produced by Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, Inc.

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A short introduction to distributed computing from 1959 anticipates the first packet-switching network, ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, by ten years.

Computers are anthropomorphic in these videos: processing units are “brains” and the machines are “ready and able to work” but sitting idle like some unchallenged but brilliant graduate student. This is not how we talk about them anymore, but has the desire to unlock some latent potential in the machine really disappeared?

Our exhibition 404 Error: The object is not online considered some issues of translating objects into online representations and buildings designed to be especially comfortable for computers to “live” in.

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