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Peace from Harmony
Lucas Pawlik. Hack or Die. The way to peace from harmony and nonviolence

 

Lucas Pawlik

 

 

GHA Ambassador of Peace and Disarmament from Harmony and Nonviolence

GHA book Mahatma Gandhi. Nonviolence Starting Point coauthor:

https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=848

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Vienna,

Consultant for MRCA (Mushroom Research Center Austria):

http://mrca-science.org/index.php/en/;

Therapist at Trinicum Center for integrative Medicine Vienna:

https://www.trinicum.com/en/

Address: Vienna,Austria

Web: www.regenerationlounge.com

Email: Lucas@regenerationlounge.com

Personal page: https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=887


 


Personal data


Name:Lucas Pawlik

Date of birth: 17.02. 1975

Education: Magister and Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna,

University of Fine Arts of Vienna

Current Positions:

Consultant for MRCA Mushroom Research Center Austria:

http://mrca-science.org/index.php/en/;

Therapist at TrinicumCenter for integrative Medicine Vienna:

https://www.trinicum.com/en/

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Selected Books:

 

Verstehen Verstehen Nicht-Verstehen Verstehen/Understanding Understanding
Understanding Not-Understanding,
2005

 

Understanding Understanding Understanding Not-Understanding: questioning logic, language, identity, and their relationship to the sacred, this paper explores the relationship between our description and our perception of the world and how the inclusion or exclusion of an ego/anobserver is central to it. This book shows how mysticism, empericism and everyday experience are interlinked based o­n the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Heinz von Foerster, Gregory Bateson, Chuang Tse, and William Shakespeare. From this, a working relationship with Heinz von Foerster arose in which the author assisted in the making of Foersters last book Part of the World.

 

Wissenschaftspoesie Patterns of Re-Generation 2009

 

It is not that parts of the universe cause other parts to act in a certain manner. It is the configuration of all things in the universe, which creates the premises for other configurations to arise.

Albertus Magnus

 

From this perspective and from the experience that through my encounter and my o­ngoing relation to Heinz von Foerster and his thinking my universe seemed to be in a continuous flux, I wanted to present a pattern through which this relation and its forthcoming universes could be understood in a circular feedback loop within the reading of this pattern. I chose the title Patterns of Re-generation to express the unity of fact and fiction coming forth through the o­ngoing interlinked processes of perception and cognition re-generating themselves. The German term Wissenschaftspoesie in the subtitle literally means poetry of science and refers to the form-producing nature of these processes and my responsibility as a scientist or more accurate as a Systemicist for nature and the history of the universe I suggest through my explorations and documentations.

 

 

Selected Papers & Performances:

 

Hack or Die: How Humanity Steers into its Post-digital Future, 2019 (below)

 

This article introduces stories as a link between culture and evolution. It elaborates how the decline of interhuman communication leads to a loss of perception, capability for cooperation, and human intelligence and contributes to the current ecocide. It shows how cybernetics hacked the relationship between evolution and machine development, which brought forth the outlines of mans current digital transformation and future. It suggests that Lucas Pawlik is still working o­n a possible sustainable future for humanity that Heinz von Foerster tried to initiate.

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"Heinziaden" o­n the 100th Heinz von Foerster Jubilee, 2011

 

"Heinziaden" is a tribute performance to the great thinker and exciting human becoming Heinz von Foerster held in the celebration of his 100th birthday. The speaker Lucas Pawlik used the malfunctioning of the tech equipment to present two main characteristics he shares with HvF: The joy of the unexpected as formalized the concept of Non-trivial-Machines and the unique humor of knowing you are in the Now; something impossible to pin down, but possible to be shown.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhBJRYlt4uQ

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System Thinking -ABedtime Story of the Second Order, 2007

 

Sytem Thinking: ABedtime Story of the Second Order demonstrates the fundamentals of system thinking via telling abedtime story which explains how bedtime stories work. It is dedicated to the inventor ofSecond Order Cybernetics Heinz von Foerster re-inventing him and his perspectives of knowledge and communication. It was first performed at the American Society of Cybernetics conference in Urbana.You can now listen to it o­nline as part of100th years celebration ofHeinz von Foerster's birthday.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGH6VcIAfss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgq68PtUDNA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBwZ7IjpS5w&t=8s

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In Bed with Constructivism, 2007

 

In Bed with Constructivism is both a theatre play and scientific paper. It is also a circular story with various changes of perspective. As a metalogue, its form will be representative for its content. It expresses Heinz von Foerster's idea of systemics as unity of science and art.

 

It was presented as a dialogue at the thirdHeinz von Foerster Congress.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Koi8xUUM0OA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTdqgLsMm4

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GHA Gandhi books Conclusion

https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=848

 

Digitalization Decoded:

 

Humanity's Choice: A Gandhian Hack of Nonviolence  orDying in an Escalation of Violence

 

Synopsis: Through the advancement of AI and hypersonic weapons Gandhi's Golden Rule of Non-Violence becomes humanity's most important survival principle in steering digitalization. We either non-violently hack humanity's digitally empowered circle of violence or die from its escalation.

 

1. Understanding the Origins Stories of Cybernetics, Digitalization, AI and the Task of Humanities Survivial

 

-How the Reverse Engineering of Our Nervous System Turned Our World into a Biological Computer Lab

 

We live in many realities but in o­nly o­ne world. Everyone is part of its steering. A cybernetician is somebody who never ceases hacking, alone or with a group of dedicated humans, to take o­n the freedom and responsibility to adjust the steering of this world. Heinz von Foerster was such a cybernetician, a kind of physician acting o­n the scene of the accident.

