George Dyson

Author (Turing's Cathedral) and Historian of Technology,

George Dyson is a historian of technology whose interests have included the development (and redevelopment) of the Aleut kayak (Baidarka, 1986), the evolution of digital computing and telecommunications (Darwin Among the Machines, 1997), and a path not taken into space (Project Orion, 2002). His recently published Turing's Cathedral: the Origins of the Digital Universe (Pantheon/Penguin, 2012) illuminates the transition from numbers that mean things to numbers that do things in the aftermath of World War II.

George, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada who lives in Bellingham, Washington, has contributed articles to Scientific American, Nature, Forbes, Discover, Wired, and Make magazines. His kayak designs have been built by thousands of followers, and his books have been translated into seven languages. James Michener praised Baidarka as "a grand, detailed book that will be a standard for years to come"; Oliver Sacks wrote that Darwin Among the Machines was "a very deep and important book, beautifully written... as remarkable an intellectual history as any I have read"; and Arthur C. Clarke describes Project Orion as "essential reading for engineers/scientists involved with government bureaucracies and the notorious Military Industrial Complex... also vice versa."

Turing's Cathedral, the result of 10 years of work, is the story of one of the most innovative chapters in the history of computing - a project "that was completed in less time than it took me to write about it," in Dyson's words. "If you want to be mentally prepared for the next revolution in computing, Dyson's book is a must read," writes John Gribbin in the April 2012 Literary Review. "But it is also a must read if you just want a ripping yarn about the way real scientists (at least some real scientists) work and think."

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News for: George Dyson

Speaker at FiRe 2012 and 2019

News Headlines  (10 of 12)
AI That Evolves in the Wild
Posted on 13 Aug 2019 at 5:00pm

Hear what this technology historian has to say about the evolution of artific...
Posted on 21 Jan 2018 at 10:23pm

The Computing Universe
Posted on 8 Jul 2018 at 5:00pm

Turing's Cathedral, by George Dyson
Posted on 3 May 2018 at 12:56pm

Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
Posted on 2 Oct 2018 at 8:32am

The highly productive habits of Alan Turing
Posted on 17 Jun 2012 at 5:33pm

Kayak builder a prophet from the wilderness
Posted on 8 May 2018 at 5:13pm

Geek Gifts 2012: Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson
Posted on 28 Mar 2012 at 9:01pm

Who Gets Credit for the Computer?: An Exchange
Posted on 26 Sep 2012 at 5:00pm

George Dyson: How Turing's Cathedral Was Built
Posted on 26 Mar 2012 at 4:59pm

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