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Re: <nettime> Nobel laureate in economics aged 102 endorses the human ec
John Hopkins on Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:52:42 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Nobel laureate in economics aged 102 endorses the human economy...

Hi Mark

Although I am haven't the time to promote and explore the
application a wholistic approach like 'living systems theory'
or 'general system theory' to such issues . . .

Thanks for bringing this up!  However, in this case, the key  individual is
probably Kenneth Boulding.  Central to his work is the entire  literature
on the "Image" -- which he called "Eiconics" and which (sorta) later  became

Thanks for the references, I don't know how you can keep track of all that information!!!! There is a nice book out by Debora Hammond

Hammond, D., 2003. The science of synthesis: Exploring the social implications of general systems theory, Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

that explores the history, including, of course, Boulding, Rapoport, Gerard, Bertalanffy and the others I mentioned. It occurs to me that I should ask around here at UofColorado about Boulding, while I am teaching here...

The submersion (perversion!) of much general systems thinking into the cybernetic/military-industrial was an unfortunate result of crossovers between all these people (and others) at the time. But certainly some of the ideas are extremely powerful (as illustrated by the fact that our social system as it is rests largely on a technocracy constructed from that worldview!). I prefer the more wholistic open-system sensibility of Bertalanffy and the Millers. This is no coincidence as my father was a senior systems analyst & engineer deep in the MIT-MITRE-DOD-RAND circuit between '41-'69 -- it seemed incumbent to move in another direction :-|

(An aside -- the psychological state that such thinking imposed, workday-after-workday, beginning in 1940, and eventually subsuming huge numbers of (mostly) men engineers had/has a direct formative effect on the entire social fabric that we are part of now... on personal, family, community, and national levels)



Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
Watching the Tao rather than watching the Dow!

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