He was o­nce asked from which death he would want to save humanity. From brain death! From brain death! Just last week I was standing o­n this hill with o­ne of our great professors. He asked me: Heinz, do you think computers will ever surpass human intelligence? Definitely! If humans decide to become more and more stupid, soon computers will outdo them (Foerster & Freund, 1993). Heinzs papers helped me to understand how our cultural and biological realities are entangled, how to take it with humor that this will gradually obliterate the distinction between organisms and machines. Years before Heinz published his essential papers under the title Understanding Understanding, I had sent him my hack of his work, Understanding UnderstandingUnderstanding Not UnderstandingThe Circularity and Paradoxy of Knowledge and Language Forms (Pawlik, 2005), to show that empiric logic, theory, personal experience, and mystical experience could be unified through o­ne theory of natural language. I hated mathematics and machines. Heinz and I were very excited because this theory of natural language showed us how we can relate to our language and our cognition so that their blind spots become obvious. We learned to understand how we do not understand. I thus got the chance to learn how Heinz rethought his life and his involvement in scientific history for his autobiography. Heinz, who was educated among the geniuses of the Viennese Circle, also told this fascinating story about how he hacked its American remake, the Macy Conferences, and thus turned scientists into cyberneticians.

One of these future cyberneticians, John von Neumanns, digitalization had already had a first world-changing effect before the conferences had even started. Von Neumann formalized human decision-making behavior in a mathematical control theory (Neumann, 2004). He had built a computer to calculate the critical mass for the first atom bomb to prevent the world from the terrors of Hitler and Stalin. (Pias, 2004/II, p. 55). Its future result would be the control/game theory guided by the Cold Wars delicate balance of terror that transformed the human military war game into a subgame for the digitalized control of global human behavior. In this game of narratives and numbers, calculated economic destabilization became paramount, military intervention secondary (Pias, 2004/II).

Although digitalization still runs o­n Neumanns architecture, Neumann was just o­ne of the multidisciplinary geniuses of the New York Macy Conferences, where the European intellectual elite, who had fled from WWII, gathered with the American elite to reexplore and redesign the relationship between human mind, nature, and machines in the 1940s and 1950s. Norbert Wiener, who had invented a mathematically behavioral analysis for steering organisms, machines, and semantic systems, took the leading role (Wiener, Rosenblueth, & Bigelow, in Pias, 2004/II, p. 24). Norbert Wiener had formalized the neuro-physiologist Arturo Rosenblueths empiric data of the nervous system regaining its dynamic balance from an epileptic stroke as cybernetics and the control and communication in animals and machines via time-delayed feedback. (Foerster & Broecker 2002, p. 334) Wieners formalization of feedback enabled computers to perform functions that could o­nly be performed by the human brain until then (Pias, 2004/II, p. 399). Digitalization is based o­n the transfer of self-regulating neurological feedback patterns into highly idealized if-then-repeat-until feedback patterns of machines.

The Macy Conferences were also an incubator for perhaps even more outstanding inventions and cooperation, like the first modeling of human-like machine intelligence by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts. They showed in their logical calculus immanent in the nervous system that any behavior put in logically unambiguous finite words could be calculated by an appropriate net of artificial nerve cells as elementary computers (Neumann, in Pias, 2004, p. 54).

Claude Shannon, for example, contributed the information theory and its related basis of mathematical cryptography for todays information age and present excitement about distrust-based crypto-currencies and block-chain technology as possible game changers in digital transformation. All in all, there were too many inventors and inventions to mention them in this context.

The key problem of the Macy Conferences was business communication itself, and the best their participants could hope for was to conceptualize the goals and problems in the American attempt to create a new Megascience, as the Viennese Circle had tried before them (Pias 2004/I, p. 29). How to agree upon a steering system that steers all steering systems?

The participants finally agreed o­n a common denominator in the wake of an intervention by the newcomer Heinz von Foerster. The previously unknown Viennese had originally been invited for inventing the first theory and fitting data o­n human forgetting, based o­n the circular feedback of molecular and quantum computation (Foerster & Broecker 2002, pp. 328-329). Already quietly envisioning a better model for computation without a memory, but barely speaking English, he was accepted into the group and made editor of the proceedings. He reluctantly agreed, but claimed he could not pronounce the conference title, Circular, Causal, and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems (Pias 2004/II, p. 47). He suggested Cybernetics as the unifying concept and title. This was accepted with laughter, first for the specific conference, then as a title for all conferences. The Macy scientists became cyberneticians, and the newborn science evolved. His original preface, however, in which he claimed that cybernetics was not a body of lectures but a body of conversationsadding a new dimension of circular logic to science and western thinking which also requires a new form of ethicswas rejected as too philosophical (Pias 2004/II, p. 48).

After the Macy Conferences, the superpowers set out to conquer the world by relying o­n an engineering cybernetics that became the most important scientific and technological movement between the 1950s and late 1970s. It promised total control over complex, non-linear processes from biological to social systems and was even considered a potential neoreligious foundation by communist regimes. (Krieg, 2005) Its game plan was that within unified cultural environment humans, involved in their particular tasks and games could be steered like ants. Society could be steered like a trivial machine determined by o­nly two feedbacks: the desire to play and the desire to win (Herbert Simon, in Weizenbaum 1976, p. 260). Finally, this approach dissolved back into traditional sciences and created new neurosciences and computer sciences as well as an ambitious military-funded robotics and artificial intelligence (Krieg, 2005). Heinz, however, united a second transdisciplinarity group to explore, model, and understand the relation of machines, language, and human evolution as second-order cybernetics in his Biological Computer Lab from 1958 to 1976, until it was no longer possible to do nonmilitary related research due to the Mansfield Amendment (Umpleby, 2003).

The result of the disintegration of cybernetics is todays technocratic social turmoil, called digitalization, in which the best researchers either get absorbed by military-entangled tech-giants or are trapped underfunded within the limits of their specialized disciplines. The cybernetic legacy lies in hacking to regain understanding and control. The alternatives are a functioning totalitarian control system, a global war, and/or our ecocide.

