Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Keywords: Automation, Cybernetics, Research, Technological developments
Research papers by Dr Alexis U. Jdanko (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Research, Israel) consider an evolutionary approach to cybernetics (Jdanko, 1988, l999). They deal with various issues of evolutionary cybernetics and with questions of complexity, systems organisations and with the concepts of entropy, as related to the cybernetic approach to complexity.
At the recent World Congress of Cybernetics and Systems (London, 1999) his paper, on "First principles of dynamic evolutionary cybernetics" which was a philosophical or qualitative description, highlighted the evolutionary version of cybernetics he has elaborated during many decades. He has in fact written these since 1958 in a series of papers published worldwide.
He introduced his present paper (Jdanko, 1999) with an introduction that puts his views into perspective. He starts by outlining an evolutionary vision of cybernetics by claiming that:
Cybernetics treats up to date mainly, if not only, statics of, or structural-functional approach to, control systems rather than their dynamics or, which is the same from the long-term perspective, evolution. The use of the static version of cybernetics is very effective in most biological and social sciences, but not in those of them that are of evolutionary character like the theory of species evolution or the history of society. The point is that the only static point of view is insufficient to apply cybernetics usefully to such dynamic processes. For the purpose, it is necessary to transform cybernetics and include into it some additional dimensions and principles of evolutionary character.
It is interesting to note that he says that he was elaborating evolutionary cybernetics during four decades to adapt it not only to studying society but also its history. At the World Congress (London, 1999) he addressed the section on the "Principles of cybernetics" by considering:
General definitions of cybernetics - giving definition through the universal classification of systems and the main peculiarities of control systems then defining it in the framework of the trichotomous classification of control systems.
Statics of control systems - some of the central ideas and essence of cybernetics were discussed.
Dynamics, or evolution of control systems - transition, two-step development, the three-stage evolution of control systems were discussed as well as the history of society in the universal evolution of control systems, as well as cybernetic futurology.
Many of Dr Jdanko's contributions to evolutionary cybernetics have been published in this journal and it is hoped his latest contribution in this area of study will be included in our millennium volume.
Jdanko, A.V. (1988), "Evolutionary cybernetic systems theory considered as a chapter of general systems theory - a viewpoint", Kybernetes, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 44-51.
Jdanko, A.V. (1999), "First principles of dynamic-evolutionary cybernetic", in Vallée, R. and Rose, J. (Eds), 11th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems Conference Proceedings, pp. 27-8.