The Hoax of Climate Denial: Why “Politically Motivated” Science Is Good Science by Naomi Oreskes

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Cybernetics was what I was trying to correlate.

-cybernetics.org/foundations/definitions.

ybernetics takes as its domain the design or discovery and application of principles of regulation and communication. Cybernetics treats not things but ways of behaving. It does not ask "what is this thing?" but "what does it do?" and "what can it do?" Because numerous systems in the living, social and technological world may be understood in this way, cybernetics cuts across many traditional disciplinary boundaries. The concepts which cyberneticians develop thus form a metadisciplinary language through which we may better understand and modify our world.

Several traditions in cybernetics have existed side by side since its beginning. One is concerned with circular causality, manifest in technological developments--notably in the design of computers and automata--and finds its intellectual expression in theories of computation, regulation and control. Another tradition, which emerged from human and social concerns, emphasizes epistemology--how we come to know-- and explores theories of self-reference to understand such phenomena as autonomy, identity, and purpose. Some cyberneticians seek to create a more humane world, while others seek merely to understand how people and their environment have co-evolved. Some are interested in systems as we observe them, others in systems that do the observing. Some seek to develop methods for modeling the relationships among measurable variables. Others aim to understand the dialogue that occurs between models or theories and social systems.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I haven't checked out in detail the -cybernetics./lexicon. as a reference for the metalanguage the field uses.

But, ASC/INDEX is amazing and extensive. This might tie in with your background as well (He said, tacitly referencing his systems knowledge).

This is the above reformatted, you don't have to click, the definition is there. It's better for browsing because a term might be more interesting than it appears but requiring a click means one will likely blow it off.

ie: anticommunication

a human relation between persons and things which emerges and is maintained through messages requiring and permitting not yet available encoding and decoding systems or mechanisms. Communication is a human relation between persons and things which emerges and is maintained through messages required and permitted by already available encoding and decoding systems or mechanisms. Communication feeds on an speeds the decay of information in systems on which depends the significance of human relations. Anticommunication not only retards this decay, but even creates systems whose significance depends on human relations. Insistence on communication ultimately leads to social and physical violence. Anticommunication ultimately leads to insistence on composition and peace. (Herbert Brun)
Maybe a first cousin to tacit is anticommunication. Neither can be misunderstood, cause hurt or offend.

cybernetics:

  1. Anthropologist Gregory Bateson noted that whereas previous sciences dealt with matter and energy, the new science of cybernetics focuses on form and pattern.
  2. A way of looking at things and a language for expressing what one sees (Margaret Mead)
  • Heterarchy:

    a form of organization resembling a network or fishnet. Authority is determined by knowledge and function. See HIERARCHY. (Umpleby)

    another/glossary.

    "I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells; for when you are at that center within you, and I am at that place within me, we shall be One"

    Crazy Horse, Native American Lakota Tribe

    douglaslee's picture
    douglaslee
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    And to post #53

    Yes, I see the relationship between cybernetics and the type of group communication I was highlighting from Bohm's notion of dialogue. Whether Bohm went into Cybernetics to get some of his ideas about diaologue or not, I can't say. I do find that a lot of his ideas came from his own extensive dialogues with Krishnamurti. I suspect too, from his awareness of Krishnamurti's talks as transcribed in a number of books but they first came to my attention in The Awakening of Intelligence -- which of course in it's own way is a kind of dialectic anti-Intelligence, as in not the intelligence our technological society is so fond of measuring but more towards wisdom. Those exchanges found for me at that time much connection to the cultural anthropology I was studying. One aspect of that study was considered by some (Victor Turner a most prominent of those) a study of the ever revolving process of structure and anti-structure (Religion and Communitas: Structure and Anti-Structure) in human group dynamics anthropologists like to generalize as cultural systems.

    It never surprises me to find synergies across disciplines, nor across very sophisticated thinkers. As you might remember, given your tacit understanding reference, I had my entry into the field of cybernetics through Gregory Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of Mind, and Mind and Nature. I was personally profoundly affected by those thoughts and how I could see them integrating our fragmented, incoherent society, possibly for the better.