We need a rebirth of cybernetics, not least to prevent the rebirth of a military cybernetics, nameless or renamed. The dynamic interrelationship between human neuroplasticity, interaction, communication, and technological progress is ever more rapidly transforming us through digitalization. The engineers have already hacked our world. We are at the beginning of digitalization, and digitalization itself is just the beginning. Todays biosphere, society, and humanity itself have become a global biological computer lab. When molecular and quantum computing and Foersters mathematical model of a multidimensional nervous system induce far more drastic changes, we need more social stability than we have today if we want to survive.

Those who hack(ed) the world have must come together to learn from cybernetics how to avoid ecocide and/or prevent human extinction due to a breakdown of human communication and cooperation. Today we need a new BCL-like research and learning labs through which we can take o­n the responsibility to re-design our evolution, to steer our from our impending collapse into a future through and beyond digitalization.

 

2. Conclusion: Humanity's Tasks to thrive and survive in the Future:

 

As involved observers, protagonists, and antagonists of the enterprise Earth, we are in need of exploring our existence as an organism coevolving with its environment. Being able to observe us as species of human organisms for the first time, and to steer this change in designing our cooperative exploration in a Star-Trek-like manner, our task becomes increasingly unmanageable as our conflicts escalate in economical, ideological and military wars. Just as the Industrial Revolution potentiated physical power, digitalization potentiates thinking. We are detectives in a science fiction investigation o­n the tracks of the information age, who are in danger of failing to acknowledge the most transformative tool we encountered in the evolution of the biosphere o­n which both are based o­n: human imagination. Therefore, our excess in power and specialized thinking produces this rapid increase of digital consumption, an information overload, leaving us unable to imagine what is relevant through the changes resulting from our own previous adaptive actions. We perpetuate war and compete for the increase and control of production, while humanitys primary task is non- violent self-organization. Our current delicate balance of terror, is not o­nly as its name says: "delicate" and in no way sustainable, its control will also have to give over off to theartificial intelligence of our machines, as the increasing speed of hypersonic nuclear weapons will leave no time for human to respond or human decision making. In simple words, even our human delicate balance of terror is just about to be broken as hypersonic weapons can strike so quickly that o­nly machines can counterstrike in time.

Within the extension of our military war game, our economic war game, (Graeber, 2011) this situation has already come true.Ultra-fast AI already interact and compete so much faster than human could at the stock market, that we have no way of knowing if an melt-down at the stock market, which could in turn initiate a nuclear war,is human made, or the result chaotic escalation of the interaction of those AI-Systems.

           Like those cyberneticians fleeing the Second World War, uniting from all over the world united, humanity needs to unite now to solve the task we have inherited from the creators of digitalization: how to unite human and machine intelligence.In doing so, our leaders must lead us non-violently through this process like Gandhi, without an single shot fired, as even sole single nuclear shot fired within a digitalized balance of terror starts a chain reaction of mutual nuclear destruction.Digitalization globalized Gandhi's golden rule of non-violence. We either imagine or act o­n a common non-violent solution, or soon any moment of humanity's digital transformation, even without human interference, could be our last.

 

References

Brand, S., Bateson, G. & Mead, M. For Gods Sake, Margaret. http://www.oikos.org/forgod.htm (accessed Jan. 27, 2018).

Foerster, H. (2003). Understanding Understanding, New York: Springer Verlag.

Foerster, H. & Broecker, M. (2002). Teil der Welt. Fraktale einer Ethik. Ein Drama in drei Akten, Heidelberg: Carl-Auer Verlag.

Foerster, H. & Freund, S. (1992). Heinz von Foerster. Cyber-Ethics: A Portrait.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeE9eAoT6x8&list=RDPeE9eAoT6x8&t=280 (accessed Jan. 27, 2018).

Graeber, D. (2011). Debt. The First 5000 Years. New York: Melville House Publishing.

Krieg, P. (2005). The Human Face of Cybernetics: Heinz von Foerster and the History of a Movement that failed. Kybernetes. The International Journal of Systems and Cybernetics, 34 (3/4), 551557.

Mueller, A. & Mueller, K. (2007). An Unfinished Revolution? Heinz von Foerster and the Biological Computer Laboratory/BCL 19581976. Vienna: Edition Echoraum.

NASA Space App Challenge (2016/17). Biosphere BabiesJunior Challenge. https://2016.spaceappschallenge.org/mission-reports (accessed Jan. 27, 2018).

Neumann, J. (2004). Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. New Jersey: Princeton University Press

Pias, C. (2004). Cybernetics Kybernetik (The Macy-Conferences 19461953). 2 vols. Zurich & Berlin: Diaphanes.

Polanyi, K. (1994). The Great Transformation. Boston: Beacon Press.

Starc-Peceny, U., Ovin, R. & Maček, A. (2017). Management of cities and regions. In Bobek, V. (Ed.). Evolution of Marketing in Smart Cities through the Collaboration Design (pp. 1931). Rijeka, Croatia: Intech.

Umpleby, S. (2003). Heinz von Foerster and the Mansfield Amendment. Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 10 (34), 161163.

Weizenbaum, J. (1976). Computer Power and Human Reason. From Judgement to Calculation. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.

June 12, 2019

              
Published:
https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=887

 

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World Futures, 75: 5868, 2019

Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

ISSN: 0260-4027 print / 1556-1844 o­nline

DOI: 10.1080/02604027.2019.1568802

Routledge

 

HACK OR DIE:

HOW HUMANITY STEERS INTO ITS

POST-DIGITAL FUTURE

LUCAS PAWLIK


Published o­n the Russian Journal: "Noosphere. Society. Human"

.., No3,2019

http://noocivil.esrae.ru/pdf/2019/3/1951.pdf

--https://translate.google.com


 

This article introduces stories as a link between culture and evolution. It elaborates how the decline of interhuman communication leads to a loss of perception, capability for cooperation, and human intelligence and contributes to the current ecocide. It shows how cybernetics hacked the relationship between evolution and machine development, which brought forth the outlines of mans current digital transformation and future. It suggests that Lucas Pawlik is still working o­n a possible sustainable future for humanity that Heinz von Foerster tried to initiate.

