The Cybernetic Brain Sketches of Another Future Cybernetics is often thought of as a grim military or industrial science of control But as Andrew Pickering reveals in this beguiling book a much lively and experimental strain of cybernetics can be

  • Title: The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future
  • Author: Andrew Pickering
  • ISBN: 9780226667898
  • Page: 269
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Cybernetics is often thought of as a grim military or industrial science of control But as Andrew Pickering reveals in this beguiling book, a much lively and experimental strain of cybernetics can be traced from the 1940s to the present.The Cybernetic Brain explores a largely forgotten group of British thinkers, including Grey Walter, Ross Ashby, Gregory Bateson, R.Cybernetics is often thought of as a grim military or industrial science of control But as Andrew Pickering reveals in this beguiling book, a much lively and experimental strain of cybernetics can be traced from the 1940s to the present.The Cybernetic Brain explores a largely forgotten group of British thinkers, including Grey Walter, Ross Ashby, Gregory Bateson, R D Laing, Stafford Beer, and Gordon Pask, and their singular work in a dazzling array of fields Psychiatry, engineering, management, politics, music, architecture, education, tantric yoga, the Beats, and the sixties counterculture all come into play as Pickering follows the history of cybernetics impact on the world, from contemporary robotics and complexity theory to the Chilean economy under Salvador Allende What underpins this fascinating history, Pickering contends, is a shared but unconventional vision of the world as ultimately unknowable, a place where genuine novelty is always emerging And thus, Pickering avers, the history of cybernetics provides us with an imaginative model of open ended experimentation in stark opposition to the modern urge to achieve domination over nature and each other.

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      Published :2019-03-06T02:47:02+00:00

    One thought on “The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future”

    1. An amazing book. Extremely well written and researched, this work provides interesting counter-arguments for some of Katherine Hayles criticisms on cybernetics. More importantly, it describes cybernetics (at least in its British version) as a "nonmodern ontology" that is on par with Bruno Latour's actor-network theory. Focused primarily on performativity instead of representationalism, cybernetics display a very clear concern with the materiality of things and the pragmatics of life. I recommend [...]

    2. "There can't be a proper theory of the brain until there is a proper theory of the environment as well The subject has been hampered by our not paying sufficiently serious attention to the environmental half of the process The 'psychology' of the environment will have to be given almost as much thought as the psychology of the nerve network itself."- Ross Ashby, Discussion at the 1952 Macy Conference (Ashby 1953B, 86-87)As Quoted in 'The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future' pg 116

    3. An interesting account of figures involved in research which couldn't be less alike: Electroconvulsive therapy, Cybersyn and the lunacy of Ronald Laing and his cohorts engaged in biting matches with elderly schizo patients. The account though is spoiled by repeated imposition of a frame/schema which the author claims will allow us to see the novelty and kinship of these endeavors. So we get annoying and unhelpful labels such as ontological theater or non modern performative technologies of the s [...]

    4. It's an amazing book and a "must read" for whoever is interested in the history of American psychiatry and the epistemic shifts from cultural and social stand points. Chapter 5 is my favorite! Although its really hard to pinpoint one chapter among a bunch of critically and persuasively crafted topics!! Chapter 5 is for those, like me, who are interested in the 60s counter cultures AS WELL AS a wonderful account of how Bateson and Laing developed their scholarship within the (counter) cultural co [...]

    5. This was the perfect book for me right now. It reviews and expands upon the philosophical implications of a cybernetic perspective. I studied cybernetics in graduate school and wrote my master's thesis on genetic algorithms. Pickering's book embeds this kind of knowledge in the larger social context of performative actions and ontological theater.

    6. Smuk gennemgang af en hel anden teknologisk praksis end den der dominerer i dag, formuleret som "ontology of the unknowable", men i hvertfald en smuk rejse igennem organisationsteori, psykiatri, musik, arkitektur, biologiske computere, komplekse adaptive systemer, humane og ikke-humane agenters dans med hinanden etc, etc.

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