Monday, April 13, 2009

(Cybernetic) Imperatives

Cybernetician Larry Richards has recently written a paper called The Anticommunication Imperative. In general, I recommend it, & in particular, I'd like to copy for you his list of 'imperatives', collected from a few sources & augmented by his newest one, which I happen to like quite a bit: If you seek the new, compose asynchronicity.


Heinz von Foerster initiated a tradition, or what could become a tradition, when he articulated in the context of cybernetics a set of imperatives:

The Ethical Imperative: Act always so as to increase the number of choices.

The Aesthetical Imperative: If you desire to see, learn how to act.

The Therapeutic Imperative: If you want to be yourself, change!

Klaus Krippendorf later formulated the following set:

The Aesthetic Imperative: Construct your own reality to see.

The Empirical Imperative: Invent as many alternative constructions as you can and enact them to experience the constraints on their viability.

The Self-Referential Imperative: Include yourself as a constituent of your own constructions.

The Ethical Imperative: Grant others that occur in your constructions at least the same capabilities that you employ in constructing them.

The Social Imperative: When communicating, preserve or open new possibilities for others.

In this tradition, I [Larry Richards] would like to add:

The Anticommunication Imperative: If you seek the new, compose asynchronicity.

This tradition of Imperative-writing has some overlap w/ a project of Jacob's & mine -- see: repertoire cards. (Perhaps especially th repertoire card entitled 'imperatives' which contains th text, "Speak only in imperatives.") Our project also plays w/ constructions & so points at Krippendorf's set of imperatives.

As always, I invite yr response.

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