Alan Turing, l’esperanto, e l’artificio del linguaggio

Aside

Solo una macchina può apprezzare un sonetto scritto da un’altra macchina. — Alan Turing

Ricevo e volentieri pubblico:

Prendi due e paghi metà di uno

Ogni tanto ti è capitato di sentire la parola «esperanto». Sai pure che si tratta di una lingua mondiale. Forse non sai che è parlata da alcuni milioni di persone un po’ dovunque nel mondo, compresa l’Italia

Saprai anche che è la lingua più facile da imparare: il nostro corso di una settimana (24 ore) ti fa raggiungere un livello di semplice conversazione.

Mazara del Vallo è una città fantastica in Sicilia, piena di storia e di mare.

Le condizioni sono vantaggiose: il corso, l’alloggio in pensione completa nel prestigioso Hotel Hopps sul lungomare di Mazara del Vallo a soli 450 euro, tutto compreso (camera doppia). Anzi, se hai fino a 30 anni il tutto a soli 300 euro (tripla o quadrupla).

Questo nel quadro del 79° Congresso di Esperanto in Italia, dal 18 al 25 agosto 2012.
Vedi http://congresso.esperanto.it/ e scrivi subito a kongreso chiocciola esperanto.it .

Faccio notare che a Pasqua c’e’ anche il Festival Giovanile Internazionale, a Cervia, con un tema interessante, che va da Leibniz ad Alan Turing fino a Zuckerberg, il fondatore di Facebook (se vi ricorda il titolo del mio libro, non è casuale, ma non l’ho scelto io, diciamo che si sono ispirati…). Comunque faccio una conferenza anch’io su Turing, ad uso del pubblico esperantofono. Questo per celebrare l’Alan Turing Year.

La kanalo pri mia kurso en Hajnano

Iom post iom mi eldonos ĉiun filmeton de la lecionaro pri Filozofio kaj Historio de Informatiko ĉi-tie. Mi malkovris, ke YouTube permesas al mi alŝuti pli altkvalitan version ol tiun en Vimeo kaj Ipernitio. Strange, sed vere. Do, laŭeble elektu ĉi-tiun jutuban kanalon.

150 anni di tecnologia italiana: dalle prime trasmissioni all’era digitale

Per conoscenza

150 anni di tecnologia italiana

150 anni di tecnologia italiana: dalle prime trasmissioni all’era digitale

L’Associazione Forseti ripercorre la storia del Bel Paese
attraverso le invenzioni che l’hanno reso grande nel mondo

Nell’anno del centocinquantesimo anniversario dell’Unità d’Italia, Forseti – associazione
impegnata nella promozione e della diffusione della cultura informatica e tecnologica – rende
omaggio alle geniali menti italiane che, attraverso le loro invenzioni, hanno rivoluzionato le
nostre vite. L’esposizione di pannelli illustrativi che ricorda i vari personaggi e le varie invenzioni
dall’Unità d’Italia ai nostri giorni è visibile ancora per pochi giorni lungo i portici di via Volta a
Varese. Nell’ambito della mostra Forseti organizza un convegno aperto al pubblico (ingresso
libero) dal titolo: “150 anni di tecnologia Italiana, dalle prime trasmissioni all’era digitale”, che
vedrà protagonisti diversi personaggi del mondo scientifico e tecnologico italiano, si svolgerà
giovedi 15 dicembre 2011 alle ore 20.30, presso la “Sala Montanari” in via dei Bersaglieri, 1 a
Varese.

Interverranno nella serata:
* Prof. F. Gobbo – Centro di Ricerca “Informatica Interattiva” dell’Università degli Studi
dell’Insubria di Varese
* Dott.ssa L. Ronzon – Responsabile del Patrimonio Storico del Museo Nazionale della
Scienza e della Tecnologia di Milano
* Dott. B. Grampa – Associazione “Museo dei computer -Amici di HAL”
* Prof. G.A. Cignoni e Prof. F. Gadducci – Dipartimento di Informatica dell’Università di Pisa.
(Fondazione Galileo Galilei e Museo degli Strumenti di Calcolo Pisa)
* Moderatore della serata: dott. M. Inzaghi, Direttore di Rete55 – Varese.

La serata fa parte delle iniziative che Forseti ha organizzato nell’ambito delle celebrazioni del
centocinquantesimo anniversario Unità d’Italia insieme alla mostra che è stata inaugurata
domenica 4 Dicembre in via Volta (a Varese) e che sarà visibile fino a domenica 18 Dicembre.
I relatori ripercorreranno proprio il tema della mostra presentando le invenzioni che negli ultimi
150 anni hanno reso il made in italy così importante anche in ambito tecnologico. La seconda
parte della serata sarà invece dedicata ad una tavola rotonda tra gli esperti coinvolti che
affronterà il delicato tema del futuro delle nuove tecnologie.
L’iniziativa è patrocinata dal Comune di Varese, dalla Provincia di Varese e dalla Regione
Lombardia e ha ottenuto l’utilizzo del logo ufficiale del “150° Anniversario dell’Unità d’Italia”.
Ricordiamo l’ingresso libero e aperto a tutti.

