Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile (MIT Press)

Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile (MIT Press)

Eden Medina


In Cybernetic Revolutionaries, Eden Medina tells the heritage of 2 intersecting utopian visions, one political and one technological. the 1st used to be Chile's test with peaceable socialist swap lower than Salvador Allende; the second one was once the simultaneous try to construct a working laptop or computer method that will deal with Chile's financial system. Neither imaginative and prescient used to be absolutely learned -- Allende's executive ended with a violent army coup; the process, often called venture Cybersyn, used to be by no means thoroughly applied -- yet they carry classes for this present day concerning the courting among know-how and politics.

Drawing on wide archival fabric and interviews, Medina examines the cybernetic procedure anticipated by way of the Chilean executive -- which used to be to add holistic procedure layout, decentralized administration, human-computer interplay, a countrywide telex community, close to real-time regulate of the growing to be business zone, and modeling the habit of dynamic platforms. She additionally describes, and records with pictures, the network's superstar Trek-like operations room, which featured swivel chairs with armrest keep watch over panels, a wall of monitors showing info, and flashing purple lighting to point monetary emergencies.

Studying venture Cybersyn this day is helping us comprehend not just the technological pursuits of a central authority in the course of political switch but additionally the constraints of the Chilean revolution. This historical past extra exhibits how human makes an attempt to mix the political and the technological with the objective of making a extra simply society can open new technological, highbrow, and political percentages. applied sciences, Medina writes, are old texts; once we learn them we're examining history.

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