Now is the time for all good cyberneticians to come to the aid of the country…
First, in a recent article in the New York Review of Books (December 4, 2008), George Soros (GEORGE SOROS!!!) invents a new term, “reflexivity,” for “the two-way circular connection between market prices and the underlying reality.”
Evidently George Soros has never heard of “positive feedback.”
Second, the Economist of November 22, 2008, has a “leader,” or editorial, entitled “No time to waste,” that talks about “automatic stabilizers.”
Evidently the Economist has never heard of “negative feedback.”
Sadly, if you either Google “automatic stabilizer” or look it up in Wikipedia, you find a lot of references, and a quick look uncovered NONE of them that mention “negative feedback” or cybernetics, or anything that looks like a scientific reference beyond economics, he said dismally.
I even found an OECD paper on automatic stabilizers (“The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond”, by Paul van den Noord, OECD Working Paper No 230, 2000). A quick review disclosed formulae, but no references to feedback, cybernetics, etc. Sigh.
This is not news!
“Contemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and psychology in the 1940s, often attributed to the Macy Conferences.”
WHAT have cyberneticians been doing these past sixty years? Flying together in tight (feedback) loops, I guess.
I don’t know whether to cry or to strangle someone.