COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
The Cybernetic Society - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080169491, 9781483159843

The Cybernetic Society

1st Edition

Pergamon Unified Engineering Series

Author: Ralph Parkman
Editors: Thomas Irvine James P. Hartnett William F. Hughes
eBook ISBN: 9781483159843
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1972
Page Count: 414
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


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.

Table of Contents


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

Metallurgical Technology

High-pressure Engines

New Energy Sources

Part II The Advent of Mass Production

The "American System"

Part III The Development of the Computer

Charles Babbage

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

Urban Transportation

Economic and Social Indicators

Technology Assessment

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

Feedback Control


Telecommunication and the Two-State Code

Information and Choice

Unlike Alternatives

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


Game-playing machines

Simulation of Human Thought

The Language Machines

Machine Translation

Self-reproducing 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

The Bauhaus

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:

About the Author

Ralph Parkman

About the Editors

Thomas Irvine

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Mechanical Engineering State University of New York at Stony Brook Stony Brook, New York

James P. Hartnett

William F. Hughes

Ratings and Reviews