Brief history of the cybernetic paradigm – Javier Livas on YouTube

GBSKIP NAVIGATION9+ 0:11 / 4:06BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CYBERNETIC PARADIGM46 views50SHARESAVEJavier Livas CantuPublished on 12 Jun 2019SUBSCRIBED 1.8KFrom the Bible to the Newtonian Paradigm, knowledge has finally come to depend on the CYBERNETIC PARADIGM. Most science today is done using models.


[OMG. Proceed with caution, there could be pirated material here. But what a treasure trove!]


Source: Uberty

Uberty is a resource and research hub indexing documents and media related to New Rationalism, Accelerationism, and other developing theory and …

But it does not contribute to the uberty of reasoning which far more calls for solicitous care —C.S. Peirce

Brain of the Firm – full pdf


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Connecting with Source, Self, System – deep immersion

The Nature of Business

Connecting with Source, Self, System

5th September, 2019

with Giles Hutchins and Katherine Long

Katherine Long and Giles Hutchins are hosting a unique nature-immersion retreat, an opportunity for profound reflection which will renew, re-energise and regenerate – a day that will support you to deeply re- connect with your sense of purpose, the wider systems you are a part of, and the future you seek to co-create.

Together with other change practitioners (leaders, coaches, organization design and development practitioners, activists) we will explore questions such as:

  • What shifts in ourselves, our work, and in our professional communities are needed to respond to the scale of threat this planet faces?
  • What can we learn from living-systems about resilience, adaptability, collective intelligence and change?
  • How do we support healing and wholeness in a fragmented world?
  • What can we do we resource ourselves and each other to stay aligned to ‘deep purpose’ whilst…

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Gordon Pask’s Adaptive Teaching Machines


Source: Gordon Pask’s Adaptive Teaching Machines

The earliest teaching machines – those built by B. F. Skinner and Sidney Pressey, for example – were not adaptive. They did promise “personalization” of sorts by allowing students to move at their own pace through the lessons, but that path was quite rigidly scripted. The machines only responded to right or wrong, allowing students to proceed to the next question if they got the previous question right. And the point, particularly of machines designed around Skinner’s theory of “operant conditioning,” was for the student to get it right, that is to maximize the positive reinforcement. As Paul Saettler writes in his 1968 book, A History of Instructional Technology, “Effective Skinnerian programming requires instructional sequences so simple that the learner hardly ever makes an error. If the learner makes too many errors – more than 5 to 10 percent – the program is considered in need of revision.” These machines could not diagnose why a student got an answer wrong or right; again, according to behaviorist theory, the machines were designed so to make sure students got it right.

Despite initial excitement of learning with a new technology like one of Skinner’s teaching machines, many students found these devices to be quite boring. “The biggest problem with programmed instruction was simply that kids hated it,” writes Bob Johnstone in Never Mind the Laptops. “In fact, it drove them nuts – especially the brighter ones. The rigidity of the seemingly endless, tiny-steps, one-word-answer format bored clever students to tears. They soon found ingenious ways of circumventing the programs and even, in some cases, of sabotaging the machines. A well-placed wad of chewing gum could throw a whole terminal out of whack.”

Adaptive Teaching Machines

Best known for Conversation Theory, the British cybernetician Gordon Pask designed a different sort of teaching machine – an adaptiveteaching machine – patenting it in 1956. This patent provides the basis for the self-adaptive keyboard instructor (SAKI), which the theorist Stafford Beer described as “possibly the first truly cybernetic device (in the full sense) to rise above the status of a ‘toy’ and reach the market as a useful machine.”

The SAKI was designed to train people to use a Hollerith key punch, a manual device used to punch holes in cards used in turn for data processing. There was at the time quite a significant demand for keypunch operators – mostly women – as this was, until the 1970s, a common method for data entry.

Image credits: Gordon Pask, “SAKI: Twenty-five years of adaptive training into the microprocessor era”

Like many teaching machines (then and now), SAKI purported to function like a human tutor. But unlike earlier teaching machines, the adaptive component of Pask’s devices offers more than just an assessment of right or wrong: they identify and measure a student’s answers – accuracy, response time – and adjust the next question accordingly. That is, the difficulty of the questions are not pre-programmed or pre-ordained.

