PEBBLES TO COMPUTERS: The Thread by Hans; Stafford Beer & David Suzuki Blohm


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This is a unique book: it attempts to identify the common thought processes about numbers, calculation and logic that have recurred in different eras and different cultures. Photographer Blohm does this visually with photographs of clocks, calendars, calculators and natural phenomenon; philosopher-scientist Beer explains the photographs and draws conclusions about patterns in his accompanying text. Examples range from Stonehenge to the microchip, from ancient China to Incan Peru. The photographs are stunning, beautifully reproduced in color. The text is abstract; the philosophical perspective verges on the mystical. The presentation is organized around ideas, not chronology, and presupposes a substantial background in the history of science. Continuing examples making the same point soon become tedious. Only a very sophisticated reader with an interest in scientific theory or epistemology will be interested.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 111pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press