Picture of the Day: 'The Machine Compared With a Human Brain'

More

computerbrain.jpg

More from the wonderful cigarette-card collection at the New York Public Library: Today's pick is a card from Max Cigarettes from the mid 1930s called "The Machine Compared With a Human Brain" showing in one half a man surrounded by books and, in the other, a man operating a "differential analyser," an early-20th-century analog computing machine. An accompanying description explains:

Only the human brain is capable of originating a line of mathematical, analytical or synthetical though, but where the solution of an original problem requires the building up of a long series of figures, for example, the raising of a complex decimal to a higher power, this astounding machine is more efficient, for it can do in a few hours work requiring perhaps years of a man's time. But the machine has to be much larger, and here you see contrasted the human brain against a single section of the "Differential Analyser".

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NYPL.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In