21 thoughts
last posted May 21, 2018, 4:52 p.m.

10 earlier thoughts


beside the point in the XIX

Now, the calculus of distributive operators is a subject of great extent and importance, but Grassmann's view is the more comprehensive ... . For every quantitative operator may be regarded as a quantity, i.e., as the subject of mathematical operation, but every quantity cannot be regarded as an operator; precisely as in grammar every verb may be taken as substantive, as in the infinitive, while every substantive does not give us a verb. — JW Gibbs, On Multiple Algebra (1866)

... in which we learn that Iverson had antecedents in linguistic parallels, and Gibbs lays some groundwork for Backus' 1977 Turing Award lecture.

  • (incidentally, Gibbs' lecture, published in the XIX and digitised by Google in the XXI, was apparently very popular, having been borrowed for consultation multiple times during the course of the XX: once in 1937, and once in 1963...)

10 later thoughts