Upon graduation from college with a degree in sociology, I became a mainframe computer salesman for NCR. This was so patently ludicrous that I was panicked into reading computer magazines and computer books into the wee hours every morning. I feared that I would be found out, exposed as a non-technical guy putting on as a senior systems analyst.
One book that made no sense at all to me was The Human Use of Human Beings, Cybernetics and Society, by Norbert Wiener. Some say “Wiener’s has impacted the fields of computers and technology, engineering, biology, sociology, and a broad range of other sciences.”
As I said, I didn’t get it. So when I found myself lunching with cyberneticist Paul Pangaro in San Paolo last month, I pointed my pocket video in his direction and asked him, “What the hell is cybernetics and why should I care?”
Here’s what he told me:
It’s about feedback.