Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

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Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine was written by Norbert Wiener and published in 1948.[1] Although the term "cybernetics" was first coined by William Ross Ashby in 1924, it gained wide acceptance after Wiener promoted its usage in this context. The book laid the theoretical foundation for servomechanisms (whether electrical, mechanical or hydraulic), automatic navigation, analog computing, and reliable communications.

A second addition with minor changes and two additional chapters was published in 1961.

Reception[edit]

The book aroused a considerable amount of public discussion and comment at the time of publication, unusual for a predominantly technical subject.

"One of the most influential books of the twentieth century, Cybernetics has been acclaimed as one of the 'seminal works' comparable in ultimate importance to Galileo or Malthus or Rousseau or Mill."[2]

Table of contents[edit]

Introduction

1. Newtonian and Bergsonian Time

2. Groups and Statistical Mechanics

3. Time Series, Information, and Communication

4. Feedback and Oscillation

5. Computing Machines and the Nervous System

6. Gestalt and Universals

7. Cybernetics and Psychopathology

8. Information, Language, and Society

Supplementary chapters in the second edition[edit]

9. On Learning and Self-Reproducing Machines

10. Brain Waves and Self-Organising Systems

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Paris, (Hermann & Cie) & Camb. Mass. (MIT Press) ISBN 978-0-262-73009-9; 1948, 2nd revised ed. 1961.
  2. ^ John R.Platt, The New York Times