Frases de Norbert Wiener

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Norbert Wiener

Data de nascimento: 26. Novembro 1894
Data de falecimento: 18. Março 1964
Outros nomes: نوربرت وینر

Norbert Wiener foi um matemático estadunidense, conhecido como o fundador da cibernética.

Citações Norbert Wiener

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„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

Ex-Prodigy: My Childhood and Youth (1964)
Contexto: 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.

„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

Fonte: I am a mathematician, the later life of a prodigy (1953), p. 266
Contexto: 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".

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

—  Norbert Wiener

"A Scientist Rebels" Atlantic Monthly (Jan, 1947)
Contexto: 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...

„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, livro God & Golem, Inc.

Fonte: God & Golem, Inc. (1964), p. 69
Fonte: The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society
Contexto: [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.

„Since Leibniz there has perhaps been no man who has had a full command of all the intellectual activity of his day. Since that time, science has been increasingly the task of specialists, in fields which show a tendency to grow progressively narrower… Today there are few scholars who can call themselves mathematicians or physicists or biologists without restriction. A man may be a topologist or a coleopterist. He will be filled with the jargon of his field, and will know all its literature and all its ramifications, but, more frequently than not, he will regard the next subject as something belonging to his colleague three doors down the corridor, and will consider any interest in it on his own part as an unwarrantable breach of privacy… There are fields of scientific work, as we shall see in the body of this book, which have been explored from the different sides of pure mathematics, statistics, electrical engineering, and neurophysiology; in which every single notion receives a separate name from each group, and in which important work has been triplicated or quadruplicated, while still other important work is delayed by the unavailability in one field of results that may have already become classical in the next field.
It is these boundary regions which offer the richest opportunities to the qualified investigator. They are at the same time the most refractory to the accepted techniques of mass attack and the division of labor. If the difficulty of a physiological problem is mathematical in essence, then physiologists ignorant of mathematics will get precisely as far as one physiologists ignorant of mathematics, and no further. If a physiologist who knows no mathematics works together with a mathematician who knows no physiology, the one will be unable to state his problem in terms that the other can manipulate, and the second will be unable to put the answers in any form that the first can understand… A proper exploration of these blank spaces on the map of science could only be made by a team of scientists, each a specialist in his own field but each possessing a thoroughly sound and trained acquaintance with the fields of his neighbors; all in the habit of working together, of knowing one another's intellectual customs, and of recognizing the significance of a colleague's new suggestion before it has taken on a full formal expression. The mathematician need not have the skill to conduct a physiological experiment, but he must have the skill to understand one, to criticize one, and to suggest one. The physiologist need not be able to prove a certain mathematical theorem, but he must be able to grasp its physiological significance and to tell the mathematician for what he should look. We had dreamed for years of an institution of independent scientists, working together in one of these backwoods of science, not as subordinates of some great executive officer, but joined by the desire, indeed by the spiritual necessity, to understand the region as a whole, and to lend one another the strength of that understanding.“

—  Norbert Wiener, livro Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

Fonte: Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948), p. 2-4; As cited in: George Klir (2001) Facets of Systems Science, p. 47-48

„The most fruitful areas for the growth of the sciences were those which had been neglected as a no-man's land between the various established fields.“

—  Norbert Wiener, livro Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

Fonte: Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948), p. 2

„It is my thesis that the physical functioning of the living individual and the operation of some of the newer communication machines are precisely parallel in their analogous attempts to control entropy through feedback. Both of them have sensory receptors as one stage in their cycle of operation: that is, in both of them there exists a special apparatus for collecting information from the outer world at low energy levels, and for making it available in the operation of the individual or of the machine. In both cases these external messages are not taken neat, but through the internal transforming powers of the apparatus, whether it be alive or dead. The information is then turned into a new form available for the further stages of performance. In both the animal and the machine this performance is made to be effective on the outer world. In both of them, their performed action on the outer world, and not merely their intended action, is reported back to the central regulatory apparatus. This complex of behavior is ignored by the average man, and in particular does not play the role that it should in our habitual analysis of society; for just as individual physical responses may be seen from this point of view, so may the organic responses of society itself. I do not mean that the sociologist is unaware of the existence and complex nature of communications in society, but until recently he has tended to overlook the extent to which they are the cement which binds its fabric together.“

—  Norbert Wiener, livro The Human Use of Human Beings

Fonte: The Human Use of Human Beings (1950), p. 26-27 as cited in: Felix Geyer, Johannes van der Zouwen, (1994) " Norbert Wiener and the Social Sciences http://www.critcrim.org/redfeather/chaos/024Weiner.htm", Kybernetes, Vol. 23 Iss: 6/7, pp.46 - 61

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„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, livro Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

VIII. Information, Language, and Society. p. 157.
Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948)

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