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Encyclopedia > Project Cybersyn

Project Cybersyn was a Chilean attempt at real-time computer-controlled planned economy in the years 1970-1973 (during the government of president Salvador Allende). It was essentially a network of telex machines that linked factories with a single computer center in Santiago, which controlled them using principles of cybernetics. The principal architect of the system was British operations research scientist Stafford Beer. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A command economy is an economic system in which government decisions are made by central state economic managers who determine what sorts of goods and services to produce and how they are to be priced and allocated, and may include state ownership of the means of production. ... 1970 was a common year starting on Thursday. ... 1973 was a common year starting on Monday. ... Salvador Allende Gossens (July 26, 1908–September 11, 1973) was President of Chile from 1970 until 1973, when he died during the violent Chilean coup of 1973. ... Teletype machines in World War II A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY) is a now largely obsolete electro-mechanical typewriter which can be used to communicate typed messages from point to point through a simple electrical communications channel, often just a pair of wires. ... Santiagos Metropolitan Cathedral Santiago (officially in Spanish Santiago de Chile) is Chiles capital and largest city. ... Cybernetics is a theory of the communication and control of regulatory feedback. ... Operations research, operational research, or simply OR, is the use of mathematical models, statistics and algorithms to aid in decision-making. ... Anthony Stafford Beer (September 25, 1926 - August 23, 2002) was a theorist in operational research and management cybernetics. ...

Contents


History

In early 1970, Stafford Beer was asked by the newly elected president Salvador Allende to design this system. It took about a year to build; although it was never completely finished.


The system was most useful in October 1972, when about 50,000 striking truck drivers blocked streets of Santiago; using telex machines, the government was able to coordinate the transport of food into the city by about remaining 200 trucks loyal to government. Santiagos Metropolitan Cathedral Santiago (officially in Spanish Santiago de Chile) is Chiles capital and largest city. ...


After the military coup on September 11th, 1973, the control center was destroyed immediately. The Chilean coup détat of September 11, 1973 was a watershed event in the history of Chile and the Cold War. ...


The system

There were 500 unused telex machines bought by the previous government, each was put into one factory. In the control center in Santiago, each day data coming from each factory (several numbers, such as raw material input, production output and number of absentees) were put into a computer, which made short-term predictions and necessary adjustments. There were four levels of control (firm, branch, sector, total), with algedonic feedback (if lower level of control didn't remedy a problem in a certain interval, the higher level was notified). The results were discussed in the operations room and the top-level plan was made.


The software for Cybersyn was called Cyberstrider, and it used Bayesian filtration and Bayesian control. It was written by a team of 12 British programmers. Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ...


The operations room was very futuristic-looking. It was furnished with 7 swivel chairs (considered the best for creativity) with buttons, which controlled several large screens that could project the data, and other panels with status information. The following is a partial list of chair types, with internal or external cross references about most of the chairs. ...


See also

This is the history of Chile. ... The Chilean coup détat of September 11, 1973 was a watershed event in the history of Chile and the Cold War. ... Carlos Fernando Flores Labra (born January 9, 1943 in Talca) is a former Chilean Cabinet Minister and researcher into artificial intelligence. ...

External links

  • Lecture of Stafford Beer about the system
  • The picture of the "Operations room"
  • The forgotten story of Chile's 'socialist internet'
  • Lessons of Stafford Beer

  Results from FactBites:
 
Andy Beckett: The forgotten story of Chile's 'socialist internet' | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited (1830 words)
This was known as Project Cybersyn, and nothing like it had been tried before, or has been tried since.
By 1973, the sheer size of the project, involving somewhere between a quarter and half of the entire nationalised economy, meant that Beer's original band of disciples had been diluted by other, less idealistic scientists.
Cybersyn and Stafford's subsequent, more esoteric inventions live on in obscure socialist websites and, more surprisingly, modern business school teachings about the importance of economic information and informal working practices.
Project Cybersyn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (328 words)
Project Cybersyn was a Chilean attempt at real-time computer-controlled planned economy in the years 1970-1973 (during the government of president Salvador Allende).
It was essentially a network of telex machines that linked factories with a single computer center in Santiago, which controlled them using principles of cybernetics.
It was furnished with 7 swivel chairs (considered the best for creativity) with buttons, which controlled several large screens that could project the data, and other panels with status information.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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