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JOURNAL of SOCIOCYBERNETICS
8th International Conference of Sociocybernetics
COMPLEX SOCIAL SYSTEMS, INTERDISCIPLINARITY AND WORLD FUTURES
Ciudad de México
MÉXICO 23-27 June 2008


—abstracts & sessions—

SESSION 1 12:10 - 17:40 Chair: Jorge González

12:10 - 12:50 Paper 1. Héctor Zamorano, zamorano@citynet.net.ar Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Estadística de Rosario (UNR) ARGENTINA
“A way to apply interdisciplinary studies in social systems”

In Social Sciences it is very difficult to find some issue that can be analyzed from the point of view of only one discipline.
Our current social structure is so complex that it demands taking into account different perspectives from different disciplines.
When we observe a social system it is essential to recognize a complex net of interrelationships among its elements, thus a systemic point of view is required.
As sociologists we can work in private enterprises or for the government as consultants, or into a team to support a project. In these situations we have to deal with decisions, making suggestions about better alternatives, decisions that will modify the system we are analyzing.
Dynamic System provides us a very powerful decision support system. Decision makers can support their hypothesis rather then choosing alternatives only intuitively.
Using Dynamic System methodology we can build an interesting framework where the different disciplines can share aims, concepts and methodologies, working together on the same object at the same time.
Dynamics Systems have their roots in the General System Theory and Cybernetics of the second order concepts. To put them into practice, we need to build a model where we can include all the perspectives of the interdisciplinary team. So, all the team must agree on the behavior observed and with it representation.
To sum up: the simulation of this kind of models answers the question “what would happen if … “ from an interdisciplinary perspective. It enables us to govern (feed forward) rather than to control the system (feed back).

12:10 - 13:30 Paper 2. Octavio González Castillo , ogc@xanum.uam.mx Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México “Conceptual referenced systems: an interdisciplinary coordinating instrument”
Conceptual referenced systems are proposed as instruments of conceptual cartography useful for guiding the 'sailing in the word of ideas'. The usefulness of “conceptual referenced maps” and “conceptual information systems” -both derived from the proposed base-for studying and coordinating diverse disciplinary fields, is also emphasized.
Conceptual referenced maps, drawn over the space defined in a conceptual referenced system, can be useful base for the conceptographic location of:
o Perspectives and focus lenses that diverse persons/schools use for knowing, reflecting and acting over the world (1st order maps).
o Conceptual projections (weltanschauungen/paradigms) generated by a person/school in a given disciplinary field (2º order maps).
In Conceptual information systems (CIS) it is possible to superpose diverse information layers showing and contrasting different characteristics on common conceptual regions. In the same way as conceptual referenced maps, CIS have the potential for easing the study, intervention and communication in complex fields. CIS can also allow us to work in multi, inter or transdisciplinary ways.
The usefulness of conceptual referenced maps and conceptual information systems rests not only in their capacity for locating and comprehending concepts previously developed by a person/school, but also in their potential for revealing, for a trained observer, regions not yet explored or developed.
As an example of the potential of the conceptual base we are proposing, two application cases are discussed. Conceptual referenced bidimensional systems were designed and used for locating and characterizing the movement of schools of sustainability and productive systems evaluation.

15:00 - 15:40 Paper 3. Jesús Marcelo Ramírez Arias ramar@leibniz.iimas.unam.mx y Jaime Jiménez. Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas aplicadas y en Sistemas, UNAM, México
“The use of information technologies from a complex systems perspective”


Mexican companies have a low success index in the implementation of Information Technology (IT) systems, measured as improvement in productivity and efficiency. Statistics shows only 26 percent of executives willing to continue investing in IT, whereas 43 percent do not intend to invest again in this type of technology. The perception of failure in implementation shows that organizations require new capabilities to get the benefits associated with IT.

Small enterprises are more suitable to apply complexity theories because of its manageable size. If successful, the firm grows according to the demands of the market. This growing occurs so rapidly that there is no time for organizational design, and all the core functions are performed by a single individual: the entrepreneur. At this stage there is the need to define processes, functions, and procedures; however this is not an easy task because the enterprise has become so complex that trying to uncover the hidden order within the brain of the entrepreneur becomes a long term effort.

It is presented the case of a small enterprise which aims to develop its organizational capabilities through an information system, which keeps its members informed on the status of the firm projects. The application of the complex adaptive systems concepts allowed to identify the specific enterprise information needs, and to develop a plan for technological update, which aligns with the short and medium term objectives of the organization. This planning process will reduce the cost of the information system.



15:40 - 16:20 Paper 4. José Amozurrutia, amoz@labcomplex.net LabCOMplex, CEIICH, UNAM, México
“Genetic epistemology, basic mathematics and systemic thinking as essential disciplines for social research terdisciplinarity


Interdisciplinarity is a special type of activity derived from the interaction of two or more disciplines. The purpose of this interaction is the construction of a better point of view towards a practical problem solution. The new point of view necessary adopts a reflection place in which the observers define a common object of study and a conciliated methodology in order to propose a new solution to the practical problem. In the making of this construction, the specialized researchers in each of the participating disciplines should dispose as much elements ie. Meta-languages, to communicate effectively, to use common tools and develop procedures based on those languages. Otherwise the meeting will be a multidisciplinary approach in which the problem solution will be in the same level of the discipline leader just helped with the aid of other disciplines.

It is my claim that basic concepts of Genetic Epistemology, Basic Mathematics and Systemic Thinking determine the main languages that allow researchers interact effectively through real interdisciplinary activity. They may be used in order to construct a common object of study and to work under a consensus methodology. Although they are formal disciplines, each of them owns a language that may construct theoretical formulations on the basis of real problem solutions and let it be observed as social complex systems approach.

