Cybernetics Landmarks – a Travellers Guide

   Posted by: Bricoleur   in cybernetics

This entry is part 3 of 2 in the series Cybernetics - A Start Here Guide
Your first time here? Welcome, I'm glad you've dropped in.... David Soul (aka Bricoleur)

being an updated version of the…

Cybernetics – start here guide

by dsoul on Thu 12 Jan 2006 08:49 PM PST  |

[dhcs: May 28, 2010 | please note: this piece was originally put in place for a predecessor weblog (http://cep.weblogger.com) as “Cybernetics – start here guide” and the original  page was still  under construction at the time that this new website was started…. in this new incarnation it is still,  unfortunately,  essentially a collection of “signposts”  rather than a travel guide, however annotations will be added over time to turn it into (a)  a true guide to the field and then onwards towards (b) the foundation of a “learning machine”The original concept of  the ‘start here guide’ will be replaced by a series of new posts on this site over the next several weeks]


American Society for Cybernetics


Ashby, W. Ross

  • Wikipedia entry
  • Introduction to Cybernetics by W. Ross Ashby (pdf) found on Principia Cybernetica website
  • The W. Ross Ashby Digital Archive
    • In January 2003, Ross’s daughters gave his archive materials to The British Library, London. Then, in March 2004, at the end of the W. Ross Ashby Centenary Conference, they announced that they would make Ross’s Journal available on the Internet. This web site fulfills that promise, making this previously unpublished work available on-line.
    • Ross’s Journal consists of well over a million words on 7,400 pages in 25 volumes, and over 1,600 index cards. To make it easy to browse purposefully through so many images, extensive cross-linking has been added, based on the keywords in Ross’s original index. The Biography describes Ross’s life in more detail than has previously been available in the public domain, and includes many photographs from the family’s private albums. Various other information and resources can be accessed via the navigation frame on the left.
  • “Ashby Says”The Aphorisms of W. Ross Ashby found on The Cybernetics Society web site



BAM (Business Activity Monitoring)

Bateson, Gregory

Beer, Stafford

some papers available on line (with the apparent closing of the “official Stafford Beer website” where many of these papers were freely accessible it is increasingly difficult to find Beer’s papers on line; where alternative links can be found, I have inserted them here) :




Business Intelligence (BI)



Complex Event Processing (see CEP)

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Cwarel Isaf Institute

  • founded by Stafford (and named after his cottage in Wales) and Fredmund Malik to make the life’s work of Beer available to society, to steward his intellectual property and to transfer related knowledge into the benefits of practical applications.
  • Website


Cybernetics and Human Knowing

Cybernetics Society (UK)



ISSS – the International Society for the Systems Sciences

  • interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems
  • web site


Leonard, Allena

Livas, Javier


Macroscope, The

  • book: The Macroscope. A new world scientific system”, (1979, Harper & Row, New York) by  Joël de Rosnay found on the Principia Cybernetic web site:  “An easy to read introduction to the systems view of the world: background and basic concepts, illustrated by examples in organisms, economy and ecology.”

McCulloch, William

  • tbd

Malik, Fredmund

The Metaphorum Group –

  • web site (mataphorum.org) – developing Stafford Beer’s Legacy in Management Cybernetics

Maturana, Humberto

Mead, Margret


Pangaro, Paul

  • web site
    • “The Little Grey Book” This small publication, “the little grey book”, applies cybernetic principles to customer relationships in changing markets. It was the result of close collaboration among Hugh Dubberly, Peter Esmonde, Michael C Geoghegan, and Paul Pangaro, produced for Sun Microsystems. It has implications for organizations that face change—namely, every organization—and provides both an explanation for why great companies fail, and how they can avoid failure.
    • Design for a self-regenerating organization – Michael C. Geoghegan and Paul Pangaro -{preprint – International Journal of General Systems
      Special Issue on Ross Ashby Vol. X, No. X, Month 200X, 000–000} – written on the occasion of the Conference celebrating the Centenary of the birth of W. Ross Ashby. The paper offers an extension of Ashby’s notion of ‘requisite variety’ to apply to social, language-based systems, maintaining the rigor of Ashby’s original argument from Design for a Brain, Chapman and Hall, 1972. The paper includes a review of the limitations of organizational change, three classes of change, and mechanisms for change.

Pask, Gordon

Principia Cybernetica Project (PCP) – Principia Cybernetica tries to tackle age-old philosophical questions with the help of the most recent cybernetic theories and technologies.

Process Cybernetics

  • tbd


Research Groups

  • tbd


Varela, Francisco

Verster, Frederic

Viable Systems Method


Javier Livas’ videos on cybernetics in the sequence preferred by the author: all of them in YouTube:

von Bertalanffy, Ludwig

von Forester, Heinz

VSM – the Viable Systems Model

  • see Viable Systems Model

Series NavigationCybernetics: History and Biographies

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Tags: autopoiesis, BAM, Business intelligence, CEP, Complex Event Processing, cybernetic, cybernetics, error, freedom, intelligence, management, Systems, Viable System Model, VSM

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