Cybernetics has been the clear root of Psybertron since I started this venture 20+ years ago, and I’m often at pains to point out it was about human systems from the outset, not about general electro-mechanical computing machines and automation devices, since they didn’t exist when cybernetics was first coined, beyond Shannon & Turing’s thought experiments.
The human system / organisation / communications side of it became known as “the second cybernetics” because despite the original intent, geeks linked computation to “computers” and monopolised its use as “the first cybernetics”. [Note, as well as first and second temporally, we have first second and third orders.]
Fascinating to see James Gleick tweet this letter from The Library of Congress, struggling to classify Wiener’s original Cybernetics:
And of course, this dilemma is a foreshadowing of what later became the first and second cybernetics. The human side was primary, but only widely recognised later. The second came first.
— What, Why & How do we know? (@psybertron) March 1, 2022
Human Psychology or Electronic Computing?