Each of these disciplines -which I will call them as “essential disciplines”- operates in a different level of observation and analysis of reality, although they have similar types of relations in their basic concepts. I will take only some of the fundamental concepts of each one and show how they may be used to construct bridges and establish common basis between fields mainly in some of the main social science disciplines. Using interdisciplinary approaches to the study of social systems is a central concern in sociocybernetics.


17:00 - 17:40 Paper 5. Danie Strauss, dfms@cknet.co.za “The integrating challenge of multidisciplinary perspectives on social systems and a future world”
The modern scholarly dispensation is characterized by a large number of distinct academic disciplines - basically differentiated in the natural sciences and the humanities. Within the natural sciences perhaps the two most familiar but also most perplexing realities are found in the nature of matter and the complex nature of living entities (“life”), and within the humanities the reality of complex social systems appear to pose a challenge to the academic disciplines (special sciences) falling within this domain because such a complex system cannot be decomposed or reduced to the angle of approach of any distinct special science. The modern state or the business enterprise, for example, exceeds the scope of both the disciplines of law and economics, for the simple reason that neither a state nor a firm can be reduced to either of these perspectives (aspects) - the economic or the jural.
Even the most basic concept of physical nature, that of matter, exceeds the grasp of merely one angle of approach; and that in spite of the aim of superstring theory to produce a “theory of everything” it turned out that not even matter could be explained exclusively in physical terms. It is therefore not surprising that Stegmüller believes that one of the most difficult questions facing science in the 20th century is indeed given in the concept of matter, which he considers to be mysterious in the utmost sense.
The opposing extremes of an atomistic and holistic approach in the understanding of nature (physics and biology) are also present within the humanities. The cybernetic notion of “self-control” will be explored in the context of inter-human relations. Cybernetics, in its concern for the structure of complex systems (including communication and control mechanisms), opened the way to system theory and will also be pursued by analyzing human communication.


TUESDAY JUNE 24

SESSION 2 9:00 - 13:30 Chair: Bernard Hornung

9:00 - 9:40 Paper 6. Carlos Lozano Ascencio carlos.lozano@urjc.es Universidad Rey Juan carlos y José Luis Piñuel, pinuel@ccinf.ucm.es Universidad Complutense, España.
“The hegemonic discourse about the truth and communication: what mass media say about social communication”

It is universally acknowledged nowadays that what is published by the mass communication media about events becomes the only social reality that reaches the citizens, and that whatever is not covered by the media is simply dropped out of perception. As a result, the discourse of the media has grown into the object of analysis for studying the collective image that audiences elaborate when a social agent enters into the stage of the news.

Any communicative discourse (an interpersonal conversation, a text book, an academic lecture, an e-mail, a letter sent through the post, a chat on the web, a television debate, etc.) is constructed on the basis of the circulation of expressions; the reliability, pertinence and objectivity of these expressions are not in any doubt, since, otherwise, it would be impossible for the interlocutors to meta-communicate, in other words, to reach agreements on the communication, over and above what is being expressed. To avoid continuous questioning of the expressions and continually having to make agreements over the communication, “know-how” about communication (society's cognitive heritage) has resources which strengthen confidence in the discourses, which go beyond the strict conditions of formal and material truth which have so preoccupied knowledge theorists. It has always been said that to communicate by telling the truth (an ethical problem) has been and is one of the great aspirations of human honesty and integrity; this ethical problem takes on social importance of the first order when claiming the right to truth in communication produced in the Mass Communications Media, in application of article 20 of the Spanish Constitution, where the right to truthful information and to freedom of expression is recognised.


9:40 - 10:20 Paper 7. Silvia Almanza Márquez, silvia.almanza@ccadet. Centro de ciencias aplicadas y desarrollo tecnológico, UNAM, México
“Learning system for innovation: a complex systems framework for less innovating countries”


Based on the Complex Systems Dynamic approach, the purpose of this paper is to present an analytical framework adapted from the National Innovation System concept to less innovative countries -like many of Latin America -, to sustain the transition process for the Knowledge Era. Through the induction of a transition system as an intermediate stage -a learning for innovation system -, it could be increased - we argue here -, the potentiality to create synergies, and so to make a more efficient use of knowledge by the actors. The attractor in the horizon for a country like this could be a higher stage, say a more articulated and efficient innovation system.

Our hypothesis is that in countries lacking of properly linked innovation systems, such systems could be induced ex ante through the implementation of appropriated policies aimed to induce transition systems. It is suggested here an approach of dynamic complex systems, to include a sense of direction in public policies in such a way, that assume their own development levels, their capabilities and competencies, their strengths and weakness. From here, it could be possible to design the necessary policy instruments that eventually will allow them to ascend to a higher level of performance and competency in the long term.
In sum, this paper attempts to do a theoretical construct of the learning system for innovation concept, based in the dynamic of complex systems approach. The final aim is to sustain public development policies based on knowledge, in less innovative countries.


10:20 - 11:00 Paper 8. Fabio Giglietto, fabio.giglietto@uniurb.it University “Carlo Bo” Urbino - Faculty of Sociology
“Analyzing user generated content for social science: generational we sense in the Italian blogosphere

During the last few years the Internet has been increasingly used by people as a read-write medium. Thanks to the dropped prices and skills necessary to afford and use technologies aimed to create digital contents (such as video cameras, camera phones and digital cameras), individuals are now able to create persistent digital information. A large share of this information is today exposed to a mass audience on the Internet.
The aim of this paper is to show how this large amount of data has been used for sociological research by analyzing a case study focused on the so-called 'we sense' for generation X and Y in Italy (Aroldi, Colombo 2007).
We will describe a method to collect and observe individual and social reflexivity processes (Beck, Giddens and Lash 1994) that are triggered by specific media products and have been labeled as 'generational' in the Italian blogosphere. Movies, music and TV shows, especially those that have been watched or listened during the childhood, offer the opportunity to anchor these within a generational representation of a shared 'we sense'. Full research results and methodology limits and possibilities will be discussed in final paper.

