Finding Cybernetics

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At mid-career as a tenured professor of modern literature, I finally found cybernetics. It was a slow-rolling revelation, a protracted unraveling, for it took me quite a while to unwrap cybernetics’ conceptual core from out of the layers of adjacent or covering discourses that had obscured or forgotten their own origins in the fecundity of cybernetic ideas. Heinz von Foerster’s relation to the Whole Earth Catalog and the systems counterculture around CoEvolution Quarterly were instrumental for my subsequent cybernetic development toward the work of Maturana, Varela, and Luhmann on the one hand, and Lovelock and Margulis on the other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Futures
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2019


  • Autopoiesis
  • Gaia theory
  • Heinz von Foerster
  • information theory
  • neocybernetics
  • second-order systems theory
  • the systems counterculture


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