Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Dec. 29, 2021, 7:52 a.m. Humanist 35.428 - media sources for Turing's tape

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 428.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-12-28 11:38:09+00:00
        From: <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 35.424: media sources for Turing's tape


This perfect. Both the personal testimony and the tempting metadata. It arrives
in my inbox as a tender delicious morsal just before my light breakfast which
today will likely be of oatmeal and good Canadian maple syrup.

But to the point: you understand perfectly.

I was interested in establishing a homology before venturing into the abyss of

Some kind soul off-list suggested Kittler and I, myself, had thought of Lev
Manovich. I may yet given time enough dipping into them arrive at some sort of ,
well, arrival.

Your message to Humanist reminds me of stock market ticker tape as seen in black
and white movies of a certain era. So the cinema/video angle may have some
validity after all. Turing, like I, may have been fascinated by ticker tape.

Often depicted in the movies as continuous loop. It would give rise in this
mind’s imagination to a figure of endless tape. And time you ask? it’s in the
expression “ticker”.

I just set my Apple machine to digital display of the clock in the corner to
flash the separator. It acts as a metronome.

In Turing’s case, I don’t know if he kept a diary or if in that diary there is
mention of time unrolling as a flow of assemblages. I like to think that he did
have a temporal consciousness that informed his modelling.

C’est tout pour le présent. I’m off today to Tweet about symmetry breaking and
circularity on Twitter — other time-related stuff.

Thank once again for such a thoughtful and engaging response. One is sometimes
starved for interlocutors. That reminds me breakfast ...

François Lachance, Ph.d.

living in the beginning of the long 22nd century; sequencing the  "future

> On Dec 28, 2021, at 3:28 AM, Humanist <> wrote:
>              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 424.
>        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                Submit to:
>        Date: 2021-12-27 17:10:12+00:00
>        From: Robert Royar <>
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 35.420: media sources for Turing's tape?
> Likely, I misunderstand the problem. I can remember typing in HP-BASIC on
> an old teletype station which could save the programs to paper tape that
> could then be read back into the device. Looking for information about
> keypunch and the history of tape, you might find discussions of
> manufacturing automation dating from the early 19th century which used foot
> and inch increments to readdress the position of readers on tapes made of
> tied-together cards punched with patterns. There is also discussion of CNC
> devices still in use that read and write paper or mylar tapes. These tapes
> can be edited by cutting and splicing. Perhaps  "SIMULATION OF A TURING
> MACHINE ON A DIGITAL COMPUTER" by Robert W. Coffin, Harry E. Goheen, and
> Walter R. Stahl (http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-
> could give you some ideas about the availability near the time of Turing (a
> decade or so later)
> On Mon, Dec 27, 2021 at 4:33 AM Humanist <> wrote:
>>              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 420.
>>        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>>                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
>>                Submit to:
>>        Date: 2021-12-24 02:21:02+00:00
>>        From: <>
>>        Subject: Turing's Tape
>> Hello Willard and Humanist subscribers,
>> I am wondering if any one can point to work broaching the topic of cultural
>> media sources for Turing’s Tape. I am struggling with how addressability
>> can
>> emerge from the idea of sequence (this I take to be important for storage
>> and
>> retrieval). It seems obvious that the cinema can supply the notion of
>> sequence:
>> celluloid running backwards and forwards. Turing of course predates the
>> era of
>> video with its time code (and hence addressability). I feel I am missing
>> something in descriptions of Turing’s Tape.
>> I am not after a causal relation but attempting to examine homologies.
>> Appreciate any pointers.
>> ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
>> François Lachance
>> Scholar-at-large
>> Wannabe Professor of Theoretical and Applied Rhetoric
>> to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks
> --
>               Robert Delius Royar
> Caught in the net since 1985

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