“The limits of the possible,” said Arthur C. Clarke, “can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” Our mythologies, our books, our movies have given voice to our dreams of computers that transcend human abilities; we do not lack for imagination of the impossible. In a sense, the history of computing can be seen through the lens of how our science and our engineering have yielded a continuous process of making the impossible possible. However, there are things we know we cannot do, there are some things we don’t yet know how to do, and there are some things we probably shouldn’t do.
This presentation is the next lecture in the documentary project Computing: The Human Experience. Here, we will explore how we take our dreams of computing machines that do the impossible and turn them into the possible, with a consideration for the limits we must overcome, from the laws of physics to the principles of design to the constraints of our very human ethical and moral frameworks.
This event will be streamed live on our Facebook page: facebook.com/computerhistory.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043