11:30 - 12:10 Paper 9 Felipe Lara-Rosano, lararf@servidor.unam.mx Centre for Applied Sciences and Technological Development Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
“A cybernetic model to prevent chaos after rural roads construction”.


When a road is built through a rural area, it is expected that new productive activities will be promoted in that area. In fact under certain conditions, the road could allow the producers to have access to better inputs like seeds, fertilizers, etc to improve their productivity and also to open the possibility to distribute their products to new markets.

However these expectations not always become truth. In fact, the new road may change the dynamics of the rural population toward a chaotic region of its state space, very sensible to initial conditions of the rural system and therefore unpredictable. Therefore, sometimes the road has simply served as a means to facilitating the emigration of the local population to look for better living opportunities. In other cases the road has brought agents from outside whose purpose is to plunder in its own benefit the resources of the area, even increasing the exploitation of the rural population or excluding this population from the benefits of the road.

In this paper a cybernetic model is proposed to prevent chaos as a consequence of rural roads construction, through monitoring the development parameters in the influence area of the road before this road is built. This model is based on a field research consisting of 28 opinion surveys in rural communities, 8 extensive interviews and a detailed case study.


12:10 - 12:50 Paper 10. Scott,Bernard, B.C.E.Scott@cranfield.ac.uk Cranfield University UK
“The role of sociocybernetics in understanding world futures”


Sociocybernetics is concerned with applying theories and methods from cybernetics and the systems sciences to the social sciences by offering concepts and tools for addressing problems holistically and globally. With its distinction between first order studies of observed systems and the second order study of observing systems, sociocybernetics provides a unifying epistemological and methodological conceptual framework. Within this framework, sociocybernetics accommodates a wealth of specialisms in the social sciences, ranging, for example, from technological development to sustainability to justice. The shared framework facilitates communication between social science specialisms and also between the social sciences, the natural sciences and the applied, technological sciences. This paper sets out some ideas about how sociocybernetics can contribute to understanding possible world futures. A central concept in cybernetics is 'governance', the art of steersmanship. As conceived by Ashby, Beer and others, this art is concerned with the management of variety. How do we face the challenge of managing all the variety that makes up 'possible world futures'?


12:50 - 13:30 Paper 11. Zach Jonson, zach.johnson@mac.com Cranfield University, UK
“Micro/macro decisions in university leadership and governance: Luhmann in action”

This paper aims to provide a critical overview and analysis of relevant aspects from the social system theory of Niklas Luhmann within the context of communication and executive decision-making in institutions of higher education. Drawing on the secondorder observation of social systems this paper identifes and summarizes selected theoritical concepts of Luhmann, unpacking relevant influences and predecessors in the process. A framework is then developed and applied through the results of an empirical study of Australian higher education executive leadership. Finally, implications of the research are discussed for future exploration.
In the current study, executive leaders and administrators from 20 Australian universities were interviewed to answer open-ended questions related to their response to internal and external drivers (perturbations) and how their institutional strategic plans and associated operational plans went about addressing said drivers. They were also asked about their practices of decision-making and of communicating plans to internal and external stakeholders. Institutional strategic planning processes and the plans themselves were analysed to reconcile the approach and intention described by the leaders with (public) information available to internal and external stakeholders.
The development of an applied sociocybernetic framework represents potential for a model of strategic governance and planning within institutions of higher education. While the current paper is necessarily limited in scope it is intended to lay the foundation for future study and analysis and, ultimately, the development of a comprehensive treatise of some value to university leaders worldwide.
SESSION 3 15:00-17:40 Chair: Octavio Islas

15:00 - 15:40 Paper 12. Michael Paetau, michael.paetau@sociocybernetics.eu Fraunhofer Institute IAIS, Sankt Augustin, Germany
“Transition of knowledge formation: complexity, difference and emancipation”


In order to evaluate social inequalities within the context of the current transformation of knowledge formation, it appears that sociocybernetics are suffering a lack of an adequate terminological instrument. The distinction of »inclusion/exclusion« - which was for a long time a very prominent differentiation in systems theory - seems to be not very helpful. Even there are undoubtful effects of exclusion at the margins of functional systems, this distinction appears to be to limited for observation of the difference of system/environment from the viewpoint of the margins of society. It seems clear that also at this margins people are living, are communicating, and social structures emerge. But what kind of structures are they? What kind of self-description is made within these structures? And how do they relate to the functional systems? Attributing such a structure as excluded and describing it as marginalized and a »special case« it is not enough for understanding the social quality of this form of sociality. Looking for a more adequate terminology it could be worthwile to give the »old-European« term emancipation a new chance within a sociocybernetic theoretical framework. In my paper I am investigating if emancipation could be modifiable into a difference-theoretical approach, as Ernesto Laclau tried in 1992 (albeit on a Marxian theoretical basis and not on a sociocybernetic one), and I am examining if such a terminological reconstruction could be helpful to evaluate the current transition of knowledge formation respect to the production, the storage, the dissemination of and the access to knowledge.


15:40 - 16:20 Paper 13. Jason Jixuan Hu, Ph.D. jjh@wintopgroup.com WINTOP Organizational Learning Laboratory, Shanghai, CHINA
“Cognitive Tools for Understanding and Action Strategies for Improving Organizations: A Sociocybernetic Approach in Organizational Development”.