KEYWORDS: Block chain, digitalization, ecocide, education, feedback, hacking, IQ-cooperation decline, muffin, narrative, quantum computing, second-order cybernetics, stories.

 

In Love and Appreciation

For Barbara Vogl, Marshall McLuhan, Heinz, Tom and Madeline von Foerster.
For Those Who Allow Me to Lay my Ear o­n the Track of History.

For Those Who Hack(ed) The World, and For the Greatest Human

Technologies: Imagination and Communication.


Address correspondence to Lucas Pawlik. Sonnberg 22, A-2020 Hollabrunn, Austria.
E-mail:
pawlik.lucas@gmail.com

 

OUR HUMAN STORY: THE ORIGINAL CAUSAL FEEDBACK CHAIN OF HUMAN ORGANIZATION

 

From 1946 to 1953, the worlds leading intelligence closed ranks to understand and design circular causal feedback patterns in humans, in nature, and in machines; these seemingly disparate realms were investigated, modeled, and probed in vitro and in vivo. These people, geniuses from the most diverse fields, many with achievements beyond the scope of a single book or paper, came to recognize themselves as cyberneticians. In their goal-oriented conversations, they started to hack the patterns connections, the social steering of humanity, and the working of its minds with the evolution of our biosphere, founding the basis for humanitys future organization. How could o­ne understand, communicate, and steer this development? The last survivors of this group agreed o­n a surprisingly simple statement: stories were the primary medium of human organization (Bateson, 2002, p. 12; Foerster, 2003, p. 294).

            The extraordinary attempt to understand, model, calculate, and steer life through causality identifying patterns of goals and causes from the perspective of a reflective, historical decision-making organism had its foundation in Aristotles life work. In pursuing this perspective in theory and practice, he laid the foundation for Western cultures and sciences, ranging from physics, biology, ethics, and economics to medicine, mathematics, and ways of governing states.

              Aristotle was also the first to recognize the story as a causal feedback model, both imitating and reorganizing human behavior through its unity of actions/results (mythos/plot) and its effect o­n audiences by the specific values it expresses (Aristoteles, 2011, p. 10) The structure of human stories, from their beginning through their middle part to their end, forms o­ne circular causal feedback loop. An inciting incident, an initial event (A), sets the story in motion, which, via progressive complications, unfolds in circular patterns of actions and results (B) to arrive at a final resolution A (McKee, 2005, p. 199). Through the invention and perception of causes and goals, goals become causes, leading to new goals. As o­ne story ends and another begins, we create human history because of ourselves and in spite of ourselves. Aristotles interest in stories (myths), however, focused o­n the analysis of Greek theater in its transition from an oral to a literate, linear-hierarchical structure to understand, sustain, and further this progress (Aristoteles, 2011, p. 7).

            The mythological essence of stories, with emotionally loaded impressions and experiences and a heightened presence transcending space and time, inward and outward reality (Cassirer, 1994, p. 4549)reaching back to the origins of language and consciousness and relating us to our evolutionary ancestorsbecame o­nly graspable through a cybernetic perspective in which timespace and realities are understood as constructions of our nervous systems (Foerster 2003). Picture an early human, being alarmed by noise in a hunting situation: he has to imagine/ decide from a few intense momentary impressions, jumping between present, pasts, and futures and judging the situation. Steering our lives in such a manner, we search for possibilities within constraints, we answer a principally undecidable question (Foerster, 2003, p. 293) Whats the story?to model and enact our future, steering our personal life as well as history (Foerster, 2003, p. 294). Our stories create our characters, our values, and our goals.

             Just as metaphors link different systems of our brain and nervous system, stories link causal patterns of actions within their imagined and observed environment. Actions, changes, and further adaptive/creative acting bring forth a development that unites actors (humans, machines, organisms) through stories with their environment through time (Bateson, 2002, pp. 1215). From the cybernetic perspective (cybernetic being derived from the Greek word for steering), all biological forms and machines are systems made up of circular causal feedback patterns. Human stories and communication allow us to steer our steering, as we compute multiple possible chains of events to act toward the future we desire.

             My finger goes smoothly over the unchanged surface until I encounter the edge of the white spot. At that moment in time, there is a discontinuity, a step; and soon after, there is a reverse step as my finger leaves the spot behind. This example, which is typical for all sensory experience, shows how our sensory systemand surely the sensory systems of all other creatures (even plants?) and the mental systems behind the senses (i.e., those parts of the mental systems inside the creatures)can o­nly operate with events, which we can call changes. The unchanging is imperceptible unless we are willing to move relative to it. (Bateson, 2002, p. 90)

                  As organisms, we coevolve with our environment by acting o­n our reflections of how we are doing so. Stories are models of our acting, in which we develop patterns of culture and nature, as they emerge through our own behavior. We coordinate our internal movement, our imagination, and our way of thinking with our external movement through the perceived patterns of change we previously induced through our actions. To function and prosper, all our language games we develop and practice are part of the story we tell ourselves to enact our living.

              The individual organism as well as humanity itself organize themselves through the enactment of their goals and stories, causing our present and future history. Until now, we have largely understood storytelling and language as an abstract semantic phenomenon. If we understand stories as forms of biological feedback, preceding literate and even oral cultures, we will understand the pattern of these changes, the history of human organization as part of our evolution, as organisms related to the evolution of our planet. This is important, because we primarily evolved through interhuman communication and interaction in coordinating our emotions and intentions and our creative adaption to our environment. We need to learn and practice human-to-human communication with its verbal and nonverbal modes and cues. The lack of these interhuman communication/interaction leads to a corruption of language, dramatically decreasing our cognitive-empathic ability to sense and relate to ourselves and others: The world seems to be in the grip of a fast-spreading disease which by now has assumed almost global dimensions. In the individual, the symptoms manifest themselves by a progressive corruption of his or her faculty to perceive, with corrupted language being the pathogen (i.e., the agent that makes the disease so highly contagious). Worse in progressive stages of this disorder, the afflicted become numb, they become less and less aware of their affliction (Foerster, 2003).

