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Quotes About Cybernetics

Quotes tagged as "cybernetics" (showing 1-25 of 25)
Albert Einstein
“It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”
Albert Einstein

Elbert Hubbard
“Life is just one damned thing after another.”
Elbert Hubbard, Philistine: A Periodical of Protest, December 1895 to May 1896

“The map is not the territory.”
Alfred Korzybski

Scarlett Thomas
“Real life is physical. Give me books instead. Give me the invisibility of the contents of books, the thoughts, the ideas, the images. Let me become part of a book. . . . an intertextual being: a book cyborg, or, considering that books aren't cybernetic, perhaps a bibliorg.”
Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr. Y

Stuart A. Kauffman
“Pick up a pinecone and count the spiral rows of scales. You may find eight spirals winding up to the left and 13 spirals winding up to the right, or 13 left and 21 right spirals, or other pairs of numbers. The striking fact is that these pairs of numbers are adjacent numbers in the famous Fibonacci series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21... Here, each term is the sum of the previous two terms. The phenomenon is well known and called phyllotaxis. Many are the efforts of biologists to understand why pinecones, sunflowers, and many other plants exhibit this remarkable pattern. Organisms do the strangest things, but all these odd things need not reflect selection or historical accident. Some of the best efforts to understand phyllotaxis appeal to a form of self-organization. Paul Green, at Stanford, has argued persuasively that the Fibonacci series is just what one would expects as the simplest self-repeating pattern that can be generated by the particular growth processes in the growing tips of the tissues that form sunflowers, pinecones, and so forth. Like a snowflake and its sixfold symmetry, the pinecone and its phyllotaxis may be part of order for free”
Stuart A. Kauffman, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

Timothy Leary
“The level of intelligence has been tremendously increased, because people are thinking and communicating in terms of screens, and not in lettered books. Much of the real action is taking place in what is called cyberspace. People have learned how to boot up, activate, and transmit their brains.

Essentially, there’s a universe inside your brain. The number of connections possible inside your brain is limitless. And as people have learned to have more managerial and direct creative access to their brains, they have also developed matrices or networks of people that communicate electronically. There are direct brain/computer link-ups. You can just jack yourself in and pilot your brain around in cyberspace-electronic space.”
Timothy Leary, Chaos & Cyber Culture

“Big whirls have little whirls,
That feed on their velocity;
And little whirls have lesser whirls,
And so on to viscosity.”
Lewis Fry Richardson

“Life is not made of atoms,it is merely built out of them. What life is actually 'made of' is cycles of cause and effect, loops of causal flow. These phenomenon are just as real as atoms - perhaps even more real. If anything, the entire universe is actually made from events, of which atoms are merely some of the consequences.”
Steve Grand, Creation: Life and How to Make It

Arthur Stanley Eddington
“An ocean traveler has even more vividly the impression that the ocean is made of waves than that it is made of water.”
Arthur Stanley Eddington

Norbert Wiener
“The world of the future will be an even more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.”
Norbert Wiener, The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society

John Stuart Mill
“The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious.”
John Stuart Mill

Stuart A. Kauffman
“If biologists have ignored self-organization, it is not because self-ordering is not pervasive and profound. It is because we biologists have yet to understand how to think about systems governed simultaneously by two sources of order, Yet who seeing the snowflake, who seeing simple lipid molecules cast adrift in water forming themselves into cell-like hollow lipid vesicles, who seeing the potential for the crystallization of life in swarms of reacting molecules, who seeing the stunning order for free in networks linking tens upon tens of thousands of variables, can fail to entertain a central thought: if ever we are to attain a final theory in biology, we will surely, surely have to understand the commingling of self-organization and selection. We will have to see that we are the natural expressions of a deeper order. Ultimately, we will discover in our creation myth that we are expected after all.”
Stuart A. Kauffman

“Technology - with all its promise and potential - has gotten so far beyond human control that its threatening the future of humankind.”
Kim J. Vicente

“Control is as much an effect as a cause, and the idea that control is something you exert is a real handicap to progress”
Steve Grand, Creation: Life and How to Make It

Freeman Dyson
“The essential fact which emerges ... is that the three smallest and most active reservoirs ( of carbon in the global carbon cycle), the atmosphere, the plants and the soil, are all of roughly the same size. This means that large human disturbance of any one of these reservoirs will have large effects on all three. We cannot hope either to understand or to manage the carbon in the atmosphere unless we understand and manage the trees and the soil too.”
Freeman Dyson, From Eros to Gaia

Robert Wright
“Your brain may give birth to any technology, but other brains will decide whether the technology thrives. The number of possible technologies is infinite, and only a few pass this test of affinity with human nature.”
Robert Wright, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

“IF YOU WANT TO CREATE A CHANGE, you must challenge not only the models of Unreality, but the paradigms that underwrite them.”
Stafford Beer

Norbert Wiener
“Let us remember that the automatic machine is the precise economic equivalent of slave labor. Any labor which competes with slave labor must accept the economic consequences of slave labor.”
Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics

“Our metaphors for the operation of the brain are frequently drawn from the production line. We think of the brain as a glorified sausage machine, taking in information from the senses, processing it and regurgitating it in a different form, as thoughts or actions. The digital computer reinforces this idea because it is quite explicitly a machine that does to information what a sausage machine does to pork. Indeed, the brain was the original inspiration and metaphor for the development of the digital computer, and early computers were often described as 'giant brains'. Unfortunately, neuroscientists have sometimes turned this analogy on its head, and based their models of brain function on the workings of the digital computer (for example by assuming that memory is separate and distinct from processing, as it is in a computer). This makes the whole metaphor dangerously self-reinforcing.”
Steve Grand, Creation: Life and How to Make It

“cause and effect act in webs, not chains.”
Steve Grand, Creation: Life and How to Make It

“It bears emphasizing: our traditional ways of thinking have ignored - and virtually made invisible - the relationship between people and technology.”
Kim J. Vicente

“Management, a science? Of course not, it's just a waste-paper basket full of recipes which provided the dish of the day during a few years of plenty and economic growth. Now the recipes are inappropriate and the companies which persist in following them will disappear.”
Leon Courville

“There is nothing distinctively scientific about the hypothetico-deductive process. It is not even distinctively intellectual. It is merely a scientific context for a much more general stratagem that underlies almost all regulative processes or processes of continuous control, namely feedback, the control of performance by the consequences of the act performed. In the hypothetico-deductive scheme the inferences we draw from a hypothesis are, in a sense, its logical output. If they are true, the hypothesis need not be altered, but correction is obligatory if they are false. The continuous feedback from inference to hypothesis is implicit in Whewell's account of scientific method; he would not have dissented from the view that scientific behaviour can be classified as appropriately under cybernetics as under logic.”
Peter Medawar, Induction & Intuition in Scientific Thought

André-Marie Ampère
“The future science of government should be called 'la cybernétique' (1843)

{Coining the French word to mean 'the art of governing,' from the Greek (Kybernetes = navigator or steersman), subsequently adopted as cybernetics by Norbert Wiener for the field of control and communication theory.}”
André-Marie Ampère

Fitz Hugh Ludlow
“There is reason to fear that men love better to investigate how muslins, hay-rakes, and, above all and inclusive of all, money may be made, than how their own minds are constructed”
Fitz Hugh Ludlow, The Hasheesh Eater: Being Passages from the Life of a Pythagorean

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