Theory and Therapy of Representations

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Jon Awbrey

Dec 18, 2019, 1:00:44 PM12/18/19
to Cybernetic Communications, Ontolog Forum, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG

"Representation" is a concept we find at the intersection of
cybernetics, epistemology, logic, mathematics, politics, and
psychologies both cognitive and clinical. In my own studies
it led me from math to psych and back again, with sidelong
glances at the history of democratic governance. Here's
one blog post recent discussions brought back to mind:

Cf: Theory and Therapy of Representations : 1

Again, in a ship, if a man were at liberty to do what
he chose, but were devoid of mind and excellence in
navigation (???????????? ????????????????????????), do you perceive
what must happen to him and his fellow sailors?

-- Plato : Alcibiades, 135A

Re: Michael Harris

Statistics were originally the data that a ship of state needed
for stationkeeping and staying on course. The Founders of the
United States, like the Cybernauts of the Enlightenment they
were, engineered a ship of state with checks and ballasts
and error-controlled feedbacks to achieve the bicameral
purpose of representing both reality and the will of
the people. And Max Weber understood that a state's
accounting systems were intended as representations
of realities that its crew and passengers must
observe or perish.

The question for our time is --

What are the forces that distort our representations
of what's observed, what's expected, and what's intended?




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Jon Awbrey

Dec 20, 2019, 9:20:26 PM12/20/19
to Cybernetic Communications, Ontolog Forum, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG
Cf: Theory and Therapy of Representations : 4

Re: Theory and Therapy of Representations : 3

Re: Ontolog Forum (

What are the forces distorting our representations of
what's observed, what's expected, and what's intended?

The short answer is .... the force behind all distortions is our
own unenlightened mind, and all the shortfalls this comes with.

I think that's true, we have to keep reflecting on the state of our
personal enlightenments. If we can do that without losing our heads
and our systems thinking caps, then there will be much we can do to
promote the general Enlightenment of the State.

Well, the weekend is upon me, and I find myself in a weakened state,
so I'll leave off here with another recurring train of thoughts:

Cf: Theory and Therapy of Representations : 2

In a complex society, people making decisions and taking actions at places remote from you have the power to affect your
life in significant ways. Those people are your government, no matter what spheres of influence they inhabit, private
or public. The only way you get a choice in that governance is if there are paths of feedback that allow you to affect
the life of those decision makers and action takers in significant ways. That is what accountability, response-ability,
and representative government are all about.

Naturally, some people are against that.

In the United States there has been a concerted campaign for as long as I can remember -- but even more concerted since
the Reagan Regime -- to get the People to abdicate their hold on The Powers That Be and just let some anonymous
corporate entity send us the bill after the fact. They keep trying to con the People into thinking they can starve the
beast, to limit government, when what they are really doing is feeding the beast of corporate control, weakening their
own power over the forces that govern their lives.

That is the road to perdition as far as responsible government goes. There is not much of anything one leader or one
administration can do unsupported if the People do not constantly demand a government of, by, and for the People.


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