This paper provides a conceptual and methodological framework for dealing with the second most frequently encountered social system - organizations in two parts. The first part summarizes various ways of “system thinking” as conceptual tools to understand an organization. The author proposes to use “a building with multiple floors” as a methophor to introduce various types of system thinking for understaning an organization. The lower floors represent easy to grasp ways departuring from the “un-systematic” thinking style, the higher floors represent more sophisticated, more cognitively challenging ways of system thinking. The benefit of this framework is that students would be able to focus on different levels of complexities step by step (floor by floor), since the system thinking represented at each “floor” are built upon the type of thinking at lower floor(s), so the students would be able to understand various approaches in system thinking in an unified way. The second part introduces findings of applying principles deducted from the first part to facilitate organizational development processes in real-world businesses through training or systemic intervention experiemented by WINTOP Consulting Group, a cross-cultural partnership by cyberneticians and practioners. Linkages between ideas from the academic ivory tower and practical issues in the daily management and organizational context are brought to the reader's attention for further discussions. The fact that a client company increased 160% of their revenue with the improved moral and enthusiasm among the staffs one year after receiving the intervention of our training courses, shows the real-world relevance and effectiveness of this approach presented in this paper.

Keywords: sociocybernetics, organizational development, system thinking as cognitive tools, 4DST (four-dimensional system thinking), corparate cultural development, facilitation skills, roundtable leadership


17:00 - 17:40 Paper 14. Eliezer Morales, eliezermorales@prodigy.net.mx “Worldwide future: a world plagued with slums





WEDNESDAY JUNE 25 (Spanish session with alternating translation)

SESSION 4 9:00 - 13:30 Chair: Michael Paetau

9:00 - 9:40 Paper 15. Jesús Galindo Cáceres arewara@yahoo.com México “Comunicología y Sociocibernética. Más allá de la disciplinariedad y la interdisciplinariedad”

Se dice que la comunicación es un objeto mirado desde diversos lugares, y por tanto su status de objeto científico es por naturaleza interdisciplinario. El punto es si eso resuelve o complica el asunto de su status científico. ¿Qué hacer ante esta situación? Por una parte asumir lo que interdisciplina supone para un programa académico, y por otra parte trabajar en una posible ciencia de la comunicación que permita una perspectiva relativamente unitaria para elaborar el proyecto interdisciplinario de estudio de un objeto complejo, la Comunicología.
La Sociocibernética tiene un status similar. Por una parte el asunto epistemológico de lo que una ciencia es, y por otra parte el asunto político de lo que un programa científico emergente tiene como espacio para desarrollarse dentro del campo académico establecido.
En estas dos historias se tejan varios puntos. Por una parte está la situación del encuentro y el enfrentamiento entre lo viejo y lo nuevo. Por otra parte está el status de los aparatos críticos y lógicos para argumentar y mostrar en que sentido una postura aparece frente a otras. Y en un tercer lugar, y de particular interés en este texto, está el encuentro y enfrentamiento entre la Comunicología y la Sociocibernética. Ambas comparten una configuración común, la de la Cibernética, la teoría de sistemas, el constructivismo, las Ciencias Cognitivas, y la perspectiva de la complejidad. ¿Es esto un síntoma cosmológico de algo mayor que las dos, o es sólo un síntoma de un juego de configuraciones científicas donde las historias particulares de grupos y trayectorias individuales es la simple explicación de su existencia?


9:40 - 10:20 Paper 16. Marta Rizo García, mrizog@yahoo.com Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México
“Comunicología e Interacción. Una lectura de la interacción y la c comunicación desde el enfoque sistémico-cibernético de la Escuela de Palo Alto

La ponencia presenta una exploración conceptual de la interacción desde la propuesta de la Comunicología Posible, concretamente desde los aportes sistémicos de la Escuela de Palo Alto, una de las corrientes que más ha aportado al estudio y conceptualización de la comunicación desde un enfoque cibernético-sistémico.

En un primer momento se expone el concepto de Interacción según la propuesta del Grupo hacia una Comunicología Posible (GUCOM). Aunque la propuesta de GUCOM es que la dimensión comunicológica de la interacción puede nutrirse de los aportes de la Psicología Social, la Sociología Fenomenológica y la Cibernética, en este caso la ponencia se centra únicamente en la última fuente científica histórica, y concretamente, en los aportes de la segunda cibernética o cibernética de segundo orden.

En un segundo momento, se presenta la teoría de la comunicación humana de la Escuela de Palo Alto, sus principios, juicios básicos y conceptos centrales. Siguiendo la metodología del GUCOM, en este punto se hace énfasis en los conceptos centrales y sus relaciones, así como en las genealogías de autores que permiten profundizar dichos conceptos.

Para concluir, la ponencia establece algunos lineamientos que permitan comprender de forma más compleja la dimensión comunicológica de la interacción, con base en el enfoque sistémico previamente expuesto.


10:20 - 11:00 Paper 17. Javier Maisterrena, javierisa@labcomplex.net El Colegio de San Luis, México “Inflexiones y potencialidades de cibercultura@. En torno a la construcción de redes emergentes para transformaciones sistémicas de la realidad

El desafío del concepto y la acción para la cibercultura@, se encuentra en la situación mundial actual entre dominación y resistencia provocadas por el capitalismo neocolonial que amenaza con la desaparición de culturas y sujetos. Es importante construir modos de investigar colectivos con la participación de los sujetos afectados. Las localidades rurales de México, presentan analfabetismo y migración de jóvenes, y en el Altiplano del estado de San Luís Potosí el debilitamiento de los lazos familiares, el despojo del agua a la región desértica. Frente a ese contexto la cibercultura@ aporta una alternativa como conducción en autodinamismo, con el conocimiento colectivo, la inteligencia distribuida, la relación del “nosotros constructivo para conocer y transformar la realidad compleja en la acción colectiva hacia su proceso autodeterminativo, dirigido a formas de auto-organización y desarrollo con reflexión de segundo orden. El objeto de observación es la experiencia realizada en los talleres de Comunidades Emergentes de Conocimiento Local (CECL) en el ejercicio de conocimiento colectivo mediante el uso de herramientas y artefactos de conocimiento con jóvenes con poca o nula experiencia, articulado con la formación de jóvenes universitarios en el conocimiento y aplicación de cibercultura@ con estas mismas comunidades.


