Rise of the Machines: the lost history of cybernetics

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Scribe Publications Pty Limited, Jul 18, 2016 - History - 416 pages
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Thomas Rid’s revelatory history of cybernetics pulls together disparate threads in the history of technology, from the invention of radar and pilotless flying bombs in World War Two to today’s age of CCTV, cryptocurrencies and Oculus Rift, to make plain that our current anxieties about privacy and security will be emphatically at the crux of the new digital future that we have been steadily, sometimes inadvertently, creating for ourselves. Rise of the Machines makes a singular and significant contribution to the advancement of our clearer understanding of that future – and of the past that has generated it.


‘A fascinating survey of the oscillating hopes and fears expressed by the cybernetic mythos.’ The Wall Street Journal

‘Thoughtful, enlightening … a mélange of history, media studies, political science, military engineering and, yes, etymology … A meticulous yet startling alternate history of computation.’ New Scientist

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About the author (2016)

Thomas Rid is Professor in Security Studies at King’s College London. He received his PhD from Humboldt University in Berlin, and worked for ten years in leading think tanks in Berlin, Paris, Washington and Jerusalem. He is the author of four books, including War and Media Operations (2007) and Cyber War Will Not Take Place (2013). He lives in London. Follow him at @RIDT.

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