Continues in source…

Teaching Machines: An American Story (And the Case for Gordon Pask)


Source: Teaching Machines: An American Story (And the Case for Gordon Pask)

6 min read

One of the criticisms I get about my work is that it is too focused on education technology in the US. I typically hear this every December, when I publish my year-end review of the field. Although I recognize that Americans are prone to self-centeredness, I don’t purposefully overlook the rest of the world’s experiences out of any sense of nationalism. Rather, I believe that education technology is imagined, developed, and implemented in a particular context. And that context is shaped by a country’s school systems, educational policies, and larger social, economic, and political forces.

(I often say: if you want to write an annual ten-part series about how your country has experienced education technology, please do.)

As I’ve written previously, many histories of education technology have been written as though this context is irrelevant. They spend little time talking about what was happening in education (as an institution, for example). As such, new technologies seem to appear out of nowhere – a creation of a genius inventor, rather than a reflection some larger cultural forces.

Teaching Machines will be limited in its scope to a particular time period in a particular country – that is, to the mid–1920s thru the late 1960s in the US. I want to be able to contextualize the work of Sidney Pressey, B. F. Skinner, Norman Crowder, and others by addressing how their machines coincided with developments in educational psychology and standardized testing; how they were responses to changes in student demographics and to the launch of Sputnik; how these machines reflected a twentieth-century fascination with gadgetry and automation; how they were part of a much larger push by businesses to sell curriculum products to schools; how they underscored that most American of values, individualism, with their proponents calling for instruction to become more “individualized.”

Education technology is not solely an American story. But the one I’m writing will be.

There is (I think) one possible exception to the American setting and American cast of characters, and that’s the British cybernetician Gordon Pask.

Continues in source…

Dancing with systems, uncertainty & positive emergence – Daniel Christian Wahl


Source: Dancing with systems, uncertainty & positive emergence


Age of Awareness
Image of a whirling Dervish (source)

Dancing with systems & designing for positive emergence

This webinar was hosted by Deeanna Burleson, Ph.D. in the ‘Topics in the field of systems science’ series intended as a contribution to the International Society for Systems Science (here is a link to the original announcement of the webinar).

The webinar (video link below) starts with a 45 minute presentation offering reflections on nearly 20 years of experience in trying to apply whole systems thinking to the field of design for sustainability and more recently regenerative development practice.

I explore the limitations of a quantity focussed science and the need for a new ‘science of qualities’. I explore how the work and thinking of Donella Meadows evolved from ‘leverage points 1.0’ to ‘leverage points 2.0’ and on to ‘Dancing with systems. Nora Bateson’s ‘warm data’ approach is mentioned as a related example of this relationships and qualities focussed work with systems from the inside. Katia Laszlo’s framing from ‘systems thinking to systems being’ is also briefly addressed.

I go on to explore some of the most common mistakes made in intervening in complex adaptive systems and highlight the need for embracing the fundamental unpredictability of such systems as we move from being detached observers to being engaged participants of such systems. In this context I also speak to the power that lies in asking the right questions and asking questions rather than offering a list of principles to follow.

To ground these theoretical considerations and paradigmatic shifts in a practical example, I offer a brief summary of my work for Gaia Education on the ‘SDG Flashcards’, the ‘SDG Project Canvas’, the ‘SDG Training of Multipliers’ and the ‘Multipliers Handbook’ as an example of ‘designing for positive emergence’ and taking Bucky Fuller’s advice that “to change the way people think, don’t tell them what to think, give them a tool the use of which will change the way they think”. The flashcards by Gaia Education and UNESCO have been used successfully on 5 continents and translated into 6 languages.

… after the presentation there is another 45 minuter conversation or Q&A session that addresses a wide range of topics related to ‘Designing Regenerative Culture’ … enjoy and share!

Productive Organisational Paradoxes – Ivo Velitchkov

You can watch the slides with animations here:

Short description
It is often said that organisations are full of paradoxes. But this refers to contradictions and tensions. It is understood as something that needs to be taken care of. When organisations are looked at as social systems, however, it becomes clear that they are only possible because of paradoxes, and particularly paradoxes of self-reference. Understanding how these paradoxes create and maintain organisations is an important skill for practitioners trying to make sense of what’s going on and improve it. The basic generative organisational paradox is that of decisions. It brings new light not only on decision patterns and dependencies, but also on understanding the nature of objectives, power, and relations with clients.



rganisationalOP Paradoxes
r o d u c t i v e


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