Cybernetics and Dangerous Games

Cybernetics as described by Wiener, are systems made up of machines and humans functioning together with the purpose of sharing information. He focuses on how autonomous parts can function as a whole to facilitate that passage. What he provides with Cybernetics is a great metaphorical tool for understanding the nature of the contemporary systems within which we enact our lives, as they often do not appear to be systems since parts may indeed be independently functioning or seemingly disconnected from each other. There is an unfortunate tendency to see these systems as naturally stabilizing and not in need of regulation. While autonomous parts can move towards individual goals while at the same time furthering the larger goal. Control of communication an important anti—homeostatic factor because shared information is what holds a group together and allows them to function as an organism with a common goal. In an organization where the individuals are spread far and wide the forms of communication are critical for their organization. He warns of dangerous game that is played when the managers in of this system are involved in a secondary goal of making money from the distribution of this information. While he calls for analsys and regulation of this system he also acknowledges that perspecitve will always be difficult as we will always be looking at the cybernetic systems from within them. The line thinking he presents is highly relevant to the problems we are now facing with our unchecked economic system. It also makes a case for advocating media literacy as a tool for combatting facism and points to problems of perspective that academics and critics will only have to take into account more so as the cybernetic systems become more seamless and evolved.

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One Response to “Cybernetics and Dangerous Games”

  1. You pose some excellent examples of how cybernetics can be related to realistic, pressing issues today. Your mention of media literacy as a tool for combating fascism is of particular interest and value to me. I think that more than any of the other texts we have read about control and power, this week’s readings offer a reasonable solution for us to stay afloat in this sea of power struggle. They offer us a relationship between man and machine that is not so intimidating and threatening. Because the line between man and machine is growing so increasingly blurred, we have a chance to gain literacy of the medium and keep ourselves on an even playing field. Technology is no longer the enemy, but rather, a chance for human evolution and progression.

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