Lecture: Terminals and Communication
Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 1954, 30 December
Document title: Terminals and Communication
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Unification Congress of Dianeticists and Scientologists
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Document ID: 5412C30
Description: Hubbard says he promised Norbert Wiener he'd never mention his name in connection with Dianetics.
Electronics engineers are good men, but they have the frailty of falling into their own trap. They start to depend upon electronic flows. They start to depend upon pieces of brass and copper and glass in order to accomplish these things. And so when they-usually, when then they start to theorize, even as I did when I was first in this work, they will come to all sorts of remarkable conclusions. They will always, inevitably, sometime or another, get interested in the mind.
Your boys at MIT right now, and so forth, are very interested in the mind. They’re not interested, though, in the human mind. They’re interested in an electronic mind. And once in a while one of them will speculate-I promised Norbert Wiener I’d never mention his name in connection with Dianetics so I won’t mention his name but this fellow … (laughter) It’s too bad, too, because I was quite happy he wrote that book called Cynergetics or whatever it was, and he talks about a neural response system. And this book about this neural response system, Cybernetics, has applied the principles of electricity to life. And it tries to demonstrate somehow that life comes about because of electronic flows. And it doesn’t.
That’s the basic mistake made in engineering every time an engineer starts out. And I have gotten finally, even up to my big toe, out of this morass now. I know this. I mean I know that electronics come about because of life. I know that masses and forms, their arrangement, their timing, their continued existence comes about because of life; because life can create these things. And if life can create these things, then life is certainly the boss. These things, these electronic terminals and so forth never create life- never. And when life lays off of them they stop running-just like that.
One of these days, if we keep up this sort of thing, why; Westinghouse will probably eventually require the morning ritual of the prayer to the god Ohm- if we keep this up-the patron saint of electric terminals. Or they will require that a certain amount of insulation be burned every evening after work to appease-to appease the god Forest who makes tubes-makes tubes work. We might say it’s probably the spirit of Edison is all that makes an electric light burn. It’s probably true. I don’t know, actually, whether or not this physical universe and all of its laws work because these engineers invent new laws, or because they find old ones.
Hubbard, L. R. (1954, 30 December). Terminals and Communication. Unification Congress of Dianeticists and Scientologists, (5412C30). Lecture conducted from Phoenix, Arizona.