Cybernetics, planning and situated action –

Cybernetics, planning and situated action

No way to respond on the blog that I can see, so I’ll (BT) just add here:

I don’t think the first objection to ‘planning’ has real merit as presented here:

  • the word ‘plan’ or ‘planning’ is mentioned a grand total of three times in the Espejo and Gill piece which is the primary link in the referenced Anarchist Cybernetics piece
  • the difference between embodied, reflexive/habitual/entrained action and intentional action is precisely what is embodied in the VSM, and presumably something like what Allenna Leonard refers to in “the control of a skier going down a hill”. Automatic actions take place at one level, conscious management of emergent results takes place at another – just as the piece argues (‘against’ cybernetics)

The second point, on embodiment and materiality, is certainly something worth considering across the whole cybernetics | systems | complexity field (it seems to me to be precisely the objection that Prof Mike Jackson raised to much that goes in the name of ‘complexity’: ‘if you abstract everything that is human and contextual out of human, contextual action, of course you have something comparable over scales’ – my paraphrased recollection). But my understanding of cybernetics is *precisely* that it is situated and contextual, so I’m just going to puzzle over that one some more.