Google was inverting the von Neumann matrix–by coaxing the matrix into inverting itself. Von Neumann's "Numerical Inverting of Matrices of High Order," published (with Herman Goldstine) in 1947, confirmed his ambition to build a machine that could invert matrices of non-trivial size. A 1950 postscript, "Matrix Inversion by a Monte Carlo Method," describes how a statistical, random-walk procedure credited to von Neumann and Stan Ulam "can be used to invert a class of n-th order matrices with only n2 arithmetic operations in addition to the scanning and discriminating required to play the solitaire game." The aggregate of all our searches for unpredictable (but meaningful) strings of bits, is, in effect, a Monte Carlo process for inverting the matrix that constitutes the World Wide Web.Link (Ed developed a rapport with the machines that escaped those who had never felt the warmth of a vacuum tube or the texture of a core memory plane. Within three months he was not only troubleshooting the misbehavior of individual data centers, but examining how the archipelago of data centers cooperated–and competed–on a global scale.

Google was inverting the von Neumann matrix–by coaxing the matrix into inverting itself. Von Neumann's "Numerical Inverting of Matrices of High Order," published (with Herman Goldstine) in 1947, confirmed his ambition to build a machine that could invert matrices of non-trivial size. A 1950 postscript, "Matrix Inversion by a Monte Carlo Method," describes how a statistical, random-walk procedure credited to von Neumann and Stan Ulam "can be used to invert a class of n-th order matrices with only n2 arithmetic operations in addition to the scanning and discriminating required to play the solitaire game." The aggregate of all our searches for unpredictable (but meaningful) strings of bits, is, in effect, a Monte Carlo process for inverting the matrix that constitutes the World Wide Web.Link (Ed developed a rapport with the machines that escaped those who had never felt the warmth of a vacuum tube or the texture of a core memory plane. Within three months he was not only troubleshooting the misbehavior of individual data centers, but examining how the archipelago of data centers cooperated–and competed–on a global scale.