MrsAbsent’s Entry

‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ – a Wiki or Cybernetic Model of Cybernetic Thinking for An Evolutionary ASC

‘In cybernetics, Noospehere is a term modelled after biosphere signifying…the space occupied by the totality of information and human knowledge collectively available to man…the processes operating in this space, e.g., combinatorial mating, classification, reproduction, simplification, and selective decay…a theoretical stage of evolutionary development, associated with consciousness, the mind, and personal relationships…. and is also sometimes used to refer to a transhuman consciousness emerging from the interactions of human minds.’

An operational architecture to take the ASC into the 22nd Century:

Margaret Meads prescience in looking for how the ASC could develop a ‘circular self corrective system’ that ‘concurrently has the possibility of growth’ and enables ‘adequate cross national and cross ideological communication’ is demonstrated by the explosion of participatory digital systems across the internet and within private organizations as a means of enabling co evolving adaptive systems to prevail. A distributed group such as the ASC, who are themselves concerned with distributed interactive systems, are well placed to lead the field whilst concurrently meeting all of their published Purposes http://www.asccybernetics.org/organization/constitution.htm

‘Noosphere/ASC 2.0’, as proposed here, is a participatory virtual 3D architectural model developed, navigated, and maintained by users avatars within an existing online proprietorial virtual world such as Second Life, Kaneva or Next Island, all of which are free to use. The architecture of this 3D model evolves through use, but is initially defined by nodes of key concepts in cybernetics. The users journey between these nodes creates the visual network that constitutes the system and repeated visits to a node see that node enlarge. Thus, users conceptual associations define the visual architecture; like a mind map citation index/tag cloud on cybernetics, as all activity feeds back and informs the structure of the system and thus conceptual ‘pathways’ become conceptual ‘highways’ or not, as more or less users take them.

Additionally, the starting framework embeds attendant content such as online databases, websites and book stores so the structure performs an archival function as users activities themselves create the navigation between references. Users are invited from the ASC mailing lists and degrees of access protocols eg moderations (mods) such as uploading ones own profile and click through content and making ones own links, can be agreed as part of the design consultation. Thus ‘Noosphere/ASC 2.0’ is the structure of the ASC and additional operational protocols and processes can be built in to its participatory systems.

Visual Navigation Of Ideas:

In ‘Now that we have the technology, what do we do with it? the author puts forward the hypothesis that scholarly argument as it is presently pursued is mediated through print; but the advent of modern ICT offers alternative media to support scholarly publication.

In the late 1990s the brilliant multimedia visionary Roy Stringer came up with a 3D, manipulative navigation tool called the “Navihedron”, then coded in Macromedia Shockwave. This concept can be seen in some modern tools such as the Visual Thesaurus, where words become nodes, and are connected to related words, visually mapped as a 3D objects you could move around on screen.

It is these concepts that underpin the structure as it can be seen in the accompanying image. Furthermore, in this image, the ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ is sketched as floating in the air to aid non linear visual navigation, as it is always possible to ‘fly’ in these virtual environments. In addition, the ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ is in the sky above an in world Philosophy zone, where Users can take their avatars to ‘sit’ in the buildings of ancient Greece & Rome and debate tenets of philosophy. This is all technically possible but may undergo a degree of iteration if it were to be produced.

Meeting the Purposes of ASC:

This proposal meets the Purposes of the ASC as follows

1. The advancement of cybernetics as a science, a discipline, a meta-discipline, and a practice by:

o Allowing ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ users to systematically accreting, evaluating and disseminating knowledge about cybernetics and its applications, unconstrained by disciplinary and other boundaries.
o The ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ facilitates developing and refining cybernetics’ concepts, ethics, models, research methods and other techniques of inquiry.
o The ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ allows cybernetic means to be applied to improve systems in the manner cybernetics advocates (e.g., better reflexivity, balance, autonomy, manageability and design).
o The ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ informs the public, educating students, sustaining practitioners, and can underpin the accrediting of cybernetics curricula and graduates.

2. The promotion of cybernetics as basis for an interdisciplinary discourse which:

o The ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ propagates understanding of circular and reflexive systems, their designers’, actors’, observers’, and investigators’ roles, and how change affects all via interrelationship and interactivity.
o The ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ affirms cybernetics’ principles and values in any domain thus addressed (e.g., self-government and deliberative democracy in the domain of politics).
o The ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ creates and nurtures connections between cybernetics and other disciplines, philosophies, sciences, and arts

Conclusion

Varying degrees of ‘NooSphere/ASC 2.0’ are implementable. For example, developing a coherent participatory web presence for the ASC, its members and archives through 3rd party services could be Phase 1 of the project. However, I have never met Margaret Mead, Gordon Pask nor any key members of the ASC but I imagine most would delight in hovering in space as part of an evolutionary evolving artwork whilst Kant and the like are debated in heavy, square, stone buildings below – Touche !