11:30 - 12:10 Paper 18. José Amozurrutia, Lucía Barragán y Graciela Flores LabCOMplex, CEIICH UNAM, México
“El Análisis del discurso como un reto interdisciplinario: una perspectiva desde la Sociocibernética”


One of the most interesting challenges of Social Analysis is the challenge of working out the web of meanings and sense in a text. From the point of view of a second order observer it demands the construction of structures that explain the transformations of a categorical scheme that interpret different meanings and sense of direction of the text. These activities may be realized by means of an Adaptive Computer System as an reflexive instrument in the investigation process. An appropriate design of that system not only will satisfy widely the approach in the classic analysis without the use of the computer tool, but it will reinforce and enrich precisely what we mean by second order reflexivity required in the interdisciplinary activity under the theoretic frame of sociocybernetics.

In this paper we show the use of an adaptive system that integrate a research group confronted to social analysis into the interdisciplinary approach. The research team is integrated by a Sociologist, Historian and System Analyst professionals. The main challenge in our case resides in coupling the observation units definitions and relations in the text whith the establishment of the organization structures viewed from the social and systemic perspectives. The prototext analyzed is derived from several narrations over three generations of crafts in Mexican families.


12:10 - 12:50 Paper 19. Laura González, thezin@prodigy.net.mx LabCOMplex, CEIICH UNAM, México
“Cibercultur@, sistemas complejos e interdisciplina. La experiencia de organización y trabajo colectivo del Labcomplex


¿Cómo se configura la lógica de organización de un grupo de investigación para construir conocimiento? En este trabajo se pretende responder a esta pregunta a partir del análisis de las experiencias de organización y trabajo que lleva a cabo el Laboratorio de Comunicación Compleja (LabCOMplex) que es un grupo social de investigación que desde 2001 investiga y desarrolla el tema de la cibercultur@ desde 2 ejes: A) Como Objeto de Conocimiento y B) Como Valor de Desarrollo Social.

Para el LabCOMplex el concepto de cibercultur@ implica el desarrollo de una zona de interés teórica y heurística de los modos socio-históricos y cognitivos de relación entre tecnologías de información y comunicación y representaciones sociales así como una zona de acción e intervención transformadora para desarrollar nuevas actitudes, destrezas y habilidades en el manejo ágil y sustantivo de estas tecnologías especialmente en la vida de los grupos y sectores desplazados por los procesos de globalización inducida tanto en México como en el resto de América Latina y la periferia del Sistema-Mundo.

Con este ejercicio de reflexividad de segundo orden nos permitiremos como sujetos miembros del grupo social dialogar sobre la mirada del trabajo, de la organización de los afectos (observadores externos) orientados a la observación de observadores (LabCOMplex) y sus respectivas observaciones.


12:50 - 13:30 Paper 20. Margarita Maass, maass@labcomplex.net LabCOMplex, CEIICH UNAM, México
“La epistemología genética, la interdisciplina y los sistemas complejos de Piaget y García como base para las Comunidades Emergentes de Conocimiento Local”


Since its foundation, LabCOMplex's mission has been the research and development of Cyberculture, understood as “a redesign of the ways to perceive and relate to information, communication, and knowledge” (González, 2006:157). The main research project of the laboratory specifically centers on the cybercultural instruction of several Locally knowledgeable Emerging Communities (CEC, its acronym in Spanish) and Emerging Research Communities (CEI, its acronym in Spanish).

A CEC comprises a group of people sharing a common goal that brings them to work collectively, dialogically, and horizontally as they produce knowledge locally by and for their community. In this manner, the community emerges with a new social dynamic. They make up the unit responsible for developing and reproducing the desired cybercultural model of their community center.

But which epistemological perspective type do we apply to our work? What is the source of our questions concerning the role that second-order cybernetics plays in the research and development of these communities?

One of sociocybernetic's focal points lies in second-order reflexivity. It is my opinion that the genetic epistemology of Jean Piaget and Rolando García is the best scientific example of this second-order flexibility. Which arguments will be set forth to support this thesis?

a) Genetic epistemology centers on explaining how the construction of knowledge originates.
b) It empirically substantiates how studying the subject's cognitive norms leads to knowledge-generating processes.
c) It reflects and studies the development of structuring and restructuring constructive processes.
d) It verifies the hypothesis of constructive epistemology in an empirical, and therefore scientific, manner.
e) The end result of this lengthy and solid research is interdisciplinary. Piaget was convinced that for epistemology to be scientific - in other words, communicated independently of school traditions - this could only result from interdisciplinary collaboration.

This dissertation intends to respond to these questions and furnish arguments for the thesis presented.



SESSION 5 15:00-17:40 Chair: Laura González

15:00 - 15:40 Paper 21. Andrés Gómez Seguel, agseguel@gmail.com Universidad del País Vasco y Profesor FACSO. Universidad de Chile
“El conflicto como sistema y sus especiales formas de complejidad social


The aim of this presentation is to propose a theoretical scheme to analyze cultural conflicts in situations of high social complexity.
The social conflicts in Latin America are developed on the basis of two methods: first, the loss of simbolic central importance of the modern social institutions, modern imaginary, identities of class and a common political and cultural space; and second, the emergenty of subjects and objectives derived from the culture, the recognition, the diversity, the environment, the gender, that shift the old preoccupation of the modern conflicts.
The configuration and emergency of this new cultural conflicts are a privileged space for the sociocibernetic analisys of the social complexity. I will develop this perspectiva, through two studies of case, taking care of the logics of «processing of social information» that are relevant in the symbolic structuring of political and cultural areas.


