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Mar. 24th, 2006 | 01:17 am
music: David Byrne - Rei Momo - Independence Day (Cumbia)

John von Neumann invented our universe.

Then he died at the depressingly early age of 54, robbing the world of perhaps the greatest genius of the 20th century. "Those who know" generally seem to rank Albert Einstein ahead of von Neumann, but Johnny always gets a solid #2 vote. Frankly, though, I think Johnny had a far bigger impact on my life, and not just because I'm a programmer. What did Albert do, really? Dashed all our hopes of faster-than-light travel, that's what he did. Whined a lot about not agreeing with quantum mechanics, that's what he did. To the best of my knowledge, Einstein didn't even know EJB, which according to many Amazon folks makes him a retard.

When I say that von Neumann invented our universe, I'm not trying to be poetic or rhetorical. What I'm saying is that his first attempt at a computing machine, one that he didn't really like all that much and considered mostly a prototype, is still the one sitting on my desk today. That means we're a bunch of frigging boneheads. You, me, everyone.

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