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Chaitin’s Talk References

A.M. Turing, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis, 1952, here

John von Neumann, Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata, here.

A.H. Taub (ed), John von Neumann collected Works, Pergamon Press, here.

Encyclopedia of Human Thermodynamics, Neumann automaton theory, here.

Number of lectures
To note, as summarized by American mathematician and computer designer Arthur Burks (1966), Neumann seems to have given at least five or more different lectures (1948-1949), in which the various parts self-reproducing automaton theory are presented:

First: “Computing Machines in General”
Delivered: (add)
Second: “Rigorous Theories of Control and Information”
Delivered: (add)
Third: “Theory and Organization of Complicated Automata”
Delivered: (add)
Fourth: “The Role of High and of Extremely High Complication”
Delivered: (add)
Fifth Lecture: “Re-evaluation of the Problem of Complicated Automata: Problems of Hierarchy and Evolution”
Delivered: at the University of Illinois, December, 1949

Neumann then seems to have been in the process of assembling all of this into a book entitled The Theory of Automata: Construction, Reproduction, Homogeneity. Both the fifth lecture and the unfinished manuscript were published as the edited 1966 book by Arthur Burks.

Four talks
In 1953, Neumann delivered the Vanuxem Lectures at Princeton University, March 2-5, entitled “Machines and Organism”, which he intended to have published by Princeton University Press. Later, however, owing to, it has been argued, manifold activities and possibly failing health, he declined to publish these lectures. A summary of these lectures, however, can be found in a Scientific American article written by John Kemeny of Dartmouth. [13] A considerable portion of the first three talks, supposedly, are found in the 1958 posthumous book The Computer and the Brain. [14].

1. (a) Neumann, John von. (1963). “Probabilistic Logic and the Synthesis of Reliable Organisms from Unreliable Components”, in Collected Works (A. Taub editor), Vol. 5, pgs. 341-47. MacMillian, New York.
(b) Neumann, John von. (1966). Theory of Self-Replicating Automata (scanned) (editor: Arthur W. Burks). University of Illinois Press.
(c) Avery, John. (2003). Information Theory and Evolution (automaton, pg. 89 and ch. 8). London: World Scientific.
2. Avery, John. (2003). Information Theory and Evolution (automaton, pg. 89 and ch. 8). London: World Scientific.
3. Freitas, Robert and Merkle, Ralph C. (2004). Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (pg. 8). Landes Bioscience/Eurekah.com.
4. Wiener, Norbert and Schade, J.P. (1965). Cybernetics of the Nervous System (pg. 29). Elsevier Pub. Co.
5. (a) Neumann, John von. (1966). Theory of Self-Replicating Automata (scanned) (editor: Arthur W. Burks). University of Illinois Press.
(b) Arthur Burks – Wikipedia.
6. (a) Koza, John R. (1992). Genetic Programming, Volume 1, On the Programming of Computers by Means of Natural Selection (§14: Entropy-Driven Evolution, pgs. 395-418; Neumann, pgs. 648-49). MIT Press.
(b) John Koza – Wikipedia.
7. (a) Thims, Libb. (2012). “Thermodynamics ≠ Information Theory: Science’s Greatest Sokal Affair” (url), Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 8(1): 1-120, Dec 19.
(b) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(c) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
8. Neumann, John. (1966). The Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata (abs). Bauman Rare Books.
9. Freitas, Robert A. and Gilbreath, William P. (1982). Advanced Automation for Space Missions: proceedings of the 1980 NASA/ASEE summer study sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the American Society for Engineering Education held at the University of Santa Clara, Santa Clara, California June 23-August 29, 1980 (url). NASA, Scientific and Technical Information Branch.
10. Mirzoeff, Nicholas. (2006). “Network Subjects: or, The Ghost in the Machine”, in: New Media, Old Media: a History and Theory Reader (§23, pgs. 335-46) (editors: Wendy Chun and Thomas Keenan) (pg. 237). Taylor & Francis.
11. Neumann, John. (1949). “The Role of High and of Extremely High Complication”, Fourth Lecture, in: Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata (editor: Arthur W. Burks) (pgs. 64-87). University of Illinois Press, 1966.
12. Goldstine, Herman H. (2001). The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann (pg. 277). Princeton University Press.
13. Kemeny, John. (1955). “Man Viewed as Machine”, Scientific American, 192:58-67.
14. (a) Neumann, John. (1958). The Computer and the Brain. New Haven; Yale University Press, 2012.
(b) Goldstine, Herman H. (2001). The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann (pg. 277). Princeton University Press.
15. Artist. (1982). “Image: Neumann self-reproducing automaton”, NASA Conference Publication 2255 (1982), based on the Advanced Automation for Space Missions NASA/ASEE summer study Held at the University of Santa Clara in Santa Clara, California, from June 23-August 29, 1980.

Further reading
● Neumann, John. (1951). “The General and Logical Theory of Automata”, Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior; in: Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist (editor: Walter Buckley) (§21, pgs. 97-108). Aldine Publishing Co., 1969; in: “The General and Logical Theory of Automata”, in: Cerebral Mechanisms of Behavior: the Hixon Symposium (pgs. 1-#). California Institute of Technology.
● Penrose, L.S. (1959). “Self-Reproducing Machines” (pdf), Scientific American, 200(June):105-14.
● Cooper, Necia G. (1983). “From Turing and von Neumann to the Present”, Los Alamos Science, Fall.

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