Claude Shannon: Man of the 20th Century?


I’m always pretty amazed by how much I read and how much I still don’t know. It’s probably a combination between how much there is to know and my addiction to bad television, but apparently this guy Claude Shannon is responsible for basically everything that computers do and have ever done and I’d never even heard of him.

Amusingly, he doesn’t sound like he became particularly rich and sounds like he was a grade A flake.

“Outside of his academic pursuits, Shannon was interested in juggling, unicycling, and chess. He also invented many devices, including rocket-powered flying discs, a motorized pogo stick, and a flame-throwing trumpet for a science exhibition. One of his more humorous devices was a box kept on his desk called the “Ultimate Machine”, based on an idea by Marvin Minsky. Otherwise featureless, the box possessed a single switch on its side. When the switch was flipped, the lid of the box opened and a mechanical hand reached out, flipped off the switch, then retracted back inside the box. In addition he built a device that could solve the Rubik’s cube puzzle.”

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