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Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History…
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Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History (vuoden 2017 painos)

– tekijä: Thomas Rid (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
1152185,958 (3.5)-
"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 about the future of machines. This vision would radically transform the postwar world, ushering in sweeping cultural change. From the Cold War's monumental SAGE bomber defense system to enhanced humans, Wiener's scheme turned computers from machines of assured destruction into engines of brilliant utopias. Cybernetics triggered blissful cults, the Whole Earth Catalog, and feminist manifestos, just as it fueled martial gizmos and the air force's foray into virtual space. As Rid shows, Cybernetics proved a powerful tool for two competing factions-- those who sought to make a better world and those who sought to control the one at hand. In the Bay Area, techno-libertarians embraced networked machines as the portal to a new electronic frontier: a peaceful, open space of freedom. In Washington, DC, cyberspace provided the perfect theater for dominance and war. Meanwhile the future arrived secretly in 1996, with Moonlight Maze, dawn of a new age of digital state-on-state espionage. That "first cyberwar" ... went on for years-- and indeed has never stopped. In our long-promised cybernetic future, the line between utopia and dystopia continues to be disturbingly thin."--Jacket flap.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:remusarkin
Teoksen nimi:Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History
Kirjailijat:Thomas Rid (Tekijä)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2017), Ausgabe: 1, 464 Seiten
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Parhaillaan lukemassa
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:Cyberneticcs, Kybernetik, Technology, Politik, Digitalisierung, Sachbuch, Technologie, Wissenschaftsgeschichte

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Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History (tekijä: Thomas Rid)

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näyttää 2/2
This is a very interesting history of a very vague concept: the prefix "cyber" gets stuck onto a lot of words, and doesn't have a clear meaning other than "futuristic." The first few chapters mainly cover concepts of robotics ("cybermen"), but the later chapters focus on the internet and virtual reality. The history told in this book isn't as coherent as I might like (but then again, some of that is my bias as a medieval historian - I'm used to being able to step back and look at the big picture, and this history is too recent for that), but as someone who works with the internet for a living, I found it to be fascinating.

A lot of the book focuses on military technology vs. the needs of civilians. The whole idea of "cyber" first arose in WWII with military machines, especially anti-ballistic and aircraft weaponry. That first got people thinking about the relationship between man and machines, and about getting machines to do our thinking for us. In more recent years, we have realized that the internet can be used as a weapon, and have had to balance restrictions on military technology with the need for civilian freedom, and have had to deal with hackers.

Other parts of the book focus on the counter-culture of the 1960s, and how people like Timothy Leary and Stewart Brand (creator of the Whole Earth Catalog and the WELL, the first online community) saw the promise of the internet and virtual reality as a way to expand the human mind and human capabilities. These people had some amazing visions of what cyber-technology could enable us to do. Unfortunately, their visions haven't come true - they didn't anticipate late-stage capitalism.

One of the big takeaways from this book is that in the 80 or so years that humans have been developing the "cyber" relationship with machines, we have always had the same anxieties and dreams, and none of them have turned out to be true. Some of the passages written in the 1950s about how technology is going to take away all of our jobs sound exactly like op-eds written today. People have been dreaming about "Ready Player One" style virtual reality since the 1970s, and it still isn't here yet (although just as I was reading this book, Oculus Rift released hardware that promises to herald a new era of VR - we'll see what happens).

The book ends rather abruptly, partly because the events of the last chapter or so (international cyberwar) are still unfolding. Still, I expected at list a wrap-up chapter (something like the paragraph I just wrote above). ( )
  Gwendydd | Jun 14, 2018 |
This wasn't quite what I expected. Rather than a general overview, it focuses on three areas— military interests, stones fascinated by the possibilities of virtual reality trips, and anarchists looking to retain their anonymity—and how each of these cultural groups viewed cybernetics. My take away from it is that the promise of cybernetics seems to be continually undermined by those who wish to abuse it. So it goes. ( )
  DLMorrese | Aug 23, 2017 |
näyttää 2/2
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"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 about the future of machines. This vision would radically transform the postwar world, ushering in sweeping cultural change. From the Cold War's monumental SAGE bomber defense system to enhanced humans, Wiener's scheme turned computers from machines of assured destruction into engines of brilliant utopias. Cybernetics triggered blissful cults, the Whole Earth Catalog, and feminist manifestos, just as it fueled martial gizmos and the air force's foray into virtual space. As Rid shows, Cybernetics proved a powerful tool for two competing factions-- those who sought to make a better world and those who sought to control the one at hand. In the Bay Area, techno-libertarians embraced networked machines as the portal to a new electronic frontier: a peaceful, open space of freedom. In Washington, DC, cyberspace provided the perfect theater for dominance and war. Meanwhile the future arrived secretly in 1996, with Moonlight Maze, dawn of a new age of digital state-on-state espionage. That "first cyberwar" ... went on for years-- and indeed has never stopped. In our long-promised cybernetic future, the line between utopia and dystopia continues to be disturbingly thin."--Jacket flap.

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