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Extended Memory: Early Calculating Engines and Historical Computer Simulations

David Mather
Leonardo
Vol. 39, No. 3 (2006), pp. 236-243
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20206224
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

When framed within cognitive theory's extended mind hypothesis, Charles Babbage's 19th-century calculating machines illustrate a distinction between accuracy and flexibility. These properties affect how historical data and memory are organized, providing conceptual linkages for mind-machine integration. The distinction between accuracy and flexibility is also apparent in present-day computer simulations that use historical scenarios, such as virtual-reality software designed for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, history-based video games and other art and entertainment software applications. These contemporary examples share one important feature of extended mind: the incorporation of history or personal memory into a shared memory system.

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