2013-05-23

 

Lost Essay from Norbert Wiener

A lost essay by Wiener: "The year was 1949, and computers and robots were still largely the stuff of science fiction. Only a few farsighted thinkers imagined that they would one day become central to civilization, with consequences both liberating and potentially dire. [...] If we combine our machine-potentials of a factory with the valuation of human beings on which our present factory system is based, we are in for an industrial revolution of unmitigated cruelty. [...] We must be willing to deal in facts rather than in fashionable ideologies if we wish to get through this period unharmed. Not even the brightest picture of an age in which man is the master, and in which we all have an excess of mechanical services will make up for the pains of transition, if we are not both humane and intelligent." Full essay @ M.I.T. Scholar’s 1949 Essay on Machine Age Is Found - NYTimes.com

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