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The Cybernetic Society brings together facts and ideas which help give perspective to man's role in a cybernetic society. Emphasizing the transforming power of technological innovation and the ties between technology and society, the book explores the impact of industrialization on the working man, systems design for social systems, the relevance of cybernetics, and machine translation and self-reproducing machines. The effects of technology on government, education, and science and the arts are also given consideration. This volume consists of 10 chapters and begins with an introduction to the transforming power of technology before turning to the nature and significance of important technological innovations (with some emphasis on the role of the computer) and their connection to a variety of human concerns, many of which are strongly rooted in the history of technology and science. Emphasis is placed on energy and its transformation, organization or synchronization, and information. Attention then shifts to the problems of industrial job displacement, unemployment (or underemployment), and poverty from the time of the first Industrial Revolution to the present cybernated era. Some of the economic and political solutions which have been proposed are highlighted. The chapters that follow focus on how technology contributes to patterns of social change, the potential of cybernetics to elucidate relationships between organic and inorganic systems, and the uniqueness of the human mind versus ""intelligent machines."" The book concludes with a look at the ""futurists"" and their forecasting activities. This book will be useful to students from all disciplines.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Technology in the Industrial Age
Part I The Industrial Revolution in England
Mechanical Technology — Textiles
Mechanical Technology — The Steam Engine
New Energy Sources
Part II The Advent of Mass Production
The "American System"
Part III The Development of the Computer
The Automatic Computer
Computers and Logic
The Age of Communications
Chapter 3 Industrialization, Cybernation and the Working Man
Post-World War II Employment Problems
The Knowledge Industries
The Worker in the United States: 1950-1975
Cybernation and Industry
The White-collar Worker
The Blue-collar Worker
The Technological Society, Unemployment and the Poor
England — Seeds of Social Discord
Economic Theories and Industrial Change
The Laboring Class in Victorian England
Seeds of Environmental Destruction
Early American Patterns of Industrialization
Contemporary Economic Concepts and Unemployment
Structural versus Aggregate-Demand Unemployment
Work and Leisure
The Guaranteed Income
Chapter 4 Technology and Government
The Winning of Elections
The Maintaining of Government
Economic and Social Indicators
Data Centers and the Issue of Privacy
The Technological Elite
Chapter 5 The Systems Planners
Definition of a System
Classes of Systems
Systems Engineering and Operations Research
Systems Problems and Techniques
Systems Design for Social Systems—Beginnings
A Critical Look at the Systems Approach
Chapter 6 Cybernetics — Control and Communication
Telecommunication and the Two-State Code
Information and Choice
Information and Entropy
The Relevance of Cybernetics
Chapter 7 Man's Mind and the Computer
The Creation of Intelligent Beings — Early Concerns
Mental Prodigies and Idiot Savants
What is Intelligence?
The Brain and Neural Networks
Simulation of Human Thought
The Language Machines
Are the Robots Coming?
Mind and Matter
Chapter 8 Technology, Science and the Arts
The "Two Cultures"
What is Art?
The Relationship of Science to the Arts
Technology and the Arts
Early Interactions between Technology and Art in the United States and Europe
Technology and Art in the 20th Century
Dadaism and Surrealism
Art in the United States
Electronics and Music
Computers and Music
Computers and the Visual Arts
Computers and Literature
Outlook for the Arts
Chapter 9 Technology and Education
Early Developments in Theory and Methods of Learning and Instruction
Educational Theories and Methods in the 19th Century
The Monitorial System
The Psychologizing Influence in 19th Century Education
Theories and Practice of Learning and Instruction in the 20th Century
Educational Technology in the 20th Century
Chapter 10 Intimations of the Future
Early Views of the Future
Methods of Technological Forecasting
The Cybernetic Society
- No. of pages:
- © Pergamon 1972
- 1st January 1972
- eBook ISBN:
Department of Mechanical Engineering State University of New York at Stony Brook Stony Brook, New York
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