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The Information Turn in Modelling People and Society: early German Work

Bissell, Christopher (2017). The Information Turn in Modelling People and Society: early German Work. IEEE Technology and Society (In press).

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Abstract

The concept of ‘information’ is now so all-pervasive that few turn their attention to the origin and (initially slow) evolution of the concept as a basic element in science, technology, computing and even, these days, the social sciences and humanities. Indeed, anyone who considers the development of the notion of information is likely to be restricted to a few great names such as Claude Shannon and Norbert Wiener, or the famous series of Macy Conferences on cybernetics, systems thinking, and related topics. Yet there is a fascinating, and rarely told, pre-history. This paper considers early attempts by German scholars at viewing individuals and societies from what, in retrospect, can be considered an information point of view. Specific areas examined by such scholars are the dilation of the pupil of the eye, a general ‘proto-cybernetic’ approach to the human body, and feedback in organisms and the state.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 IEEE
ISSN: 0278-0097
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
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Item ID: 48645
Depositing User: Christopher Bissell
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 10:16
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2017 23:29
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/48645
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