• Pangaro Incorporated

    Cambridge Cybernetic Society
    6th Meeting

    "Getting Permission for Second Order Cybernetics"

    Ranulph Glanville
    New Media Research Centre
    University of Portsmouth

    Thursday 14 March 96
    @Cybersmith in Harvard Square
    42 Church Street, Cambridge MA
    4 - 5 pm
    Information about Cybersmith: 617-492-5857


    Around 1970-5, Cybernetics went through a dramatic change in which it applied cybernetic understandings and principles to Cybernetics, itself. This led to several extra-ordinary, yet extra-ordinarily-helpful notions:

    • that the observer must be included in the observation system
    • that communication can be by conversation rather than by coding
    • that a quality of a system (such as life) lies in the ability to maintain this quality (e.g., living)
    • that error is not fault, and
    • that a special set of ideas are needed to deal with this relativism (the postulation of objects of attention).

    I shall look at some of the mysteries that lie not only in the understanding thus developed, but also in the ideas hidden behind.

    Ranulph Glanville has spent virtually all his working teaching architecture and design, and researching cybernetics, spatial perception, Finnish architecture (especially the vernacular), media and creativity. His writings present unusual clarity on these subjects, without sacrificing depth or formailsm where appropriate. He lives in Southsea on the south coast of the UK, and travels a lot. He is interested in asking questions, and in wonder.

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