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Re: [ontolog-forum] Constructs, primitives, terms

Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 08:59:18 -0500
Message-id: <4F69DEB6.6030501@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ali and Phil,    (01)

I checked the references you suggested and followed a few more paths.
One of them indicated that Vannevar Bush's famous article was actually
written in 1939.  He probably delayed publication because of many other
activities (among them WW II).  Brief summary:    (02)

  1. In 1917, VB earned a PhD in engineering from MIT and Harvard
     (jointly).    (03)

  2. In 1922, he cofounded a company with a former college roommate
     to make "S-tube" rectifiers for converting AC to DC in radios.
     The company later changed its name to Raytheon.    (04)

  3. In 1927, he designed an analog computer called the Differential
     Analyzer to solve differential equations with up to 18 variables.    (05)

  4. One of his graduate students at the time was Claude Shannon, who
     developed digital circuit theory as an offshoot of this work.    (06)

  5. He was Dean of Engineering at MIT from 1932 to 1938.    (07)

  6. In 1939, he was appointed chairman of the National Advisory
     Committee for Aeronautics.    (08)

  7. During WW II, he was the director of the Office of Scientific
     Research and Development.  One of its efforts that ended in
     a bang was called the Manhattan project.    (09)

  8. After the war, he wrote a proposal for the National Science
     Foundation, which Congress approved in 1947.    (010)

  9. He also got funding for various MIT projects, one of which led
     to the Whirlwind computer, which a student named Ken Olsen
     re-implemented in a transistorized version called the TX-0.
     Ken later founded a company to commercialize it as the PDP-1.    (011)

In short, many people were involved in all these efforts, and they
all deserve credit.  But VB was the kind of person who had a solid
technical background plus the kind of vision to see the potential
for revolutionary breakthroughs.  Just as important, he also had
the organizational skills to get things done.    (012)

That's a rare combination of skills.  Steve Jobs also had skills
like that.  He also founded a company with a college friend, but
unlike Ken and VB, Steve dropped out before getting his degree.    (013)

John    (014)

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