Saturday, August 25, 2012

Frank Fisher - cybersystemicist

Colleague and friend Frank Fisher succumbed to the effects of a brain tumour and passed away Tuesday last (21st August 2012).  Fortunately there was time for some celebration of Frank's achievements  before his death (held on June 25th though sadly I was not in Melbourne at the time). This included the preparation of a collation of 'Frank Stories' in the form of a book which he had a chance to see and comment upon, although the final version is yet to appear.   One of his legacies is the Understandascope website.

When I thought about who I might invite to launch my book, 'Systems Practice: How to Act in Climate-Change World', at the Melbourne Writer's Festival in 2010, Frank was an obvious choice.  He was one of the few people I knew in Melbourne who appreciated and enacted cybersystemic understandings.  As in all things Frank brought his own idiosyncratic style to the event. 

Various postings with their associated comments demonstrate that Frank has significantly influenced the lives of many - he was an educator with the capacity to transform, and transform for the better.  In their book 'The Western Intellectual Tradition' Bronowski and Mazlish said (p.353) ' is the men out of sympathy with the existing university education and government who make the new science'.  Whilst they referred to the late 18th century industrial revolution and the Lunar Society Frank's life is testimony that this tradition of critical questioning and acting persists. It is to be hoped that in the not too distant future we can claim that he was a man ahead of his time and at the vanguard of a new form of scholarship more appropriate to our circumstances.

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