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Conversation about the Conversation: A View from Table X

Written By: Jocelyn Chapman on August 3, 2010 5 Comments

What: Conversation about the Conversation at Table X

Who: Jocelyn and Laura, Rapporteurs from the conversations at Table X at the closing dinner

When: Tuesday- Our goodnewsday!

Where: Jack’s Oyster and Port House in Albany, NY


2. Just an idea: in lieu of a 2011 ASCC (more on that below) conference, we suggest that we join in Heinz von Foerster’s hundredth birthday celebration in Vienna and schedule an ASCC (see below) business meeting in conjunction with that event.

3. Wouldn’t it be cool to change the name of the American Society for Cybernetics to the American Society for Cybernetics of Cybernetics (ASCC)? Possible pronunciations: A-S- double C, or A-S C- squared (how mathy!), or … ASCCryders?

4. The fun stuff:

Our table at the closing dinner came up with the idea of having some official ASCC designations. Alterations and contributions welcome!

ASCC song: “There Ain’t Half Been some Clever Bastards” by Ian Dury and the Blockheads

ASCC improvisational jazz combo: Willy Yee offered to lead our house band, “The Practice,” with Paul Pangaro on vocals.

ASCC designation for a grouping of ASCC cyberneticians: At the closing dinner Paul Pangaro presented our table with a challenge that we are excited to share with you now: What is a grouping of ASCC cyberneticians called? (Think pride of lions, gaggle of geese). Ray “Twinkle toes” Ison suggested a double bind of cyberneticans. Laura Ehmann suggested a second order of cyberneticians. Gary Boyd suggested a loop of cyberneticians. Also suggested was a clusterf* of cyberneticians. It was a tough choice but the group defaulted to a “glanville of cyberneticians” until the rest of the ASCC members weigh in.

ASCC motto: the Nomad-Cybernetician-in-the-Loop (aka Alan Stewart) suggested, “One thing loops to another.” Ben Sweeting also suggested a motto: “Love is All,” which, we assume, was heartily embraced by ASCC elder Burl Grey.

ASCC hair-do: Lou Kaufmann collaborated with Laura Ehmann on the Mobius Braid, inspired by knot theory. This may lead to an art installation, and possibly a chain of hair salons.

ASCC button slogans: “Cybernetics is Good Enough for…Gregory Bateson… Jesus Dr. Wires… Ray “Twinkle toes” Ison… Brad KeeneyMe/You/Us… Fill in the __________.”

ASCC dance: Tango.

We welcome suggestions for the ASCC jumpsuit, flower, cocktail, tattoo (Ouroboros?), etc.


Jocelyn and Laura

PS “If you desire to see, learn how to act.” Soooo… See you in Vienna, Nov 2011!

PPS Special thanks to Judy Lombardi for the reading lists, her determination to swim at any cost, and just for being Judy.

5 Responses to “Conversation about the Conversation: A View from Table X”

  1. Burl Grey says on: 4 August 2010 at 8:39 am

    Love may not be all, but it is the Reason* for all!

  2. Burl Grey says on: 4 August 2010 at 8:59 am

    No one is more American than I am, with my Great Grandfather a Union Captain in the Civil war married to an Indian.
    The word American in ASC is too narrow and I advocate some other word starting with “A” like Allied or…

    And second order could easily be simplified: Cybernetoo
    ASC = Allied Society for Cybernetoo…or anything preserving ASC for internet and publishing continuity.

  3. ben sweeting says on: 5 August 2010 at 10:51 am

    lovely post,
    i humbly suggest a ‘Conversation of Cyberneticians’

  4. Lance Nizami says on: 13 August 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Notwithstanding “a clusterf* of cyberneticians” – perhaps an attempt at “an intercourse of cyberneticians”? (a take on humble Sweeting’s idea?) – I think a joint meeting in Vienna in 2011 would be well worth considering. Has the ASC ever held such a “joint meeting” outside the USA? With so many international members, it would seem quite reasonable.

  5. Judy Lombardi says on: 14 August 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Love your links!

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