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Bad Brains: Cybernetics, Paranoia, and the Cognitive Science of Religion

Bad Brains: Cybernetics, Paranoia, and the Cognitive Science of Religion Mathematical theory of communi- cation, as conceived by Claude E. Shannon in 1948. An approxima- tion by Libby Modern. Every com- munication system comprises six elements: (1) an information source, (2) a transmitter that transforms the source pattern into a signal, (3) a channel, (4) a receiver that decodes the signal back into pattern, (5) a destination, and (6) noise, or the inevitable degradation of signal. 32 https://doi.org/10.1162/grey_a_00348 Bad Brains: Cybernetics, Paranoia, and the Cognitive Science of Religion JOH N LAR DAS MODE R N In God and Golem, Inc: A Comment on Certain Points Where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion (1964), Norbert Wiener argues that the new science of cybernetics should serve to rationalize religion. Against “gadget worshippers”—scientists and tech- nocrats who hoped artificial intelligence might free human beings from the limitations of moral conscience and responsi- bility—Weiner argues that “the coordination of machines and men” opens a new space of ethical contemplation. In fact, Wiener describes cybernetics itself as a revelation of sorts: of a universal truth mathematically defined. The human use of human beings, which had once been only “a pious hope,” had become a “working technique.” Wiener was not alone in both denying and reforming religion http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Grey Room MIT Press

Bad Brains: Cybernetics, Paranoia, and the Cognitive Science of Religion

Grey Room , Volume (88): 24 – Jul 1, 2022

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2022 Grey Room, Inc. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
ISSN
1526-3819
eISSN
1536-0105
DOI
10.1162/grey_a_00348
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mathematical theory of communi- cation, as conceived by Claude E. Shannon in 1948. An approxima- tion by Libby Modern. Every com- munication system comprises six elements: (1) an information source, (2) a transmitter that transforms the source pattern into a signal, (3) a channel, (4) a receiver that decodes the signal back into pattern, (5) a destination, and (6) noise, or the inevitable degradation of signal. 32 https://doi.org/10.1162/grey_a_00348 Bad Brains: Cybernetics, Paranoia, and the Cognitive Science of Religion JOH N LAR DAS MODE R N In God and Golem, Inc: A Comment on Certain Points Where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion (1964), Norbert Wiener argues that the new science of cybernetics should serve to rationalize religion. Against “gadget worshippers”—scientists and tech- nocrats who hoped artificial intelligence might free human beings from the limitations of moral conscience and responsi- bility—Weiner argues that “the coordination of machines and men” opens a new space of ethical contemplation. In fact, Wiener describes cybernetics itself as a revelation of sorts: of a universal truth mathematically defined. The human use of human beings, which had once been only “a pious hope,” had become a “working technique.” Wiener was not alone in both denying and reforming religion

Journal

Grey RoomMIT Press

Published: Jul 1, 2022

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