Back in 1960 a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz wrote his best seller, Psycho-Cybernetics. He combined these two interesting words that laid the groundwork for Zig Zigler, Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins and others to help millions discover the power of mind over matter. In Dr. Maltz’s case, he was amazed that the beautiful new noses and rebuilt faces he gave people didn’t raise the self-esteem of his patients. The imagined picture of themselves was what they believed. By changing their belief system he could raise their self-esteem. If you believe it you can achieve it. Cool. I bought in to that brand new philosophy 50 years ago, and I found it to be true. A person can’t achieve a goal that is not visualized internally. Yes, I even walked on hot coals back in the ‘80s with Anthony Robbins cheering me on. That was more stupid than mind over matter. But I digress.
Cybernetics, at least in 1960, was the study of human functions or controls that could be duplicated by machines, mechanical or electrical. The word was coined in 1948 by a mathematician.
Athletes started using visualization techniques to go far beyond the norm. Entrepreneurs, salespeople, race car drivers, golfers and inventors visualized their success internally and achieved that success externally.
Fast-forward to now. Cyber is no longer a mechanical thing but all things computer.
The word cyber is used in everything: cyberspace, cyberpunk, cyber- terrorist and good old Cyber-Monday. Of course I got a lot of emails from Amazon and others saying today is Cyber –Tuesday…damn, I didn’t know that. I would have planned better if I did.
And the strange thing is this combination of words is doing exactly what Maxwell Maltz envisioned in 1960. Plant the seed in the brain and we can achieve that vision. The only problem is the seed says…buy, buy, buy, buy, buy on your computer now. It doesn’t matter if you’re at work, on lunch break or in traffic. Get on-line and buy because we’re giving it away now.
I suppose this is a good thing to spur the anemic economy upward. There is a limited time for this anyway. Pretty soon, all the achievements of cybernetics will have worked to the point where most jobs will be done by robots and other computerized equipment and there will be no retail customers to buy, buy, buy now.
How boring…I’ll just roll over, have some cyber-sex, and go back to sleep.