« 99% Invisible

230- Project Cybersyn

2016-10-04 | 🔗

On September 11, 1973, a military junta violently took control of Chile, which was led at the time by President Salvador Allende. Allende had become president in a free and democratic election. After the military coup, General Augusto Pinochet took … Continue reading →

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent- invisible, I'm roman Mars The date September eleventh is, of course, very significant for people in the U S, but the country of cheap, They also has an important September, eleventh in their history, unknown eleven nineteen, seventy three using both air strikes and ground attacks, Terry Junta violently took control of delaying the country was led at the time I president Salvador Allende produced. Katy mingle Allende. Become president of Chile. In a free and democratic election after the military, very cool general. Gusto Pinochet took power Would she lay as a dictator until now team. Ninety undertaken over the country, the military Dissolve Congress took control the media and went about this Cancelling all of the socialist and democratic institutions that I Andy's government had built,
and somewhere in the midst of all this, the new military regime discovered something in a nondescript office building and downtown Santiago. It was a room. Very strange room. I've heard people compare it to something out of a cubic film. STAR Trek, that's Eden, Medina Professor of Informatics and computing Indiana University in blooming ten, describing this strange place. It's quite striking in this bright technicolor oranges would pass going through the deck of the starship enterprise and you're, not that far off the room six agonal in shape with seven white fiberglass chairs arranged in an inward facing circle. There were colorful based ages, greens, displaying charts and graphs on all six walls, in Pinochet's. Men found this room, they didn't quite know what to make of it,
it said that one of them began stabbing its colorful displays greens with a knife. And it's no wonder they didn't understand this place. There has never been anything quite like it. This operations room was the physical interface for a complicated system called project Cyber said project. Cyber son had been designed to help to a socialist experiment, work better. It was just one of the ways that former President Allende had been trying to do. Socialism differently than it has ever been done before So, let's back up before the coup for a sigh fi operations. Room was built, Salvador Allende had been elected in nineteen. Seventy, he was the first marxist an ever elected democratically in any country. That's his campaigns on you. The hearing right now, it's called then ceramics or we shall overcome
The bank teller, pay you. It was one of many protests, songs and chance to come out of. I am these campaign poor in working class people saying enchanted and finally voted, I Andy into office, they loved him. And I they hoped he could show the world that she lay was going to be different than the communist and socialist experiments in other countries has governed after all, had been elected democratically and it was deep we committed to protecting civil liberties, so it did not want to get rid of the constitution. It did not want to censor the press it wanted to reserve freedom of speech and right away. The government raises employment and wages for people across she lay and they start ups.
Gram of agrarian reform to redistribute the ownership of land and they also begin a programme to make consumer goods that previously had been reserved for the elite. To try to make them more broadly accessible to the chilean people? towards this end. I Andy formed an industrial design group in his government. He believed design was political. We were thinking that we were doing something great good for people and goodwill, humanity, that's Fernando fliers He began working in the icelandic government after the election, and he says say it was an exciting time is an understatement. It wasn't just it Eight men was like being in love, love with someone. You are thinking of twenty four hours a day we were working in the adventure of the host country was an adventure for what those people that we live in a jump. A whole country was an adventure for those that believed night and day an adventure
also a ton of work. So the central problem is, you know a central problem in socialist revolutions, which is the government must go about turning over the private businesses into public businesses. We just think about the challenge. Bringing the most important industries in your country under state control and not having the experience to do so. The government, We took control of one hundred and fifty enterprises, including some. The largest companies in Chile. Is that not so form part of a socialist revolution management or what people are doing political revolution? They don't get a well managed that IKEA Fernando Flourish, cared about management and he an idea for how to manage Chile's complicated economy. He wanted to use a relatively new science called cybernetic acts. Cybernetic is a science that became popular around were were too as you,