Nota logistica: parcheggi disponibili lungo le adiacenti via Cavour e via Dandolo.

I corsi di storia e filosofia dell’informatica a Varese non sono attivati nel 2011-2012

Ogni tanto ricevo qualche email da studenti insubri che mi chiedono se i miei corsi sono attivati quest’anno.

Hanno sentito parlare da altri studenti dei miei corsi di storia e filosofia dell’informatica, che hanno ricevuto un buon gradimento da chi li ha frequentati in passato, e con dispiacere gli ho dovuto dire che quest’anno accademico 2011-2012 non sono attivati.

Vale a dire, non li tengo né io né qualcun altro. Quindi, ufficialmente, non sono più professore, perlomeno non più all’Insubria – mi sto adoperando per una esperienza didattica in Cina, tra Gennaio e Febbraio 2012, sugli stessi argomenti, in lingua esperanto (cliccare per credere).

Chi avesse (malauguratamente?) messo nel piano di studi i miei corsi e non mi avesse ancora contattato fino ad oggi è pregato di contattare la segreteria o il Presidente del Corso di Laurea, non il sottoscritto.

Quest’anno forzatamente sabbatico scriverò il manuale di storia e filosofia dell’informatica, basato sui miei anni di esperienza insubre – forse ce ne saranno altri, forse no, chissà. Per il momento lo scrivo in italiano, basandomi sul wiki e sulle dispense già prodotti in tale lingua per gli studenti, e lo adatto in esperanto per l’università sull’Isola dell’Esperanto, poi forse anche in inglese.

Ho deciso che questo manuale lo dedicherò alla memoria di Elio, recentemente scomparso.

Information Systems: Why History Matters

FYI:

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Journal of Information Technology

Information Systems: Why History Matters

Senior Editors:
Antony Bryant
Alistair Black
Frank Land
Jaana Porra

Any discipline or field of professional practice has a history. A proper understanding of the discipline needs to be based on a widespread awareness of that history. The field of information systems (IS) is no different in this regard. As the IS field matures, it needs to evolve a historical perspective on its own subject matter.

Although there has been some significant work within IS studies that relies upon and uses historical data, there is little by way of information historiography to guide further work and future research. This is ironic given that information systems themselves are now the fons et origo of contemporary (richly demonstrated by the recent WIKILEAKS affair) and future archives. In addition, there is significant reliance upon case studies, and other forms of historical narrative, in IS research and general IS literature. So it is essential that those working within IS studies understand the role and nature of archives and other historical sources, both in terms of a resource for research into information history, and as a topic for discussion amongst archivists, historians, and other information and information system researchers and professionals: Also developing an awareness of the processes underlying the development of archives as social artefacts.

The interest in producing IS history encompasses many disciplines and varying perspectives on IS. The IS discipline itself is closely related to other disciplines or research domains, such as information studies, information science, library history, organizational studies, business studies, software engineering (including requirements engineering), HCI, AI, CAD/CAM, criminology, social studies, behavioural sciences, economics and communication studies – although all too often these links are ignored or simply forgotten. In so doing, the IS community is missing an opportunity to engage with, and learn from, others with differing perspectives on topics of common interest. Furthermore, this engenders an uneasy feeling that many current IS issues and concerns might be at least partially resolved with a better knowledge and understanding of ‘information history’ in its broadest sense.

The purpose of this special issue is to provide a broad based platform for an IS historical discourse. Thus, we welcome contributions from all fields that are concerned with the IS subject matter. While many aspects and areas of IS studies rely on historical data, evidence and archives, the common goal is to produce a body of IS history. In this spirit, we invite contributions on a variety of topics related to IS history. Such topics may touch upon fundamental philosophical questions such as: What is IS history? At a more practical level, they may include areas such as:
the development of information history as a multidisciplinary research effort
an analysis of historical approaches and methods and what these can provide for the IS researcher
the existence of primary sources for IS history, and associated problems of access and methodology
the nature of the archive
good examples of the use of historiographic approaches to IS studies
previously unpublished histories
the study of the evolution of the IS disciplines
how the boundaries of the discipline were set and defined
the study of the evolution of IS organization, practice and management, including such practices as outsourcing
the study of the evolution of the IS profession
the study of the evolution of the role of information systems and professionals in organizations
the study of the evolution of IS design methodologies
the study of evolution of IS applications
exploring the management of change
the importance of understanding the pre-history of IS as currently defined, including continuities or contrasts with earlier pre-computer phases, technologies and systems
the study of IS innovation and diffusion including: stages of growth models; the study of IS success and failure; use and policies around public and private archives
information archives in the age of Freedom of Information legislation, PR and spin
the use of history as an instrument for understanding the present and planning the future; and the consequent dangers of ‘presentism’
the inevitability of the ‘double hermeneutic’ in unravelling the historical record

ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Frank Bannister, Trinity College, Dublin

Rudy Hirschheim, Distinguished Professor of Information Systems at the EJ Ourso College of Business Administration at Louisiana State University, USA

Nathalie Mitev, Department of Information Systems, LSE, UK

Neil Pollock, Reader in e-business, University of Edinburgh, UK

Neil Ramiller Professor of Management, School of Business Administration, Portland State University

Boyd Rayward, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois, USA

Burt Swanson, Professor and Area Chair for Information Systems at the UCLA Anderson School, USA

Toni Weller, Visiting Research Fellow in History, Department of Historical and Social Studies, De Montfort University, UK

DEADLINES & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Information about JIT, including formatting requirements, can be found at http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jit/index.html

Questions about the special issue can be directed to Tony Bryant [a.bryant at leedsmet.ac.uk]

Papers should be submitted to JIT [JITedoffice at lse.ac.uk] with the title of the Special Issue in the Subject Line.

Timetable:
December 31 2011 Articles submitted
July 31 2012 Reviews returned to authors
October 31 2012 Revised version of articles due

December 31 2012 Final papers selected
June 2013 Publication of Special Issue

2011 Fellowships in ACM History open call

FYI:

ACM History Committee
2011 Fellowships in ACM History

The Association for Computing Machinery, founded in 1947, is the oldest and largest educational and scientific society dedicated to the computing profession, and today has members in more than 100 countries. To encourage historical research, the ACM History Committee plans to make two awards. One, a travel grant of $2,500 to support historical research on the wide variety of ACM-related activities, including ACM members, officers, and prize winners. Second, a fellowship grant of $5,000 focusing on ACM’s rich institutional history, including consideration of its organization, publications, SIG activities, and sponsored conferences. Successful candidates for either award may be of any rank, from graduate students through senior researchers.

To Apply:

Applicants for either award should send a 2-page CV as well as a 750-word project description that [a] describes the proposed research project; [b] identifies the importance of specific ACM historical materials, whether traditional archival collections or online historical materials (oral histories, digitized conference papers, ACM organizational records, et al.); [c] discusses the project’s planned outcome (e.g. conference paper, journal article, book or dissertation chapter, teaching resource, museum exhibit); and [d] outlines a timeline for completing the project, generally within one calendar year of the award, including a final project report sent to the ACM History Committee chair.

In preparing a proposal, applicants should examine the extensive list of “ACM Research Materials” posted at <history.acm.org/content.php?do=links> as well as “Sources for ACM History,” CACM 50 #5 (May 2007): 36-41 <doi.acm.org/10.1145/1230819.1230836>. Other research materials relating to ACM history may also be used. Applicants should include a letter of endorsement from their home institution or an external scholarly reference.
Proposals are due by 15 April 2011. Proposals should be submitted as a single pdf-format document to . Notification of awards will be made within six weeks.

Call for Douglas Byrne Marconi Fellowship Applications

FYI

Call for Douglas Byrne Marconi Fellowship Applications

10 November 2010

The Bodleian Libraries are calling for applicants interested in researching the history of science and technology. Thanks to a grant from the Wireless Preservation Society, the Bodleian Libraries offer an annual fellowship to support a scholar in residence. The value of the award in 2011 will be £4000.

Applications are encouraged from those wishing to consult the Marconi Archive at the Bodleian Library and the collection of objects held at the Museum of Science, Oxford. The vast archive, occupying some 400 linear metres of shelving, includes personal papers of Guglielmo Marconi and business records relating to the radio industry up to the late twentieth century. Objects in the collection include devices from early experiments in transmission.

The first fellowship was awarded this year to Professor Peter Scott, of the Henley Business School, University of Reading, for research into competitive advantage and innovation in the interwar British radio industry. Professor Scott will deliver the first Douglas Byrne Marconi Lecture on March 1, 2011. “The Marconi fellowship has provided me with the resources to undertake in-depth research using Britain’s most extensive and important archive for the radio and related industries”, says Professor Scott. “The Marconi collection sheds important light on all aspects of the early radio industry and constitutes a key historical resource for anyone undertaking research in this area.”