15:40 - 16:20 Paper 22. Martha Patricia Castañeda Salgado y Karime Suri Salvatierra mpcs05@yahoo.com.mx CEIICH UNAM, México “El feminismo en el ciberespacio: fortalecimiento de sus propuestas a través de las redes virtuales”


For more than a decade, feminist theorists have analyzed the uses of new technologies and the internet for dissemination of feminism, both as an ethical and political stance. In 1995, Saide Plant coined the term “Cyberfeminism”, in an attempt to construct an alliance between women and machines against patriarchy. Theoretical constructions have continued to develop since then, exploring the possibilities that the internet provides to feminist movements.
Feminists have argued that technology and its use is not gender-neutral. Access to these new technologies is different for women that for men. Women have overcome lags and adversities convinced that is vital for them to have constant access to those technological tools that make communication and the exchange of information possible.

In the last few years, the emergence of countless web sites and blogs designed by feminist women and organized feminist groups have demonstrated the political potential of these tools. In this context, the object of this communication is to reflect on the use that Mexican and Latin-American Feminists make of cyberspace to promote regional virtual feminist networks, emphasizing how this technology allows for greater disseminations of academic, political and organizational feminist proposals as well as strengthens positions and debates.



THURSDAY JUNE 26


SESSION 6 9:00 - 13:30 Chair: Eva Buchinger

9:00 - 9:40 Paper 23. Reiko Sekiguchi , sekiguch@ulis.ac.jp
“A framework to consider a social system: derived from research experience of education and learning system in Japan”


From the past 40 years' horizontal and vertical research experiences on Japanese education, I suggest a framework to consider any social system of a country. Suggestion 1: A social system should be considered not only on an institutional (ex. legal) level but also on a custom level. Suggestion 2: This social system should be analyzed from four dimensions: a) character of a nation, b) demographic pattern, c) governmental policy, and d) nature and technique complex that the country has, which are all inter-influenced upon. These dimensions are made up of two axes: value versus physical reality and self versus environment.


9:40 - 10:20 Paper 24. Francisco Parra Luna, parraluna3495@yahoo.es Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España
“The “social sin” of sociology: a systemic-axiologiocal approach applied to the enterprise”


How can Social Science, particularly Sociology, possibly disregard the very grounds for which people live in societies or associations? How can it possibly forget that social organisations must not and cannot produce anything but the values people pursue? How is it possible not to account for or measure the levels achieved for these values and use these results to substantiate accurately any kind of criticism? Or how can the ethical dimension of such an oversight be neglected and no consideration shown for what the system does for the people since, after all, it is the people who pay. Above all, how can one abandon the most genuinely sociological perspective, which consists precisely in seeing the system's performance through the eyes of “the man in the street? Do we by chance not know that what every person wants in whatever society, be it large or small, primitive or advanced, is “a better life”? And, do we not know that the unit of analysis for achieving this purpose is “an integrated system of values” (compatible levels of health, wellbeing, security, equity, freedom, an unpolluted environment, social prestige, etc.) and that it is for this and only this reason that people associate and cooperate? So why are the “value systems” produced by any kind of society, the reasons which justify its existence, from the family to the Nation-State, not taken into account, recorded, measured and compared systematically and routinely? How is it that no social science- and less so Sociology- gauges the “values system” achieved by society for the general benefit of the individuals which comprise it?


10:20 - 11:00 Paper 25. Chaime Marcuello, chaime@unizar.es Universidad de Zaragoza, España
“Applying sociocybernetics in complex social issues: water management and water conflicts in Spain”

No strategy for steering and improving world futures can forget people's vital requirements for water. We can postulate this “axiom” in global terms but, specially, in regional and local situations. Moreover, any sustainable development policies must address the need of water. This means, at least, an integrated approach to water resources management, i.e. a holistic vision and sociocybernetical approach. Everybody needs water -clean and safety water-, and this is a human principle which should be consider as a basis of Humanity's welfare and of our local societies as whole.
Troubles and discussions about the management of water have a long and detailed history in Spain. The first Spanish Water Act was promulgated in 1876. Conflicts around water uses are as old as Spanish society. Even the Water Court of Valencia is one of oldest Popular Court of Law in the World (before X century). Nowadays, in Spain, water is a controversial issues even a “political weapon”, as we saw in the 2008 electoral campaign. Water and drought are a current topic of discussion.
This paper offers an analysis of the current situation of water issues in Spain using the sociocybernetics paradigm as a way for diagnosing and prognosing. Water issues require a sociocybernetics approach because water is a particular multi-attribute, complex and interdisciplinary topic. A particular case of water management and water conflicts are used to address epistemological and methodological aspects of interdisciplinarity.


11:30 - 12:10 Paper 26. Álvaro Quijano y Guadalupe Vega, quijano@colmex.mx El Colegio de México, México
“A theoretical model in order to represent academic libraries as information systems”
The intention of this document is to propose a conceptual model to describe the academic libraries as complex information systems with components and interrelations among them. We include a discussion on the limits of the system and the interactions between the system and its environment. The work presented has a logic-deductive character and it pretends a first approach to describe this complexity.

We start from approaching a library thru a systemic point of view and conclude that libraries are complex systems which carry out a series of processes aimed to the elaboration of sophisticated representations of information. In general terms, these representations seek to make evident the epistemic and social value of different document types. In order to do so, analysis, codification and learning processes are carried out in the libraries, which are promoted from various emergent properties, among which we may highlight: 1) standardization, 2) use of artificial languages, and, 3) teaching and learning processes to users (final and intermediate).

The insertion of information and communication technologies (ICT) has yet set another complexity, in particular the arrival of Internet has positioned libraries in an ambiguous environment, which forces them to a greater differentiation among their products and offers. Libraries have been compelled to keep up with competition in the so called Information Society.

The resulting conceptual model identifies how the main components are involved in selforganizing communication processes with the academic library stakeholders and with its environment.



