- Dec 2023
Local file Local file
Das Bemerkenswerte an dieser Aussage ist, dass sie klar zum Ausdruck bringt, was wir in system-theoretischen Begriffen als Produktion von Komplexität durch Selektion bezeichnen könnten. DerGrundgedanke ist, dass der Zettelkasten, wenn er richtig eingerichtet ist, in der Lage sein muss, vielmehr Komplexität zu erzeugen, als in den Zettelkasten eingeführt worden ist. Das ist eben der Fall,wenn seine Innenstruktur, wie Luhmann (1992a, S. 66) es formuliert hat, „selbständige kombinatori-sche Leistungen“ ermöglicht, so dass das, was der Zettelkasten bei jeder Abfrage mitzuteilen hat, im-mer viel mehr ist, als der Benutzer selbst im Kopf hatte.
The remarkable thing about this statement is that it clearly expresses what we might call, in systems theory terms, the production of complexity by selection. The basic idea is that the Zettelkasten, when set up correctly, must be able to generate much more complexity than was introduced into the Zettelkasten. This is precisely the case if its internal structure, as Luhmann (1992a, p. 66) put it, enables “independent combinatorial performances”, so that what the Zettelkasten has to communicate with each query is always much more than that user himself had in mind.
Perhaps a usable quote to support my own theory, but certainly nothing new to me.
Perhaps some interesting overlap with Ashby's law of requisite variety here? Perhaps an inverse version for creating variety and complexity?
- Nov 2023
Ashby's law of requisite variety may also be at play for overloading our system 1 heuristic abilities with respect to misinformation (particularly in high velocity social media settings). Switching context from system 1 to system 2 on a constant basis to fact check everything in our (new digital) immediate environment can be very mentally and emotionally taxing. This can result in both mental exhaustion as well as anxiety.
It would seem that people who spend too much time online experience more anxiety. Could it be that we've evolved to only be able to manage so many inputs and amounts of variety of those inputs? The experiencing of too much variety in our environments and the resultant anxiety may be a result of the limits of Ross Ashby's law of requisite variety within human systems.
This may also be why chaos machines like Donald Trump are effective at creating anxiety in a populace whose social systems are not designed to handle so many crazy ideas at once.
Implications for measurements of resilience?
a viable system is one that can handle the variability of its environment. Or, as Ashby put it, only variety can absorb variety.
Ashby came up with the concept of variety as a measurement of the number of possible states of a system. His "Law" of Requisite Variety stated that for a system to be stable, the number of states that its control mechanism is capable of attaining (its variety) must be greater than or equal to the number of states in the system being controlled.
- open questions
- W. Ross Ashby
- System 1 vs. System 2
- law of requisite variety
- chaos machines
- digital humanism
- chaos boxes
- Donald J. Trump
- complexity theory
- systems theory
- Aug 2021
William Ross Ashby (1903-1972) was a British pioneer in the fields of cybernetics and systems theory. He is best known for proposing the law of requisite variety, the principle of self-organization, intelligence amplification, the good regulator theorem, building the automatically stabilizing Homeostat, and his books Design for a Brain (1952) and An Introduction to Cybernetics (1956).