"[Fredrick Winslow] Taylor sought to precisely measure the movements of factory workers and their timings to make them as efficient as humanly possible. This made him beloved by executives and detested on the factory floor, and it also made him one of the world's first management consultants. In a recent article in The New Yorker, 'Not So Fast,' the historian Jill Lepore takes a hard look at Taylor and his claims for scientific management. According to new research, he was a better salesman than consultant. Many of his facts were made up, and most of his results never materialized. We now know that Lillian Gilbreth, an early proponent of scientific management, had serious doubts about the movement she helped proselytize.
All this is important because Taylor, with his system of scientific management, was the father of efficiency. From scientific management we get the lust for efficiency in business. It became part of the dogma of business schools, almost none of which existed before his time. Business schools from their earliest days have promoted efficiency and the handling of business as something like industrial engineering. From operations to finance, from marketing to sales, business school education has focused on narrowing problems, identifying resources and working to get the most out of the least."
(Adam Hartung, 16 October 2009, Forbes)
"Cybernetics as a process operating in nature has been around for a long time ... as a concept in society has been around at least since Plato used it to refer to government.
In modern times, the term became widespread because Norbert Wiener wrote a book called 'Cybernetics' in 1948. His sub–title was 'control and communication in the animal and machine'. This was important because it connects control (a.k.a., actions taken in hope of achieving goals) with communication (a.k.a., connection and information flow between the actor and the environment). So, Wiener is pointing out that effective action requires communication.
Wiener's sub–title also states that both animals (biological systems) and machines (non–biological or 'artificial' systems) can operate according to cybernetic principles. This was an explicit recognition that both living and non–living systems can have purpose. A scary idea in 1948."
"Rex Bionics Plc (The Rex Bionics Group) is the global technology leader in robotic exoskeletons (REX). Uniquely, REX® provides independent mobility to wheelchair users and other mobility impaired persons using advanced robotic technology, custom–designed electromechanical actuators, precision engineering, and specialised networking systems.
The key differentiator of REX is the fact that it has been designed from the outset to provide mobility to non–ambulatory wheelchair users rather than as a means to enable otherwise fit individuals to lift supra–physiological loads, enhance endurance or aid mobility of those able to walk with crutches.
The device is designed to enable all users to stand and walk, and REX Personal™ users to scale stairs and navigate slopes."
"Quantic Dream released a short film following a character called Kara. The five–minute film is called Kara. She's a female android brought to life on an assembly line, and as her body is put together piece by piece she's asked to speak in English, German and French and sing in Japanese. After expressing emotion she's marked as defective and being to be disassembled, but before being permanently shut down she begs for her life. Her beating blue robotic heart tells how nervous she is, and the man assembling Kara allows her to continue off the manufacturing line"