develop new kinds of machines. We became interested in developing systems for controlling those machines. Cybernetic looks at how to design intelligent self correcting systems. Cybernetic is based on the word. Kilburn eddies, which is Greek for steering, the goal of a Steersman is to get the ship to the destination, taking into account all kinds of feedback from the environment like wind and currents, all cybernetic systems have goals, so you can take it. The heating and cooling system in your home as cybernetic system. The goal is Keep your house at a desired temperature. The thermostat does this by tell him the heater or the air conditioner when turn on and off, depending on feed back its receiving from the environment is an intelligent self regulating system with a goal in England in the night. Keen sixties, a consultant named Stafford Beer was applying concepts of cybernetic to business management. He believed a business,
could be thought of as an intelligent system. If the goal was to sell more product or work more efficiently. You could using the prince, of cybernetic eggs design the system to work towards those goals but Stafford here had never imagined he get to apply his ideas to helping a whole government succeed, and I suddenly got a letter which very much changed. My life, it was from the technical general manager of the state Cunning Board of Chile that Stafford beer in archival tape from nineteen. Seventy four, the letters, It was from Fernando flurries. He remarked in this letter that he had studied all my words. He had collected a team with scientists together and would I please come and take it over, but this was done me on a journey which made me travel eight thousand miles. Then, over and over again. I was commuting between London and Santiago for two years, two years
Four beers first trip to Santiago was in nineteen, seventy one when he arrived. I have seen Fernando floors and the team they had assembled in. She lay when designing cybernetic system that can help them man It's the bureaucracy of the new chilean economy. They would call this project. Cyber syn Staffer beer had long, stringy, hair and a long beard he looked like he should be leading yoga retreats, not teaching major corporations about management beer was. Particularly interested in using cybernetic to help companies redistribute power within this system, and she lay was interested in this too, how do we make institutions? non hierarchical. How do we distribute decision making? The first thing beard It was map and model Chile's entire economy. This was a really complex process than involved understanding how each part of the economy was affected by it.
Other parts and by outside feedback on paper. It looks like a big block diagram connected with lines and arrows. Now we have the equality. These are the big major branches of industry, heavy industry, light industry material both industry and consumer industry. It wasn't enough, however, to just understand how all the parts of Chile's economy connected. It was also crucial that the different parts be able to communicate with each other. Beer wanted factories to be able to send and receive information, he wanted to create a vast computer network that connected all the factories in which was a really novel idea. This was pre internet computer networks really a thing yet. But there was a problem with this idea there only a handful of computers in olive she lay and beer,
he only had access to one of them. These guys they had to create a computer network using one computer, which is pretty amazing, so they improvised, they realized. Okay, we can't put computers throughout the country, but what we can do is you have these telex machines. A telex machine looks like a typewriter but its hooked up to a telephone line so emerge. You and your friend you both have telex machines. You can type, a message on the keyboard he had sent in your friends, telex will receive it and literally type. Onto a piece of paper. It's links first team punch each have. I think G Chad is a great way to think about it. Every day, someone from afar would send data via telex to another telex, where
be received by an operator and then entered into the central computer. The kinds of data that people might send could include raw materials right. How much caught in? Do you have how much coal do? You have the central computer software program? Cyber stride was able to analyze the data and warn about potential problems. This is what your worker absentee level was today. This is what it was the day before this, but it was the day before that. What is it going to be tomorrow? Are you gonna have a problem? Decisions could then be made about what to do, and this brings us back to the bizarre exactly no room the one that was like something out of a cubic them or STAR Trek, so the operations room I it is futuristic decision making space Stafford Beer wanted to build a physical space for projects. Person. Actually, he wanted to build several of them all over. She lay
but only one was ever finished. The room was inspired in part by Winston Churchill's war room So you can imagine the general sitting around smoking, their cigars or in this case that land sitting around smoking. Cigarettes and perhaps drinking peace, COS Howard's, but like Churchill's war room, and this is a key difference. This was room for non hierarchical decisionmaking, Stafford Beer, imagine, factory, workers and higher level bureaucrats alike. Making decisions together I asked him look. Do you really need a desire for this? I mean your dick some tabled, you don't the projected. Is there so what that's a Greek, yet they originally, from Germany Bunch, yet they had been working in, she lays industrial design. Group was busy designing cool products for the masses when he was tat to help design the operations room for Project Cyprus. An event
