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RE: Hand-Calcs vs. Computer Calcs

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Adams [mailto:davea(--nospam--at)laneengineers.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 1999 11:47 AM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: Hand-Calcs vs. Computer Calcs
>
>
> Do you think there may be the potential of our
> profession becoming
> too "computerized"?

I wish I could recall the title or author of the Science Fiction story I
read as a boy years ago.

The gist of the story was that, in the midst of a war fought many years
hence, when computers had pretty much "taken over" all mathematical
calculation tasks, one side's "secret weapon" was the rediscovery of hand
calculations! Because of this, that side won the war because they were able
to actually calculate the firing parameters for their artillery in the
trenches, without waiting for the numbers to be signalled to them from the
computer operators far to the rear.

At the end of the story, the man who "rediscovered math" was haled as a
national hero.

I guess the precepts of this story have been overtaken by events--obviously
it was written so long ago that the author hadn't anticipated handheld
calculators, or computers small enough to sit on your lap--but I find it
interesting given your query, that this problem had been anticipated about
fifty or so years ago!