This event explores the ideas of visionary theorist Stafford Beer, who was an Honorary Professor of Cybernetics at Liverpool John Moores University. In the early 1970s he worked on Project Cybersyn, an ambitious attempt by the socialist government of Salvador Allende to develop a cybernetic approach to running the Chilean economy. The Operations Room, a futuristic hub resembling a set from a science fiction movie, was designed to enable ministers to view information in real time and make informed decisions: a virtual network envisioned long before the invention of the Internet and digital technologies. After the military coup on September 11, 1973, Cybersyn was abandoned and the operations room was destroyed. The session will consist of short readings including a dramatised piece by Nicholas Mortimer depicting the ideas behind Project Cybersyn, followed by a discussion on the themes of utopia and dystopia.
This event is part of the 2016 Being Human Festival of the Humanities
Image: The Operations Room, courtesy of the Stafford Beer Archive, LJMU