Read e-book online Dark Hero Of The Information Age: In Search of Norbert PDF

By Flo Conway

ISBN-10: 0738203688

ISBN-13: 9780738203683

In the midst of the final century, Norbert Wiener-ex-child prodigy and marvelous MIT mathematician -founded the technological know-how of cybernetics, igniting the information-age explosion of pcs, automation, and international telecommunications. Wiener used to be the 1st to articulate the fashionable suggestion of "feedback," and his principles expert the paintings of machine 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 longer term and his ardent social activism. So what occurred? Why is his paintings nearly unknown at the present time? And what, in reality, is Wiener's legacy? during this striking booklet, award-winning newshounds Conway and Siegelman got down to rescue Wiener's genius from obscurity and to discover the various ways that his groundbreaking principles proceed to form our lives. in line with a wealth of basic assets (including a few newly declassified WW II and chilly War-era records) and specific interviews with Wiener's kin and closest colleagues, the e-book finds a very advanced determine, whose high-pressure early life, manic melancholy, and afflicted relationships had a profound impact on his clinical paintings. nobody attracted to the intersection of expertise and tradition may want to omit this epic tale of 1 of the 20 th century's so much outstanding and colourful figures.

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Sample text

I did not take this with good grace, but it was not a graceful situation," he said. In fact, he was heartsick. As he swerved back toward the Slough of Despond, his family put their united energies into promoting the Engemann girl. Bertha Wiener, who had always viewed herself as more German than Jewish, felt strongly that Margaret's curtly formal, Old World style would conform with the family's ways, and with the continuing needs of Norbert's care as she perceived them, and she proceeded with the social maneuvering.

He loved the practical work, the lively collaborative climate, and the nonstop shoptalk among so many mathematicians. " He boasted of his first field assignment timing the release of test firings downrange. " He also one-upped some of the world's most renowned mathematicians. Soon after Wiener arrived at Aberdeen, he devised a new method of interpolation—computing values between known coordinates— that surpassed the prevailing method developed by J. E. Littlewood, a younger colleague of Hardy's at Trinity and one of England's best mathematical analysts.

Wiener's new statistical methods of "generalized harmonic analysis," which he began publishing piecemeal in the early 1920s, together with his work on Brownian motion and probability theory, laid the ground for all the new sciences of the information age. However, Wiener's most important work was, in his word, "stillborn" among mathematicians and engineers in the United States. A decade would pass before his contributions to electronic theory would be recognized, and another would go by before electrical engineers would fully grasp the practical applications of his new harmonic methods and begin to use them to shape and control electronic signals with unprecedented precision.

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


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