Cybersyn: a 1960s socialist internet

June 2, 2015

I recently came across this article in Frieze Magazine which describes CYBERSYN which was a system designed in Salvadore Allende's Chile by the British cybernetician Stafford Beer as a system which allowed real time optimization of the economic production system as well as a way for the citizens to let the government know their feelings. 

 

In a sense, project Cybersyn was an attempt to put into practice the recent developments of the times in Welfare economics, in particular the Second Theorem of Welfare that was proven in the previous decade. This theorem states essentially that a benevolent social planner (a governement) who possesses sufficiently detailed information can organize a transfer of ressources among economic agents to ensure a (Pareto) optimal distribution.

 

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Professor of Econometrics & Statistics at
ESSEC Business School
Paris
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