Re: virus: The other

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Wed, 12 Nov 1997 16:16:39 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 12 Nov 1997, Marie L. Foster wrote:

> As I understand it an automaton is 'hard wired' to follow programming while
> being autonomous means being self contained.... yet since they have the
> same root... It looks like I need another visit to the library to sort
> this out.

The Greek root auto- means "self". "Autonomous" means "self-ruling"
(Greek "nomos"="rule/law" * ). "Automaton" is a neuter noun form
closely related to "automatic", and refers to a mechanism (not a person)
which is self-acting, that is, one which acts without requiring a person
to move or control it.


*as in "Nomic"