How Stalin declared cybernetics a pseudoscience
How Stalin declared cybernetics a pseudoscience

Hardly a hundredth part of the fools sobbing about the "persecution of cybernetics" even vaguely guesses what cybernetics is and is sure that if not the accounting system in the kibbutz, then most likely the wife of the innocently repressed prominent Jewish professor Kiber, who is no longer there - because of the persecution by Stalin, of course.

One hundredth from the hundredth part, crawling to the diploma of higher education, is sure that the scientific "father of cybernetics" is the American Wiener. Sorry, the error came out.

She gave birth to nothing from Wiener's relationship with science, and if she gave birth, then something completely different. Because cybernetics, as a discovery, a scientific idea, was born two thousand years before the birth of Wiener.

The term "cybernetics" was introduced by the ancient Greek scientist Plato as the science of managing special objects that include people - these objects he called "hibernation".

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, in Russian. If we proceed from the fact that man is biologically at least the same animal, then it becomes clear where the title of Wiener's book "Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in an Animal and a Machine" came from. The new, as they say, is the well-forgotten old.

By the way, the Russified words "governor", "province", "tutor" - all come from the term introduced by Plato. And the British government - the government, has the same genesis.

Recall that cybernetics - in the original, Platonic sense, at the beginning of the 19th century was occupied by Amper, who placed it in third place in his classification of sciences, and a little later - by the brilliant Polish scientist Boleslav Trentovsky.

And if we are talking about Stalin, then we must remember that he was a perfect, complete, 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 was an encyclopedically educated person, the works of Plato (in contrast to the current semi-literate demics), he studied, he built the control system as cybernetic, therefore, to speak of “Stalin's persecution of cybernetics” is simply absurd.

Determining what cybernetics is, I would like to refer to the opinion of Academician Glushkov, a brilliant scientist, mathematician, engineer, erudite and intellectual, a profound connoisseur of not only technical and mathematical disciplines, but the works of Hegel and Lenin.

He did not pretend to be the "father of cybernetics", but his contribution to cybernetics is not a Wiener copper mite, and a full-weight gold liter.So, Glushkov 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 meanscybernetics.

Let us dwell on the definition of Glushkov. Let me just remind you that the MIR computer family he created ahead of Americans by twenty years- 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 to prove that the principle of stepped microprogramming, patented by competitors in 1963, had long been known to Russians and used in production machines.

Whoever understands cybernetics better than Glushkov and has done more for cybernetics - let him give his definition to this science.

If you take a trolleybus from the Leninsky Prospekt metro station, you can see a typical Stalinist "palace of science" immersed in greenery at 51 Leninsky Prospekt - a huge building with columns on the facade. These are ITMVT, Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computer Science named after 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: by his order, ITMVT was created and M.A. Lavrentiev. By the way, this Stalinist school of personnel education was widely used by Korolev. He had a coined, truly Stalinist formula: "I do not agree - criticize, criticize - offer, offer - do, do - answer!" This is how the cadres were formed. Such was the "pursuit of cybernetics." But the country has not yet recovered from the hardest war.

In the same 1948, under the supervision of Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences S.A. Lebedev, work begins on the creation of an MESM (small electronic calculating machine) in Kiev.

At the end of 1948, employees of the Energy Institute named after Krizhizhanovsky Brook and Rameev receive an inventor's certificate on a computer with a common bus, and in 1950-1951. create it. In this machine, for the first time in the world, semiconductor (cuprox) diodes are used 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.

For Russophobes and anti-Sovietists, I am pleased to inform you that the trigger was invented in 1918 by the Soviet scientist M.A. 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). This was sent to Bonch-Bruevich by V.I. Lenin his famous telegram: “I take this opportunity to express to you my deep gratitude and sympathy for the great work of radio inventions that you are doing. The paperless, no-distance newspaper you create will be a great thing. I promise to render every possible assistance to you in this and similar works. With best wishes, V. Ulyanov (Lenin)."

Every possible assistance was rendered, and in the conditions of the economic and information blockade organized by the capitalists, devices were created in the Nizhny Novgorod radio laboratory that were years ahead of Western technical thought.By the way, it was there, in the NRL, at the very beginning of the 1920s, that the Soviet specialist Oleg Vladimirovich Losev created the "kristadin" - the prototype of the modern transistor and the glow of semiconductor crystals - light-emitting diodes - was discovered.

