Our Group
Membership Information
How to become member
Application Form
Data Protection Policy
Board 2002-2006
Board 1998-2002
Websites of members
Reciprocal Links
Links Library
In progress
Preceding Conferences
Other information...
What is Sociocybernetics
The History of RC51
7th International Conference of Sociocybernetics
Murcia, Spain, 18-23 June 2007


by alphabetical order.

Juan Miguel Aguado. Universidad de Murcia. Spain, jmaguado@um.es
Inmaculada J. Martínez. Universidad de Murcia. Spain, inmartin@um.es
Plácido Guardiola. Universidad de Murcia. Spain, pguardio@um.es

Time-Space Substitution and the Colonization of Alter/Ego Interpenetrations: The Role of Mobility and Personalization in the Management of Social Complexity through Cultural Consumption

The present paper attempts to pose a conceptual frame for an evolutionary understanding of the current phase of communication and representation technologies - mobility - as a relevant part of the process of complexity management in the operational coupling of social system and psychic systems.
Media are understood as time-oriented formal devices (interfaces in the sense of Manovich) that allow transforming space into time, consequently affecting in a deep sense communication processes, especially with regard to individuals as environment of social systems. We approach the apparent paradox of mobility being related to time rather than to space (Urry, Castells, Augè, Bauman).
The evolution of media as time-oriented technologies points to a progressive individualization that demands to reconsider the operational coordination of social systems and psychic systems, consequently redefining social communications. The stress is made in the impact of mobility and inter-connectivity in transforming meaning oriented communications into link oriented communications, posing difficulties to the classical role of media system in configuring global representations of social system's dynamics internalized by individuals in terms of identity production and complexity management.
In the frame of a research project on the social impact of mobile communications, we pose the case of mobile phone related communication and cultural consumption practices as a relevant example of this.

José A. Amozurrutia, amoz@labcomplex.net
Torre II de Humanidades, Piso 6,
Ciudad Universitaria, México D.F.

Expanding Buckley´s Adaptive Model as a Sociocybernetic Technology

Buckley has proposed a synthesis of the main principles for Sociocultural Adptative Systems. These principles are in line with the cybernetic perspective of von Foerster's general model that fits into a “double circle closure” in which the auto-organization and adaptive operations take place.
Based on these concepts, I propose in this paper an adaptive model that defines an algorithm form to most of Buckleys adaptive principles and expand them into the areas of computations and system responses to the environment. The main components of the model are three essential functions and five organizational matrixes. The functions are: Interphase Functions which transform linguistic information to numerical information, Heterogeneity Integrative Functions that integrate by several operations variables or categories of different natures or domains and Homogeneity Differentiative Functions that creates new distinctions from a category just constructed. All of them based on soft computing technologies.
These functions are organized in two networks: A Structural Coupling Network and an Operational Closure Network and are assembled within the auto and hetero reference circularities and constitute one of the two “circle closure” mentioned by von Foerster.
The first three matrixes are associated with the three essential functions described. They are: the Perception matrix, the Attention matrix, and the Response matrix. These matrixes are coordinated by the Conduction matrix that constructs the field of the system adaptation possibilities. The flow of information from the matrixes to the Essential functions constitutes the second of the two “circle closure” network mentioned by von Foerster. The proposed adaptive model is integrated to a simulation computer program that generates random universes of observables and shows how functions and matrixes work in the model.

Rolando Bernal- Pérez * rolando.bernal@catunesco.upc.edu
Dr. Martín García, Juan** jmarting@catunesco.upc.edu
Martín-Méndez, Angela**. angela.martin84@hotmail.com

UNESCO Chair on Sustainability Office, Bui.
TR1 UPC. C. Colom no.1,
08222 Terrassa, Spain.

* PhD Student at the UPC´s UNESCO Chair on Sustainability,
National Autonomic University of Mexico (UNAM) teacher.
** UPC. Sustainability UNESCO Chair collaborator.

Technology Substitution on a Limited Market, The Innovation Multiplying Factor and its Consequences. A System Dynamic Approach.

Technology substitution process can be modeled for technology based limited market. New product usually get a competitive advantage by improving certain capabilities or performance in technical key factors. Then a gap is established. This gap can be expressed as a multiplying factor of technology. By knowing this factor and other key factors such as loyalty, return cycles and stock turnaround, market behavior can be modeled under a systemic approach, and decision making can be done. This modeling reduces uncertainty and allows a better understanding of complex processes such as technology substitution.

