Big loops and little loops LO25316

Date: 09/09/00

Dear Learners,

At de Lange recently wrote,

>My mission (overall motive) is to help other people (as individuals and as
>organisations) to learn authentically. To fulfil this mission I have to
>learn self what authentic learning means. I have learned a lot from other
>people and the rest self. I intend to learn a lot more till death stops
>me. Persisting statements about my persistent lack of learning are thus
>directly connected to my mission. A mission, as with any other imperative
>like goals and objectives, needs 'free energy" (fuel) to get accomplished.
>The defamation of any imperative is a clever or ignorant way to dissipate
>"free energy" in defending the authenticity of that imperative rather than
>accomplishing that imperative authentically. For example, students arguing
>about the authenticity of a learning objective seldom succeeds in
>mastering that objective authentically

15:42 Preceptor Myen came for an interview. When he reached the steps, the
Master said, Here are the steps. When he reached the mat, the Master said,
Here is the mat. When all had been seated, the Master informed him, So and
so is here; so and so is here. When Preceptor Myen had gone out, Dz-jang
asked, When one is speaking with a Preceptor, is this the way? The Master
said, yes, this is assuredly the way to assist a Preceptor.

Cybernetics may also be understood by the simple loopy;-) beginner (like
me) as a 'looping system' which is controlled through its inevitably
complexifying inter-related 'real world' fluctuations by a 'governor' or
'pilot' mechanism that is 'inserted' (much like self into world herein)
into this circulatory;-) system. The idea stemmed from 'servomechanisms';
the joining of man to machine for the purpose of increased stability of a
'direction' toward some resolved outcome. For me in that respect
(mechanization) it held little 'inter-est'. Though I was a little more
inter-ested that such a machine might appear intelligent to the uninformed

But I am fascinated that usually and most usefully the 'control mechanism'
comes through insertion at the end of the loop or cycle of production, as
is most eloquently explained by Kevin Kelly 'Emergence of Control' (p
155.) He also points us to the 'openness' required by economists some
twenty years prior to Wiener's book, 'Cybernetics: or control and
communication in the animal and the machine' which demonstrated clearly
how the one 'end factor' namely, the price willingly paid for good and
services determined all the preceding vacillations in the system.

An idea that I quite like to keep rolling round in my imagination is the
response someone might have when confronting a machine, maybe say even
something as 'complex' (Dawkins) as a man's 'mindandbody';-) that appeared
to be thinking and wise at each level of its operations not knowing that
in fact the whole process was being guided by one commanding force of
mechanism at just one super critical point. Such a
'processandproduction';-) would indeed 'appear' very complex;-) and yet
may be very simple;-). One way guiding the many ways. Hmmm. I wonder what
that would be?

Well, often enough to make life interesting you can stack up these
recursing loops to a point at which all the lovely simplicity creates
unmanageable complexity so creating the appearance of humane relative
'qualities', like failure;-). These 'towering loops' can appear to my
imagination like the 'ascending vortices' with ragged edges that At used
to use to describe the dynamics of authentic creative learning. In these
potentially 'indigestive';-) cycles from A to B to C eventually like the
dog or in my personal experience 'Bucket') biting his own tail the cause
of the effect is itself, so the illusion of learning happens, mechanical
learning ensues and the human expression for me is always witnessed as
someone painting the same thing in the same 'style' again and again, or
defending the same point again and again, never allowing it to get
changed, opened, altered, enriched, diversified, complexified, but just in
this case a repetitious re-iteration of pre-existent knowledge or
information, so much so that in some instances it fails to recognise even
its very own repetitions;-)))). Something then that gets less the more it
re-appears. Perhaps a living expression in opposing the potential for
elegance and beauty held in the expression, "less is more"? The problem I
see with all cybernetic attempts at control in a complexifying world is
that they are unable to handle the 'shifting goals' or the experience
expressed by cognitive scientists as the 'groundlessness' of modern
existential life. Maybe the eventual 'veering' of all living 'things' is
something to do with Ossager cross inductions? For me Ossager cross
inductions are like beautiful breezes, but for those with a more concrete
intent or goal in life maybe they are singularly unwanted;-)? After all
you can't sell 'uncertainty', just the illusion you've got it in a jar. Or
hidden in a pyramidal structure? But that isn't a pilot, that's a prison
with glass walls. I did write some time ago of the archetype "Uroborus",
the serpent that eats its own tail, forming a circle from its freely
invoked linearity. A kind of self causing entity and interesting to me
that Organisms like Organlearners are by biological definition, "self
causing agencies". Its purpose is, therefore via 'self emergence', to
'transcend itself'.