Do you realize Stafford Beer wanted the room to be so much more than a standard meeting room during the project I became more and more aware of the complexity and ambition of this project to see it is the interface which made it possibly for use as to use this system the room needed to be democratic and state of the art, and please no tables no table because their staff bs head. Look there is a room for making decisions not for reading reports in talking about notes, so he was very category, about Baptist. The room was designed to quickly convey information about factories all over to lay you have charts and grass of factory production on the walls. You have a photograph of the factory, that is discussed. You have flashing lights, that show
whether there are emergencies taking place. Seven p: but would sit in a circle discussing and deciding how to proceed with various problems. Seven, because it's an odd number to facilitate voting, circle so that no one would be prioritized over any one else. So it's not a rectangular table with with a head chair in the operations. Room had a place to set your whisky class and ass tray and set of buttons. One could use to control the display screens on its wall, madmen meets STAR Trek, though months, yep AIDS, as they weren't consciously trying to make it look, futuristic. Seventy wasn't not our idea died or we didn't make science fiction, We made science reality, which is some want something different. I would say, but me there is a bit of fiction and all of it, it's an immaculate piece of design, but it conceals a clunky technology, the buttons on the chair,
for instance, were connected to some wires therein, for the floor and behind the wall and eventually connected to three slide care cells, depending on the combination of buttons that you pushed it would advance one's life. Carousel or another, or tell the slide carousel to move backwards as a way to pull up the desired image These screens couldn't display information in real time. You can only display and discuss slides that had been pre made, so it this image of modernity, but behind it there's just a lot of human labour going in turn, to making this illusion possible project. Cyber son was coming together and the future mystic operations room was being designed and built. Things were now going so well for the icelandic government. So all of this is taking place during the heart of the cold war. And Latin America has emerged as a battlefield, the. U S had been
actively working with people within she lay who were unhappy with the government. So the? U S was intervening in. She lay in many many many different ways so that the anti government would fail. They had been involved in denying she lay far and credit. It became increasingly difficult for Chileans to get a hold of. U S, spare parts to? U S! Machinery! If you don't have parts you can't keep the machines running. The economy was collapsing, inflation had started to skyrocket, so people are having trouble getting basic items And then, just three years after I- and there was elected- Came she lay September eleven September eleven. Seventy three! Well, I I don't want to talk about that for me, so that I remember
That's Fernando Floris again, I will be with you in the palace, with depression and some other people who has landed where bones bombed planes, while the presidential palace was bombed by a military junta supported by the United States I ain't they gave his final radio addressed to the country. Yeah lived? She lay long, live the people long with the workers he sang These have been my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a lesson that will punish felons cowardice and treason. Those explode ends were recorded in the actual radio broadcasts,
Salvador Allende took his own life that same day, shortly after giving that address close to three thousand people were executed, another twelve hundred people went missing and around two hundred thousand people were exiled to. Other countries. In fact, Cuba pay you People went missing in around two. Hundred thousand people were exiled to other countries. In fact, Cuba pay you The ban that road I am days campaign song was exiled France, where they wrote a new song. The people united, will never be defeated. The song became the anthem of resistance against Pinochet and the Courts has continued to be a chance at left, his protests across the world,
projects, Iverson never got fully up and running. The telex network was set up and the system was starting to receive data from factories. But it was slow to come in and the operations room was finished, but it had really been put to use. Yet grievance, yet they managed to escape. She lay with the one color photograph ever taken. The operations room, various other documents related to cyber, send it for me a meeting at the intersection of science technology? Politics and design this does not happen. Very often they would see. Cybersex was maybe just a bit ahead of its time and network. He's together with telex machines and one computer just a couple decades before the. Internet made this kind of thing commonplace and operate she's really designed to convey information as quickly as possible. Only you had to cry.
