Cybernetics. NORBERT WIENER.


"Thus as far back as four years ago, the group of scientists about Dr. Rosenblueth and myself had already become aware of the essential unity of the set of problems centering about communication, control, and statistical mechanics, whether in the machine or in living tissue..."

FIRST EDITION of one of the foundational works of modern communication theory.

“In Cybernetics, Wiener described a new way of looking at how the world functioned, based on his research on the way in which information is transmitted and processed. He saw a world that focused on information, not energy; and on digital or numeric processes, not machine or analog. His theories not only laid the foundation for this new field of study, they also largely predicted the future development of computers. The book had an immediate impact; terms such as input, feedback and output, in common use today, were first introduced in Cybernetics” (Sonia Weiss).

"The term cybernetics comes from the ancient Greek word kybernetikos ('good at steering'), referring to the art of the helmsman. In the first half of the 19th century, the French physicist Andre-Marie Ampere, in his classification of the sciences, suggested that the still nonexistent science of the control of governments be called cybernetics. The term was soon forgotten, however, and it was not used again until the American mathematician Norbert Wiener published his book Cybernetics in 1948. In that book Wiener made reference to an 1868 article by the British physicist James Clerk Maxwell on governors and pointed out that the term governor is derived, via Latin, from the same Greek word that gives rise to cybernetics. The date of Wiener's publication is generally accepted as marking the birth of cybernetics as an independent science" (Britannica).

Note: This rare Paris printing precedes the more common American (NY) printing.

Paris: Hermann & Cie, 1948. Octavo, original printed wrappers; glassine; custom box. Neat owner signature on title. A little bit of edgewear and light toning to spine and extremities; nearly invisible reinforcement to lower joint; upper joint split but holding. A very good copy in original wrappers of a notoriously fragile first edition.

Price: $1,500 .

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