Systems, Man & Cybernetics - July 2015 - 38

as applications in home appliances (washing machines,
vacuum cleaners, rice cookers, cameras, and so on).
The aim of this article is to show that, while the scientific discipline of CS emerged from EE with the appearance of the theory of FSs, the two developments have
become interlinked.
◆ The theory of CS originated from scientific studies in
circuit theory, network theory, system theory, and IT as
parts of EE as well as from mathematical theories and
logic, after computers entered the field of technology.
◆ FSs emerged from Zadeh's new view of system theory
that needed a new "mathematics of fuzzy or cloudy
quantities which are not describable in terms of probability distributions" [47, p. 857]. If inputs, outputs,
and states are such FSs, then they have members to a
certain degree that may be a real number between zero
and one.
◆ The memberships of various parts of EE, math and
logic, and some newly created subjects with the new
scientific discipline of CS are gradual, i.e., between zero
and one, and, therefore, Zadeh considered CS an FS.
When Communication Became Electrical
In January 1932, seven lectures were delivered for a Lowell Institute course in Boston, Massachusetts. These
lectures were published later the same year as Modern
Communication [22]. The subject of the first lecture
in this series was "Social Aspects of Communication
Development," and Arthur Wilson Page (1883-1960), who
was the vice president of the American Telephone and
Telegraph Company (AT&T) at the time, also provided
a survey of the entire history of communication. Until
recently, he stated, if a man wanted to say something to
his neighbor, he would first have to find him and he would
only be able to reach as many listeners as the power of
his voice allowed. Then, scientists discovered much about
sound and light waves and about electricity. It would not
be iconoclastic, he said, to claim that philosophers would
have been very pleased if the third type of waves had been
discovered earlier: electric or radio waves. Sound, light,
and radio waves were perfectly suited to general communication purposes, since they could spread out in all
directions from their point of origin, but sound and light
waves did not extend great distances over the Earth's
surface. Radio or electric waves, on the other hand, could
do so easily, despite the curvature of the Earth [22, p. 14f].
The second lecture was delivered by Harold De Forest
Arnold (1883-1933), who was then director of research
at Bell Telephone Laboratories. It was still completely
unknown at the time if outer space was filled with ether,
a material medium in which electromagnetic waves were
believed to propagate. Arnold, having previously spoken
about waves in the air, said:
Ether waves are obviously more perplexing subjects
of research. Perhaps there is no ether; then, of course,
there are no ether waves. Nevertheless, ether or no
38

IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics Magazine July 2015 	

ether, there is no doubt about the usefulness of light
and radio waves, and whether or not we can completely comprehend what they are, we must at any
rate bend effort to understand all the rules which must
be followed in using them, and all the difficulties with
which their use is surrounded. [1, p. 30]
Only once the nature of electromagnetic waves had
been fully researched would it also be possible to fathom
what electricity actually is: "There is perhaps nothing simpler in the world than electricity, for we have come to think
that it is the aggregation of little units which are always
the same and quite unchangeable" [1, p. 30f].
It was meanwhile also known, however, that electricity could behave like a wave, and the laboratories had
proven this peculiar fact by studying electricity for
the purposes of communication. It was not yet possible to say what this knowledge could mean for communication technology, yet there was no doubt that it
was important and that its discovery was a further
sign of the fact that there was ever more to find out
about those elementary things which we cannot
change but which we must use. [1, p. 30ff]
Arnold then spoke about the role of mathematics in this
technology, about its precision and the possibility of discovering analogous relationships in the various branches
of the natural sciences:
But it is in the problems of shape and association of
the materials which we have at our disposal that we
find the most complicated and the most immediately
important of all our tasks. The telephone transmitter,
for instance, is composed of some 30 different parts.
The test of the adequacy of this assemblage of parts
is that it must take from the air the minute and highly
complicated energy flow that is speech and must
translate this into a flow of electricity which retains
all the voice's complexity; and it must do this reliably
and cheaply, under vicissitudes of location and climate, and throughout a long period of years. Its
design is mathematically exact in an unusual sense of
the words. Our fundamental studies of the voice have
made it possible for us to describe the airborne form
of words in terms of Fourier's analysis-a mathematical description of wave form in terms of frequency,
amplitude, and phase-with very great accuracy and
completeness. We have also developed methods for
analyzing the electrical currents which flow out from
the transmitter and can describe them in the same
mathematical terms. And so we may think of the
transmitter as transforming the mathematical equation which, in terms of mass, elasticity, and viscosity,
represents the motion of the air, into the corresponding equation which in terms of inductance, capacity,
and resistance represents the motion of electricity in
the telephone wire. It is just because this whole problem has been considered as a mathematical one, and
every detail of the transformation has been traced



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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - July 2015 - Cover3
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