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Ada Lovelace


I have my hopes and very distinct ones too, of one day getting cerebral phenomena such that I can put them into mathematical equations; in short a law or laws for the mutual; actions of the molecules of the brain; ( equivalent to the law of gravitation for the planetary and sideral world ) I am proceeding on a track quite peculiar and my own, I believe. There are many and great difficulties but at present I see no reason to think them unsurmountable It does not appear to me that cerebral matter need be more unmaneagable to mathematicians than sideral and planetary matters and movements, if they would but inspect it from the right point of view. I hope to bequeth to the generations a calculus of the nervous system.

I believe myself to possess a most singular combination of qualities exactly fitted to make me pre-eminently a discoverer of the hidden realities of nature. you will not mistake this assertion either for wild enthusiasm or for the result of any disposition to self exaltation. On the contrary, the belief has been forced upon me, and most slow have I been to admit it even. And now I will mention the three remarkable faculties in me , which united , ought ( all in good time ) to make me see anything, that a being not actually dead, can see and know, - ( for it is what we are pleased to call death, that will really reveal things to us ).- Firstly: Owing to some peculiarity in my nervous system, I have perceptions of some things, which no one else has; or at least very few if any. This faculty may be designated in me as a singular tact or some might say an intuitive perception of hidden things; - that is of things hidden from eyes, ears and the ordinary senses….. This alone would advantage me little, in the discovery line, but there is Secondly: my immense reasoning faculties; Thirdly; my concentrative faculty, by which I mean the power not only of throwing my whole energy and existence into whatever I choose, but also bringing to bear on any one subject or idea, a vast apparatus from all sorts of apparently irrelevant and extraneous sources. I can throw rays from every quarter of the universe into one vast focus. Now these three powers ; ( I can not resist the wickedness of calling them my discovering or scientific trinity) are a vast apparatus put into my power by providence; and it rests with me by proper course during the next twenty years to make the engine what I please. But haste; or restless ambition, would quite ruin the whole. My ambition and I cannot say with any truth that I feel myself by any means able to banish ambition, must be of the most remote kind. And beside it rather my belief that greatness of the very highest order, is never appreciated here, to the fullest extent, until after the great man ( or womans death ). My ambition should be rather to be great, than to be thought so. This however is high philosophy, but I must believe perfectly attainable, as I say all in good time. - .. Meanwhile my course is so clear and obvious, that it is delightful to think how straight it is. And yet what a mountain I have to climb! It is enough to frighten anyone who had not at all the most insatiable and restless energy, which from my babyhood has been the plague of your life and of my own. However it has found food I beleive at last. For 25 years have the feelers been out in every direction, trying all sorts of experiments. Give me 30 more and the feelers shall feel about to some purpose, and in a very different way from there hitherto grovelling groping.

I think , when you do by and bye, see certain productions, you will not despair of my being an autocrat, in my own way; before whose marshalled regiments some of the iron rulers of the earth may even have to give way.! But of what materials my regiments are to consist, I do not at present divulge. I have however the hope that they will be most harmoniously disciplined troops; - consisting of vast numbers of and marching in irresisable power to the sound of music. Is not this very mysterious? Certainly my troops must consist of numbers, or they can have no existence at all, and would cease to be the particular sort of troops in question.- But then what are these numbers. ? There is the riddle.

ada_lovelace.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/10 02:59 by nik