motz

machine à gouverner

the dominance of the machine presupposes a society in the last stages of increasing entropy, where probability is negligible and where the statistical differences among individuals are nil. | wiener, the human use of human beings, 1950

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talking without listening

... only leads to frustration. early telephone concepts played with the idea of dead microphone transmission system. didn't work out.

human versus machine behavior/prosthetic device

It is very easy to construct such dead-microphone transmission systems, and they have actually been considered by the telephone companies, only to be rejected because of the frightful sense of frustration they cause, especially the frustration of not knowing how much of one's own voice gets onto the line. people using a system of this sort are always forced to yell at the top of their voices, to be sure that they have missed no opportunity to get the message accepted by the line | norbert wiener, the human use of human beings, 1950

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predictions

norbert wiener's pseudo pilots. a test and the antiaircraft (aa) predictor, 1941

It turned out that prediction worked rather badly for one operator based on another operator's data, but any given operator was enormously self-consistent. | peter galison, the ontology of the enemy: norbert wiener and the cybernetic vision, critical inquiry, vol.21, no.1, autumn, 1994

the core lesson for wiener, according to galison,

It does seem even remotely possible to eliminate the human element as far as it shows itself in enemy behavior. Therefore, in order to otain as complete a mathematical treatment as possible of the over-all control problem, it is necessary to assimilate the different parts of the system to a single basis, either human or mechanical."

well, even today the decision is still in favor of the latter. called no longer servomechanical but digital, producing more noise than ever. despite all the efforts for noise reduction by the mathematical crowd, right at the beginning.

yet, "fundamental" physicists (theoretical and quantum it seems) had a view, too. the idea of "suppressing noise and conveying information as the central electronic mission" wasn't part of it.

On the evening of 21 march 1942, Wiener in frsustration submitted his resignation from the laboratory, cut his relations with it, and handed in his identification badge."

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