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H. P. Alesso

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Connections: Patterns of Discovery
by H. P. Alesso  C. F. Smith 

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Publisher:  John Wiley & Sons ISBN-10:  0470118814


Copyright:  January 10, 2008 ISBN-13:  9780470118818

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From the Foreword by James Burke:

"In their fascinating analysis of the recent history of information technology, H. Peter Alesso and Craig F. Smith reveal the patterns in discovery and innovation that have brought us to the present tipping point. . . . A generation from now, every individual will have personally tailored access to the whole of knowledge . . . the sooner we all begin to think about how we got here, and where we're going, the better. This exciting book is an essential first step."

Many people envision scientists as dispassionate characters who slavishly repeat experiments until 'eureka' -something unexpected happens. Actually, there is a great deal more to the story of scientific discovery, but seeing 'the big picture' is not easy.

Connections: Patterns of Discovery uses the primary tools of forecasting and three archetypal patterns of discovery —Serendipity, Proof of Principle, and 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration—to discern relationships of past developments and synthesize a cohesive and compelling vision for the future.

It challenges readers to think of the consequences of extrapolating trends, such as Moore's Law, to either reach real machine intelligence or retrench in the face of physical limitations.

From this perspective,the book draws 'the big picture' for the Information Revolution's innovations in chips, devices, software, and networks.

With a Foreword by James Burke and bursting with fascinating detail throughout, Connections: Patterns of Discovery is a must-read for computer scientists, technologists, programmers, hardware and software developers, students, and anyone with an interest in tech-savvy topics.


Professional Reviews

A framework for forecasting technolgy trends
Connection: Patterns of Discovery is an extension of the Connections TV-Series created and narrated by science historian James Burke. Burke wrote the Foreword for this book. This book is a fine extension to the themes in that popular TV-Series.

In a few hours of easy reading and some time to contemplate the ideas, the reader will be introduced to the history of computers, information technology, and the Internet.

The book presents an overall view of the Information Age's innovations from vacuum tubes to transistors, computer devices, software, networking, and current artificial intelligence. The discussions of past developments in information technology are applied to a framework for patterns of discovery which leads to extrapolations of future trends, such as the Perfect Search, information availability for everyone, and ubiquitous real machine intelligence.

Forecasts are extrapolated for the next twenty years for each of the key technology areas such as computers, software, devices, and networks. In addition to providing a framework for extrapolating trends, the patterns of discovery make interesting reading. These are human stories. One learns how technology is developed and in many instances it serves as an example of how obstacles are overcome so that one should follow their dreams. Some of our best innovators left college early. The book includes a good Bibliography and Glossary. The glossary provides a good bridge for those interested in the history of computer technology but not well versed in traditional and necessary 'Geek' speak. Some necessary technical details are provided but in general the book is easy reading as it provides the 'Big Picture' of innovation.

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