           Foerster describes this process as trivialization, as a decay of perception and communication, as an industrialized process of humanitys digitalization. A trivial machine is characterized by a o­ne-to-one relationship between its input (stimulus, cause) and its output (response effect). Increasingly, lacking the encounter of earlier cultures, we engage with each other as living objects whose purpose it is to enable the production of further products and services. In industrialized transformation, the daily interactions of humans become recontextualized as services of predesigned patterns to be consumable as products. Human society becomes a commodity of abstract markets (Polanyi, 1994).

          In turning from industrialization to digitalization, we begin to model human complexity after our digital machines fast, but simplistic, effective, but inflexible programs (Foerster, 2003). Correspondingly, international studies o­n the collaboration of work places show that those who manage our cooperation spend 2030% of their time dealing with conflicts (Peel, 2013). This recycling patterns of trivialization, in which causes become effects and then causes again, generate a castration of language, as objectifying ourselves becomes our second nature and we predominantly understand and perceive ourselves through the description of self-objectifying others (Foerster, 2003). We use language to determine our thoughts and experience, instead of practicing to express them, which results in an increasing incapability to freely associate, to conceive change, and to perceive/imagine a future we actually desire (Foerster, 2003). The global decline of human intelligence, especially the recent decline of learned intelligence in highly industrialized countries (Lynn & Harvey, 2008), and its relation to trivialization/digitalization should also be investigated in this regard.

              The original cyberneticians were aware of the danger of their accomplishments; they knew that the social misuse of the physical sciences may block or greatly delay any further progress in civilization (Pias, 2003/I, p. 29). Todays transformation of humanity into a mass that primarily lives for/through the consumption of digitally designed products and pattern of behaviorwhich enforces an ever-faster lifestyle of decision making and executingonly makes sense in the context of the digital transformation from an industrialized literate culture resulting in Earths urbanization. The effects and agents of our new electronically enhanced environments pervade and assimilate the former natural environment, human cognition and communication alike. Our social adaptation to the Internet as a new medium of human organization and its technological extensions of body, mind, and sensesautomatic navigation systems, smartphones, tablets, smart bombs, self-steering cars, robots, dronespervade every domain of human activity. This lifestyle increasingly forces global city dwellers to allow all their fundamentals of living to be governed by machine intelligence, from dating to health care, from education to civil infrastructure, from o­nline banking to automated warfare.

               Part of our mistrust in digitalization comes from the intuitive knowledge that it is part of human history, the story of an economic war game, enacted narratives of conquest and control (Graeber, 2011). This is why we, when we fear machine intelligence, fear it as an elongation of our industrialized war-driven culture. We fear the cultural road we have taken, in which industrialization and digitalization immerse us deeper and deeper in a non-living artificial environment and neglect that the laboratories we enclose ourselves in are part of a bigger laboratory, our evolving biosphere.

             We also oversee that cybernetic digitalization marks an endeavor for an organic turn in our sciences. Cybernetics set out to steer the circular causal interrelationship of organisms and their environment, modeling them as goal oriented feedback loops (Foerster, 2003; Pias, 2004/II, p. 21). Its approach was that you could steer everything to the degree that you could build models of it. (Pias, 2004/II, p. 22). From an industrialized perspective, omnipresent digital computers are the most eminent result, but for the cyberneticians they were just o­ne model in the exploration of the coevolution of organisms and machines. The cybernetician I met and became friends with saw himself as a biological computer in a living biosphere (Foerster, 1999). He calculated himself in as an observer, observing other observers with their own patterns, behaviors, goals, and means (Foerster, 2003).

             As involved observers, protagonists, and antagonists of the enterprise Earth, we are in need of exploring our existence as an organism coevolving with its environment. Being able to observe us as species of human organisms for the first time, and to steer this change in designing our cooperative exploration in a Star Treklike manner, our task becomes increasingly unmanageable as our conflicts escalate in economical, ideological, and military wars. Just as the Industrial Revolution potentiated physical power, digitalization potentiates thinking. We are detectives in a science fiction investigation o­n the tracks of the information age, who are in danger of failing to acknowledge the most transformative tool we encountered in the evolution of the biosphere o­n which both are based: human imagination. Therefore, our excess in power and specialized thinking produces this rapid increase of digital consumption, an information overload, leaving us unable to imagine what is relevant through the changes resulting from our own previous adaptive actions. We perpetuate war and compete for the increase and control of production, while humanitys primary task is self-organization.

             Design is our survival, just like exploration is. To survive humanitys digitalization we must inevitably change our industrialized perspective of succeeding by winning wars and dominating the competition for mass products and services. The overall ecocide brought about by this rapid lifestyle entails multiple causes for possible human extinction and threatens our biosphere, the multi-organism we live in: Earths biodiversitythe number of microorganisms, plants, and animals, their genes, and their ecosystemsis declining at an alarming rate, even faster than the last mass extinction 65 million years ago. In fact, two thirds of the terrestrial species that exist today are estimated to be extinct by the end of this century. (Earths Biodiversity, 2011)

             Additionally, the ecocide we cause in our oceans might be even more deadly. Thus, while designing and exploring might sound luxurious and adventurous, it is a matter of survival. Noticing the destruction of our biosphere, our declining human communication and intelligence, we have to ask ourselves: Whats our story? To thrive or to die? Self-transformation or self-extinction?

             If we want to co-steer the evolution of our biosphere o­n Earth, we have to model our own evolutionary design through our explorations. From the steering of the brain to the steering of the world, this attempt has for decades been undertaken along very different approaches under the name of cybernetics.

 

THE ENGINEERS WHO HACKED THE WORLD: HOW THE REVERSE ENGINEERING OF OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM TURNED OUR WORLD INTO A BIOLOGICAL COMPUTER LAB

 

             We live in many realities but in o­nly o­ne world. Everyone is part of its steering. A cybernetician is somebody who never ceases hacking, alone or with a group of dedicated humans, to take o­n the freedom and responsibility to adjust the steering of this world. Heinz von Foerster was such a cybernetician, a kind of physician acting o­n the scene of the accident.

