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The Computer And The Brain

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In this classic work, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann, whose many contributions to science, mathematics, and engineering include the basic organizational framework at the heart of today's computers, concludes that the brain operates both digitally and In this classic work, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann, whose many contributions to science, mathematics, and engineering include the basic organizational framework at the heart of today's computers, concludes that the brain operates both digitally and analogically, but also has its own peculiar statistical language.In his foreword to this new edition, Ray Kurzweil, a futurist famous in part for his own reflections on the relationship between technology and consciousness, places von Neumann’s work in a historical context and shows how it remains relevant today.


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In this classic work, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann, whose many contributions to science, mathematics, and engineering include the basic organizational framework at the heart of today's computers, concludes that the brain operates both digitally and In this classic work, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann, whose many contributions to science, mathematics, and engineering include the basic organizational framework at the heart of today's computers, concludes that the brain operates both digitally and analogically, but also has its own peculiar statistical language.In his foreword to this new edition, Ray Kurzweil, a futurist famous in part for his own reflections on the relationship between technology and consciousness, places von Neumann’s work in a historical context and shows how it remains relevant today.

30 review for The Computer And The Brain

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    When I was in junior high school, I remember coming across this volume in the stacks of the local public library, being captivated by the prospect of having a leg up on others in games. Backgammon, anyone? The pages seemed very adult, with runic symbols and equations. I really wanted to know what those pages meant. One day, I thought. Fast forward some 40+ years. I finally got around to paging through the Theory of Games and Economic Behavior with mental props from a career in finance and two Ivy When I was in junior high school, I remember coming across this volume in the stacks of the local public library, being captivated by the prospect of having a leg up on others in games. Backgammon, anyone? The pages seemed very adult, with runic symbols and equations. I really wanted to know what those pages meant. One day, I thought. Fast forward some 40+ years. I finally got around to paging through the Theory of Games and Economic Behavior with mental props from a career in finance and two Ivy League degrees, from which come the faint background radiated memories of calculus, differential equations, decision science and statistics. And still, the work of Messrs. von Neumann and Morgenstern presents great difficulty to understanding. I now believe I can put my arms around their framework, their general approach and simplifications, which is a big step forward. The object is to maximize utility of the whole when presented with individual utilities. I must say that the work's presentation rests, for the most part, in logic and rather common algebra and geometry; yet, could it have been expressed in a more indecipherable way? It would be interesting to read a translation of this volume into our vernacular, recasting the language and mathematics through the lens of simplicity. Anyone care to take up that task? 1 star for quality of writing/presentation, 5 stars for brainpower/contribution to academia = 3 stars overall

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lieb

    Modern Game Theory is difficult and this is the first book on the subject so you are already starting with quite a hill to climb. The authors don't make it any easier by using convoluted descriptions and poorly structured examples to present their excellent ideas. I gave this book a low review purely on the quality of the writing. Game Theory is an important subject and we are indebted to von Neumann and Morgenstern for formulating the concepts but unfortunately they were not able to present the Modern Game Theory is difficult and this is the first book on the subject so you are already starting with quite a hill to climb. The authors don't make it any easier by using convoluted descriptions and poorly structured examples to present their excellent ideas. I gave this book a low review purely on the quality of the writing. Game Theory is an important subject and we are indebted to von Neumann and Morgenstern for formulating the concepts but unfortunately they were not able to present their ideas in a clear way. Check out http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/79... for a much better introduction to Game Theory.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    A fascinating book. I will revisit it later on in my life for sure, but for what I did grasp I thought this book to be highly informative, and extremely impressive. This was an eye-opening experience. Watching Von Neumann and Morgenstern flip between mathematics and verbal explanation was impressive, and seeing the results of mathematical experiments and interpretations was breath taking. My favorite part was the applications of acyclicity. If you have a problem with the axiomization of numerica A fascinating book. I will revisit it later on in my life for sure, but for what I did grasp I thought this book to be highly informative, and extremely impressive. This was an eye-opening experience. Watching Von Neumann and Morgenstern flip between mathematics and verbal explanation was impressive, and seeing the results of mathematical experiments and interpretations was breath taking. My favorite part was the applications of acyclicity. If you have a problem with the axiomization of numerical utility, he lays it all out immediately upon beginning the work, which is the foundation upon which it rests. He obviously concludes this explanation by simply stating that without a numerical, and in some cases integral, value of utility, some sociological/psychological observations are impossible and therefore his method of effective triangles explains human behavior in situations of exchange much better than indifference curve analysis. This is a big recommend to any mathematician or Game Theorist, or even any computer scientist. Because hey, this all has applications within various avenues of scientific and mathematical thought.

  4. 5 out of 5

    William Boyle

    Extremely challenging to read if you are not rather far along in your math career. I am a math major myself and found it quite confusing from the very beginning. I did not thoroughly understand how they proved that utility was a linear transformation always. It was also hard to keep track of all the variables when going through the proofs etc. This reads like an academic research paper (it kind of is) and so unless you are, as I suggested, far along in your math career, I do not recommend it. I Extremely challenging to read if you are not rather far along in your math career. I am a math major myself and found it quite confusing from the very beginning. I did not thoroughly understand how they proved that utility was a linear transformation always. It was also hard to keep track of all the variables when going through the proofs etc. This reads like an academic research paper (it kind of is) and so unless you are, as I suggested, far along in your math career, I do not recommend it. I just finished Linear Algebra to give an idea of my current mathematical understanding. It likely is an excellent book, but I would not know and the majority will not either. I would recommend The Art of Strategy by Dixit and some other guy if you want an intro to Game Theory.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Psychön

    "The aim of this book lies not in the direction of empirical research. The advancement of that side of economic science, on anything like the scale which was recognized above as necessary, is clearly a task of vast proportions. It may be hoped that as a result of the improvements of scientific technique and of experience gained in other fields, the development of descriptive economics will not take as much time as the comparison with astronomy would suggest. But in any case the task seems to tra "The aim of this book lies not in the direction of empirical research. The advancement of that side of economic science, on anything like the scale which was recognized above as necessary, is clearly a task of vast proportions. It may be hoped that as a result of the improvements of scientific technique and of experience gained in other fields, the development of descriptive economics will not take as much time as the comparison with astronomy would suggest. But in any case the task seems to transcend the limits of any individually planned program."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Fake

    i love this book, is my favorite

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elxan

    More than a book. Simply, this theory improves logical thinking and analyses abilities which changed the modern world history/science/industry since WW2

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dawnsee Luo

    The first book systematically developed the concept of game theory. But it's content is not much used. The first book systematically developed the concept of game theory. But it's content is not much used.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    I think every self-respecting researcher needs to have this classic...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Giangy Giang

    He's John von Neumann. I don't think there's much else to say. He's John von Neumann. I don't think there's much else to say.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Curran

    A complex and predicative book detailing game theory and economical activity/progression.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lukas

    An absolute must

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gerald

    One of the GREAT books, world changing!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laurent Hoang

  15. 4 out of 5

    ryan ward

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adrien

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jean

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kareev

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wisha

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ali Rouaki

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bolin Zhou

  22. 4 out of 5

    Martine Devos

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Haynes

  24. 4 out of 5

    Milo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Johana

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

  27. 4 out of 5

    Avishek Bhattacharyya

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo Aguayo

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jerzy Janiec

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