Re: Cybernetics • Regulation In Biological Systems

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Jon Awbrey

Dec 10, 2019, 5:05:20 PM12/10/19
to Cybernetic Communications, Ontolog Forum, Structural Modeling, SysSciWG
Cf: Cybernetics : Regulation In Biological Systems : Discussion 3

Re: Cybernetics ( )
Re: Faisal L Kadri ( )

Faisal, All ...

Maybe it will help to say a few things about the way forward ...

I'll be getting back to Ashby's text directly -- it's still the best guide I've found to the rudiments of cybernetics
and the underlying logic of developing systems. Once we've laid down a stable platform of basic ideas we'll be equipped
to explore many directions of application, extension, and generalization.

As far as the future goes ...

The way I see it, scientific inquiry is a cybernetic process carried on at every scale from individual inquirers to
whole communities of inquiry. That's the way forward for me, at least, but it's still a ways to go.



Jack Ring

Dec 11, 2019, 11:22:05 AM12/11/19
to Jon Awbrey,
I share your appreciation of Ashby’s work. 
However it seems to reflect the deductive approach typical of males as contrasted to the inductive approach typical of females.
Make sense?
Jack Ring

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joseph simpson

Dec 11, 2019, 1:41:31 PM12/11/19
to Sys Sci, Jon Awbrey

Interesting comments and observation.

The statement on sex based differences reminded me of the work of John Medina in his book "brain rules."

 Medina makes a distinction between sex and gender in his work.

Further, he points out that..  "gender biases hurt real people in real-world situations."  

And when he addresses the differences between sexes, he states, "I didn't really want to write about this."

Are there biological roots that indicate behavioral differences between the sexes?

Medina indicates that a vast store of research exists, but what does this research indicate?

Are we addressing gender (cultural, behavioral) differences or are we addressing sex (physical configuration) differences.

My experience with interacting with women and men indicates (in general) that there is no difference in thought  process between men and women.

Is this outcome biased by the type of company I keep.

Probably.  In my current studies in data science and machine learning at the University of Washington, my class has more females than males.

After the Thanksgiving break, the question was asked, "What did you do over the break?"

A young woman who sits in the front row with three other young women, excitedly replied,
"I won the Google Data Science Hack-athon."

She was invited to explain to the class her winning project.

A masterpiece in the deductive approach.  

Data science, like systems science and engineering has a range of critical components, including concept integration, communication and team interaction.

Bottom line, given the company I keep, there appears to be no gender of sex difference associated with types of problem solving or analytical skills.

Take care and have fun,


Joe Simpson

“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. 

Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. 

All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”

George Bernard Shaw
Git Hub link:
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Web Site:

Jack Ring

Dec 11, 2019, 2:45:24 PM12/11/19
to, Jon Awbrey
Whether you call it sex or gender the key distinction is brain architecture and stem<>response patterns.
FWIW in my experiences men seek to organize hierarchies while women seek to organize networks. Each population is Gaussian so, yes, some men are systemists while some women are engineers.

Closer to home are you saying that you and Mary think alike or think synergistically?


joseph simpson

Dec 11, 2019, 4:04:11 PM12/11/19
to Sys Sci, Jon Awbrey

Again, another set of interesting statements.

This phrase, 
".. men seek to organize hierarchies while women seek to organize networks."

Reminded me of work by Joseph Novak about the application of his concept maps.

In essence, he said a novice in an subject area organize concepts into hierarchies and an expert in a subject area will organize the concepts into networks.

I believe this has to do with the availability of a higher density of information in the case of a subject matter expert.

The greatest advantage Mary and I have, is over 30 years of intense, shared experience.

We can communicate at very high information rates because we have researched and published together over a long period of time.

Developing a shared context is the key to high quality communication.

Take care and have fun,


Jack Ring

Dec 11, 2019, 5:30:08 PM12/11/19
to Joseph Simpson,
More of Novak’s findings are that concept maps by boys focus on hierarchies of properties whereas those by girls focus on multiplicity of influences when both boys and girls are pre-teen.

joseph simpson

Dec 11, 2019, 7:27:43 PM12/11/19
to Jack Ring, Sys Sci

Good to know.

It has been a while since I read Novak's work.

Take care and have fun,

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