The Science of the Unknowable: Stafford Beer’s Cybernetic Informatics Andrew Pickering, 2004

source (pdf) https://uberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/02-pickering.pdf

 

The Science of the Unknowable:
Stafford Beer’s Cybernetic Informatics
Andrew Pickering

Abstract
This essay explores the history of Stafford Beer’s work in management cybernetics, from his early conception and simulation
of an adaptive automatic factory and associated experimentation in biological computing up to his development of the
Viable System Model of complex organizations and its implementation in Chile. The essay also briefly pursues Beer into the
arenas of politics and spirituality. The aim throughout is to show
that all Beer’s projects can be understood as specific instantiations
and workings out of a cybernetic ontology of unknowability and
becoming: a stance that recognizes that the world can always
surprise us and that we can never dominate it through knowledge. The thrust of Beer’s work was thus to construct information systems that can adapt performatively to environments they
cannot fully control.