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Harald Sack

Do You Speak Polish… Or Maybe Reverse Polish?

Do You Speak Polish… Or Maybe Reverse Polish?

HP 35s Calculator (1972) I guess almost nobody except a few mathematicians and computer scientists have ever heard of the Australian computer scientist Charles Leonard Hamblin, who passed away on May 14, 1985. And also most of my fellow computer scientists might not have heard of him. But, one of his major contributions to computer science was the introduction of the so-called Reverse Polish Notation. Does that ring a bell Back…
Please Don’t Ignite the Earth’s Atmosphere…

Please Don’t Ignite the Earth’s Atmosphere…

Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1984)from Los Alamos Technical ReportLA-UR-00-2532; 16 October 2000 When in 1952 the world’s first thermonuclear fusion bomb was ignited, mathematicians and physicists thought it would be rather unlikely that testing the device might result in burning all the nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere. But, the possibility could not be excluded completely. Nevertheless, they have tested the bomb and fortunately for us not the like did happen. One of…
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) ©The Nobel Foundation On May 11, 1918, famous physicist and nobel laureate Richard Feynman was born. Ever since my first days at university, Feynman has been one of my absolute heroes of science. Of course I already knew his name back at school, when we first learned about Feynman diagrams named after him and I have had heard about his famous physics lectures. But when I happend to read…
Liberty vs. Authority according to John Stuart Mill

Liberty vs. Authority according to John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) On May 8, 1873, British Philosopher John Stuart Mill died, maybe the most influential english-speaking philosopher of the 19th century. His views still are significance today and are generally recognized to be among the deepest and certainly the most effective defenses of empiricism and of a liberal political view of society and culture. His overall aim was to develop a positive view of the universe and…
You Don’t Exist. – says David Hume

You Don’t Exist. – says David Hume

David Hume (1711-1776) On May 7, 1711, the great Philosopher David Hume was born. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy as well as the Scottish Enlightenment. In his ‘Treatise of Human Nature‘ (1739), he was about to create a total naturalistic “science of man” examining the psychological basis of human nature. In stark to Descartes, he concluded that desire rather than reason…
Freudian Slips and other Trifles

Freudian Slips and other Trifles

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) On May 6, 1856, Sigmund Freud was born, founder of modern Psychology and Psychoanalysis. As the father of Psychoanalysis, which dealt greater with subconscious motives to behavior, Sigmund Freud alone sculpted what modern psychology would become. His renowned ideas, which have focused on the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego of the mind are still studied to this very day and are employed in the offices of psychologists in…
Reckless Power Play Politics – Niccolò Machiavelli

Reckless Power Play Politics – Niccolò Machiavelli

  On May 3, 1469, Florentine civil servant, diplomat, historian, philosopher and author Niccolò Machiavelli was born. Besides his seminal work ‘Il Principe‘ (The Prince) he is also known for writing comedies, carnival songs, and even poetry. One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived. Niccoló Machiavelli, Il Principe Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era in which popes waged acquisitive wars against Italian city-states,…
The Illuminati – about Conspiracies and Bestsellers

The Illuminati – about Conspiracies and Bestsellers

On May 1st, 1776 Adam Weishaupt, the first lay professor of canon law, founded the secret order of Illuminati at the University of Ingolstadt.  It was made up of freethinkers as an offshoot of the Enlightenment and seems to have been modeled on the Freemasons. The Illuminati’s members took a vow of secrecy and pledged obedience to their superiors. Members were divided into three main classes, each with several degrees, and…
Claude Shannon – Father of Information Theory

Claude Shannon – Father of Information Theory

Claude E. Shannon (1916-2001) Today 96 years ago, Claude E. Shannon was born, the “father of information theory“, whose groundbreaking work ushered in the Digital Revolution. Of course Shannon is famous for having founded information theory with one landmark paper published in 1948. But he is also credited with founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937, when, as a 21-year-old master’s student at MIT, he wrote…
Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics

Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics

Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) On April 28, 1906, Kurt Gödel was born. He was one of the most significant logicians of all time. Gödel made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when many, such as Bertrand Russell, A. N. Whitehead and David Hilbert, were pioneering the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics. Gödel is best known for his two…
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