Background Despite cybernetics' short, incandescent life as a scientific knowledge, it has had an enduring cultural legacy. Analysis This article reads Norbert Wiener, the "father of cybernetics," as a visible scientist, through an analysis of his media profile, in order to explore cybernetics as a popular culture phenomenon in the United States in the late 1940s and the 1950s. Conclusion and implications Cybernetics emerges in the post-WWII era as a charismatic knowledge whose aura of wonder and future possibility shapes our interpretation of computing technology to this day.

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Keywords Cold War, Computers, Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, Visible scientist
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2017v42n3a3205
Journal Canadian Journal of Communication
Citation
Hamilton, SN. (2017). The charismatic cultural life of cybernetics: Reading Norbert Wiener as visible scientist. Canadian Journal of Communication, 42(3), 407–429. doi:10.22230/cjc.2017v42n3a3205