* Shockley was a terrible manager and a passionate racist, who devoted his post-Nobel decades to publicising home-brewed theories about ‘dysgenics’ or genetic degradation and racial differences being a form of natural ‘colour-coding’ to warn about low intelligence.
* Miller cites the example of the Thanh Hóa Bridge, a vital transport artery in North Vietnam, which in 1965 was the target of 638 bombs, every one of which missed. Seven years later, the TI chips were incorporated in the same bombs, and the final set of air raids, on 13 May 1972, destroyed the bridge – a confirmation of the importance of the new technology in war, even if it was broadly ignored in the context of the US defeat. (The other wider significance of the Thanh Hóa Bridge was that the first big raid there was the occasion for an aerial dogfight in which the US, to its astonishment, lost a number of its most advanced aircraft to Vietnamese fighters. That shock to the system eventually led to the foundation of the fighter school memorialised in Top Gun, which in turn led to the 2022 sequel which was such a big-screen success that Steven Spielberg recently told Tom Cruise his movie had ‘saved the entire theatrical industry’. It’s the Thanh Hóa Bridge’s world – we’re just living in it.)