After reading hacker: the hero of the computer revolution


I read several good books during the National Day holiday, but the only thing that I can write a little experience after a few days is this hacker: the hero of the computer revolution. I should have bought the e-book for several years. I haven’t read it carefully, or the more important problem is that I don’t have a good perspective. This time, I got the keyword AI and finally read it.

This book is about hacker culture and ethics, but after reading this book and connecting some events, I actually have a deeper understanding of the information age. Computing science and cognitive science, including today’s information age, are only by-products of AI science.

Turing put forward Turing machine in 1936, von Neumann designed general-purpose electronic computer scheme in 1945, the world’s first electronic computer came out in 1946, Shannon put forward information bit and information entropy theory in 1948, Turing put forward Turing test in 1950 In 1956, John McCarthy clearly put forward the concept of “artificial intelligence” at the Dartmouth conference and McCarthy established the AI Laboratory of MIT University in 1959. AI completed the first iteration in 20 years.

In the information age, it can be said that with the development of computers, the AI Laboratory of MIT, the hacker culture flowing in the University of MIT, the Chinese restaurant dinner ceremony of hackers and other elements ferment. The AI Laboratory of MIT University was jointly founded by John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky. They are not pure hackers. After all, their main business is scientific research, but they can be regarded as mentors for computer hackers.

Hacker culture appeared earlier than the well-known computer hacker culture. The science and engineering men whose IQ is slightly higher than that of ordinary people on MIT campus have invented some “technical” pranks, which are called hacks, and these people are hackers.

The science and engineering thinking behind hacker culture is slightly associated with Linus of “just for fun” and musk of “I only believe in physics”.

The first edition of the book was written in 1983. At that time, the author finally recorded Richard stolman (RMS), who called himself the “last real hacker”. This “last” refers to the great impact of information security on the concept of “information freedom” in the pure hacker culture when the computer network appeared. RMS still adheres to this concept, We can’t help being moved by the light of reason in his thought. At the same time, we can’t help lamenting that the times are the most ruthless.

As revealed in this book, a small poke inadvertently opened the era of information revolution, but most people will still only be domesticated by the times and follow the trend of the times.

For example, the brief history of mankind wrote that the agricultural revolution was a kind of scam encountered by mankind. Ten thousand years ago, mankind began to domesticate animals and plants, such as wheat. “At that time, it was just a kind of wild grass, which only appeared in a small area in the Middle East, but in just 1000 years, wheat suddenly spread all over the world.”“ In order to adapt to wheat and wheat agriculture, mankind has paid countless costs in terms of health, labor, nutrition and personal safety! In order to cultivate wheat, humans bent down to clear stones and tried to pick buckets, so the spine, knees, neck and soles of feet all paid a price. ” Therefore, the author can’t help asking “whether human domesticated wheat or wheat domesticated human”.

Similarly, it has almost completed the mutual domestication of information and a large part of human beings in 20 or 30 years. The way of online love described by the ruffian CAI in the first intimate contact 20 years ago has become a necessary skill in our daily life. The reason for “slow cars and horses at that time” is no longer tenable. Not to mention all kinds of changes, such as computer programming becoming a primary school curriculum and E-sports becoming a sports event.

The only difference is that wheat corresponds to people’s material level and information corresponds to people’s spiritual level, which are all needed for survival.

In this way, we can continue to infer that if human beings want to conquer the universe, macroscopically, if human beings want to become a species living across planets, one way is physical transmission, and the other is direct transmission of human consciousness at the speed of light. There is no doubt that the latter is faster. So the question is, how do you judge that the stream of consciousness after it is passed on still represents you?

This problem may be inferred based on the “Turing test”. Turing theory says that “if the third party cannot distinguish the difference between human and artificial intelligence machine, it can be concluded that the machine has artificial intelligence”. Then can a similar inference be made: if the third party cannot distinguish the difference between the response of the “separated body” here and the “self”, it can be concluded that the “separated body” is you. To achieve all this depends on the full development of brain science and cognitive science.

Of course, people will change due to experience. Once you have different experiences in the follow-up, you are bound to split into two different people.

As a supplement, Paul Graham’s hacker and painter expounds the computer programming language culture and the establishment of programmers’ business logic in the Internet era. Many years later, Matsumoto’s “the future of code” seems to be carrying forward the past and opening up the future.