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Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History

by Thomas Rid

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
ISBN: 9780393286007
Pages: 416
Format: pdf, ePub, mobi, fb2
File size: 11 Mb
Date posting: 2021-04-16


A sweeping exploration of man’s relationship with machines, and the inventions and myths that shape our world.As lives offline and online merge even more, it is easy to forget how we got here. Rise of the Machines reclaims the spectacular story of cybernetics, a control theory of man-and-machine and one of the twentieth century’s pivotal ideas.Springing from the febrile mind of mathematician Norbert Wiener amid the devastation of World War II, the cybernetic vision underpinned a host of seductive myths—of cyborgs, cyberculture, and cyberspace. From the Cold War’s monumental SAGE bomber defense system to mechanized rats, Wiener’s scheme slowly transformed computers from machines of assured destruction to engines of brilliant utopias. Cybernetics, in turn, triggered blissful cults and martial gizmos, The Whole Earth Catalog, and the U.S. Air Force’s foray into virtual space—and continues to fuel anarchists and cyberwarriors today.Drawing on unpublished sources including interviews with hippies, anarchists, sleuths, and spies, Rise of the Machines offers an unparalleled perspective into our anxious embrace of technology.