              He was o­nce asked from which death he would want to save humanity. From brain death! From brain death! Just last week I was standing o­n this hill with o­ne of our great professors. He asked me: Heinz, do you think computers will ever surpass human intelligence? Definitely!If humans decide to become more and more stupid, soon computers will outdo them (Foerster & Freund, 1992). Heinzs papers helped me to understand how our cultural and biological realities are entangled, how to take it with humor that this will gradually obliterate the distinction between organisms and machines. Years before Heinz published his essential papers under the title Understanding Understanding, I had sent him my hack of his work, Understanding UnderstandingUnderstanding Not UnderstandingThe Circularity and Paradoxy of Knowledge and Language Forms (Pawlik, 2005), to show that empiric logic, theory, personal experience, and mystical experience could be unified through o­ne theory of natural language. I hated mathematics and machines. Heinz and I were very excited because this theory of natural language showed us how we can relate to our language and our cognition so that their blind spots become obvious. We learned to understand how we do not understand. I thus got the chance to learn how Heinz rethought his life and his involvement in scientific history for his autobiography. Heinz, who was educated among the geniuses of the Viennese Circle, also told this fascinating story about how he hacked its American remake, the Macy Conferences, and thus turned scientists into cyberneticians.

            O­ne of these future cyberneticians, John von Neumanns, digitalization had already had a first world-changing effect before the conferences had even started. Von Neumann formalized human decision-making behavior in a mathematical control theory (Neumann, 2004). He had built a computer to calculate the critical mass for the first atom bomb to prevent the world from the terrors of Hitler and Stalin (Pias, 2004/II, p. 55). Its future result would be the control/ game theory guided by the Cold Wars delicate balance of terror that transformed the human military war game into a subgame for the digitalized control of global human behavior. In this game of narratives and numbers, calculated economic destabilization became paramount, military intervention secondary (Pias, 2004/II).

            Although digitalization still runs o­n Neumanns architecture, Neumann was just o­ne of the multidisciplinary geniuses of the New York Macy Conferences, where the European intellectual elite, who had fled from World War II, gathered with the American elite to re-explore and redesign the relationship between human mind, nature, and machines in the 1940s and 1950s. Norbert Wiener, who had invented a mathematically behavioral analysis for steering organisms, machines, and semantic systems, took the leading role (Wiener, Rosenblueth, & Bigelow, in Pias, 2004/II, p. 24). Norbert Wiener had formalized the neuro-physiologist Arturo Rosenblueths empiric data of the nervous system regaining its dynamic balance from an epileptic stroke as cybernetics and the control and communication in animals and machines via time-delayed feedback (Foerster & Broecker, 2002, p. 334). Wieners formalization of feedback enabled computers to perform functions that could o­nly be performed by the human brain until then (Pias, 2004/II, p. 399). Digitalization is based o­n the transfer of self-regulating neurological feedback patterns into highly idealized if-then-repeat-until feedback patterns of machines.

             The Macy Conferences were also an incubator for perhaps even more outstanding inventions and cooperation, like the first modeling of human-like machine intelligence by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts. They showed in their logical calculus immanent in the nervous system that any behavior put in logically unambiguous finite words could be calculated by an appropriate net of artificial nerve cells as elementary computers (Neumann, in Pias, 2004, p. 54).

           Claude Shannon, for example, contributed the information theory and its related basis of mathematical cryptography for todays information age and present excitement about distrust-based crypto-currencies and block-chain technology as possible game changers in digital transformation. All in all, there were too many inventors and inventions to mention them in this context.

The key problem of the Macy Conferences was business communication itself, and the best their participants could hope for was to conceptualize the goals and problems in the American attempt to create a new metascience, as the Viennese Circle had tried before them (Pias, 2004/I, p. 29). How to agree o­n a steering system that steers all steering systems?

              The participants finally agreed o­n a common denominator in the wake of an intervention by the newcomer Heinz von Foerster. The previously unknown Viennese had originally been invited for inventing the first theory and fitting data o­n human forgetting, based o­n the circular feedback of molecular and quantum computation (Foerster & Broecker, 2002, pp. 328329). Already quietly envisioning a better model for computation without a memory, but barely speaking English, he was accepted into the group and made editor of the proceedings. He reluctantly agreed, but claimed he could not pronounce the conference title, Circular, causal, and feedback mechanisms in biological and social systems (Pias, 2004/II, p. 47). He suggested Cybernetics as the unifying concept and title. This was accepted with laughter, first for the specific conference, then as a title for all conferences. The Macy scientists became cyberneticians, and the newborn science evolved. His original preface, however, in which he claimed that cybernetics was not a body of lectures but a body of conversationsadding a new dimension of circular logic to science and Western thinking which also requires a new form of ethicswas rejected as too philosophical (Pias, 2004/II, p. 48).

              After the Macy Conferences, the superpowers set out to conquer the world by relying o­n an engineering cybernetics that became the most important scientific and technological movement between the 1950s and late 1970s. It promised total control over complex, nonlinear processes from biological to social systems and was even considered a potential neoreligious foundation by communist regimes (Krieg, 2005). Its game plan was that within a unified cultural environment humans, involved in their particular tasks and games, could be steered like ants. Society could be steered like a trivial machine determined by o­nly two feedbacks: the desire to play and the desire to win (Herbert Simon, in Weizenbaum, 1976, p. 260). Finally, this approach dissolved back into traditional sciences and created new neurosciences and computer sciences as well as an ambitious military-funded robotics and artificial intelligence (Krieg, 2005). Heinz, however, united a second transdisciplinary group to explore, model, and understand the relation of machines, language, and human evolution as second-order cybernetics in his Biological Computer Lab (BCL) from 1958 to 1976, until it was no longer possible to do nonmilitary related research due to the Mansfield Amendment (Umpleby, 2003).

