Automation and Computer
Elementary, my dear Watson.
—SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
The purpose of this chapter, like the previous chapter and all subsequent chapters, is to apply the thesis of the book to a subcategory of applications, in this case automation. Computers and robotics subtended by automation are obvious physical systems, but the principles and rules by which they operate are abstract. More importantly, these principles underwrite evolution and genetics, as well as man-made machines.
As mentioned in the chapter on history, the automated loom had many of the features of modern computers except that its programming wove patterns of cloth rather than mathematical or logical patterns of data. Moreover, the Colossus computer used to break the German enigma code during World War II bore a