## The New Renaissance: Computers and the Next Level of CivilizationThe electronic computer, argues Douglas Robertson, is the most important invention in the history of technology, if not all history It has already set off an information explosion that has changed many facets of civilization beyond recognition. These changes have ushered in nothing less than the dawn of a new level of civilization. In The New Renaissance, Robertson offers an important historical perspective on the computer revolution, by comparing it to three earlier landmarks of human development--language, writing, and printing. We see how these three inventions changed how we capture, store, and distribute information, and how each thereby triggered an information explosion that transformed society, ushering in a new civilization utterly unlike anything before. But history has never seen a revolution on the scale of the one being sparked by computers today. What can we expect from the most important technological breakthrough in human history? Robertson lays out possible scenarios regarding transformations in science and mathematics, education, language, the arts, and everyday life. School children, for instance, will forsake pencil and paper for keyboard and calculator, much as their forebears forsook clay tablets and abaci for pencil and paper. In films, the computer simulations of Jurassic Park could be eclipsed by "synthespians," artificial actors indistinguishable from living ones. Whether one is a computer enthusiast, a popular science buff, or simply someone fascinated by the future, The New Renaissance provides a breathtaking peek at the magnitude of changes we can expect as the full power of computers is unleashed. |

### From inside the book

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The theorem is not Godel's, but Turing's theorem on the halting problem. In the

1930s Alan Turing studied the properties of general-purpose computing

machines. He showed that a very simple computer, now called a

can ...

The theorem is not Godel's, but Turing's theorem on the halting problem. In the

1930s Alan Turing studied the properties of general-purpose computing

machines. He showed that a very simple computer, now called a

**Turing machine**,can ...

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The question was answered by showing that a universal computer (a

whether this configuration would grow without limit thus became equivalent to

Turing's ...

The question was answered by showing that a universal computer (a

**Turing****machine**) could be constructed on the board of the game "Life." The question ofwhether this configuration would grow without limit thus became equivalent to

Turing's ...

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lent to Turing's halting problem, and Turing's theorem tells us that no algorithm

can answer the question. ... The only requirement is that the TOE be sufficiently

complicated to allow the construction of a

our ...

lent to Turing's halting problem, and Turing's theorem tells us that no algorithm

can answer the question. ... The only requirement is that the TOE be sufficiently

complicated to allow the construction of a

**Turing machine**. Thus the key limit onour ...

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### Contents

Introduction 3 | |

Theories of Everything | |

in Science and Mathematics 57 | |

3 other sections not shown

### Common terms and phrases

able algebra algorithm already axioms base Basic English bers binary bits calculation Cantor capabilities cellular automaton century changes chapter civiliza computer display computer revolution computer technology computerized conventional Copernican revolution countable creative decimal arithmetic difficulties digits discovery effects elements eliminate English language Euclid example exist explore exponential growth finite fundamental growth rate halting problem hexadecimal human idea impact of computer important infinite number information explosion integers invention irrational numbers language level of civilization library of Alexandria mathematicians mathematics metic musical niques nology nonlinear problems octal orders of magnitude performance physics possible prime numbers printing produced proof puter Pythagoreans quantity of information quartal question rational numbers real numbers require simple skills solution square standard English Stewart subset synthespian tech techniques theory tion transfinite transfinite numbers translation Turing Turing machine Turing's uncomputable numbers understand universe word word processors