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Ancient Automata and Code-Free Movement


Colossal, This Programmable 6.000-Part Drawing Boy Automata is Arguably the First Computer and It Was Built 240 Years Ago, here.

Designed in the late 1770s this incredible little robot called simply The Writer, was designed and built by Swiss-born watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz with help from his son Henri-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot. Jaquet-Droz was one of the greatest automata designers to ever live and The Writer is considered his pièce de résistance. On the outside the device is deceptively simple. A small, barefoot boy perched at a wooden desk holding a quill, easily mistaken for a toy doll. But crammed inside is an engineering marvel: 6,000 custom made components work in concert to create a fully self-contained programmable writing machine that some consider to be the oldest example of a computer.

In this clip from BBC Four’s documentary Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams hosted by Professor Simon Schaffer, we go behind the scenes to learn just how this remarkably complex 240-year-old device was designed and constructed. The entire clip is well worth a watch, in fact here’s another bit about Merlin’s gorgeous silver swan automata:

Daniel Nadler, Institutional Investor, The Code-Free Movement Reaches Capital Markets, here.

Quants are hard to recruit, expensive to compensate and often require days to produce static, individual reports – few of which are integrated with one another.

Capital Market Quants eat pungent spicy food for lunch, talk incessantly about shitty old pre-CGI Sci-Fi movies, and then drone on and on about their latest Fantasy Basketball strategy or something they read in a book until you want to shoot yourself. Then they tell you: the code has bugs, and that premature optimization is the root of all evil,  and that the production machine is inadequate, and the really smart guys work at the other place. Kind of like Cheech and Chong’s Mexican Americans song, here. Oh, Patrick Beverley played last night.


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