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George Dyson

George Dyson (1953-) is a science historian and the son of Freeman Dyson. He was a child at the time of Project Orion, but says he was generally aware that his father was working on spacecraft design at that time.

George Dyson's books include Project Orion: The Atomic Spaceship 1957 to 1965, and he has also written on the subject of the Internet developing sentience, and kayaks (a subject in which he has been interested, since his childhood). He himself is also the subject of a book, Kenneth Brower's The Starship and the Canoe.
  • Here is a video featuring George Dyson talking about Project Orion:

Here are some books by George Dyson:

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Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
By George Dyson

Released: 2012-12-11
Paperback (464 pages)

Turing s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
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A Wall Street Journal Best Business Book of 2012
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012

In this revealing account of how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, George Dyson illuminates the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world.
In the 1940s and ‘50s, a small group of men and women—led by John von Neumann—gathered in Princeton, New Jersey, to begin building one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine. The codes unleashed within this embryonic, 5-kilobyte universe—less memory than is allocated to displaying a single icon on a computer screen today—broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things, and our universe would never be the same. Turing’s Cathedral is the story of how the most constructive and most destructive of twentieth-century inventions—the digital computer and the hydrogen bomb—emerged at the same time.

Darwin among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence
By George B. Dyson

Basic Books
Paperback (304 pages)

Darwin among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence
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As timely now as it was when it was first published in 1997, Darwin Among the Machines tells the story of humankind’s long journey into the digital age. Historian of technology George Dyson traces the course of the information revolution, illuminating the lives and work of visionaries—from Thomas Hobbes to John von Neumann—who foresaw the development of artificial intelligence, artificial life, and artificial mind. Weaving a convincing, occasionally frightening narrative of the evolution of the global network, Dyson explores the limits of Darwinian evolution to suggest what lies ahead. Computer programs and worldwide networks are combining to produce an evolutionary theater in which the distinctions between nature and technology are increasingly obscured, he argues. We are living in the midst of an experiment—one that echoes the prehistory of human intelligence and the origins of life. Now in a new paperback edition, this classic work on the emergence of collective mechanical intelligence will resonate for generations to come.

Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship
By George Dyson

Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover (320 pages)

Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship
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The improbable story of the wildest idea-a space craft powered by hydrogen bombs-to come out of the space race.

It was the late 1950s. The Cold War was raging. Sputnik had made its voyage and the space race was on. In America, it was the age of tail fins and "duck and cover," but it was also a time of big ideas and dreams. On his way to school one day, George Dyson learned of a truly fantastical idea: massive space vehicles that would be powered by explosions of multiple hydrogen bombs. Among the brilliant minds behind this project was George's father, the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson.

Project Orion chronicles this fascinating episode in U.S. scientific research, while capturing a unique time in American history and culture. The project brought together a cadre of brilliant physicists, the first such assemblage since the Manhattan Project of fifteen years earlier. In an idyllic seaside community in southern California-the very picture of 1950s suburban prosperity-a handful of scientists, tackled a massive project that required the ingenuity of an engineer and the vision of a great theoretician. Their work-ambitious but ultimately futile-took place against the political and cultural backdrop of the Cold War, when nuclear technology spelled both promise and terror.

Dyson's prodigious historical and scientific research, combined with his personal reminiscences and connections, make for a lively, richly detailed narrative.

Analogia: The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control
By George Dyson

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released: 2020-08-18
Hardcover (304 pages)

Analogia: The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control
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In Analogia, technology historian George Dyson presents a startling look back at the analog age and life before the digital revolution―and an unsettling vision of what comes next.

In 1716, the philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz spent eight days taking the cure with Peter the Great at Bad Pyrmont in Saxony, seeking to initiate a digitally-computed takeover of the world. In his classic books, Darwin Among the Machines and Turing’s Cathedral, Dyson chronicled the realization of Leibniz’s dream at the hands of a series of iconoclasts who brought his ideas to life. Now, in his pathbreaking new book, Analogia, he offers a chronicle of people who fought for the other side―the Native American leader Geronimo and physicist Leo Szilard, among them―a series of stories that will change our view not only of the past but also of the future.

The convergence of a startling historical archaeology with Dyson’s unusual personal story―set alternately in the rarified world of cutting-edge physics and computer science, in Princeton, and in the rainforest of the Northwest Coast―leads to a prophetic vision of an analog revolution already under way. We are, Dyson reveals, on the cusp of a new moment in human history, driven by a generation of machines whose powers are beyond programmable control.

Includes black-and-white illustrations

Baidarka: The Kayak
By George Dyson

Alaska Northwest Books
Paperback (0 pages)

Baidarka: The Kayak
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This classic book tells of George Dyson's rediscovery of the Aleut baidarka (sea kayak) and his far-ranging travels with his boats.
La catedral de Turing: Los orígenes del universo digital (Spanish Edition)
By George Dyson

Released: 2015-01-15
Kindle Edition (560 pages)

La catedral de Turing: Los orígenes del universo digital (Spanish Edition)
Product Description:

La reveladora historia de cómo surgió el universo digital tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

«Es posible inventar una sola máquina que pueda utilizarse para computar cualquier secuencia computable», anunció en 1936 un joven Alan Turing de veinticuatro años.

En los años 40 y 50 un reducido grupo de hombres y mujeres, liderado por John von Neumann, se reunió en Princeton, New Jersey, para comenzar la construcción de una de los primeros ordenadores que materializaría la visión de Alan Turing de una máquina universal. Los códigos generados en ese embrión de universo de 5 kilobytes (menos memoria de lo que requiere un solo icono en la pantalla de un ordenador actual) rompieron la distinción entre números que significan cosas y números que hacen cosas, y nuestro universo cambió para siempre. La catedral de Turing es la historia de la invención más constructiva del siglo XX, el ordenador digital, de quiénes y cómo la crearon.

Un relato histórico y profético que nos cuenta cómo el código logró conquistar el mundo y se aventura a plantear el futuro del universo digital.

La crítica ha dicho...
«No es solo un libro extraordinario sobre ciencia. Es un libro extraordinario, punto.»
The Globe and Mail

«Si quieres estar mentalmente preparado para la próxima revolución informática, el libro de Dyson es imprescindible. Pero también es imprescindible si solo quieres una historia apasionada de cómo los científicos de verdad (como mínimo algunos) piensan y trabajan.»
Literary Review

«Fascinante. [...] Las historias sobre la creación siempre valen la pena, en especial cuando son el origen de poderes capaces de cambiar el mundo. [...] Dyson cuenta el curioso pacto fáustico que permitió que los matemáticos experimentaran con la construcción de ordenadores más poderosos que ayudarían a fabricar bombas más destructivas.»
San Francisco Chronicle

«Ningún otro libro sobre los orígenes de la era digital logra establecer las conexiones entre las enseñanzas del nacimiento de los ordenadores y su posible futuro.»
The Guardian

«La historia de la invención de los ordenadores se ha contado en muchas ocasiones y desde distintos puntos de vista, pero nunca con tanta autoridad y profusión de detalles como lo hace George Dyson. [...] La catedral de Turing fascinará a los amantes de la informática.»
The Seattle Times

«Una crónica detallada y amena sobre el nacimiento de la informática moderna. [...] El libro de Dyson nos recuerda que detrás de todas las pantallas táctiles, la inteligencia artificial y los implantes cerebrales no opera la brujería, sino una máquina inventada en New Jersey.»
The Oregonian

«El mejor libro que he leído sobre los orígenes de los ordenadores; no es solo erudito, sino también deslumbrante, idiosincrásico y peculiar.»
The Boston Globe

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