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Who was Panini ?

At the beginning of the Information Sciences, there was no computer. When some people looked inwardly towards what could constitute the science of Information, their eyes first spotted language. They studied it, understood what it was made up of. They wondered if it was atomic, whether it could be disassembled into the simplest elemental parts of unit information that always followed rules that vastly simplified the mechanics. They understood its principles of information delivery, its efficiencies and then formed laws from their observations. They found many things and from the time of Panini, who lived 2500 years ago in India, have survived some laws which we use today to form artificial languages that the computer will better understand.

Noam Chomsky, the professor at MIT, one of the living wise we have during our times, has done seminal work in dozens of fields of linguistics, logic, philosophy and also society and revolution. I have read on the Internet that he once felt that a lot of work he had done during his lifetime, he did sitting on the shoulders of Panini. A fitting complement from a worthy disciple.

We ought to know more about Panini whose imaginary picture in a commemorative postage stamp is above. We merely call him a Sanskrit grammarian. We should also know about Pingala, his brother, another early giant of the discrete sciences. The belief on the discredited nature of information is very old.