Sunday, October 08, 2017

Happy Ada Lovelace day!

Lord Byron, who is often portrayed as a dark, romantic hero, had a wife who he mistreated and abandoned, and in many biographies she is ignored or ridiculed.

But she dared not to go along with his self centered manipulations, which seems to be for her to pay all his bills and put up with his drinking and promiscuity, and he tried to manipulate her so she would do the same. When she did not, and when she dared to have a daughter in stead of a son, he essentially ordered her to leave him, which she did as soon as she had recovered from childbirth.

He had tried his strength with her fully. The first attempt had been to make her an accomplice by sophistry; by destroying her faith in Christianity, and confusing her sense of right and wrong, to bring her into the ranks of those convenient women who regard the marriage tie only as a friendly alliance to cover license on both sides.
her stor.y here, at the Atlantic.from 1896.
Librivox version

Written with sentimentality as was the style of that time, but reading in the light of today's feminism he was a manipulative narcissistic husband, probably bipolar and a known substance abuser.

Ironically, although his verse and "romantic" story gets a huge chapter in literary history, his daughter's contribution to computer science probably has contributed more to today's world.

Wikipedia article on Ada Lovelace...

 Explaining the Analytical Engine's function was a difficult task, as even many other scientists did not really grasp the concept and the British establishment was uninterested in it.[57]Lovelace's notes even had to explain how the Analytical Engine differed from the original Difference Engine.[58] Her work was well received at the time; the scientist Michael Faraday described himself as a supporter of her writing.[59]The notes are around three times longer than the article itself and include (in Section G[60]), in complete detail, a method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numberswith the Engine, which could have run correctly had Babbage's Analytical Engine been built.[61] (Only his Difference Engine has been built, completed in London in 2002.[62]) Based on this work Lovelace is now widely considered the first computer programmer[1] and her method is recognised as the world's first computer program.[63]

there is an argument if this made her the first computer programer, but the original article is so convoluted that few would have read or understood it without her notes.

October 10th is Ada Lovelace day, a day celebrated to encourage women in STEM.

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