Cybernetics – a hype from the day before yesterday

The company for Cybernetics looked back on the cybernetics in the GDR

In times, where current hypes are discussed by internet and e-commerce, it is hardly conceivable for more young generations, what awareness in the sixties had the idea of cybernetics. This research, funded in the forties from Norbert Wiener, was intended from the beginning as interdisciplinary science, which concerns themselves with aspects, which relate to all (nature) sciences: how can the information processing and the self-regulation of systems (eg. B. Capture from machines and human corels)? In their wedding, cybernetically aligned concepts invaded the padagogic, psychology and art discussion (see also cybernetics. Where did she have stayed?) The series of events "Berlin November" The company for Cybernetics held, among other things, Ruckschau on the cybernetics in the GDR.

Most will only be these vocabulants (cybernetics) from Prafix "Cyber" in "Cyberspace" know. Cybernetics has taken place in the sixties in the last few decades in the sixties in the past decades only a shadowy. Schurz said, it has been partially ranked in control technology and system theory. Intellectual Appeal, if necessary, still had them as "Cybernetics second order", How to justify the constructivist Heinz from Foerster (we do not see that we do not see).

The 1974 philosopher Georg Klaus is considered as a pioneer of the GDR cybernetics. While in the west of the technology, a reputation as a job killer was granted, the ideal was in the former socialist systems, with the help of cybernetics new material-technical foundations of the economy as a precursor to the "Comprehensive automation" lay. As a result, Cybernetics in the GDR temporarily had an influential position, from the Western scientists only dreams. Cybernetics has been developed there – in the sense of Wiener – Interdisciplinar and referred to questions from technology, mathematics, psychology, padagogy, economy and law.

The use was the reliable control of the economy, which in a society that is not based on the market principle and the capitallogy has a completely different claim. The event was interesting insofar as many old comrades had come together from then to reflect the events again. That the cybernetics were considered at the time at the time with attention, was not self-resistant, they were also a few as a few "Imperialist pseudo science".

Rainer Thiel, formerly close employees of Georg Klaus, doubt that in the GDR has ever given a true general understanding of cybernetics, so that the description of an euphoria had been justified: instead it had one "Inflation of the word hulsen" given. Walter Ulbricht, the process of Erich Honecker, had nothing understood, but the feeling had something new must come and so his interest for cybernetics discovered. Other contradicts of this presentation: Non-scientists such as teachers or psychologists have been enthusiastic and had also read Western Cybernetics writings that were popular at that time.

But it came differently. After a quick rise, the cybernetics fell in disgrace and was occupied by the SED science policy with a spelling. In his presentation "Cybernetics as a philosophy replacement?" Herbert Horz, today Prasident the Leibniz Sozietat and then also included in the clashes that "turn" in the comments of cybernetics together:

"The gross hopes set to the cybernetics do not meet. Illusion. Some colleagues had planned with bionic gross projects that are revolutionizing for the pharmaceutical industry. There were long discussions and many promises, which were then not complied with. Solid work was done, but there was also charlatania and coarse speaking. … Actually, the political ideological criticism of the Cybernetics M. E. Not primarily around the science, but the critics ulbrayer searched for a lever to remove him from power, there was the misunderstandings between the rough promises and the small results for those who are not much with new sciences anyway wanted to do."

Cybernetics was banished from the social sciences. If representatives of economy and philosophy had previously credited against their methods and formalisms, they now saw their judgments confirmed. as "Technical Cybernetics" She passed a niche existence until 1990 in the GDR, which was part of the Western Computer Science. Cybernetic methods have continued to play a role in construction and traffic planning (similar to the West: resulting in education cybernetics, in the Federal Republic, mutated in the Federal Republic in the seventies of education – an area, which today pays the evaluation of further education measures in the IT area.

Now the control of a company is a controversial point. As you know the neoliberal policies?.a. On the full release of the market force, was in historical "Burocratic socialism" State control over all the economic processes of the top priority. However, it has been clear that the line mechanisms had to be improved to meet their own propaganda, Heinz said loveshift, co-editor of the cybernetics word book published in the West. But he was already written that highly complex systems can not be conducted by central control. Liebs showing the view that the cybernetics alone did not save the economy. What the market in the west bar said Rainer Thiel, had also been developed by cybernetism for socialism. But how had the success? The state of the art was not as such that such dynamic regulation has been possible to be possible. Maybe the new technologies will be contributed to the flexibilization of another economy in the future.

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