Returning to the topic of "Stalin's persecution of cybernetics" I would like to give a couple more examples.

Stalin appointed P.I. Parshin, an excellent specialist and expert in his field. And so, when at a meeting at ITMVT one of the heads of laboratories, L.I. Gutenmakher, proposed to build a computer based on electromagnetic contactless relays (they are much more reliable than electronic tubes, although they work slower), Parshin immediately came up with an increase in the current in the supply winding of the relay - and this made it possible to reduce the number of turns in the winding to one, which means to make the relay technologically advanced, adapted for mass production.

This is how, in the course of the meeting, a most important, fundamental invention is made. These are the cadres who studied cybernetics at Stalin. Is it possible to imagine that some Putin minister knows his job so well that he is able to offer a revolutionary technical solution? And Stalin's ministers knew the case.

And the second example is from the secret protocol of the closed scientific council of the Institute of Electrical Engineering and Heat Power Engineering of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR dated January 8, 1950, where the creator of MESM S.A. made a report on the progress of work on the computer. Lebedev.

The report was met with interest, benevolently, sensible questions were asked, everyone tried to help and support. But among those present there was also a certain vigilant academician Shvets.

In essence of the project, he did not speak - probably, he did not understand anything. But "with all the acuteness" he raised questions about whether Lebedev "is not fighting for the priority of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in this work," "the integration of the work is not being done enough." And most importantly, he pointed out that “the term“logical operations”should not be used when applied to a machine, a machine cannot perform logical operations; it is better to replace this term with another."

That's the whole story of the "persecution of cybernetics." The usual squabbles and intrigues among the learned fraternity. Technicians made machines, moved progress, and "philosophers", who could not do anything, were vigilant lest anyone thought that a machine could think or at least perform logical operations.

As a result of the "persecution of cybernetics", which Stalin is accused of, a powerful new branch of science and technology was created in the USSR, scientific research institutes and factories were created that produce cybernetic devices. Scientific schools have been created, cadres have been trained, textbooks have been written, universities have begun to read new disciplines, and train specialists in cybernetics.

In the USSR, MESM was launched at a time when there was only one computer in Europe - the English EDSAK, launched a year earlier. But the MESM processor was much more powerful due to the parallelization of the computational process. A similar machine to EDSAK, TsEM-1, was put into operation at the Institute of Atomic Energy in 1953, but it also surpassed EDSAK in a number of parameters.

Developed by the laureate of the Stalin Prize, Hero of Socialist Labor S.A. Lebedev, the principle of pipeline processing, when streams of instructions and operands are processed in parallel, is now used in all computers in the world

Built as the development of MESM, the new BESM computer in 1956 became the best in Europe. The International Center for Nuclear Research, created in Switzerland, used BESM machines for calculations. During the Soviet-American Soyuz-Apollo space flight, the Soviet side using the BESM-6 received processed telemetry data in a minute - half an hour earlier than the American side.

In 1958, the M-20 machine was put into production, which became the fastest computer in the world, as well as the M-40 and M-50, which became the "cybernetic brain" of the Soviet anti-missile system, created under the leadership of V.G.Kisunko and shot down a real missile in 1961 - the Americans were able to repeat this only 23 years later.

Cybernetics specialists of the Stalinist call created the most powerful computer technology, all the highest achievements of the USSR in this area are associated with their names. They worked according to Stalinist ideas - relying on their own forces, their ideas, their resources.

A disaster was the decision taken in 1967 by the leadership of the USSR to switch to the "monkey policy" - to copy American computer technology, to launch the production of an IBM-360 machine called the Unified System "Ryad".

"And we will do something out of the" Row "over there!" - S.A. bitterly joked. Lebedev, one of the first leaders of the Stalinist ITMVT. And no matter how he fought for an original, better way of developing our computer technology, the very servility of the West, which Stalin stubbornly fought against, gained the upper hand.

This undermined the strength of the scientist, in 1974 he died. And ITMVT was named after him, the name of the Stalin Prize laureate Sergei Alekseevich Lebedev.

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