    Quote Wikipedia on Gregory Bateson:

    Ecological anthropology and cybernetics

    In his book Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Bateson applied cybernetics to the field of ecological anthropology and the concept of homeostasis.[29] He saw the world as a series of systems containing those of individuals, societies and ecosystems. Within each system is found competition and dependency. Each of these systems has adaptive changes which depend upon feedback loops to control balance by changing multiple variables. Bateson believed that these self-correcting systems were conservative by controlling exponential slippage. He saw the natural ecological system as innately good as long as it was allowed to maintain homeostasis[29] and that the key unit of survival in evolution was an organism and its environment.[29]

    Bateson also viewed that all three systems of the individual, society and ecosystem were all together a part of one supreme cybernetic system that controls everything instead of just interacting systems.[29] This supreme cybernetic system is beyond the self of the individual and could be equated to what many people refer to as God, though Bateson referred to it as Mind.[29] While Mind is a cybernetic system, it can only be distinguished as a whole and not parts. Bateson felt Mind was immanent in the messages and pathways of the supreme cybernetic system. He saw the root of system collapses as a result of Occidental or Western epistemology. According to Bateson, consciousness is the bridge between the cybernetic networks of individual, society and ecology and that the mismatch between the systems due to improper understanding will be result in the degradation of the entire supreme cybernetic system or Mind. Bateson saw consciousness as developed through Occidental epistemology was at direct odds with Mind.[29]

    At the heart of the matter is scientific hubris. Bateson argues that Occidental epistemology perpetuates a system of understanding which is purpose or means-to-an-end driven.[29] Purpose controls attention and narrows perception, thus limiting what comes into consciousness and therefore limiting the amount of wisdom that can be generated from the perception. Additionally Occidental epistemology propagates the false notion that man exists outside Mind and this leads man to believe in what Bateson calls the philosophy of control based upon false knowledge.[29]

    Bateson presents Occidental epistemology as a method of thinking that leads to a mindset in which man exerts an autocratic rule over all cybernetic systems.[29] In exerting his autocratic rule man changes the environment to suit him and in doing so he unbalances the natural cybernetic system of controlled competition and mutual dependency. The purpose-driven accumulation of knowledge ignores the supreme cybernetic system and leads to the eventual breakdown of the entire system. Bateson claims that man will never be able to control the whole system because it does not operate in a linear fashion and if man creates his own rules for the system, he opens himself up to becoming a slave to the self-made system due to the non-linear nature of cybernetics. Lastly, man's technological prowess combined with his scientific hubris gives him the potential to irrevocably damage and destroy the supreme cybernetic system, instead of just disrupting the system temporally until the system can self-correct.[29]

    Bateson argues for a position of humility and acceptance of the natural cybernetic system instead of scientific arrogance as a solution.[29] He believes that humility can come about by abandoning the view of operating through consciousness alone. Consciousness is only one way in which to obtain knowledge and without complete knowledge of the entire cybernetic system disaster is inevitable. The limited conscious must be combined with the unconscious in complete synthesis. Only when thought and emotion are combined in whole is man able to obtain complete knowledge. He believed that religion and art are some of the few areas in which a man is acting as a whole individual in complete consciousness. By acting with this greater wisdom of the supreme cybernetic system as a whole man can change his relationship to Mind from one of schism, in which he is endlessly tied up in constant competition, to one of complementarity. Bateson argues for a culture that promotes the most general wisdom and is able to flexibly change within the supreme cybernetic system.[29]

    I've bolded the last paragraph above because I'd like to call attention to that conclusion, written by I don't know who at Wiki. It's a conclusion I too came to after reading Bateson's Steps, and experiencing what I was involved in back in the early seventies -- and, I might add, as I was doing my own version of Bateson's Deutero-learning. But I also highlight it mainly because I feel it specifically relates to what I've been trying to evoke through my references to Bohmian dialogue.