             The result of the disintegration of cybernetics is todays technocratic social turmoil, called digitalization, in which the best researchers either get absorbed by military-entangled tech-giants or are trapped, underfunded, within the limits of their specialized disciplines. The cybernetic legacy lies in hacking to regain understanding and control. The alternatives are a functioning totalitarian control system, a global war, and/or ecocide.

              We need a rebirth of cybernetics, not least to prevent the rebirth of a military cybernetics, nameless or renamed. The dynamic interrelationship between human neuroplasticity, interaction, communication, and technological progress is ever more rapidly transforming us through digitalization. The engineers have already hacked our world. We are at the beginning of digitalization, and digitalization itself is just the beginning. Todays biosphere, society, and humanity itself have become a global BCL. When molecular and quantum computing and Foersters mathematical model of a multidimensional nervous system induce far more drastic changes, we need more social stability than we have today if we want to survive.

           Those who hack(ed) the world must come together to learn from cybernetics how to avoid ecocide and/or human extinction in a war due to a breakdown of human communication and cooperation. To do so, we need new BCL-like research and learning labs to steer our future through and beyond digitalization.

 

HACK THE MUFFIN: TRANSDISCIPLINARY, TRANSCULTURAL, TRANSGENERATIONAL, AND TRANS-SPECIES: SOCIAL HACKING FOR DIGITAL LEARNING PIONEERS

 

              To tackle todays ecocide and intelligence loss due to our decay in communication, I adapted cybernetics from teaching at the university to use it for social hacking, thus serving cybernetics original task of co-steering the changes of digitalization. In my co-learning partnership with the Smart-City expert Urska S. Peceny, from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Apps Vienna, we invited pioneers from diverse fields, using our pattern recognition and communication skills to link businesses, parents, kids, and organizations alike. Our aim was to foster networks and agents of a sustainable biotechnological future. Together with the entrepreneur and eco visionary Vesela Tanaskovic (2018), who invented a possible solution for an afforestation of the Sahara, the cybernetic education expert Bernard Scott, a pioneer from von Foersters original Biological Computer Lab, and the digital learning team of the Davinci Lab, we hacked the high-tech grown-up NASA Space Apps Hackathon. With their help, we supported youngsters (1014years old) with their business pitches, video design, coding, and robotics to present their solutions for our future (Starc-Peceny, Ovin, & Ma!cek, 2017; NASA Space App Challenge, 2015).

            We were allowed to do so because o­ne year earlier we had already shown that kids were interested to turn the o­ngoing scientific research o­n ecological development and city design into a participative co-learning game (NASA Space App Challenge, 2016). In our Biosphere Babies Hack we used current Earth data to envision the ecological redesign of Earths biosphere into as a strategy-learning game. In this game players could build ecospheres matching the needs of global cities as biosphere babies to be fed. A biosphere design for a city o­n Mars as background made the idea of designing ecosystems as a strategy game graspable. We learned from Mars to think like organisms from Earth. The youngsters were eager to engage: So we could play an o­nline community game exploring how nature and technology work together? Where can I download it? Could you send me the link?

             Liya (one of the young leaders of NASAs first Junior Hackathon in Vienna): For adults its easy to say the future will be fine, because they wont live in it. Its me, wholl have to explain to my kids, why the forests are gone, all these species died out, and everything is polluted. We kids are angry, scared, check out from social life to live in our smart phones. Adults pretend everything is fine. All the smart kids want to learn hacking. Were trapped in the Digital Stone Age and want to hack our way out of it.

Lucas: I really try to change things, but we would have to rewrite the history of cybernetics. Thats what got us into this mess in the first place, and most answers are buried there, too. But, what do I know about hacking?

Its impossible!

           Liya (laughing): You told us that the original hackers invented cybernetics to steer the world! Thats hacking!See, Im twelve in a world full of smart-phone zombies and analog dinosaurs. Against all odds, Im student representative of my school. Why? Mostly, because I baked muffins for everyone and brought them to the elections. See, every hacking starts with this conversation in your head. Just do what you have to do and tell them the right story! Hacking is not about the digital. You said, true learning means to change who we are and how we live. Cybernetics is the past. Now we can learn most things with computers by ourselves. What we really need is teachers like you, so adults and schools wont get in our way. Otherwise, were too busy hacking our schools. Please, Lucas! Lets do what seems impossible! Weve got to find a way to hack this muffin!

          Children are natural born hackers of the adults world, eager to take o­n responsibility. Starting with themselves and their interaction with their parents, they are detectives, who burst with neural and behavioral plasticity, through which they ask: Whats our story o­n planet Earth? What the hack can we do? Like cyberneticians, they are ready to explore life itself, to participate in the steering and design of humanity. While knowing that recycling, what we want to conserve, is necessary, this clearly is not enough. If we are interested in our survival in the BCL of our biosphere, we must learn that our kids are already the change we thrived to see in this world. Instead of schooling them, we need to collaboratively explore how to design our future together. From the o­ngoing history of cybernetics, we need to learn that the systems to do so have yet to be invented by ourselves. I have pondered a long time what Liya meant when she said: The answer I came up with, is that like them I have an appreciative disregard for all system of rulesfor in order to create our future our present has to be hacked.

 

How The Viennese Hacked the Muffin:

There he was, this little Nernst, standing in front of us, and he said: Ladies and Gentlemen, I have made it my aim to free the universe from the heat death! This little man in the auditorium of the University of Vienna wants to change the universe! So he turned back to his chalkboard, wrote down all the physical formulas, changed a couple of parameters, and the universe was liberated. At this moment I understood what science is (Foerster & Freund, 1992).

 

REFERENCES

Aristoteles (2011). Poetik. Berlin, Germany: Akademie Verlag.

Bateson, G. (2002). Steps to an ecology of mind. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago

Press.

Cassirer, E. (1994). Philosophie der symbolischen Formen. 5 vols. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Earths biodiversity: What do we know and where are we headed? (2011). American Journal of Botany. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310173208.htm (accessed January 27, 2018).

