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Re: <nettime> RE: cybernetics and the Internet
Ed Phillips on Sat, 24 Jun 2006 02:13:28 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> RE: cybernetics and the Internet

This is an interesting subject for discussion, research, and reading.

I am as interested to read of the individual biographies of nettime
contributors as I am to read their posts or essays. This list
continues to be of interest as a place where political econonomy,
aesthetics, sociology, theory, and discussions about technology can

If I might inject a little skepticism as regards participation in the
Macy conferences, about where certain individuals obtained funding for
their research, and whether or not that source of funding implies that
any of this research was put to use effectively to control the Liberal
Social Order or even if such research was engaged in with that intent,
I'd like to.

As many of you know, individual researchers are often driven as much
by their desire to understand problems and areas of
research and thought as much as they are by desire for recognition or
a desire to participate in some effort to control the Liberal Social
Order. Bateson, for example, was fascinated by feedback and the
cybernetic theory as much out of sheer desire to understand it seems
as anything.

As I've said before, the fact that Adorno's worst and most
pseudoscientific book, "The Authoritarian Personality," was funded by
gov research funding says as much about how easy it was to get funding
for research in those days and how loose the standards were for
quant-like sociology in those days as anything. Adorno was a much more
interesting philosopher and melancholic literary and social critic
than he was a pseudo-quant. That book was not even effective as a
book, let alone as a form of social control.

I regret that I am being pulled away into Python programming and lunch
at the moment.

One addition to the biblio:

Ian Hacking's works on probability and social control in the 18th and
19th centuries.

On Sun, Jun 11, 2006 at 08:41:30PM -0400, kenneth c. werbin wrote:

> Hi Brian-
> Thanks so much for your depthful thoughts, compliments and for the link to
> your work. I look forward to reading it. These ideas come from my
> dissertation work entitled 'The List Serves: Bare Life in Open Social Order'
> which I am getting closer and closer to completing at Concordia University,
> here in Montreal. In a nutshell, when I started my PhD work some years back,
> I wanted to study listservs...but in historicizing the use of lists in
> power/knowledge (a la Foucault), I ended up going much further back to
> ancient times, discovering that early Sumarian, Mesopotamian and Assyrian
> documents were all lists and that much of the Old Testament was compiled from
> such lists. The anthropologist Jack Goody (1977) in a chapter in the 'The
> domestication of the savage mind' looked into such questions.

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