The Advent of the Algorithm: The Idea that Rules the World

3.38 avg rating
( 168 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780151003389: The Advent of the Algorithm: The Idea that Rules the World

The algorithm is just code, but it makes things happen. It's the set of abstract, detailed instructions that makes computers run. Any programmer can invent a new algorithm-and many have become millionaires doing just that. Computers, the Internet, virtual reality-our world is being transformed before our eyes, all because some quirky logicians and mathematicians followed the dream of ultimate abstraction and invented the algorithm. Beginning with Leibniz and culminating in the middle of this century with the work of little-known geniuses and eccentrics like Gödel and Turing, David Berlinski tells this epic tale with clarity and imaginative brilliance. You don't have to be a programmer or a math buff to enjoy his book. All you have to do is be fascinated by the greatest innovation of the twentieth century.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Francis Sullivan of the Institute for Defense Analysis said "Great algorithms are the poetry of computation"; David Berlinski calls the algorithm "the idea that rules the world." The Advent of the Algorithm is not so much a history of algorithms as a historical fantasia. Berlinski spins freely between semifictional accounts of historical figures, personal reminiscence, and mathematical proofs--without ever really defining an algorithm in so many words.

This is not the book for those who were maddened by Berlinski's A Tour of the Calculus; his style remains quirky, digressive, self-referential, and dense:

And then, by some inscrutable incandescent insight, Leibniz came to see that what is crucial in what he had written is the alternation between God and Nothingness. And for this, the numbers 0 and 1 suffice.

Twinkies and Diet Coke in hand, computer programmers can now be observed pausing thoughtfully at their consoles.

Berlinski's argument seems to be that algorithms--step-by-step procedures for getting answers--superceded logic, and will be superceded in turn by more biological, empirical, fuzzy methods. The structure of the book reflects this argument--sketches of people like Leibniz, Hilbert, Gödel, and Turing are interwoven with proofs and with characters of Berlinski's own invention. Berlinski's voice, closer to Hofstadter than to Knuth, remains unique. --Mary Ellen Curtin

Book Description:

Simply put, an algorithm is a set of instructions-it's the code that makes computers run. A basic idea that proved elusive for hundreds of years and bent the minds of the greatest thinkers in the world, the algorithm is what made the modern world possible. Without the algorithm, there would have been no computer, no Internet, no virtual reality, no e-mail, or any other technological advance that we rely on every day.
In The Advent of the Algorithm, David Berlinski combines science, history, and math to explain and explore the intriguing story of how the algorithm was finally discovered by a succession of mathematicians and logicians, and how this paved the way for the digital age. Beginning with Leibniz and culminating in the middle of the twentieth century with the groundbreaking work of Gödel and Turing, The Advent of the Algorithm is an epic tale told with clarity and imaginative brilliance.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Berlinski, David
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Orion Tech
(Grand Prairie, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0151003386 . Bookseller Inventory # HCI2966DKGG052917H0354P

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.92
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Berlinski, David
Published by Harcourt (2000)
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Technical Book Store
(Malabar, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt, 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. NEW BOOK. Bookseller Inventory # 048805

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.86
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Berlinski, David
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cronus Books
(Carson City, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Book Condition: New. 0151003386 New Inside & Out. Clean & Crisp. No markings. Excellent book! You will be pleased. ( z1s59a ) Some very minor shelf wear on dust cover. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1005271

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.08
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Berlinski, David
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cronus Books
(Carson City, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Book Condition: New. 0151003386 New Inside & Out. Clean & Crisp. No markings. Excellent book! You will be pleased. ( z1s59a ) Some very minor shelf wear on dust cover. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1005340

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.08
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Berlinski, David
Published by Harcourt Trade Publishers (2000)
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
J. C. Burris, Bookseller
(Plantation, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt Trade Publishers, 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New hardcover book with dust jacket, never been read. 1st printing. Current list price: $28.00. Bookseller Inventory # 003977

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.01
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

David Berlinski
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801510033891.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.08
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Berlinski, David
Published by Harcourt, Inc., New York, NY (2000)
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
edconroybooks
(Troy, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt, Inc., New York, NY, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. (full book description) Harcourt, Inc., New York, NY, 2000. 1st Edition 1st Printing, NEW, Hard Cover, w/Dust Jacket. Size=6.5"x9.5", 345pgs(Index). New. Clean, very tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0151003386 SELLING WORLDWIDE since 1987. 99% OF OUR BOOKS ARE SHIPPED IN CUSTOM BOXES, WE ALWAYS PACK WITH GREAT CARE!. Book. Bookseller Inventory # CONROY176217I

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.71
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

David Berlinski
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2000)
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0151003386

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.08
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Berlinski, David
Published by Harcourt, NY (2000)
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Crowfly Books
(South Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harcourt, NY, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Bookseller Inventory # 043094

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.70
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.89
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

David Berlinski
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2000)
ISBN 10: 0151003386 ISBN 13: 9780151003389
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0151003386

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
21.63
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book