Browsing All Posts filed under »Highlighted Posts«

Ancient Computing Revolution

January 18, 2010

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NOTE: Don’t let the title fool you.  This is a post about the nature of humanity. Humans have built computing machinery for thousands of years, but in the 1800s an incredible transition began: programmability.  Born for the purpose of more flexibly automating looms, the technology of machines that can execute arbitrary lists of instructions was […]

Throwing Spear – Part 1

January 4, 2010

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Instead of writing another huge post, I’m going to cut this one into several pieces which will be posted throughout the week.  This may turn out to be a better format in general. IN THIS POST: I’ll introduce the purpose and scope of the current discussion.  I’ll also introduce some concepts that will help with […]

Old Stone Age

December 20, 2009

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In the 1820s a Danish archeologist named Christian Jürgensen Thomsen divided prehistory into three ages.  He did this to help him classify artifacts for the Danish Royal Commission for the Preservation and Collection of Antiquities.  He picked out a trait easy to discern: What are the artifacts made of?  That’s how we ended up with the oft-heard […]

An Interesting Twist

November 11, 2009

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IN THIS POST: Theory and practice of twisted rope and how I spent my weekend. Much of paleolithic technology is about simple mechanics.  To many people, the word “mechanics” refers to machinery the likes of which one does not see in a paleolithic culture.  But to a physicist, mechanics is just the way various materials […]

In Cod We Trust

November 3, 2009

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Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to complete this post yesterday, as planned.  But here it is now! For those who had trouble finding the link to The Plan and Progress So Far, here it is explicitly: https://grokproject.net/the-plan-and-progress-so-far/.  When I refer to “the list of tasks” or just “the list”, that’s what […]