06 July 2010

Ominous turn of phrase (and pop quiz)

In an article touting the new Kindle while reading St Augustine of all things, B. G. ends with this sentence regarding a copy of a book he 'liberated' by leaving it on a park bench.
(Miami reader of my liberated copy of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle": did you enjoy it? I'm pretty sure I didn't understand it. Do you? I recommend from experience that you not read it on your honeymoon.)

Doesn't exactly make me want to go out and buy either a Kindle or "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" but I am interested in the back story of this sentence.

This comes from a column in The Economist called 'Babbage.' Here's a pop quiz (no points given for checking the web for the answer): What does the title 'Babbage' refer to?

and furthermore, what about Lady Ada Lovelace?

quadruple points if you get that last remark and can explain its significance

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At 06 July, 2010 23:12, Anonymous Joey Sobrino said...

Okay well Charles Babbage invented the first computer/adding machine. Ada Lovelace was his programmer.

--Joey Sobrino

At 07 July, 2010 11:54, Blogger Clemens said...

Wow! You win! I was expecting Jack to get here first.

But - the significance of her ladyship?

1) She was Lord Byron's only child. Legitimate, anyway.

2) Females were involved in the computer game right from the first

3) the dichotomy of men = hardware, women do software continues. Remember Admiral Grace Hopper?

Or at least it sure did when I worked for Control Data in the mid-80s. But then, CDC went busted betting on mainframes over toy computers (as they put it). Oh, and a few other things.


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