Dark Hero Of The Information Age: In Search of Norbert by Flo Conway

By Flo Conway

In the midst of the final century, Norbert Wiener-ex-child prodigy and exceptional MIT mathematician -founded the technological know-how of cybernetics, igniting the information-age explosion of desktops, automation, and international telecommunications. Wiener was once the 1st to articulate the fashionable thought of "feedback," and his principles proficient the paintings of desktop pioneer John von Neumann, details theorist Claude Shannon, and anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead. His best-selling e-book, Cybernetics, catapulted him into the general public highlight, as did his chilling visions of the long run and his ardent social activism. So what occurred? Why is his paintings nearly unknown at the present time? And what, in truth, is Wiener's legacy? during this awesome e-book, award-winning reporters Conway and Siegelman got down to rescue Wiener's genius from obscurity and to discover the numerous ways that his groundbreaking principles proceed to form our lives. in accordance with a wealth of fundamental resources (including a few newly declassified WW II and chilly War-era files) and particular interviews with Wiener's relatives and closest colleagues, the ebook unearths an awfully advanced determine, whose high-pressure formative years, manic melancholy, and relationships had a profound influence on his medical paintings. not anyone attracted to the intersection of know-how and tradition probably want to omit this epic tale of 1 of the 20 th century's so much terrific and colourful figures.

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Osgood, a Harvard mathematics professor and another friend of his father's who "did not have a particularly high opinion of me or the job," Wiener interviewed for an open instructor's position, with the possibility that it might turn into something more permanent, depending on his performance. He got the job, not at Harvard, but at an upstart technical school down the road called the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 3 The Wunderkind and the Frau-Professor I count life just a stuff To try the soul's strength on, educe the man.

After watching his son drift in his spirits and professional direction, Leo tapped another contact, a summer neighbor in New Hampshire who happened to be the publisher of the Boston Herald. On the strength of Norbert's work at the Encyclopedia Americana, he landed a job as a feature writer for the Herald's Sunday edition. In his first big assignment, he was sent north to the town of Lawrence to report on labor strife among immigrant workers in the town's textile mills, which were then the nation's largest producers of woolen goods.

His new statistical approach to the physical problems of minute particles under pressure unveiled a realm of nature that did not conform to Newton's immutable laws of motion. Gibbs's mechanics injected the new element of chance or probability into the physical universe and established it as the governing principle of events at the molecular level. In contrast to Newton's deterministic world, where the path of a planet or any object moving on a fixed trajectory could be calculated precisely, the paths of the energized particles careening through Gibbs's probabilistic world could not be pinned down with precision.

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