Norbert Wiener citations

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Norbert Wiener

Date de naissance: 26. novembre 1894
Date de décès: 18. mars 1964
Autres noms:نوربرت وینر

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Norbert Wiener est un mathématicien américain, théoricien et chercheur en mathématiques appliquées, surtout connu comme le père fondateur de la cybernétique.

Il fut un pionnier dans l'étude de la stochastique et du bruit, contribuant ainsi par ses travaux à l'électrotechnique, les télécommunications et les systèmes de contrôle. En fondant la cybernétique, Wiener introduit en science la notion de feedback , notion qui a des implications dans les domaines de l'ingénierie, des contrôles de système, l'informatique, la biologie, la psychologie, la philosophie et l'organisation de la société.

Il exposa ses théories sur la cybernétique dans son livre Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, parution qui bouscula durablement jusqu'au scandale, le monde des idées, traversant la pensée scientifique et philosophique de la deuxième moitié du XXe siècle, dont il est à ce titre, un des grands penseurs.

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Citations Norbert Wiener

„I do not expect to publish any future work of mine which may do damage in the hands of irresponsible militarists“

—  Norbert Wiener
Context: The measures taken during the war by our military agencies, in restricting the free intercourse among scientists on related projects or even on the same project have gone so far that it is clear that if continued in time of peace, this policy will lead to the total irresponsibility of the scientist, and, ultimately, to the death of science.... The interchange of ideas, which is one of the greatest traditions of science, must of course receive certain limitations when the scientist becomes an arbiter of life and death.... I do not expect to publish any future work of mine which may do damage in the hands of irresponsible militarists... "A Scientist Rebels" Atlantic Monthly (Jan, 1947)

„A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.“

—  Norbert Wiener
Context: The Advantage is that mathematics is a field in which one's blunders tend to show very clearly and can be corrected or erased with a stroke of the pencil. It is a field which has often been compared with chess, but differs from the latter in that it is only one's best moments that count and not one's worst. A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.

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„We know that for a long time everything we do will be nothing more than the jumping off point for those who have the advantage of already being aware of our ultimate results.“

—  Norbert Wiener
Context: We mathematicians who operate with nothing more expensive than paper and possibly printers' ink are quite reconciled to the fact that, if we are working in an active field, our discoveries will commence to be obsolete at the moment that they are written down or even at the moment they are conceived. We know that for a long time everything we do will be nothing more than the jumping off point for those who have the advantage of already being aware of our ultimate results. This is the meaning of the famous apothegm of Newton, when he said, "If I have seen further than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants". p. 266

„The world of the future will be an even more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.“

—  Norbert Wiener, The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society
Context: [T]he future offers very little hope for those who expect that our new mechanical slaves will offer us a world in which we may rest from thinking. Help us they may, but at the cost of supreme demands upon our honesty and our intelligence. The world of the future will be an ever more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves. p. 69

„The odors perceived by the ant seem to lead to a highly standardized course of conduct; but the value of a simple stimulus, such as an odor, for conveying information depends not only on the information conveyed by the stimulus itself but on the whole nervous constitution of the sender and receiver of the stimulus as well. Suppose I find myself in the woods with an intelligent savage who cannot speak my language and whose language I cannot speak. Even without any code of sign language common to the two of us, I can learn a great deal from him. All I need to do is to be alert to those moments when he shows the signs of emotion or interest. I then cast my eyes around, perhaps paying special attention to the direction of his glance, and fix in my memory what I see or hear. It will not be long before I discover the things which seem important to him, not because he has communicated them to me by language, but because I myself have observed them. In other words, a signal without an intrinsic content may acquire meaning in his mind by what he observes at the time, and may acquire meaning in my mind by what I observed at the time. The ability that he has to pick out the moments of my special, active attention is in itself a language as varied in possibilities as the range of impressions that the two of us are able to encompass. Thus social animals may have an active, intelligent, flexible means of communication long before the development of language.“

—  Norbert Wiener
VIII. Information, Language, and Society. p. 157.

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