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8 Feb 2014
Foundations 2: Cybernetics, Control and Communication
Who is the computer?
Hollerith’s statistical punch card machines
Tabulating machine corporation (1886)
International business machine corporation (1924)
- From numerical calculations to information processing
- IBM: beginnings of the so called ‘information society’
- IBM: The Militaro-industrial complex
- “Thousands of IBM electronic business machines ... vital to our nations
defense ... are at work for science, industry, and the armed forces” c. 1950
Computing goes to war
- Encryption  turning a message into a code
- Prediction 
A new communication model (1920-30): Radio makes communication public
Enigma, Alan Turing, and Bletchley Park
Early electromechanical computers
- Colossus, created 1943 at Bletchley Park for cryptography
- Main inventor: Max Newman (based on Alan Turing’s concepts)
“Shannon’s concerns were how to find the most efficient way of encoding what he called
information in a particular coding system in a noiseless environment and how to deal
with the problem of noise when it occurred” (Charlie Gere, Digital Culture, 22)
Harold Lasswell’s Mass Communication Theory (1948)
- Who (says) What (to) Who (in) What channel (with) What effect
- Always told to reject this model
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