Google Translation: Missing Link: A coincidence named Stanisław Lem


The futurologist and science fiction writer Stanisław Lem was born on September 13, 1921. His work was shaped by cybernetics and information science.

With "Solaris" he wrote one of the most important novels about the limits of human knowledge. With "Lokaltermin" he invented the ethicosphere in which nanobots prevent murder and manslaughter. Stanisław Lem reviewed non-existent books and quickly invented sciences such as teletaxia, better known today as virtual reality, or phantomism, which deals with the coupling of the nervous system and computer.

He philosophized about an extelopedia, a constantly revising, extrapolating encyclopedia about future things that will exist but are no longer understandable to us. He later turned against technological development and became a cultural critic who disapproved of the Internet, wanted to fight climate change and overpopulation through biocratic measures of violence.

In his two-volume "Philosophy of Coincidence", Lem described how he was transporting weapons in the tram and not being checked because he was run over by an SS man. After the war he studied philosophy and physics in addition to medicine, but had to leave Lwów with the family during the Soviet occupation and went to Kraków.

Lem came into contact with the philosopher Mieczysław Choynowski through his study on the "theory of brain functions" that he had undertaken and received his first job at his seminar for science studies. The institute published a magazine in which Lem presented numerous representatives of the "new sciences" to the Polish public. These included the cybernetic writings of Norbert Wiener, the information theory of Claude Shannon and the game theory of John von Neumann.

According to his biographer Alfred Gall, the Americans W. Ross Ashby with his work on cybernetics and artificial intelligence and Talcott Parsons with his studies on social systems are said to have been particularly influential. Lem thus became familiar with the leading US scientific directions and stood far removed from the Marxist currents at the Polish universities, which occupied intellectual life. When the institute had to be closed because of "subversive tendencies", Lem managed to save the writings of Wiener, Shannon, Neumann and others. He declared her to be his greatest treasure.

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