Einstein was just “original” at first. He didn’t become important or famous until relativity was confirmed by astronomy.

The fact that they didn’t have tools like astronomy in Aristotle’s day does not move me.

]]>I think your mixing things up a bit. It’s true that Boolean is essential for logic gates and the design of circuits, but Shannon’s information theory really didn’t have anything to do with circuits. He did certainly do important work with Boolean logic and circuits, but that was separate and distinct from information theory.

btw. The statement”“nineteenth-century logic made possible today’s twenty-first century information technology” is certainly true, but doesn’t pertain only (or even primarily) to Boole. There’s a very direct line from Russell’s Paradox to Turing’s Universal Computer. If you’re interested, I wrote about it (and the relationship between information theory and Boole) here: http://digitaltonto.com/2012/the-improbable-origins-of-modern-computing/

– Greg

]]>Everybody’s entitled to their perspective, but to be honest, I have no idea what cryptography and compression has to do with logic gates.

– Greg

]]>It seems to me Boolean algebra became the foundation of practical digital circuit design; and Boole, via Shannon (with a nod to Shestakov), provided the theoretical basis for the computer age. ]]>

No. That’s not accurate. Shannon’s insight was that information could be defined as the opposite of ambiguity and therefore could be measured as a series of “coin flips.” While this was obviously important for the application Boolean logic, the two are very separate and distinct.

– Greg

]]>Greg, I’ve always thought Shannon’s idea is an extention of Boolean logic (0’s and 1’s). To say Shannon’s ideas sprung out of thin air seems not to be entirely true. Was Shannon aware or familiar with Boole’s ideas at all? If so then Shannon would be standing on ‘shoulders’ to see a bit further.

]]>Ron,

Boole is an interesting choice, but no, what Shannon did was almost wholly original and goes far beyond Boolean logic.

– Greg

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