The history of Cyber

The news media now uses the word "cyber" the way smurfs use the word "smurf," but things used to be different. Annalee Newitz traces the storied history of the word.

It all started with "cybernetics," an obscure term popularized by a mathematician named Norbert Weiner in the 1940s. For his groundbreaking book Cybernetics, Weiner borrowed the ancient Greek word "cyber," which is related to the idea of government or governing. Indeed, the only time the word cybernetics had appeared before was in a few works of political theory about the science of governance.