Key words: Technology substitution, multiplying factor of technology, substitutive potential, technology based market

Eva Buchinger, eva.buchinger@arcs.ac.at
Division Systems Research,
Austrian Research Centers GmbH - ARC
A-1220 Vienna, Donau-City-Straße 1

Innovation as a complex societal process: Functional systems, structural couplings and professional roles

Technological innovation can be described as a societally distributed process which's complexity is given by its contingency: i.e. something that can happen, but that cannot be anticipated and process-dynamics and -results (artifacts, techniques) cannot be known before. “Innovation combines factors in a new way” is the often cited definition of J.A. Schumpeter (1939: 62). Consequently, innovation processes have above all to deal with uncertainties and the phenomenon must be conceptualized as an open process. But process-openness does not mean unmanageability - innovation processes are often purposeful and (to some extend) organized activities, done by actors from different societal fields that produce relevant (scientific/technological) knowledge, transform it into working artefacts/techniques, and respond to and create demand. Following the functional-differentiation approach (Luhmann 1984) several functional systems can be identified which are constitutive for innovation processes - at least science and economy are involved in the production of relevant knowledge and it's transformation into working artefacts/techniques. But how is it possible to explain the interplay between these two operationally closed systems? In my presentation I will use the concepts of “structural coupling” and “professional role”: a well established structural coupling between science and economy is the industrial laboratory; science and economy share the professional role researcher (traditionally: inventor); beyond that the economic system disposes about the professional role entrepreneur.

Giulia Caramaschi, g.caramaschi@soc.uniurb.it

La.Ri.C.A. (Research Laboratory on Advanced Communication)
University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”

Ethic Dimension of Technology. The case of technologies to prolong life

The paper considers the ethic dimension of technology in relation to the assumption that technology is a field of dialectic contention between individuals and society (considering the net of three structural couplings: technology and society, technology and individuals, individuals and society). Through the case of technologies to prolong life it will be explained how the same artifacts, on the different levels of individuals and society, get different, sometimes divergent, meanings. This divergence affects also the dimension of risk connected to technology: risks do not depend only from the structural characteristics of the artifacts, but also on the different meanings of the same artifacts, thus on the conflict between individuals and society in approaching it.
The first point is that, in order to control the related risks, technology is associated to specific attitudes: it becomes, in a different way for individuals and society, a communicative construct. Communication on technology has an operative value, since it provides the instruments to take decisions and it determines the practices, thus the uses (or refuses) of technology itself.
The second point is that, starting form the dialectic between the different meanings and practices that technology gets, it takes form the ethic dimension of technology which depends both on individual and societal attribution. Ethic acts as second order artifact itself thus it represents, circularly, another field of dialectic contention between individuals and society.

Antonio Caro Almela, antcaro@ono.com
Uruguay, 23.
28016 Madrid (Spain)

Towards An Intro-Prospective Epistemology: A Methodological Proposal

Starting from the concept of intro-prospective epistemology posed by Aguado (2006), this paper attempts at putting into methodological terms the implications of the epistemological debate on the observer/observed correlation. The first assumption here is the unquestionable involvement of the researcher in the observed phenomenic domain.
According with this assumption, our proposal is specified in three sequential phases:
1) An intuitive synthesis of the researched phenomenon, that translates into researchers mind and body the existential involvement and which makes the experience of science making not qualitatively different from artistic experiences or creative processes.
2) An analytic route of generative nature in which the intuitive synthesis is progressively refined though series of analytical approaches until it is decanted into
3) An intellective synthesis in which the researched/lived phenomenon reveals the logical keys and the organization principles which, being related to its nature, make it operative with regard to the experiential domain where the phenomenon is perceived as relevant.
This proposal is done in the crossroad of two specific experiential domains: 1) A phenomenical experiential domain, where the phenomenon is lived and its problematic nature emerges and 2) a scientific experiential domain, where the community of researchers that share the 'passion for explaining' a given phenomenical domain live the research process according to those recursiveness and emotions pointed out by Maturana (1995).

