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RE: cybernetics and the Internet, Was: <nettime> NNA...
kenneth c. werbin on Thu, 8 Jun 2006 21:48:37 +0200 (CEST)


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RE: cybernetics and the Internet, Was: <nettime> NNA...


I was not intending to suggest that the attendees of the Macy
conferences were military mathematicians (although some like Wiener
clearly were), rather that the Macy conferences saw social scientists,
like Mead, consider questions of cybernetics and feedback in their
fields, as well as in greater society. This is clearly attested to in
the title of the inaugral Macy conference, "Feedback Mechanisms and
Circular Causal Systems in Biological and Social Systems", held on
March 8-9, 1946*. The Macy conferences were but one means of spreading
the gospel of cybernetics to academics at large. Indeed, I in no way
intended to reduce the cybernetic community of the 40's and 50's
"to some militray plot for the purpose of control", rather I wanted
to illuminate the applicability and resonance of this mathematical
philosophy to open social order.

Does this fit with your reading? Which books on the Macy conferences would
you recommend?

* Summaries of all the Macy conference sessions can be found at the American
Society for Cybernetics
http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/history/MacySummary.htm

best,
~kcw



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