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May 1949

Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;41(5):655-656. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900040671019

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This is an extremely thought-provoking book, by the professor of mathematics of the Masachusetts Institute of Technology. The subject matter ranges from mathematical calculators to the nerves and brain of the human body. It is the outcome of a monthly series of discussion meetings, the participants of which were mostly young scientists at the Harvard Medical School who gathered for dinner about a round table in Vanderbilt Hall. At each meeting, one of the group or an invited guest would read a paper on some scientific topic, generally one in which methods of methodology were the first consideration. General discussion followed, and the meetings were apparently not for those who were unable to stand frank criticism. The author, whose field is mathematics, was therefore exposed to experts in many different fields of biology and medicine. He soon became aware that there were common grounds and that the problems of one

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