All behind a wall and put a new slide in the carousel. When you wanted to show something to the group sovereign Instead analogy was probably never up to the task at hand, but then again, was a technology designed to help socialism succeed, while the United States did everything in its power to make it fail. Maybe no technology was up to that task. Heaven's sake at that time We were so inspired by the possibility that it is possible to change society. When you look at the operations room, I mean, how can you not look at it and see that Someone's dream right that there's, some someone's utopian vision there is. There is a kind of hope about it. When Pinochet took over to lay he destroyed. This strange, futuristic space. Body, the utopian dreams of the eye and a government. He had no use for such a thing.
Ninety nine percent. Invisible was produced this week by Katy mingle, with review set SAM Breeds, Kirkwall Stead every twelve men, imitates Gerald Terran measure, the Lady Hall and me roman Mars, special thanks to Patrick Mccrae, Sir Henry and Paul Pingaree No Flores spent three years as a political prisoner in Chile and was eventually able to escape with the help of Amnesty international. Staffer B, continued to lecture on cybernetic until his death in two thousand to eat. Martinez book, cybernetic revolutionaries, technology and politics, and I Andy's Chile has so many more details about cyber set binding. Linked to it and see the one glorious, color photograph of Cyber since operations room at our website. It's ninety nine p I downward
We are project of ninety one point: seven, King Ale, W San Francisco and produced on radio row in beautiful, downtown oakland. California, we often don't think of winter, is a time of growth or creation. But if you think about it, it's the perfect time to greet your own website, because your cooped up you thinkin about being productive and now square space can help you do it with squares. Bates can take your cool ideas. You ve creative content, your services, goods and you can turn them into a beautiful website in just a few clicks. Does it because there is the used him
its are created by world class designers, and then you have the ability to customize the look and feel in the different settings. For your own needs, for example, my side, roman Mars, dot com I made with square space. The landing page features a close up me talking to a microphone asthma, my very handsome beard, but if I should ever shave it, I dont have to wait for my web guy to change the photo. I can do it myself and maybe the next vote. I will feature my soulful eyes and where the pages are also picked out, some my favorite episodes of ninety nine percent of visible to share in the audio is convening leave him bedded even on mobile. Try yourself, good squares, based outcomes, thus invisible for a free trial and when you re the launch, use ie offer code invisible to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Ninety nine percent, invisible supported by better help online counselling, I'm sure you like me, no alot of people on cancelling or are in need of counselling or maybe even counselling yourself and when the biggest challenges I am not being able to carve out even an hour I a week to deal with challenges like stress sleep, grief and relationships with better help. You can connect privately with a councillor through phone in video calls or even text in Chad. Better help offers licence councillors who specialise in issues including depression or anxiety, get help on your own time,
your own pace and at an affordable rate. Ninety nine percent, invisible listeners we'll get ten percent of their first month with discount code, invisible, that's better help, dot, com, slash invisible! Why not get help better help, dot com, slash invisible! Your local police probably receive a hundred calls a night from broker, alarms and majority the time they have no idea of their false alarms or if they are real, it could be a crime or it could be. You going downstairs for a midnight snack and setting off the motion sensor, but simply safe home security is different if there's a break in simply save as real video to tell please whether there is an actual crime and then they have the evidence to back it up, and they can tell them where the intruder is an what they're doing, and that means please dispatch up to three.
In fifty percent, faster than for other burglar alarms, you can set it up yourself with no tools needed or they can do it for you and has only fifty cents. A day would know contracts visit, simply safety coms. Last nine nine you'll get free shipping in a sixty day risk free trial. You got another, lose go now and be sure to go to simply saved our complex nine nine. So they know that our show assent. You that simply saved outcome, slash nine nine. You can find a show and join the discussions about the show on Facebook and Twitter me at Roman Mars and show, and I don t I org we're on Instagram and Tumblr to but everything ninety nine p. I comes together and only nineteen dot org Radio do.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.