Incoming links
from Introduction to Inventive Minds
  • The importance of goals and the design of goal-directed machinery was one of the founding principles of AI and its ancestor, cybernetics. Essay 6 contains a short explanation of the General Problem Solver (GPS), an early goal-directed AI architecture. Marvin’s psychological theories (SOM/TEM) may be seen as designs for how minds could contain and manage systems of goals: innate drives, learned goals, sub-goals, interpersonal goals, and meta-goals, all interoperating to produce intelligent behavior.
from The purpose of second-order cybernetics, Glanville
  • It may turn out that the cybernetics of cybernetics requires us to radically rethink the meaning of goal and purpose so that systems become ineffable.
    • Yeah too much rapture about the ineffable in this field.
from Gregory Bateson
from Agency: notes and references
  • cybernetics may be definitionally the science of how agency emerges from a mechanical world.
from Infrastructure of intention
from Agency Made Me Do It
  • I'm using "agency" as kind of a magic word to open up the contested terrain where physical causality and the mental intersect. This is not new, this is pretty much the same function that "cybernetics" and "artificial intelligence" serve – but despite the hopes of their founders, they haven't really unified these domains. I don't really have the ambition of solving a problem that has bedeviled western thought for millennia, but I kind of want to take my own personal stab at it.
from agency
from On Purpose
  • I flipped the bozo-bit on this book when I realized that it did not mention cybernetics or any adjacent fields or thinkers. This kind of confused me to be honest – I would think that it would at least rate a mention in a book that purports to be a survey of thinking about purpose. Just seems kind of weird to ignore it. But another prominent book by a philosopher that covered purposefulness in general had the same gap, despite long sections on teleology. [Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity by Korsgaard]( I guess these fields don't talk to each other.


26 May 2021 08:41 - 08 Jan 2022 10:04

    • OTOH: {{tweet }}
    • Even cybernetics, the interdisciplinary study of communication and control, is the subject of conflicting interpretations. It is well documented that some of the top scientific minds of the postwar era were drawn to the field and its promise of universality, and that cybernetic ideas on feedback, control, systems analysis, and information transmission shaped work in a number of fields. For example, cybernetic thinking influenced the trajectory of operations research, computer engineering, control engineering, complex systems, psychology, and neuroscience. Yet few scientists today identify themselves as cyberneticians first and foremost. ...Popular misunderstandings of cybenetics have led members of the scientific community to view the term with disdain, and cybernetics is not part of the lexicon used by government funding agencies. Even in the 1950s, arguably the heyday of the field, members of the scientific community viewed it as shallow because of its interdisciplinary reach, criticized it for lacking quantitative rigor, and claimed its methodology consisted of little more than making analogies. It did not help that in the popular imagination cybernetics was often linked to science fiction or fads such as Dianetics, the theory on the relationship of mind and body developed by L. Ron Hubbard in 1950.