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3. Cybernetics in the Strike

In the early 1970s, Chile was facing a profound economic crisis, and tensions were escalating. It was against this backdrop that the October Strike of 1972 erupted, shaking the foundations of the nation. Amidst the chaos, the Chilean government found an unexpected ally in the form of a revolutionary project called Cybersyn.

The strike triggered a swift response from the government. At the helm was the young and visionary Fernando Flores, stationed at the presidential palace, La Moneda, where he had set up an industrial headquarters to manage the crisis. Utilizing the power of the telex network established by Cybersyn, communication lines were swiftly established, connecting vital centers across the country. This interconnected system became the lifeline of information flow during the strike.


The telex network which formed part of this lifeline (especially at CORFO, where much of the Cybersyn activities unfolded) was not entirely novel; telex machines jad already been in use in Chile before the implementation of Cybersyn. However, cybernetic theories brought to the country by Stafford Beer greatly enriched and expanded the use of this technology, allowing for the seamless exchange of critical data during the crisis. Handwritten graphs and charts adorned the walls of command centers, providing visual representations of the situation's development and aiding decision-making.


Concepts like Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety, feedback loops, and recursion provided a powerful framework for understanding complex systems and implementing effective responses. The use of cybernetic loops enabled the government to adapt its strategies dynamically, ensuring resilience in the face of the crisis.

Cybernetic concepts such as recursivity were key to effectively tackling the strike


Cybernetics proved of great help in providing a structured and organized approach to managing the strike, guiding decisions at various levels of government. The successful handling of the crisis demonstrated the value of cybernetic thinking in solving complex challenges on a national scale. 

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