12:10 - 12:50 Paper 27. Hernando Gutiérrez Prieto, hergutie@javeriana.edu.co
“Legal dynamics far from equilibrium”


Para el sistema jurídico -como sistema dinámico complejo- la distinción entre cambios cerca y lejos del equilibrio es significativa. No obstante esta importancia, hasta el momento no se cuenta con un concepto de equilibrio jurídico que pueda ser utilizado con propiedad en el contexto de teorías sobre la dinámica jurídica. Esta circunstancia muy posiblemente se debe al interés mayoritario por conceptos como el de “orden” jurídico cuya dimensión dinámica se oculta normalmente a los autores e investigadores.
En su primera parte, la ponencia se centra principalmente en sentar las bases para conceptuar el equilibrio jurídico y precisa algunas dificultades que se presentan al momento de explorar la determinación o determinabilidad de dicho equilibrio. Específicamente, el esfuerzo teórico se centra en mostrar cómo el equilibrio jurídico reviste dos formas fundamentales que, de una manera poco precisa, se podrían considerar como equilibrio interno (o formal) y equilibrio externo (o social).

En una segunda parte, la ponencia recoge algunos de los resultados en la investigación sobre corrupción en Colombia. Específicamente, discute los relativos a la actitud de estudiantes universitarios frente a actos considerados legalmente como actos de corrupción. Se trata de una investigación realizada por el autor de la ponencia en tres momentos durante los últimos diez años y cuyos resultados se encuentran en proceso de publicación. La discusión se realiza dentro del marco conceptual de la dinámica jurídica lejos del equilibrio esbozada en la primera parte.

Por último, se sustenta la conveniencia de introducir en discusiones dinámicas jurídicas el enfoque interdisciplinario, se plantean posibles objetos de estudio para investigaciones futuras y se señala la manera como la lucha nacional e internacional contra la corrupción puede verse significativamente transformada si se acoge la perspectiva de la dinámica de los sistemas complejos como alternativa para re-enfocar los problemas que tradicionalmente se han planteado sobre el punto.


12:50 - 13:30 Paper 28. Bernd Hornung, hornung@med.uni-marburg.de University Hospital Giessen and Marburg GmbH
"Sociocybernetics, arts, and aesthetics: an information theoretic approach"

Arts and aesthetics are analyzed from a sociocybernetic perspective. The starting point are over 1400 definitions of art from artists, critics, and philosophers. These fall into several broad categories which describe aspects, functions or (system-) components that are not necessarily art.

The paper aims at clarifying what is a piece of art in contrast to an ordinary artefact. The concept of "informed matter" permits, beyond artefacts, to include e.g. performances. It is, however, not sufficient for characterizing something as art. Though "informed matter" points towards communication, a piece of art is not always produced with the intention to communicate. Therefore it is argued that the essence of art is a particular kind of expression. A piece of art is created if something is expressed which cannot be directly expressed in a language, i.e. by means of signs which refer to a more or less clearly defined and clearly understood referent. This makes art, if it turns into communication, a kind of emotional, intuitive, and wholistic communication which does not follow the cognitive-rational pattern.

Aesthetics - and anti-aesthetics - is used by artists to touch the onlooker and to attract attention. In a systemic context Bossel´s Orientation Theory, which implies balance, equilibrium, optimization, and the aspect of harmony, can provide a scientific foundation for aesthetics. It permits to relate aesthetics as a positively valued holistic cognitive phenomenon to the positive holistic emotional state which can be called happiness.

The discussion closes with a short reference to the New York School of Abstract Expressionism.




SESSION 7 15:00-17:40 Chair: José Amozurrutia

15:00 - 15:40 Paper 29. Nelly Rigaud, nerigaud@yahoo.com Facultad de Ingeniería UNAM, México “Towards a conceptual framework for the interdisciplinary human resources management research”


The organization and management of Human Resources (HR) constitutes a very important and complex task. The related literature is abundant and prolific, providing suggestions, advices, actions, prescriptions and procedures, as well as models, theories, conceptual and methodological frameworks, and even new disciplinary fields. Nevertheless, these vast and valuable results obtained, by empirical and theoretical studies, respectively, in order to describe and explain the HR conduct and actions as well as to predict and control them to improve the enterprise's competition, are frequently incomparable and even contradictory due to substantial differences in terminology and methodology used by involved discipline. Moreover, the own objectives of the discipline (or its fields), as well as specific paradigms and means, which it is using, are influencing on the problems' posing and their solutions.
In order to attend the real problems related with HRM that are facing the enterprises, surges a need in the Interdisciplinary Research (IR), which permits, through the use of Systems Approach and Cybernetics, to identify the problems' manifestations and determinate the causes that are producing them, as well as to design the proper organizational structure and elaborate the corresponding management process to assure their solutions.
The paper is dedicated to outline the highlights necessary to develop the Conceptual Framework and Methodological Base, indispensable for the IR, and to elaborate the universal terminology, which allows employing the results received in different disciplines and their fields.
Preliminary results such as the HRM role in the context of the enterprise's General Management and improvement of their competitive advantages, the definition of its functional structure and the justification of the use of Human Capital Indicators in the Information Support Systems for the Decision Making and Planning are reported.


15:40 - 16:20 Paper 30. Eva Buchinger, eva.buchinger@arcs.ac.at ARC systems research Tech Gate Vienna, Austria “Governance as a macro-micro phenomenon: The role of institutions

In his famous book “The Mechanism of Governance” Oliver E. Williamson starts his elaborations with a cascade of questions: “Institutions. What are they? How do they differ? To what purpose and effect? Where does the action reside?” Although he offers quite interesting answers, one observes with astonishment, that neither the work of sociologists such as Emile Durkheim nor that of anthropologists such as Mary Douglas - both classic authors in social sciences and specialised on institutions - is considered. Nevertheless, all three mentioned authors agree that institutions are something in between the micro and the macro level. Society on the one hand and individual agents on the other are integrated by the mean of institutions. Of course, not all behaviour is guided by institutions, but major spheres of societies are organized by them.

