DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10961116

Science and Dystopia. Robert Wiener, the Young Kurt Vonnegut, and 1950s America.

by Maurizio Cambi

The paper analyses the content of some short stories and Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel, which feature Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics, as the protagonist. With the skilful use of fiction and elegant irony, Vonnegut gives life to the doubts expressed by the renowned mathematician in his works – Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948) and The Human Use of Human Beings (1950) – about the dehumanising effects of the indiscriminate use of machines in individuals’ lives.

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