Linear learning. Rote Learning. Repetition of some unchanging information.
Man as machine. Perfect if you desire to "print' dollar bills;-) In the
archetypes I 'live' the Uroborus motif 'spells' creativity. The
completeness of a 'self' fully capable of self-transformation, self-
transmogrification and self-transfiguration. AKA "A self healing
tautology" (Bateson)

Well, artists know all about steam;-) ..¦useless, like information and
knowledge until re-formed into some higher 'set'. Kelly writes that
"control of energy made us (;-) fat, the control of matter made us greedy
and the control of information will make us, what -- confused, brilliant,
impatient?" An eminent personality not currently writing to this list once
asked me if I thought, in 'round terms' the emergence of this LO among
others was in part an act of acceptance of past 'wrongdoing' a kind of
restitution; he implied he felt it was not or was anyway discomforted by
the idea. My view is increasingly that it cannot even become a LO until
and unless is accepts that aspect.

I like Kelly's mind. I also like that he writes that Leonardo had enough
good sense and sheer enlightened intelligence to create control machines'
not 'out of control machines'. Arandt said that we are giving away the
most precious gift through the creation of certain (uncertain;-)
technologies, we are giving away not 'the future', which is not ours, but
'the present'. The very word PRESENT contains another sense, that of
'gift'. The 'gift' of the day, the gift of 'now' which is continually
emergent. I am reminded of a native North American leader who said of his
oppressors, "Only when they find they cannot eat dollar bills will they
realize what they have done to this land." Cyberneticians took the
proffered creative interface;-) and squeezed it for a billion trillion
dollars, wringing 'life' out of personalities in factories and
institutions making machine adjuncts of men and women, 'unwrapping mind
from body' (Doray 1988?)

"The incorporation and manipulation of organization culture, organized
bodies of discourse and value systems that lie behind the profiling of
individuals personal characteristics, emphasis on self-disciplined work
habits, hierarchies of responsibility, and the corporate vision and
mission thus all serve to engender specific beliefs and to rationalize
their existence such that organization members become complicit in their
own subjugation." (Gergen on Cybernetics1995)

25 years ago I sat in an underground chasm, which was easily as large as a
football pitch during the long night hours. I was sitting in a 'labour
pool' in one of the then largest car plants in Europe, it employed twenty
thousand souls at its peak and in that dark cave I heard the steel body
presses booming out the body shells of cars, it was just like I had been
devoured by some great Leviathan. Two men like aliens in silver space
suits (from the paint shop) wandered through and I asked a foreman how
long I was supposed to sit and wait for some other worker to be ill or die
or otherwise lose his place in the great close coupled machinery I had
been swallowed by? "Could be months mate..¦. Years..¦" I simply got up
and walked out. This year that same entire plant was sold by BMW for the
price of a cheap dinner.

The price of everything and the value of nothing?

"And in oversimplifying it, you draw in the corrupters, the charlatans, -"
(Petzinger: Author of the New Pioneers and a Wall Street Journalist.)

Of building a model coral from ground up the question is, "How critical is
the ordering?"
"As critical as death." Gomez, Steinhart Aquarium, California.

Where is the place for the human 'soul' in cybernetic theory and practice?
Is the 'soul' an invariant?
Why is it important to serious theorists and practitioners to refer to
"invariants" as "natural" and "unconscious" that "do change" (albeit a
little) "over time"?
And has anyone mentioned that the modern originator of cybernetic theory was
the product of a 'forced and accelerated educational program' put upon him by
an over ambitious father? No, thought not;-)

Best wishes

Andrew Campbell


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