Wednesday, July 3, 2019

cybernetics and american conceptual failure

The cybernetics diagram Chris is referring to.

<dave> arg
<dave> I failed at using screen
<dave> it's like hacker 101
<dave> I feel bad
<dave> i pretty much used to ONLY use computers through click-scripts
<dave> which is part of why I never customized anything
<bas> dave: emacs has opened my mind to the non-ascetic tooling lifestyle
<bas> now I'm like "understand? yes please, symbols? yes please, visualization? yes please, hover tooltips? yes please"
<chris> i'll use dave as an example of why americans don't understand cybernetics
<bas> i think you can use dave as an example of why americans don't understand lots of things
<bas> :)
<bas> like "why doesn't anyone care about ants!?"
<chris> So cybernetics spread all over the Soviet Union very rapidly, and in Czechoslovakia, whereas what spread here was systems theory instead of cybernetics.
<chris> SB: How did that happen? It seems like something went kind of awry.
<chris> M: Americans like mechanical machines.
<chris> B: They like tools.
<chris> SB: Material tools more than conceptual tools.
<chris> B: No, because conceptual tools aren’t conceptual tools in America, they’re not part of you.
<chris> that interview is full of treasures
<bas> heh
<chris> so what they're saying is that there is a tendency here for ppl (example is engineers) to focus on the first box
<chris> but not model how the tools they use shape the thoughts they think
<chris> because if you understand cybernetics, then you *do* want agency in that process
<chris> meaning you want to direct your own evolution
<chris> by shaping the tools that end up shaping you
<chris> thus emacs
<bas> feedback loops
<chris> bas: i need to find more ways to link emacs to *
<bas> iterative improvement of workflow and tooling
<bas> in a loop
<miguel> weren't both lisp and emacs created by americans?
<chris> so this is the link:, the diagram is the crux of the matter
<chris> miguel: there are exceptions to every rule
<dave> chris: Can I paste that whole conversation to my cybersec blog?
<dave> because it's funny
<dave> also: I don't see how I'm the example!
<chris> well example as in you choose not to enter the cybernetic process
<dave> henry, are you sure they NEVER send you any pointers used as unique identifiers?
<dave> I choose not to enter the cybernetic process?
<dave> in terms of, I do not shape my tools, but rather let them shape me?
<chris> by not buying into the emacs paradigm
<dave> ah
<chris> yeh

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