Following on Neil Spiller’s reference to radical Constructivism, I thought it important to re-post (ZEROES AND ONES, November, 2008, in a more readable form) one of its seminal texts by Heinz von Foerster, the founder of second-order cybernetics and a leading radical Constructivist.

A personal note. I had the great good fortune to meet Heinz when I was twenty-one years old and a student of architecture at the University of Illinois, where he headed the Biological Computer Laboratory, a major cybernetics think-tank. In the 60s we had a working relationship, as he asked me to make illustrations for several of his scientific papers, which meant that he had to explain to me his ideas, which he did with remarkable simplicity and clarity. I learned a lot in our conversations, and it has echoed down through the years in my work. Heinz always called me an “epistemologist,’ a high…

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