Friday, July 15, 2011

Fancy a Conference in Vienna?

5th International Heinz von Foerster Congress.

Again, the University of Vienna will be the venue of discussions on the efforts as well as the effects of Heinz von Foerster's work and life.

It is only one of the special aims of this year's conference to celebrate von Foerster's 100th birthday. As to celebrating his work, we deem it appropriate to start with implications of Heinz von Foerster's early works, as represented by his early quantum-physical interpretation of memory and by his seminal work on self-organizing systems in the early 1960ies. Accordingly, this year's conference moves along two quite different and  nevertheless  related tracks
•    Emergent Quantum Mechanics (primarily targeted audience: physicists); convened by Gerhard Grössing
•    Emergence and self organisation in the worlds of society and nature (primarily targeted audience: specialists in sciences and humanities, and a general audience); convened by Albert Müller and Karl H. Müller

There is a conference web-site online (to be updated permanently throughout the next months)

The conference will take place at the main building of the University of Vienna from 10th to 13th November 2011. There will be special seminars before and after the conference, and a series of documentary films on topics related to cybernetics to be seen at a Viennese cinema.

Registration is possible from now onwards. To register as a participant of the conference, please send an informal e-mail to using 'registration' as a subject line. There is no registration or entrance fee.

The 5th International Heinz von Foerster Conference is sponsored by the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research, the City of Vienna, and Blaha Büromöbel. Co-organizers are the Heinz von Foerster Society, WISDOM, Dept. of Contemporary History, University of Vienna, Austrian Institute for Nonlinear Studies in cooperation with the American Society for Cybernetics.

We ask you to distribute this information among your respective communities

Gerhard Grössing
Albert Müller
Karl H. Müller
Emergent Interest in Cybernetics ...or?

The American Society of Cybernetics recently received the following request.  Does this represent an upsurge in interest or further uncritical pursuit of all things cybernetic as with Adam Curtis?  Any offers?

"My name is Claire Perrier and I am currently working with the filmmaker Philippe Borrel who is directing a 90 minute documentary about the convergent technologies revolution for the French and German cultural channel Arte TV. I am in charge of the research and collecting of the archive video footage. The film is produced by the French production company Cinétévé and will be broadcasted in 2012.

The filmmaker will talk in his film about the beginning and the history of the cybernetic sciences and researches. I am looking for some archival footage that would tell this story : interviews from the first cybernetic scientists like Norbert Wiener, the Macy conferences, other meetings, researches, interviews, archival news, etc... Anything that would allow us to tell this story and show how the cybernetics started. We are looking for archival footage, but if none existed, we would also be interested in archival photographies.

I would be very grateful to you if you could tell me who I should contact for this research or where I could find such archives.

Thanks a lot for your answer and please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further information regarding this project.

Best regards,


Claire Perrier de la Bâthie
Archive footage researcher
4, Quai des Célestins
75004 Paris - France
Insightful Analysis of how Murdoch Operates

Thanks to the Daily Telegraph's Chief Political Correspondent it is possible to gain useful insight's into how Rupert Murdoch and News Corp have operated so successfully within the realm of  political power.   My thanks to Roy Madron for drawing it to my attention.

Simon Caulkin adds additonal useful insights (see Suicide bomb at Wapping: family mansion in flames).  Simon asks whether the challenge to democracy that News Corp has come to be could have been exposed if a newspaper chain that operated as a Trust (rather than as a fully private business intent on maximising shareholder return) did not exist?  It was after all the Guardian and particularly Guardian journalist Nick Davies who have done the most to bring about this expose.

I have been back in Australia all of a week and the Murdoch press is appalling.  There is no balance and they, with Abbot, cultivate a climate of fear that is ethically indefensible.  As Julia Gillard implied yesterday much of what is published is crap!  Under the circumstances it makes a mockery of
John Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of News Limited, claims that "at a time when “disturbing events continue to unfold in London”, it was “offensive and wrong” to connect the behaviour of the UK arm with the Australian newspaper titles."  I disagree. This is exactly what should be done.  And the last people to check what has or has not happened is News Corp itself, as the evidence from senior management in the UK only too clearly shows.
ANZAM Conference in Wellington NZ

Bob Cavana writes: 'Just a short note to let you know that our deadline for papers, posters, workshops etc for the ANZAM conference (in Wellington on 7-9 December 2011) has now been extended until 21 July 2011.

Please visit for full paper and workshop submission information.

We are also hoping to have a meeting at the ANZAM conference of professionals/practitioners & academics interested in systems & complexity methods and applications in management.

We look forward to seeing you all at the ANZAM conference in Wellington in December.