The Marconi Collection was donated to the University of Oxford by Marconi plc in December 2004. A catalogue of the archive, funded by the Wireless Preservation Society, is available online from the Bodleian Library. A catalogue of the objects can be found on the website of the Museum of the History of Science.

One of the most interesting sections of the archive relates to the Titanic disaster in 1912. The role played by wireless telegraphy in saving lives during this tragic event is well documented in the archive, which features the logs of ships’ radio operators recording the first and last distress signals from the Titanic as well as thousands of other messages exchanged before, during and after the emergency.

As well as documents relating to Marconi and his Wireless Telegraph Company, there are records of numerous other electronic and electrical engineering companies, all of which were ultimately absorbed into the General Electric Company (GEC) which in 1999 changed its own name to Marconi.

The fellowship is named in memory of its founder, Douglas Byrne.

For details of funding and how to apply for the Douglas Byrne Marconi Fellowship at the Bodleian Library, visit the library website at www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/csb/, or write to: Fellowships, Centre for the Study of the Book, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG. Applications for the 2011 fellowship must be submitted by December 31, 2010.

15 dicembre, lezione invitata di Bruno Grampa sul retrocomputing

Carissimi studenti e amici, il prossimo 15 dicembre dalle ore 16:00 alle ore 18:00 in aula 1TM del Padiglione Morselli, Bizzozzero, Varese, l’ultima lezione di Storia dell’Informatica e della Comunicazione digitale sarà tenuta da Bruno Grampa, collezionista di retrocomputing, già organizzatore di sei edizioni di Varese Retrocomputing e “sysop di HAL bbs, storica banca dati Italiana (la prima a Varese)”, Bruno ha fondato Amici di HAL, uno dei più importanti musei di informatica italiani.

Verrà a parlarci della sua esperienza, del passato, presente e soprattutto futuro del retrocomputing, portandoci dei pezzi originali d’epoca. Il tutto sarà visibile in videoconferenza a Como in tempo reale, sempre dall’aula 4.15 di via Valleggio, 11.

Per chi non potrà essere presente, abbiamo organizzato con il centro elaborazione dati (SIC) dell’Università dell’Insubria la possibilità di vedere in streaming in differita quanto viene visto nella sede di Varese.

L’ingresso è libero, nel senso che non c’è bisogno di aver seguito il corso per partecipare. Accorrete numerosi! Vi aspetto!

International Conference on History and Philosophy of Computing

FYI:

International Conference
History and Philosophy of Computing
November 7 – 10, 2011
Gent University, Belgium

http://www.computing-conference.ugent.be

First announcement

From 7-10 November 2011 the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science
organizes an International Conference on the History and Philosophy of
Computing.

AIMS AND SCOPE

The computing sciences collect the most diverse complex of experts:
philosophers, logicians, historians, mathematicians, computer
scientists, programmers, engineers. The number of involved subjects
grows accordingly: from foundational issues to their applications; from
philosophical questions to problems of realizability and design of
specifications; from theoretical studies of computational barriers to
the relevance of machines for educational purposes.

A historical awareness of the evolution of computing not only helps to
clarify the complex structure of the computing sciences, but it also
provides an insight in what computing was, is and maybe could be in the
future. Philosophy, on the other hand, helps to tackle some of the
fundamental problems of computing, going from the limits of the
“mathematicizing power of homo sapiens”to the design of feasible and
concrete models of interactive processes.

The aim of this conference is to bring together these two streams: we
are strongly convinced that an interplay between the researchers with an
interest in the history and philosophy of computing can crucially add to
the maturity of the field.

We plan to have up to 30 contributed papers to be presented at the
conference. We welcome contributions from logicians and philosophers or
historians of science as well as from philosophically and/or
historically aware computer scientists and mathematicians.

Topics of the conference include:

– The birth, evolution and future of computation
– Philosophical, foundational and practical issues of computability in logic, mathematics and computer science
– Computation in the sciences

The 2010 CHM Prize call

FYI

The Computer History Museum Prize is awarded to the author of an
outstanding book in the history of computing broadly conceived,
published during the prior three years. The prize of $1000 is awarded by SIGCIS, the Special Interest Group for Computers, Information and Society. It is established through the generosity of an anonymous donor who wishes to honor the Computer History Museum. SIGCIS is part of the Society for the History of Technology.

Books published in 2007-2009 are now eligible for the 2010 award. Books in translation are eligible for three years following the date of their publication in English. Publishers, authors, and other interested members of the computer history community are invited to nominate books. Send one copy of the nominated title to each of the committee members. To be considered, book submissions must be postmarked by 15 April 2010. For more information, please contact the prize committee chair.

Current information about the prize may always be found at
http://www.sigcis.org/?q=chmprize.

I wish I had already published my book on the subject… Perhaps next edition, if it will happen.