It is where algorithms meet graphics, where the user can interact, adapt and amend the component parts of an artefact, that the attributes of complex systems such as self‐organisation, emergence, interdependence, feedback, the space of possibilities, co‐evolution and the creation of new order are embraced on a day to day basis by artists, designers and users alike (Cham, 2007).

Definition Of Terms/Webography:

Web 2.0

‘Web 2.0’ refers to applications that allow interactive ‘systemic biases, interoperability, user-centered design,’ Web 2.0 allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as consumers of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the active viewing of content that they created and controlled. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, mashups and folksonomies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

Wiki Logic

A Wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked component parts through a web browser and are often used to create collaborative works. Examples include knowledge management systems with some permitting control over different functions via different levels of access. For example editing rights may permit changing, adding or removing material. Others may permit access without enforcing access control. Other rules can be imposed for organizing content. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

Social networks

A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as common interest, relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network

MUDs, MOOs & MMORPGs

Virtual environments began as Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a genre of computer role-playing games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world. As in all RPGs, players adopt an avatar and take control over many of that character’s actions. MMORPGs are distinguished by the game’s persistent world, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massively_multiplayer_online_role-playing_game

MODs in MMORPGs

In World of Warcraft, for example, the 3-D graphics use elements of a proprietary graphics engine and was designed to be an open environment where players are allowed to do what they please. Quests are optional and were designed to help guide players, allow character development, and to spread characters across different zones to try to avoid what developers called player collision The game interface allows players to add Mods eg customize appearance and controls, and to install add-ons and other modifications. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_world

Second Life http://secondlife.com/

Second Life (SL) is a virtual world accessible on the Internet. A free client program called enables its users, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world (which residents refer to as “the grid”). Built into the software is a three-dimensional modeling tool based around simple geometric shapes that allows a resident to build virtual objects. This can be used in combination with the Linden Scripting Language which can be used to add functionality to objects. More complex three-dimensional sculpted prims (colloquially known as “sculpties”), textures for clothing or other objects, and animations and gestures can be created using external software. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Life

Kaneva http://www.kaneva.com/default.aspx

Kaneva was originally founded to develop a massively multi-player online game but later decided to use its own technology to develop a virtual world that combined video sharing, social networking and 3D environments. An Elite Developers program was later discontinued but their source code was release in November 2009 and still available to everyone on the resources page at in their developer web site. Kaneva shifted from featured MMO development to smaller scale 3D application development which closely mirrors the very popular Facebook applications. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaneva

Entropia; Next Island

‘Join the utopian scientists, great artists and successful entrepreneurs who populate our tropical paradise of Next Island. Travel through time to ancient Greece where you can fight mythical beasts, quest to please the gods or discuss philosophy with other residents. Pursue a wide range of professions ….or just socialize with other Islanders at our popular clubs. ‘ http://www.nextisland.com/about-next-island/

The Virtual Conference

‘Virtual conferences are set to explode and steal a slice of the action away from real-life trade shows. A report last month by Market Research Media said the marketplace will grow to $18.6bn over the next five years‘ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8608417.stm

Bibliography

Georgy S. Levit: Biogeochemistry, Biosphere, Noosphere: The Growth of the Theoretical System of Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945) ISBN 3-86135-351-2
2000 Ingraham, Bruce Douglas. Scholarly Rhetoric in Digital Media (or: Now that we have the technology, what do we do with it?) Teaching Fellow, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK JIME Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME), (3)

2007 Cham, K.L., ‘Reconstruction Theory, Designing the Space of Possibility in Complex Media’; in Special Issue: Performance & Play: Technologies of presence in performance, gaming & experience design, International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media, Vol 2&3: 3, Lizbeth Goodman, Deeverill, Esther MacCallum-Stewart & Alec Robertson (eds), Intellect www.atypon-link.com.

New Futures for Education, Beyond The Information Age, Wendy M Schulz http://www.slideshare.net/wendyinfutures/new-futures-for-education-beyond-the-information-age


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Author is elegible for HvF Prize (aged under 35): NO

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