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In 1970 Chile embarked on a peaceful road to socialism under the guiding hand of President Salvador Allende (1970–73). Chile’s political experiment set the stage for an ambitious technological experiment, one that has not been attempted since. From 1971 to 1973 Chilean and British engineers, working under the direction of the pioneering British cybernetician Stafford Beer, built a computer network to help make Chile’s socialist revolution a reality. The team called the system Cybersyn. It is arguably the most ambitious application of cybernetic ideas to date. In this talk Professor Medina will present material from Cybernetic Socialism, her book-in-progress that tells the history of Project Cybersyn. She will link this historical case study to present day issues in e-governance, participatory design, and computer surveillance.

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