Read: Rise of the Machines, by Thomas Rid

"the lost history of cybernetics"

When working in the area of computer science, the term "cybernetics" adheres indeed to some strange mysticism. Everybody knows that it's a branch of applied science coined by Norbert Wiener, but what it is all about remains in the dark. Of course the prefix "cyber" is ubiquitous, the background of the science remains in the dark, though.

Unfortunately this book did not much to enlighten me. It starts somewhat promsing, mentioning negative feedback loops and the tight interaction pattern between man and machine. But it goes not much further than that, regarding hard facts.
Then the book is a nice-to-read history essay about several technology chapters of US-American history. I am not completely sure what they have to do with cybernetics. For example, it's obvious, and enjoying, how the author is fascinated about cryptography and about a certain concerted cyber-attac from Russia directed at US security infrastructure that is really displayed in detail, up strange interactions of a Russian general spook and a femal FBI agent. Maybe all cyber stuff is tech stuff is cybernetics.

All in all this book is not much about science, or even engineering, it's more about people and society and culture (in the US) and how they reacted to the tremendous boost in modern technology starting in WW2. It is fun to read and informative regarding that, but the science is a bit scarce.

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