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The history of computing can be thought of as a series of ideas rather than objects. From Aristotle’s formalization of the syllogism, to Alan Turing’s model for an all-purpose computing machine, to Satoshi Nakamoto’s distributed transaction ledger–these breakthroughs did not come in the form of polished, tangible objects. In fact, the objects which end up changing computing fundamentally are often built from ideas that seemed trivial at first glance.
Chris Dixon is a general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and is the author of the article How Aristotle Created the Computer. One job of a venture capitalist is to be early in identifying the ideas that will evolve into influential, tangible objects. In this article, Chris examined several instances in the history of computing where ideas that looked weird and impractical at first glance ended up being world-changing. Recent examples we discussed are blockchains and neural networks.
Chris recently wrote a great article about crypto tokens.
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