Is the polar planimeter an analog computer? Kenneth Aizawa October 19, 2010 Uncategorized I’ve had a Gibsonian ask me about this device. I say it’s an information processor (not in the technical Shannon sense) and an analog computer. Other opinions? Wikipedia description.Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)RelatedPrevious PostA Dialogue with Brit Brogaard on Philosophy and NeuroscienceNext PostWhat Are the Best Defenses of the Afterlife? 6 Comments gualtiero October 19, 2010 at 10:50 am 9 years ago Ken, thanks for sharing this nice example. I would recommend calling it an analog computing aid. I would reserve the term “computing mechanism” for truly automatic devices, which can do a whole calculation by themselves. Finally, I would reserve the term “analog computer” for the kind of integration-based devices formally characterized by Shannon 1941 and Pour-El 1974. (http://www.umsl.edu/~piccininig/Computers.pdf) Henry October 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm 9 years ago Would you consider a tape measure an analog computer? It’s essentially a 1-dimensional integrator to the planimeter’s 2-dimensional integrator. Joshua Stern October 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm 9 years ago I agree with this post! I will go a bit further and assert the very concept of “analog computer” is likely unsound (traditions aside), except as we can map back to it from what are now the archetypical “computing” devices, the Turing-derived digital electronic computers. nirlswarare January 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm 9 years ago Very Interesting Post! Thank You For Thi Blog! Logopitic January 22, 2011 at 6:25 am 9 years ago I’ve been visiting your blog for a while now and I always find a gem in your new posts. Thanks for sharing. appardiag January 26, 2011 at 2:27 am 9 years ago I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon.I enjoy reading your commentaries.Comments are closed.