Questions for Conversation Theory

Conversation Theory in One Hour

  • Paul Pangaro, PhD
  • Annual Meeting of American Society for Cybernetics
  • The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
  • June 5, 2016


What is Conversation? What is Theory? What is Conversation Theory, anyhow? How did it arise? Who participated? Where did it end up? Is it interesting? How might it be useful? Where has it been applied? Why should you care? What does it offer the practice of education? Of design? Of ethics? Where is it headed? (Sorry, steering joke.)

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Thanks to Arun Chandra for the invitation and Michael Lissack for support to attend. 


Paul Pangaro is an entrepreneur, educator, researcher, and performer. His career has been filled with startups, consulting, and periodic cabaret and improv performances. He has been involved with the ASC since the 1980s, participating in roughly half the conferences and grumbling the rest of the time. He studied cybernetics with Jerry Lettvin and Gordon Pask, and has been influenced by conversations with Heinz von Forester, Humberto Maturana, and Stafford Beer. His long-time colleagues and collaborators include Michael C. Geoghegan and Hugh Dubberly. Most recently he has co-authored papers on the connection between cybernetics, computing, counterculture, and design; and the critical role of conversation in design processes. Start a conversation with him; ask him why, once started, conversations never end.

© Copyright Paul Pangaro, 2016.