Foerster, H. (1999). 2 mal 2 ist Grun. Cologne, Germany: Suppose Verlag.

Foerster, H. (2003). Understanding understanding. New York, NY: Springer Verlag.

Foerster, H., & Broecker, M. (2002). Teil der Welt. Fraktale einer Ethik. Ein Drama in drei Akten, Heidelberg, Germany: Carl-Auer Verlag.

Foerster, H., & Freund, S. (1992). Heinz von Foerster. Cyber-Ethics: A Portrait.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v (accessed January 27, 2018). ¼PeE9eAoT6x8&list¼RDPeE9eAoT6x8&t¼280

Graeber, D. (2011). Debt. The First 5000 Years. New York, NY: Melville House

Publishing.

Krieg, P. (2005). The human face of cybernetics: Heinz von Foerster and the history of a movement that failed. Kybernetes. The International Journal of Systems and Cybernetics, 34(3/4), 551557. doi:10.1108/03684920510581729

Lynn, R., & Harvey, J. (2008). The decline of the worlds IQ. Intelligence, 36(2), 112120. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2007.03.004

McKee, R. (2005). Story. Substance, structure and principles of screenwriting. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

NASA Space App Challenge (2015/16). Biosphere babiesjunior challenge.

https://2016.spaceappschallenge.org/mission-reports (accessed January 27, 2018).

Neumann, J. (2004). Theory of games and economic behavior. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Pawlik, L. (2005). Verstehen Verstehen Nicht-Verstehen Verstehen. Hollabrunn, Austria: Presshaus Sonnberg

Peel, H. R. (2013). Whitepaper. Building a Collaborative Workplace. www.peelhr.com.

Pias, C. (2004).au/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?IDCybernetics Kybernetik (The Macy-Conferences 1946¼139221 (accessed January 27, 2018).1953). 1 vols.

Zurich & Berlin, Germany: Diaphanes.

Polanyi, K. (1994). The great transformation. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Starc-Peceny, U., Ovin, R., & Ma!cek, A. (2017). Management of cities and regions. In V. Bobek (Ed.), Evolution of marketing in smart cities through the collaboration design (pp. 1931). Rijeka, Croatia: Intech.

Umpleby, S. (2003). Heinz von Foerster and the Mansfield Amendment. Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 10(34), 161163.

Tanaskovic, V. (2018). Green-Sahara. http://veselatanaskovic.com/green-sahara/ (accessed January 27, 2018).

Weizenbaum, J. (1976). Computer power and human reason. From judgement to calculation. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company.

 

Original: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02604027.2019.1568802?journalCode=gwof20

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Danube University Edukation Initiative

By Lucas Pawlik

 

We did pursue the constructivist guidance of a university curriculum for Provocative Pedagogic initiated by Prof. Perner at the Danube University. The curriculum was already set in a manner that teachers had the opportunity to learn from experts of a wide range of fields like prevention of violence, theories of teaching, mediation, pedagogic, sociology, system, group and sexual therapy, et cetera. With this precondition, my idea was using Heinz von Foersters idea of reinventing the school system to transform the curriculum into a dialogue between the educators and the experts to enable educators to create and carry out specific projects to change the education system. Contrariwise, the diverse experts would continually be informed o­n the state of affairs of current teaching in school and thus be able to assist prosperous developments as they emerge. During the course, the teachers are given the opportunity to either invent projects which can be realized in their own working places, or develop projects which they would think of as useful from the perspective of their own working experience.

 

At the end of the curriculum, these projects are either documented as scientifically sound master theses, or the master theses can be formulated as proposals for future projects. In this way, both the teaching of the teachers as well as the teaching of the students in school become part of a continuous research process based o­n the various specific networks of relations. As the first cycle of the curriculum proceeds, we are now working o­n a system of communication for those who will have finished the course to further proceed in their endeavors. In this way, a mutual teaching of teaching system of feedback loops is about to be generated in which both successes and failures of projects can be integrated to bit by bit re-invent the Austrian public education system in a cybernetic manner. Simultaneously, experts can use what they learn through their teaching for the advancement of their specific fields.

 

Political relevance

 

Another dimension of this project which is important to point out is the relevance of a dialogical form of teaching for the political domain of our society. The traditional focus of education o­n the teaching of subjects, carrying with it the negligence of the involved people and their relationships, is establishing a culture of obedience which is counter-productive to democracy. When both students and teachers are suppressed through the ignorance and restriction of their self-expression, what is primarily learned is that doing what you are told is how society works and that submission is, therefore, a prerequisite for learning and succeeding in society. The awareness of an education (transformation of living together) in which the experienced dialogue and the awareness of the self-expression of the mutual relations are the prerequisite for learning is crucial for the political reorganization of society.


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Pioneers of peace was a pilot project designed by the philosopher and pedagogue of provocation

Dr. Lucas Pawlik, supported by Innogees, a collaboration of innovative cultural designers,

with the aim of effecting a change in perspective o­n Austro-European migration issues.

 
Tawabs Story

Link: Milads Journey

Link: Majids Story

 

Innovators of Peace. Pioneers of Peace

 

How do the stories go of young heroes who leave their homelands to start a new life in peace?

What stories do they tell when asked about their visions of peace? What do they bring with them to help them achieve it? What help do they need? The answer, though variously phrased, turns out to be education, culture and peace. The boys want to take o­n responsibilities, for instance as police officers or lawyers. They want to build a culture of peace as painters, musicians or poets. They want to help with reconstruction as engineers. They want to contribute as IT-technicians, physicists and mathematicians. They are people whose lives have started afresh. For them, war and peace are not just abstract concepts but the reality of their lives. What would they want, if they had the choice, if they were asked? At Christmas 2015 would they want a new life to begin? We were with them in Traiskirchen during the first months of their fresh start. We asked them. Christmas 2015. Who are you? What do you wish for?

http://innogees.net/index.php/2015/09/24/lucas-pawlik/ 

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