Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Cybernetics in the 2000th year
Keywords: Cybernetics, Systems, Millennium
Discusses twentieth-century cybernetics seen as a science of dynamic systems. Considers the make-up of systems and cybernetics in the new millennium.
Cybernetics in the late twentieth century was considered as the science of dynamic systems, which is more or less related to system dynamics. It is, however, felt that the dynamic aspects of systems will not be-there in the near future due to the fact that natural calamities and nuclear threat may lead to excess in the dynamics of the world system, and hence the overall situation may become a static situation of the world body and the supplementary systems of the different nations may look for complementary cybernetics called "World Peace", which was promised during the last century.
The promise of world peace is based on the fact that the winds of despair are blowing from every direction, and the strife that divides and afflicts the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appears to be lamentably defective. In other words, the dynamics of evil forces is at large at present and hence no system can sustain its dynamical behaviour.
The cybernetician in such a worldly system may therefore look for the theory of "Content and Container" which does not pertain to the logics of system dynamics. It also implies that the human brain is being shadowed by the loss of system dynamics; the human being can become a non-thinking entity. This would lead to a static situation of the world.
On the other hand, the communication in the absence of the logics of system dynamics does not make much sense and it only calls for consultation among the various elements of each system. Such a consultation may be super-natural in existence. The new cybernetics can therefore emerge for the sustainability of each and every system. Each and every system consists of hardware and software. While cybernetics looks at the software of the overall system, the hardware of the system is at the point of collapse and therefore system dynamics may not be relevant to the world in the final periods of time.
The inordinate gap between rich and poor, a source of acute suffering, keeps the world in a state of instability, virtually on the brink of war. Few societies have dealt effectively with the situation. The solution calls for the combined application of spiritual, moral and practical approaches. A fresh look at each and every system is required, entailing consultation with cyberneticians from a wide spectrum of disciplines, devoid of economic and ideological polemics, and involving the people directly affected in the decisions that must urgently be made.
It is such an issue that is bound up not only with the necessity for eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty but also with spiritual varieties, the understanding of which can produce a new universal attitude and hence a new cybernetics may emerge. Fostering such an attitude is itself a major part of the solution and the establishment of cybernetics in its true sense in the twenty-first century.
S. Madan Department of Physical Sciences, Egerton University, Kenya
"The promise of world peace: a statement by the Universal House of Justice", BAHA'I World Center, Haifa (1996).