Walter Isaacson’s “The Innovators: How a group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,” is the most IMPORTANT book I have read since I read “Emperor of all Maladies: A biography of Cancer,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. What is unusual about that statement, is that I have been very critical of internet during different stages of my life, but Walter Isaacson is one of my favorite historians and so I decided to read the book

Mr Isaacson’s biography on “Einstein” allowed me, after nearly six decades on this planet, to understand Einstein’s amazing theories with very little effort. His Biography on “DA Vinci” is one of the greatest biographies I have ever read about another human being. In fact, his revelations about DA Vinci go hand and hand with “The Innovators” and his name is brought up repeatedly and the final picture in this amazing book is a DA Vinci 41Q12OkmVrL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_drawing of the Vitruvian Man.

DA Vinci, unlike Michaelangelo, loved to collaborate with other artists, musicians, actors, and scientists and that is one of the reasons he is considered one of the greatest, complete, geniuses who has ever lived and Michaelangelo, a loner, is a mere shadow in the presence of DA Vinci.

“The Innovators” is a story that began over 150 years ago with Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, whose interest in both science and the humanities, foresaw what would eventually lead to the digital age (computers, the internet, the web). Her interest in calculating machines, algorithms, poetry, and music and her collaboration with Charles Babbage, a mathematician and inventor would be the genesis of the digital age and the vision and foundation that would eventually morph into the world wide web.

Over the next 150 years there would be notable names as the military (government) Academica (MIT, Yale, Stanford, Harvard) and entrepreneurs (Gates, Allen, Jobs, etc.) contributed to this amazing revolution in science but it was never one individual but a collaboration of thousands of gifted men and women. There was never a great leap, but a steady, at times painstaking, process from rudimentary computers to high speed computers to personal computers, and then to the software and operating systems, and finally to the world wide web and companies like Google.
Computers were originally seen as machines that would create communities of people in which they would make it easy to exchange ideas. It was to be free, and in fact the creator of the world wide web never patented his creation. Of course, over time the free exchange of ideas and inventions were patented and individuals like Jobs and Gates became billionaires, creating empires.
Mr. Isaacson’s book is like an encyclopedia, mixed with the poetry and music, that Mrs Lovelace first envisioned. It is about the creative process, teamwork, and contributions and insights from many different fields of science and the humanities. It is like a giant collage that looks like Mr. DA Vinci’s “The Vitruvian Man.” It is an extraordinary book and a very important book.

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