Ronald R. Kline's The Cybernetics Moment: Or Why We Call Our Age the PDF


By Ronald R. Kline

ISBN-10: 1421416727

ISBN-13: 9781421416724

Cybernetics--the technological know-how of communique and regulate because it applies to machines and to humans--originates from efforts in the course of global struggle II to construct automated anti-aircraft structures. Following the struggle, this technology prolonged past army must study all platforms that depend on details and suggestions, from the extent of the mobilephone to that of society.

In The Cybernetics Moment, Ronald R. Kline, a senior historian of expertise, examines the highbrow and cultural heritage of cybernetics and data conception, whose language of "information," "feedback," and "control" remodeled the idiom of the sciences, hastened the advance of data applied sciences, and laid the conceptual beginning for what we now name the data Age.

Kline argues that, for roughly 20 years after 1950, the expansion of cybernetics and knowledge concept and ever-more-powerful desktops produced a utopian details narrative--an enthusiasm for info technology that inspired average scientists, social scientists, engineers, humanists, policymakers, public intellectuals, and newshounds, all of whom struggled to come back to grips with new relationships among people and clever machines.

Kline lines the connection among the discovery of desktops and conversation platforms and the increase, decline, and transformation of cybernetics through reading the lives and paintings of such notables as Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, Warren McCulloch, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Herbert Simon. eventually, he finds the the most important function performed by way of the cybernetics moment--when cybernetics and knowledge concept have been noticeable as common sciences--in atmosphere the degree for our present preoccupation with info applied sciences.

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Extra info for The Cybernetics Moment: Or Why We Call Our Age the Information Age

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64 A transcript of an interim Macy meeting, devoted to the social sciences and held in September 1946, shows that Wiener said the yes-no character of nerve impulses could be analyzed as a discrete time series. 65 Difficult-to-read notes taken by Margaret Mead show that Wiener discussed “amount of information,” its logarithmic measure, coding, and entropy at the second regular conference, held in October 1946. ”66 The subject was certainly on Wiener’s mind in early 1947, the key period for working out this concept.

53 Wiener did not make explicit the connection between a time-series analysis and information as a measure of possible alternatives until after the war. In fact, there are only a few instances where he wrote about information as a scientific concept before then. 54 Yet Wiener did expand his study of information at this time. 55 This is the earliest instance I have found of Wiener using the technical term amount of information. The term was known in electrical engineering theory through the work of Ralph Hartley at Bell Labs in the 1920s,56 but mathematicians commonly associated it with statistician Ronald Fisher who made his mark analyzing agricultural experiments.

Based Institute of Radio Engineer’s Professional Group on Information Theory, both of which were established in the early 1950s (see chapter 4). Some members of the Macy group strove to combine cybernetics and information theory into a universal discipline.

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The Cybernetics Moment: Or Why We Call Our Age the Information Age by Ronald R. Kline

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