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The Human Use of Human Beings

Page history last edited by Otto Fox 9 years, 10 months ago

The Human Use of Human Being: Cybernetics and Society

by Norbert Weiner

Preface: The Idea of A Contingent Universe

Statistical mechanics replaces classical mechanic, the idea of entropy

Cybernetics in History

 Communication and control as interchangeable concepts. Similarity between complex learning machines and living organisms and human organizations. Communication, feedback and entropy.

Progress and Entropy

Information as a source for local enclaves of organization in a universe tending towards entropy.

Rigidity and Learning: Two Patterns of Communicative Behavior

Human complexity allows for greater adaptivity and learning. Humans compared with insects to contrast flexibility and rigidity.

The Mechanism and History of Language

Phonetic, semantic and behavioural levels of language. Uniqueness of human language. The behavioral level as feedback.

Organization as the Message

Considering an organism as analogous to a message. Communicating such a message and the consequences for identity.

Law and Communication

Adversarial communication, jamming and bluffing. Game theory and communication in this model. The importance of precedence.

Communication, Secrecy, and Social Policy

The false analogy of information as a thing. The distinction between mechanical ingenuity and discovering laws of nature. The failure of the US patent system.  Cryptography and keeping secrets. Big science versus self organization of scientists based on scientific interest. Warnings about the peril of a scientific arms races.

Role of the Intellectual and the Scientist

"Get off my lawn you pesky kids!"

The First and Second Industrial revolution

The role of navigation and navigational instruments as precursors to the first industrial revolution. The steam engine and the mechanical transmission of power. Communication as the second industrial revolution and the consequences of non-mechanical transmission of power.

Some Communication Machines and their Future

Augmenting people with communicative machines to counter act disease. Repairing dysfunction in  human sensory mechanisms. Chess playing machines, learning machines.

Language, Confusion, and Jam

The fallacy of adversarial relationships in science, communication and human organizational behavior.

 

 

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