book ✓ Player Piano É Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Age Vonnegut wildly funny deadly serious and terrifyingly close to reality Alternate cover edition her Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut was his first novel first published in 1952 Early fiction from Vonnegut is told in a straightforward fashion than Vonnegut readers will be accustomed to from his later works but his imagination and wit are still unmistakable This is a dystopian work describing a United States after a third war where machines have taken the place of 90% of industrial workers Government work available to displaced workers comes from either the Army emasculated and bureaucratic or the reconstitution and reclamation corps the Reeks and the Wrecks a civil organization where workers have military esue occupational titles such as asphalt layer first class and senior street sweeper Funny and thought provoking this ushered in a long and prolific career for Vonnegut
mobi Player Piano
Player PianoKurt Vonnegut’s first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus who must find a way to The Cybernetic ScriptOne of the most important but least discussed conseuences of WWII is an ideology It is way of thinking that unites the political left and right and even transcends the ideologies of Capitalism and Marxism with their apparent conflicts about the nature of human beings and their politics It is an ideology that became and remains the dominant intellectual force in the world in my lifetime This ideology goes by a name that is only occasionally used today and is probably recognised only by specialist professionals old enough to remember it CyberneticsCybernetics is the unnamed central character in Player Piano where it goes incognito as 'know how' developed during the war As a scientific discipline cybernetics is about control Its vocabulary has largely been assimilated into general usage systems feedback loops reuisite variety algorithms sustainability In the year that Vonnegut was writing Player Piano 1951 cybernetics was the fashionable inter disciplinary buzzword in fields as diverse as hormonal medicine national government industrial economics and computer design not to mention player pianos And of course in Vonnegut's obvious subject Robotics The big names in the social sciences of the day von Neumann Ashby Weiner Bateson Deming Beer to name just a few all had cybernetic connections through the war effortVonnegut's prescience about the effects of cybernetic thinking for things like automated factories computer assisted design self driven cars voice recognition and expert systems are at least as good as anyone involved in the discipline at the time But Vonnegut's real talent isn't predictive it's prophetic And his insights aren't about science they are about ideology He saw beneath the breathless press and stunning technological advances produced through cybernetics to how cybernetics was being used shape the manner in which human beings were to live with each other whether they were conscious of this or notCybernetics was always than a discipline or method or even a manner of thinking Through general tacit but very real agreement on the issues of importance to be addressed the only issues cybernetics became an ideology a framework a rationale most crucially a rationalisation of the exercise of power by the people who had power These are the people Vonnegut identifies as the 'elite' technical managers and their distant superiors who tend the complex cybernetic control mechanismsBut Vonnegut is far too perceptive to categorise the world simply into managers and those they manage There is a reason why the very senior managers in Player Piano are kept vaguely in the background They are the only people not subject to cybernetic demands The only thing that cybernetics cannot be used for is the decision about what constitutes a successful result of the processes involved about how to measure value Player Piano was born in a world of the McCarthy hearings alluded to in the phrase 'fellow travellers' the most blatant attempt to institutionalise the definition of success until recent timesSuccess is defined elsewhere than by the factory managers in Player Piano in the higher reaches of corporate management beyond the pay grade of a Proteus and his colleagues in Ilium incidentally the Latin for guts including the highly vulnerable testicles; as well as another name for Troy of the treacherous horse And however value is defined it is not a process or a result to be tampered with in Vonnegut's world at the level of mere management professionalsA successful result of a cybernetic process might be defined in terms of efficiency or speed or innovation or profit consumer satisfaction or literally anything the human mind might conjure Whatever it is it is hard wired into the little tape loops that run each machine in Ilium's massive factories But nothing within the discipline of cybernetics gave a clue as to which of these measures of success was appropriate or best or acceptable This is the lynchpin of Vonnegut's narrative It is not mere Luddite sabotage of the machines that is the threat to Ilium's stability but rather changes to the criteria embedded in the tapes and the authority that creates them It is the control boxes that must be kept locked and secure These are the tabernacles in which the secret decisions about what constitutes value are hidden and from which these decisions invisibly control both the machines and the factory managers It is these tiny sanctuaries not the gigantic integrated chains of machines that are the driving force of Vonnegut's fictionExcept that this situation wasn't and isn't only a fiction The separation of the management of cybernetically controlled systems and the choice of their criteria of success that is to say their value is the core of cybernetics as an ideology In both Player Piano and in the world as it has evolved this separation has largely come to pass Politically this has gone largely unnoticed by those most affected by the ideology Until of course very recently as demonstrated in the dramatic political events in Europe North America India and I think even ChinaA key part of Vonnegut's narrative is the separation of what would come to be called the 99% from the corporate managerial class The most interesting part of the script is the malaise that affects the 99% ers This malaise is spiritual rather than material Although unemployed the plebs are not homeless or starving But since the removal of the corporate ladder which had given apparent purpose to life and by which they might have advanced a central element of the post war American Dream they are dissatisfied and unruly The most hopeful aspect of Player Piano is that they don't seem to want the corporate ladder backAs a prophet not a forecaster Vonnegut got some things wrong What he mainly got wrong was the precise mode in which the cybernetic ideology was to play out He reckoned along with many philosophers and social scientists of the time that the managerial elite would dominate through their control of manufacturing and transport This is how the Robber Barons in the late 19th century and the Russian soviets had already done itWhat no one literally no one at the time anticipated was that even the manufacturing elite wouldn't be high enough up the cybernetic food chain to set the criteria for success This would be left to the even remote Captains of Finance not the contemporary Lords of Industry Given that neither Karl Marx nor Frederik Hayek saw that one coming we might want to overlook Vonnegut's slipVonnegut couldn't see the impending shift because Finance in America as everywhere else was still Capitalist Finance in 1951 Not for a decade did cybernetics under a new heading of Corporate Finance as a real discipline and an ideology become identifiable as a visible intellectual force And not for yet another decade was this force great enough to shift corporate power decisively from the capitalists who make things to the capitalists who finance things It is unarguable that today it is the likes of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley rather than General Motors or General Electric that dominate the world economy and a large portion of its social ambitions as well The transition is complete Same cybernetic ideology just a different cast of corporate characters And Vonnegut wrote the script Unfortunately Trump not Proteus is leading the revolution And just when you thought it's safe to drink the Kool Aid
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. É Player Piano doc
doc ê Player Piano Paperback ã [Read] ➪ Player Piano ➲ Kurt Vonnegut Jr. – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel spins the chilling tale of engineer Paul Proteus who must find a way to live in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines Paul’s rebellion is Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel sLive in a world dominated by a supercomputer and run completely by machines Paul’s rebellion is vint I just remembered that I did not review Player Piano I did not have the time to do it when I finished the novel one month ago and then I forgot I am not going to write a full review because I lost the momentum but I have a few comments First of all If you never read Kurt Vonnegut I would not start with this one It is very good but I believe it would be better savored by readers that already enjoyed other works by the author This is his first novel and his fragmented writing style and satire is not fully developed The humor is subtle and some of the plot is a bit dated I started with Slaughterhouse 5 and continued with Th Cat's Cradle That order was fine for me Player Piano imagines a world where most jobs became obsolete due to the extensive use of machines to replace the use of less productive humans There are many important issues discussed here but the ones that seemed most in tone with the current world were about the corporate personality and about the pitfalls of standardizing the evaluation of people in schoolsjobs or as human beings Kurt Vonnegut is gradually becoming one of my favorite writers He was a genius