The Design of Intellectual Movements -- Stuart Umpleby, August 5, 2002
46th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), Shanghai, P.R. China, August 2-6, 2002.
Monday, August 5, 2002, 1:50 p.m., Human Systems Inquiry Track
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directed to the originator. These notes have been contributed by David Ing (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the IBM Advanced Business Institute ( http://www.ibm.com/abi ).
George Washington U.
Studied at U. of I with von Foerster, and Ross Ashby was there.
Second order cybernetics.
Ideas weren't catching on in U.S.A., but did in Europe.
Asked why: if people believed this, they would be more tolerant.
Americans believe that they're tolerant.
e.g. in Europe, less well established, as in Yugoslav war.
Early cybernetics, first order -- observed systems
Versus Second order -- observing systems
Purpose of a model versus purpose of a modeler.
Controlled system versus autonomous systems
Expanding what is science
Engineering cybernetics -- first order
Biological cybernetics -- second order
Social cybernetics -- third order
First: engineering picture of reality, a realist view of epistemology
Second: how the brain functions, constructivism
1. how the world works; 2. how an individual constructs reality; 3. how people create and maintain social systems through language and ideas.
Design of intellectual movements, to transform a society.
The way you make your case depends on the society that you're part of.
This is different from classical science, i.e. different people in different societies doing the same thing will get the same result
The observer will be considered.
In this paper, not only have to consider the "sender" but also must consider the "receiver".
A communications metaphor for the philosophy of science.
Intellectual movement within a university (e.g. monetarism), as compared to a social reform movement (e.g. welfare)
A comparison of two intellectual movements:
American strategy (by a Israeli) and a European strategy (by von Foerster in Austria)
Communitarianism to transform the U.S. to be more caring, less individualistic and more collectivist.
e.g. if you were charged with a crime, would you prefer a jury: Americans say yes.
If you were called to serve on a jury, would you try to avoid attending? Americans say yes
American knowledge based on an assessment of the situation (British), c.f. knowledge is prior to action (influence by German idealism).
Americans try to go straight to the result, not complicated reasoning.
Americans: citizens should become more involved in public affairs.
European: scientists should change the constructivist structure (a long chain to an end).
Americans theories are imperfect; European inner world has primacy
American publish interests debated by citizenry, European public interest in debate in universities
e.g. in Austria, four different newspapers written at different levels.
Americans change society through legal and political systems; Europeans change the nature of knowledge, so that science and society will follow.
People in Europe wanted to escape feudalism, either by getting a boat and going to America; or think your way out of the box, based on philosophy (which is what was done by the people left).
American high regard for practical not theoretical knowledge; Europe high regard for philosophical thought.
American tolerance justified by respect for the individual, by empathy, and ensuring own liberties by protecting those of others; European tolerance justified by studying neurophysiology (to
build targeting machines), noticing that the organ of thinking was different from others, thus having to include the observer.
American tolerance and respect is an axiom, a starting point; European is end final conclusion.
So, how to create an intellectual movement?
A series of questions, used as a checklist to promote an idea.
When given a word association test: Americans work downwards in the specifics, Europeans move up to the abstract larger categories.
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