[SIGCIS-Members] Cybernetics and Industry

Heyck, Hunter hheyck at ou.edu
Thu Jul 12 11:34:41 PDT 2018

Key works include Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries and Ron Kline, the Cybernetic Moment.  Both are outstanding.

Dr. Hunter Heyck
Professor and Chair, Department of the History of Science
University of Oklahoma
601 Elm St., PHSC 601
Norman, OK 73019-0315
hheyck at ou.edu
405-556-1145 (M)
Author of: Age of System: understanding the development of modern social science<https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/age-system>
And, Herbert A. Simon: the bounds of reason in modern America<https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/herbert-simon>

From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Barbara B Walker <bbwalker at unr.edu>
Date: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 at 3:27 PM
To: members <members at sigcis.org>, "bjornw at gmail.com" <bjornw at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Cybernetics and Industry


This might be outside your realm of interest, but the classic piece of scholarship on cybernetics in the Soviet Union, where the concept played an important historical role, is Slava Gerovitch’s book From Newspeak to Cyberspeak.


best, Barbara

Barbara Walker
Associate Professor
Department of History/308
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Erica Robles-Anderson <ewoka823 at gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 at 7:25 AM
To: "McMillan, William W" <william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu>
Cc: members <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Cybernetics and Industry

Hi Bjorn

Your line of inquiry sounds super interesting, I’d love to know what you find. I’ll echo the recommendation to trace Stafford Beer. There’s a helpful chapter about him in Andrew Pickering’s The Cybernetic Brain. Also following Gordon Pask’s lineage to practitioners such as Paul Pangaro and Hugh Dubberly might make sense. Both have worked to transmit cybernetic ideas to major industrial players. I believe interactions of the ACM ran a piece by Dubberly a few years back with diagrams showing how cybernetic thinking applied to the product design and innovation processes. They’re quite beautiful and deserving of scholarly analysis. Happy to chat offline if it’s useful.



Erica Robles-Anderson
Associate Professor
Media, Culture, and Communication
New York University
erica.robles at nyu.edu<mailto:erica.robles at nyu.edu>

On Jun 29, 2018, at 9:41 AM, McMillan, William W <william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu<mailto:william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu>> wrote:

Hi, Bjorn.

The work in systems analysis of Ben S. Graham, Sr., at Standard Register starting in the 1940s might be relevant.  Strong ties to Taylor and the Glibreths.  Graham explicitly employed cybernetic concepts and worked with the Gilbreths and W. E. Deming.

I can send you some info on this if you'd like.

- Bill

From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org<mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org>] on behalf of Bjorn Westergard [bjornw at gmail.com<mailto:bjornw at gmail.com>]
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2018 6:27 PM
To: members
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Cybernetics and Industry

Esteemed SIGCIS members,

Which are the indispensable histories (and/or shorter historical essays) of cybernetics that touch on its social context?

I'm particularly interested in the influence of self-styled cyberneticians on those playing a directive function in private enterprise (industrial/process engineers, managers, etc.) and vice versa.

This question was prompted by a (characteristically!) gnomic remark of Wiener's in The Human Use of Human Beings, in which he appears to be quite fluent in "Taylorist" idiom:

"The notion of programming in the factory had already become familiar through the work of Taylor and the Gilbreths on time study, and was ready to be transferred to the machine. This offered considerable difficulty of detail, but no great difficulty of principle." (p150)

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