    This sideways exploration is fascinating for me, doug, but it can get very much more esoteric, very quickly. So while I do appreciate the associations, I'd like to note that the topic of this thread remains for me the polarization of U.S. politics and the schism created that finds one aspect of one pole of that polarization rejecting science as a seemingly orchestrated group dynamic. These ideas correlate of course. But it's been my experience that not everyone is likely to make the associations without a lot of background work in these fascinating areas of thought. I merely wanted to suggest the notion of communication.

    As yet another aside, I do appreciate that little bit you quoted about anticommunication being more like the peaceful, non confrontational communication Bohm is striving for, and as you may notice, I found it in Gregory Bateson's anthropologically grounded works as well.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    Thanks ren, I enjoyed that last post and understood why the emboldened was emboldened.

    He saw the root of system collapses as a result of Occidental or Western epistemology. - and the competition to create only winners and losers emphasizing the hubris he referenced in another field.

    There is so much more to life than winning, and rejecting such pursuits is not losing, but winning a different game. You cannot lose if you do not play.*

    *Thoreau did not play and his work was read on stage for Zinn's People Speak film.

    Hierarchy vs heterarchy; Heterarchy is relations connected like a fishnet, hierarchy is relations connected like a tree and branches. Hierarchies almost always seem a mess to me, trees rarely get pruned when they need it. Heterarchies have control delegated to ability, and since no unit is above or below, no top down, or trickle down/piss down, no competition, better outcomes, less ego....and so on.

    Thanks again, I always learn something, which is really my goal. Puzzles teach things that words cannot address, and constructing this little jigsaw opened another set of doors for me, and without mescaline- TheDoorsOfPerception.pdf​

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    douglaslee
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    Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

    Huxley:

    We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies - all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes. Most island universes are sufficiently like one another to Permit of inferential understanding or even of mutual empathy or "feeling into." Thus, remembering our own bereavements and humiliations, we can condole with others in analogous circumstances, can put ourselves (always, of course, in a slightly Pickwickian sense) in their places. But in certain cases communication between universes is incomplete or even nonexistent. The mind is its own place, and the Places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are so different from the places where ordinary men and women live, that there is little or no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for understanding or fellow feeling. Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience. To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift.

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    douglaslee
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    Quote douglaslee:

    There is so much more to life than winning, and rejecting such pursuits is not losing, but winning a different game. You cannot lose if you do not play.*

    Don't forget to add James P. Carse's dimension from Finite and Infinite Games:

    Quote James P. Carse:

    There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other, infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing to play.

    (First paragraph, Chapter 1)

    It's difficult for me not to notice that Western Civilization as a social experiment is based on the finite game type. If it succeeds we may not be playing much longer.

    .ren's picture
    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    A new scientific technique developed by professors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University College of London will very likely send denialists into another round of tizzifying denialism. The professors....

    Quote Quantum leap taken in measuring greenhouse effect:

    ...report in the journal Physical Review Letters that they can exploit the laws of quantum mechanics to narrow the uncertainty to 0.3%.

    The consequence is that a range of dedicated satellite missions – among them Japan’s Greenhouse Gas Observing Satellite (GOSAT), the US space agency NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and potential European Space Agency missions such as CarbonSat − will not just be able to identify industrial sources of CO2 and map their spread, but watch the gas in action, slowly warming the planet by as much as 5°C by 2100.

    “Billions of dollars are currently being spent on satellites that monitor what seems to be the inexorable growth of CO2 in our atmosphere,” Professor Tennyson says. “To interpret their results, however, it is necessary to have a very precise answer to the question: how much radiation does one molecule of CO2 absorb?

    “Up until now, laboratory measurements have struggled to answer this question accurately enough to allow climate scientists to interpret their results with the detail their observations require.”

    The orbiting satellite has become the climate scientist’s most prolific data delivery machine. There are satellites measuring the shrinking of the ice caps and the rate at which the ice is melting.

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    .ren
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    Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

    "The Saddest Thing Is This Won't Be Breaking News"

    Thom plus logo As the world burns, and more and more fossil fuels are being used every day planet-wide, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels passed 416 ppm this week at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In the 300,000 years since the emergence of modern humans, carbon dioxide levels have never been this high.
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