The talk will first investigate how institutions are explained as mechanism based on expectation (Douglas), consensus (Luhmann), incentive structures (North), functions (Durkheim) and, all together, as a kind of “macro-mircro-cement” of social life. Secondly, it will be discussed why the homogenizing aspect should not be overemphasized and it is more appropriate to speak about an institutional matrix (Anthony Giddens). Finally, it will be concluded that the cement of social life are not institutions themselves, but trust in institutions - i.e. that behaving within the matrix of institutions secures our survival as individuals (micro) as part of a complex, inscrutable society (macro).


17:00 - 17:40 Paper 31. Ivan Vardanyan, ivvard@yahoo.com
“Culture as a noointerface and computer-aided system of control with minimum waste or morality”






FRIDAY JUNE 27

SESSION 8 9:00 - 13:30 Chair: Margarita Maass

9:00 - 9:40 Paper 32. Jorge A. González Sánchez, jorge@labcomplex.net LabCOMplex CEIICH UNAM, México
“Cybercultur@, sociocybernetics and complex systems: the growing challenge between “associationism” and “constructivism”




9:40 - 10:20 Paper 33. Alf Masing, amasingmjn@yahoo.com University of Hamburg, Germany
“Paul the Apostle - Paul the Saint: sociocybernetic insights to developments in early christianity and the future of christianity


Paper and Presentation intend to give an introduction into the sociocybernetic analysis of religion. Niklas Luhmann gave in his book „Die Religion der Gesellschaft“ (The religion of society) a brainstrom of ideas in the analysis of religion within the society. Paper and presentation builds on this, other insights of Luhmann and Ervin Laslzo and on the famous Habermas-Luhmann debate.
Paper and presentation give the beginings of christianity, esp. the endevours and thoughts of Paul the apostle and the consequential building up of Christian groupings in the Roman-Hellenistic world building on the fame of Paul the Saint, as a case study. This is espially interesting as later updatings of Paul's writing shows the needs of the developing communities in a basically hostile environment that denies the freedom of association.
The third part of the paper and presentation concerns with insights into the future of Christianity, especially with ideas that possibly contribute to a value orientated and favoring society. This part will take into special regard the Latin-American theology of liberation that has a special stance and impetus to impact the surounding society.

10:20 - 11:00 Paper 34. Steve Olweean, Solweean@aol.com
“Engaging the other: psycho-social formation of enemy images”





11:30 - 12:10 Paper 35. Santosh Kumar Patra Nehru University, New Delhi, INDIA
“Paradigm Shift of “Space and Identity”: A Sociological Study of On line Behaviour”


This paper argues that the rapid take up of internet communications and sharing an alternative space (virtual space) over the physical space by the Indian youths effectively lifts them from the traditional institutional control of space and formation of their identity. Their use of interactive virtual space and opportunity to play over their identity is characterised by increasing level of personalisation of behaviour and global reach. This aspect of young Indian's use of internet as an alternative public space signals a qualitative change in the nature of popular Indian cultural space and formation of identity and practices and necessitates a “paradigm shift” in how we understand the 'space and identity' concept of contemporary young Indian netizens. In this paper the attempt has been made to understand how adding to the existing forms of social space the Internet revolution contributed to the development of a new kind of space what has been growing day by day and accommodating generations together. Here the primary concern to analyse the growing form of e-communities and formation of identities in digital communication. Although the discussion primarily revolves around various societal relationships within the “new communication” framework, the paper is specifically concerned with exploring the interplay and impact of Internet on the change in the society away from groups and towards newly attained identities of network individualism. This change is not only perceptible at the interpersonal level but can be seen evolving at various other levels such as the societal, the community, and inter-community as well.


12:10 - 12:50 Paper 36. Karl-Heinz Simon, Kassel, Germany simon@usf.uni-kassel.de University of Kassel, Germany
“On the complexity of change models: Aulin and Banathy”


Societal change is one of the most important issues in sociocybernetics. Arvid Aulin discussed in an early contribution whether change behaviour is planned from the top or is the result of the insight of actors at any level. This distinction seems to be still relevant.

In a first part of the paper the term complexity is introduced as well as change on the level of macro-sociological entities. In the case of complexity several definitions exist, starting with a more intuitive, non-formal view on entities with a certain variety of properties, characteristics or process aspects, comprising attempts to develop quantitative measures, and eventually qualitative reflections on the nature of complexity from a philosophical point of view.

In a second part the concept of social change and the meaning of social structures is discussed very briefly. Of importance is the difference between a view on structures as an ontological category and the view on structures as constructions of social actors, e.g. on the basis of generalized expectations.

The issue complexity of change models is discussed then, in a third (the main) part of the paper, focusing on the ideas of Arvid Aulin and Bela Banathy as representatives of two different stages in the development of sociocybernetics, the first one on the entrance from first to second-order cybernetics, and the other one as part of the second-order cybernetics movement.


12:50 - 13:30 Paper 37. Cor Van Dijkum, c.vandijkum@fss.uu.nl Utrecht University The Netherlands
“Non linear models for the feedback between GP and patients”



The leading question in this paper is: how can we model the interaction between a medical doctor and patient that takes into account the dynamics and non-linearity of the communication? For this study we use a dataset of 101 hypertension (video-taped) consultations in Dutch General Practice.
We develop causal hypotheses about the relations between variables that are important for the communication. With this we build a non-linear model with the aid of the software STELLA that expresses those causal relations. Thereafter we explore with the more mathematical software MatLab how such a model of coupled logistic equations behaves, especially concerning coupled patterns of chaos and order. Thereby we focus on phenomena such as synchronization and selforganization in the process of communication. With this study we hope to contribute to research of selforganization in medical settings that aroused at the moment a number of medical scientists.



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