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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Integrated circuit

The dichromatic pattern on this tie by Hubert (probably Hubert of Milano, though it doesn't say so) looks like an integrated circuit, the revolutionary invention that made personal computers (and by extension, this very blog) possible. Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce are both credited with independently inventing the integrated circuit, which combines transistors, diodes, and their connections (millions of 'em!) on a single chip of semiconducting material. Apart from their functionality, integrated circuits are visually fascinating, evoking comparisons to complex systems of pipes or roads, which in a manner of speaking they are. And though it's been about fifteen years since I read it, I think the similarity between ICs and the veves of Haitian Vodoun played a significant part in William Gibson's Neuromancer trilogy. A good tie can keep my mind racing making these connections all day. (But not when I'm working, of course.)

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