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'Militans cybernetics' on the horizon of the third millennium - millennium message
"Militans cybernetics" on the horizon of the third millennium - millennium message
"Militans cybernetics" is not a simple metaphor; it is a material and spiritual reality, which has entered all pores of contemporary society.
Cybernetics - as well as other fields of knowledge - arose as a result of the development and the intricacy of social practice, of the thinking and creative spirit of the twentieth century; its scientific bases were established by Norbert Wiener's genius half a century ago and promoted on an international plane by the important Word Organization for Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC).
In modern times, even if Cybernetics did not constitute a science, yet some elementary elements are found in the works of the English school of political economy: William Petty, John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, as well as the founders of the school, Franµois Quesnay, in his famous "Economic picture" or in Friedrich List's economic concept.
In contemporary society, Cybernetics had been established as a science towards the end of the first half of the twentieth century by Norbert Wiener, and in the second half of the last century it contributed to the promotion of management, introducing a strong operational value in the management of economic and social processes.
The applications of Cybernetics brought an important contribution in the techno-scientific revolution of the last century by the growth of the productivity in work which, it is well-known, is one of the decisive factors of economic and social progress.
Numerous fields, from human knowledge, from technology to economy, from mathematics to physics and chemistry, from biology to medicine, from literature to art, had benefited and they are benefiting by the contribution of Cybernetics and its type of system, model, information and the technology of an electronic machine for calculation.
Norbert Wiener had elaborated the theoretical principles of Cybernetics, this young and strong science, considered to be one of the biggest achievements of the human genius.
In the vast constellation of the science of the twentieth century, Cybernetics appeared as an objective necessity, as a result of the development and complexity of the social practice of the spiritual and material power of humanity.
Through the possibility of scientific investigation of Cybernetics, the research had amplified the stronger investigation into the mechanism of the unfolding of the phenomena of nature and society, highlighting new and important unknown spaces on the knowledge map, spiritual and material, of the planet.
By studying the anatomy of the economic and social system and its elements, Cybernetics elaborated on models, scripts which are able to ensure the imperative of the development - the vital centre of the progress of society.
Through the applicable systems of modern methods and technology this will be continuously improved in the spiral of the scientific revolution of the next century.
Cybernetics will be more and more deeply involved in the knowledge of complex phenomena which take place in the national, regional economy and aggregate economy on a world plane, greatly improving on the management of technology in economic and social activities.
The economic and social changes that are taking place in the world today make more necessary the drawing-up of some strategies for the development of a long view to substantiate decisions about economic policy. One of the main features of the future, of the coming of the twenty-first century and the third millennium, consists of a rapid change, qualitative and quantitative, on all sides of social activity.
The scope and intensity which the technical-scientific activities will reveal in the next century, the demands of the utilization as well as the rationale of material and human resources, the intensity of the economical relationship between countries, the necessity of the utilization of the advantages of the division of labour; all these will create interest in Cybernetics for forecasting economic-social development.
In this context, the tendency towards the science of forecasting consists of the development of investigation in the long term. The estimation of the efforts of the decisions taken at present, and especially the investigation and the change in all these decisions regarding the predictable actions of economic and social factors, become important imperatives of Cybernetics Management. The knowledge of the events in the long term, investigating the alternatives of development and detaching the tendencies of evolution, are created for the Cybernetics Management factor, a series of conditions for elaborating decisions regarding the progress of society.
The decision of Cybernetics Management is always a "penetration" in the future. It supposes to take into account the mobility, the structural change of ownership of the contemporary economy and for the future, which is creating continuously a new situation, problems without any result of any decision. The continuous changes from the technology and economy become positive sides of the progress, which Cybernetics Management is obliged to take into account when making decisions.
Consequently, the prognosis of Cybernetics Management must be available at the moment of making decisions.
The activity of Cybernetics forecasts represents an important step in a long development, offering a principle of projecting the technique and economic-social developments, important elements for substantiating options of economic policy. Cybernetics is the scientific, practical instrument of elaborating Cybernetics Management prognosis of the future. It is a scientific instrument for knowing the present but a great force for knowing the future, too.
Now, at the end of the second millennium, I would like to pay respectful homage to the creator of Cybernetics, Dr Norbert Wiener, to Alma Mater Cybernetensis, which is the World Organization for System and Cybernetics, and all of you present at this symbolic Congress, at the end of the millennium and all the cyberneticians too, who are not present, for their activity in Cybernetics.
What role will Cybernetics have in systems, model and information?
Cybernetics will be enriched with new scientific, theoretical values. It occupies in the twenty-first century and the third millennium an important place in the knowledge of nature and agricultural production, in the national and international trade, in financial banking and insurance activities, continuous growth of the productivity of labour, of improvement of organization, and quality of productivity and services of the main and applied scientific investigation from biology, physics and chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, economy, medicine, development of education and culture.
Cybernetics will defend the ecology of the world
Cybernetics together with the concepts of system, model and information will constitute the main characteristic of the new society, on the horizon of the twenty-first century and the third millennium.
Ensuring the continuous improvement of management, Cybernetics will be confirmed in a strong way in the twenty-first century, in the material and spiritual development of the society, progress and human civilization.
The 12th Congress of Cybernetics will take place at the beginning of the third millennium. With respect, I would suggest to the World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics that the 12th Congress, from 2001, the beginning of the third millennium, should be organized as a memorial to the creator and genius of Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener.
I would suggest too that, for the 12th World Congress of Systems and Cybernetics, from 2001 (the first year of the third millennium and the twenty-first century), a special issue of Kybernetes should be published, on the first page of which the photograph of the man who discovered Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener should be set, and moreover that WOSC should invite the participants at the 11th Congress to write articles and studies for this the first issue of Kybernetes 2001, in memory of Norbert Wiener. Thank you.
Professor Manea Manescu (Romania)Honorary Fellow of the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC)
Editor's note: This is part of the address Professor Manea Manescu was to have presented in person to the 11th World Congress of Systems and Cybernetics of WOSC, held at Brunel University, London, UK, in August 1999. We are pleased to include it here and to welcome him as a member of our distinguished editorial board.