STALIN and CYBERNETICS - the history of the development of advanced Soviet computers
STALIN and CYBERNETICS - the history of the development of advanced Soviet computers

It could be an administrative unit - land inhabited by people, and a ship. According to Plato, a built and equipped ship is just a thing, but a ship with a crew is already "hibernation", which must be controlled by a specialist - "cybernet". Helmsman, if in Russian.

By the way, the Russified words "governor", "province", "tutor" - have the same root. As is the British government - the government.

From this point of view, Stalin was the ideal cybernet - in the Platonic formulation. Because even in those days, there was a dispute between Plato and Aristotle about the form of government: Aristotle believed that state governance should be based on laws, Plato considered optimal governance based on the decisions of the cybernet (ruler). Both theory and experience have shown, incidentally, that the Platonic approach is more effective.

Stalin, as an encyclopedically educated person, studied Plato's works, built the control system as cybernetic, therefore the common phrase about “Stalin's persecution of cybernetics” is incorrect, and here's why.

Academician Glushkov, a brilliant scientist, mathematician, engineer, interpreted cybernetics as the science of general laws, principles and methods of information processing and control of complex systems, while the computer was interpreted as the main technical means of cybernetics. Let us dwell on the definition of Glushkov. Let me just remind you that the MIR family of computers he created was twenty years ahead of the Americans - these were the prototypes of personal computers.

In 1967, IBM bought MIR-1 at an exhibition in London: IBM had a priority dispute with competitors, and the machine was bought in order to prove that the principle of stepwise microprogramming, patented by competitors in 1963, has long been known Russian and is used in production vehicles. But let's look another 20 years ago in the past before this exhibition.

At 51 Leninsky Prospekt in Moscow, you can see a typical Stalinist "palace of science" immersed in green trees - a huge building with columns on the facade. This is the S.A. Lebedev. It was created in 1948 to develop electronic computers - the main technical means of cybernetics, according to Glushkov's definition.

The director of the Institute of Mathematics and, concurrently, vice-president of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, Lavrentyev wrote a letter to Comrade Stalin about the need to accelerate research in the field of computer technology, about the prospects for using computers. Stalin, who is well-versed in promising areas of science, reacted immediately: on his order, this Institute, ITMVT, was created and the same Lavrentiev was appointed its director.

This is how the cadres were formed. Such was the "pursuit of cybernetics." But the country has not yet recovered from the hardest war, which ended only three years ago … In the same year 48, under the leadership of Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Sergei Alekseevich Lebedev in Kiev, work began on the creation of a small electronic calculating machine, or MESM.

At the end of 48, employees of the Energy Institute named after Krzhizhanovsky Brook and Rameev received an inventor's certificate on a computer with a common bus, and in 50-51 they created it. This machine is the first in the world to use semiconductor diodes instead of vacuum tubes. At the beginning of 1949, SKB-245 and NII Schetmash were created on the basis of the SAM plant in Moscow. In the early 50s, a laboratory of machine and computational mathematics was created in Alma-Ata.

There is no doubt that, in fact, Stalin did much more for the development of cybernetics - much was classified, much was forgotten over the years and in accordance with the instructions of the "maize" Khrushchev, but even from these fragments one can understand that a single powerful cybernetic project was launched, covering various republics and scientific institutions.

And this is only about digital computers - and in fact, work on analog machines was started even before the war, and in 1945 the first analog machine in the USSR was already working. Before the war, research and development of high-speed triggers - the main elements of digital computers - began. By the way, this trigger was invented in 1918 by the Soviet scientist Bonch-Bruevich. The very same Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bonch-Bruevich, who headed the establishment, created on the instructions of V.I. Lenin Nizhny Novgorod Radio Laboratory (NRL).

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