Wait, it’s all cybernetics?

b l a c k B o x

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▪️Plato introduced the κυβερνήτης (kubernḗtēs); the person who has acquired the art of steersmanship, as a metaphor for the adequate manager of a system.

▪️It became the 𝘨𝘶𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳 in Latin.

▪️And the 𝘨𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘰𝘳 in English.

▪️André-Marie Ampère suggested that the future science of government should be called ‘𝘭𝘢 𝘤𝘺𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦.

▪️In 1947 Norbert Wiener coined the term 𝘤𝘺𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘴 as a name for the science of control and communication in the animal and the machine. The science was established at the dawn of the digital epoch by a group of extraordinary people to provide humanity the ability to steer their systems through rapidly increasing complexity and to develop a functional frame for a healthy human-machine relationship. Due to the universality of cybernetics, many fields such as engineering, medicine, biology, sociology or psychology easily absorbed axioms and key concepts. From this emerged a new set of sciences that delivered tremendous achievements but swiftly became uprooted from their origin.

As a result, a core value of cybernetics – transdisciplinary dialogue, evaporated. The loss of dialogue is naturally accompanied by a deteriorated learning process and ethical decline.

That’s not a functional frame.

So, back to Plato!

Plato, The Republic, book VI:

“Imagine a situation like this, on one ship or many: a captain who outstrips everyone on board in size and in strength, but nearsighted, partially deaf, and with knowledge of sailing to match; sailors in mutiny over the navigation, each thinking that he ought to steer, though none has learned the skill or can point to his teacher or to the time when he learned it, who deny in fact that navigation can even be taught and are ready to cut down anyone who says that it can, always swarming around the captain begging for the wheel and sometimes, if one group persuades him and another does not, the one kills off the other or pitches them overboard, and, having stupified the noble skipper with drugs or wine, they take over and revel and party on the ship’s stores and sail as you’d expect of such rowdies, and on top of it all they praise as a navigator and sailor with knowledge of shipcraft the man who’s sharpest at persuading or coercing the captain into letting them rule, but denounce as useless a man who lacks this ability, refusing even to hear that a navigator must necessarily study the seasons and climates, the sky, the stars, the winds and everything else that pertains to his craft if he’s to become a true shipmaster, and that he will be a navigator whether anyone wants it or not, and disbelieving that 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙨𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙧 𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙚 𝙖𝙘𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙧𝙚𝙙 along with navigation. In such a state of affairs, is it any wonder that the true navigator is called a useless, babbling stargazer by the crews of such topsy-turvy ships?”

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