Robotics Book: Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

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Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

  • ISBN13: 9780262730099
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

“It appers impossible for anyone seriously interested in our civilization to ignore this book. It is a `must’ book for those in every branch of science . . . in addition, economists, politicians, statesmen, and businessmen cannot afford to overlook cybernetics and its tremendous, even terrifying implications. “It is a beautifully written book, lucid, direct, and despite its complexity, as readable by the layman as the trained scientist.” — John B. Thurston, The Saturday Review of Literature A

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3 thoughts on “Robotics Book: Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

  1. 57 of 62 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A fundamental law that is applicable to almost everything, April 8, 2000
    By 
    John in AR (USA) –

    This review is from: Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (Paperback)

    Two books, both written in the late 1940s stand out as contributing much to our understanding of the world around us. One of these is “Cybernetics” by Weiner and the other is “The mathematical theory of communication” by Shannon. Both require some study by contain many sections that are easily readable by anyone which get the main points across in an understandable manner.

    Weiner’s book discuses the use of feedback on virtually every type of control mechanism known… i.e., those of nature as well as those of man. It is the “basic” stuff that everyone of us uses everyday and every moment of our lives whether we are aware of it or not. Whereas Shannon’s book tells us how to communicate information in an error-free (or nearly so) way, Weiner’s book explains how that information is used to provide effective control of everything around us. For many decades since I first was introduced to these two works, I have used their principles in most things I do.

    I very highly recommend these two books to anyone who considers themselves a “thinking person” and is seeking to understand the world around them. Both easily get 5 stars. They are major works!

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  2. 13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Timeless work joins philosophy, computing, and mathematics, May 16, 2006
    By 
    calvinnme
    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (Paperback)

    Norbert Wiener was interested in the means by which feedback could be communicated to help correct the problems that develop in an organism. In investigating this matter, Weiner investigates a number of topics that differentiate between mere computation and intelligence and the importance that information plays in both. This is the unifying theme of a book that seems to wander through many topics using philosophy, mathematics, and the theory of computation.

    For example, in chapter one of the book, Wiener illustrates the basic difference between man and machine with a discussion of the concept of Newtonian versus Bergsonian time. He states that Newtonian time – that of high level physics phenomena- is reversible. Bergsonian time, the time of living organisms making their way against entropy is not reversible. Thus since Newtonian time is reversible nothing “new” happens, as opposed to the irreversible time of evolution and biology in which there is always something new.

    He continues this idea in the chapter “Computing Machines and the Nervous System.” In it, he defines the characteristics of computing machinery. He concludes that the brain, being irreversible, is thus an analog of a single run of a machine. Wiener also points out that many problems of human metabolism and reproduction are associated with the inability to receive and organize impulses and make them effective in the outer world. Thus Weiner ultimately concludes that to live effectively is to live with adequate information.

    There are also chapters that are almost purely philisophical about the role of information in society. Then there are other chapters that present heavy-duty mathematics on such topics as representing a time series of known statistical parameters as Brownian motion in an attempt to solve communications problems in nonlinear situations. The mathematics in this book is presented with little or no background, so you are going to need other sources to understand what Wiener is trying to convey.

    In summary, if you want an interesting read on the science and philosophy of artificial intelligence and the role of the machine this is one of the best out there. It still stands the test of time after nearly sixty years.

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  3. 15 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Welcome to the Machine, January 23, 2006
    By 
    Gord Wilson “alivingdog.com” (Bellingham, WA USA) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (Paperback)

    Why is everything called “cyber” (cyberspace, cyberpunk)? Because of this book from 1948 in which Norbert Wiener, a prof at MIT, coined the phrase “cybernetics,” from the Greek word “kybernutos” meaning “governor.” If you’re tired of viewing your computer as a black box (the input goes in here, the output comes out there, and something mysterious happens inside), or if you wonder if the tech world has any relation to the natural world, check out this unusual book, which is rewarding on many different levels.

    Find out why robotics, neural nets and artificial intelligence (AI) predate the PC and even the mainframe computer and are not a new development. Travel back to the days of the giant ENIAC when the computer seemed to be an idea on everyone’s mind, simply waiting for advances in technology to make it a reality. But this very readable book goes further, as suggested in Wiener’s subtitle: “Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine.” Many specialists in various fields initially opposed this book because of Wiener’s interdisciplinary approach, which broke down the hard and fast walls between various disciplines.

    The vocabulary of this book has now become commonplace (we ask for “feedback” and refer to “systems” on a daily basis), but many of its ideas have yet to be discovered. I couldn’t keep up with the math, but you don’t need to to grasp the basic ideas or to enjoy Wiener’s lucid and luminous style, which ranks among the best of popular science writing. Wiener also wrote a general market book, “The Human Use of Human Beings” to present some of these ideas to a wider audience. Some fifty years after its initial publication, this book still forms an inviting welcome to the machine.

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