Heinz von Foerster, Margaret Mead and JCR Licklider and the Conceptual Foundations for the Internet: The Early Concerns of Cybernetics of Cybernetics by Ronda Hauben
First Annual Symposium of the American Society for Cybernetics 1967
Heinz von Foerster gave Margaret Mead the title for her talk
Cybernetics of Cybernetics 1967 American Anthropologist Margaret Mead
Purposive Systems Proceedings of the First Annual Symposium of the American Society for Cybernetics I. Man as a Purposive System II. Machines as Purposive Systems III. Man and Machines Together as as Purposive Systems
Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) 1962-1986 JCR Licklider Ivan Sutherland Bob Taylor Larry Roberts Robert Kahn . . . . Saul Amarel JCR Licklider
May1942 Joshiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Conference On Cerebral Inhibition Among the Participants G. Bateson L.K. Frank F. Fremont-Smith L. Kubie W. McCulloch M. Mead A. Rosenbleuth J. von Neumann
Anthropologist "As an anthropologist, I have been interested in the effects that the theories of cybernetics have within our society.” Margaret Mead
Different names for the Phenomenon 1. ‘feedback’ 2. ‘teleogical mechanisms’ 3. ‘cybernetics’
1. This set of ideas made it possible for members of many different disciplines to communicate in a language they could share. 2. Cybernetics would make it possible for scientists in the U.S. and the Soviet Union to communicate. 3. A language to bridge the borders between scientific specialties to support collaboration in attacking the complex problems of large scale systems. 4. The need to apply the science of cybernetics to the organizational arrangements of the newly formed American Society of Cybernetics.
Hope that cybernetics would make it possible for scientists in the U.S. and the Soviet Union to communicate.
"we should use cybernetics as a cross-cultural vocabulary for expressing the relevant differences between the two systems."Mead
Edmund Bacon, Urban Planner "down-to-earth political interaction among the citizenry, the elected officials, and the urban planners in the city." Mead (Time Mag 84(19) 1964)
Edmund Bacon began to plead, persistently and stubbornly, for teaching general systems theory in every university in the world.... Planners would be furnished at the same time with a method for communication and tools for thinking about complex systems.
Responsible Attention to Complex Systems "the fundamental human quality of responsibility based on accurate reasoning."
Howard Raiffa explains: The Russians wanted the name of the new institution to include the concept of “cybernetics”, or “operations research”. The Americans disagreed. Instead, they proposed “systems analysis”. Howard Raiffa
International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisIIASA Signing of the IIASA Charter, October 4, 1972 Beginning third from left: Lord Solly Zuckerman, UK, Jermen Gvishiani, USSR, Chairman of the IIASA Council until 1987, Andrei Bykov, USSR, Secretary to IIASA until 1979, Alexander Letov, USSR, IIASA's first Deputy Directory.
The Workshop on Data Communications 1975 included researchers from: Austria, Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Soviet Union, the UK, and the US.
IIASA Workshop on Data Communications 1975 Klaus Fuchs-Kittowski, DDR Peter Kirstein, UK
People to be trained to be responsible researchers able to collaborate to solve the problems of large scale complex systems.
It means that many public spirited individuals must study, model, discuss, analyze, argue, write, criticize, and work out each issue and each problem until they reach consensus or determine that none can be reached -- at which point there may be occasion for voting. Licklider
“Computer power to the people • is essential to the realization • of a future in which • most citizens are informed about, • and interested and involved • in the process of government.” • Licklider
Decisions ”’in the public interest’ but also in the interest of giving the public itself the means to enter into the decision-making processes that will shape their future.” Licklider
Netizens They are people who understand it takes effort and action on each and everyone's part to make the Net a regenerative and vibrant community and resource. Netizens are people who decide to devote time and effort into making the Net, this new part of our world, a better place. Michael Hauben, 1995
The concept of net.citizen or netizen to identify and describe the emergence of Netizens
Mead’s hope was that cybernetics would . . . 1. make it possible for members of many different disciplines to communicate in a language they could share. 2. make it possible for scientists in the U.S. and the Soviet Union to communicate. 3. bridge the borders between scientific specialties to support collaboration in attacking the complex problems of large scale systems. 4. be applied to the organizational arrangements of the newly formed American Society of Cybernetics.
The Internet is a cybernetic system, and as such requires automatic and human feedback processes to continue its development.