Pebbles to computers: the thread

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1986 - Computers - 112 pages
0 Reviews
Using an exciting synthesis of text and pictures, photographer Hans Blohm and scientist Stafford Beers present a graphic exploration of the connections between prehistoric and antique technologies and those of our modern world. In this inventive book, a Byzantine sun-dial and a modern satellite signal receiver are among the many images that have been chosen to show the 'thread' connecting our efforts down the ages to use and record information.
The story of computation emerges as the central theme. By tracing its development from the earliest use of pebbles through the abacus, the slide rule and finally to the most sophisticated modern circuits, the authors present a convincing argument that 'high tech' does indeed go back to the dawn of time. Blohm and Beers have travelled from Stonehenge to the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, marvelled over Leonardo's inventions in Milan and examined Leibniz's calculator in Hanover in their search for evidence of the patterns of human invention. They isolate some critical issues in the development of technology, such as the reproduction of written language, and cover many of the outstanding names: Archimedes, Caxton, Pascal, Babbage and Turing among others. With an introduction by renowned zoologist David Suzuki, Pebbles to Computers is a remarkable testament to the depth and richness of humanity's technological achievements.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Pebbles to computers: the thread

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This intriguing book is both beautiful and thought-provoking. Generally, it deals with humanity's attempt to organize and analyze its experience; more specifically, it traces the history of efforts at ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

5 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1986)

About the authors:
Hans Blohm works around the world as a photographer in the forefront of scientific camera-work. Stafford Beer, a Canadian scientist, philosopher, and poet, was a pioneer of cybernetics and is an international authority on the science of organizations. David T. Suzuki, geneticist and zoologist, is famous for his PBS series "The Nature of Things."

Bibliographic information