George Dyson

George Dyson portraitIt was summer 2001. I had just finished a three hour interview with George Dyson within a few hundred yards of Winchester Cathedral. He disappeared off to back to where he was staying, and meet his father, Freeman; somewhere in the back streets of the medieval town. I thought it unlikely I’d meet him again, and so far this has indeed been the case.

At times he said things, which had reminded me of  Kenneth Brower’s description of Dyson senior seeing the world in equations. But in the main he came across as pretty much like many a human being, with vulnerabilities. One particular remark, during the long conversation, which ranged across quite a bit of terrain, and would eventually become one of the longer Fourth Door Review’s feature’s, in no 7  was how, when he finished his idiosyncratic history of the early years of computers, and the computer pioneers who brought this world into existence, Darwin Among the Machines, “it’s going to be a really long, long time until I write another book,” and the slow arduous inflection of these words made it sound like he really didn’t like writing, and likely or not there wouldn’t be any other books at all.

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