The Analog Computer

Here's a short passage about Vannevar Bush on the evolution of analog vs digital computers from The Dream Machine.

The computer and it's design were full of open questions. It was designed by people like us, created from its constituent machinery and logic through trial, error, and ingenuity:

Better yet, for Vannevar Bush and for many others, was that analog machines had a wonderfully evocative quality. They didn't just calculate an answer; they invited you to go in and make a tangible model of the world with your own hands, and then they acted out the unfolding reality right before your eyes. For anyone watching that process, Bush wrote, "one part at least of formal mathematics will become a live thing." Compared to that, digital computers seemed static and dead, nothing but electrons zipping invisibly through wires. That may have been why Bush himself later seemed to feel such a sense of loss as digital computing swept the world, starting in the 1950s.