Partiendo del concepto de epistemología intro-prospectiva planteado por Aguado (2006), la presente comunicación se propone concretar en términos metodológicos las implicaciones del debate epistemológico en torno a la correlación observador/observado. El punto de partida estriba en la incuestionable imbricación del investigador en la materia fenoménica investigada.
De acuerdo con dicho punto de partida, nuestra propuesta se especifica en tres estadios secuenciales:
1) Una síntesis intuitiva del fenómeno investigado, que trasluce en la mente y el cuerpo del investigador dicha imbricación existencial y que hace que la experiencia del científico no sea cualitativamente distinta de las experiencias artísticas o de los procesos creativos en su conjunto.
2) Un recorrido analítico de carácter generativo, en el que la síntesis intuitiva se va decantando a través de sucesivas idas y venidas analíticas, hasta sedimentarse en
3) Una síntesis intelectiva, en la que el fenómeno vivido/investigado revela las claves lógicas y los principios de organización que lo caracterizaban desde un primer momento, haciéndolo operativo con relación al ámbito experiencial donde es percibido como relevante.
Esta propuesta se plantea en la intersección de dos específicos ámbitos experienciales: 1) Un ámbito experiencial fenoménico, donde el fenómeno es vivido y emerge su naturaleza problemática; y 2) un ámbito experiencial científico, donde la comunidad de investigadores que comparten la “pasión por explicar” un ámbito fenomenológico determinado experimentan el proceso de investigación con arreglo a las recursividades y emotividades de que habla Maturana (1995).

Paula Andrea Cifuentes Ruiz, paula.cifuente@catunesco.upc.edu
Doctorando Sostenibilidad, Tecnología y Humanismo
CATEDRA UNESCO de Sostenibilidad // Chair of Sustainability
Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña

Environmental Complex of the human settlement. Case study: The water basin San Luis (Colombia)

The present document is the summary of a work investigation of the master Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Case study is made in the human settlement that they conform the urban water basin San Luis, sector center - South of Manizales-Colombia, of which their phases I and II have gone ahead until the moment on the project Urban Experimental water basins in Colombia, Case Manizales, by the group hydraulic and environmental engineering of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Corporación Autónoma Regional de Caldas.
The methodology has been developed from a systemic vision towards the sustainability, considering the networks and flows that they do of the urban water basin a territorial and environmental subsystem within the urban system. For it is constructed to a system of evaluation and citizen perception, by means of indicators fed by data, provided by the municipal institutions and the community and the later elaboration of maps GIS.
Finally the results obtained in the study, the proposals of environmental ordering and the alternative scenes of future for the sustainability of the water basin appear.

Key words: social complexity, Ekistics, urban environment

La complejidad ambiental en los asentamientos humanos. Estudio de caso: La cuenca hidrográfica de San Luis (Colombia)

El presente documento es el resumen de un trabajo elaborado en el taller de investigación de la maestría de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
El estudio de caso es realizado en los asentamientos que conforman la micro -cuenca urbana San Luis, sector centro - sur del Municipio de Manizales-Colombia, de la cual se han adelantado hasta el momento sus fases I y II en el proyecto Cuencas Experimentales Urbanas en Colombia, Caso Manizales, por el Grupo de Trabajo Académico en ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental Universidad Nacional de Colombia y la Corporación Autónoma Regional de Caldas.
La metodología se ha desarrollado desde una visión sistémica hacia la sostenibilidad, teniendo en cuenta las redes y flujos que hacen de la cuenca urbana un subsistema territorial y ambiental dentro del sistema urbano. Para ello se construye un sistema de evaluación y percepción ciudadana por medio de indicadores alimentados por datos, suministrada por las instituciones municipales y encuestas realizadas a la comunidad, y la posterior elaboración de mapas GIS.
Finalmente se presentan los resultados obtenidos en el estudio, las propuestas de ordenamiento ambiental y los escenarios alternativos de futuro para la sostenibilidad de la cuenca.

palabras claves: complejidad social, equística, medio ambiente urbano.

Fernando R. Contreras Medina, fmedina@us.es

Departamento de Periodismo 1
Facultad de Comunicación
Universidad de Sevilla
c/ Américo Vespucio, sn.
41092 Sevilla (Isla Cartuja)

With (t)acts in Net. Trust Fabrics, Biomesh and Psychic Technology

The new information nets produced by technologies like the Internet differ in their properties from classic mass media. The selection of codes that the mass media carried out to achieve the acceptation in the communication is not operative in networked communications. The public space of the classic media was constituted of wills unaware to the participants; it was media that made the selections simplifying and regularizing the plurality of references. This referential diversity constituted in the mass media a unit that allowed to feedback other situations in the future of communication. Contrarily, networked media (Internet and mobile communications) constitute systems aimed at including the whole subject within communication (as part of a family, a group or a clan). Communication nets gather participants according to the logics of exclusion/inclusion and all the actions and experiences of participants operate as integrating elements in the process of communication.

Con(t)actos en Red. Tejidos de Confianza, Biomallas y Tecnología Psíquica

Las nuevas redes de información producidas por tecnologías como Internet difieren en sus propiedades de los medios masivos. La selección de códigos que realizaba el medio masivo para lograr la aceptación en la comunicación, no funcionan en la comunicación en red. El espacio público de los medios estaba constituido de voluntades ajenas a los participantes; los medios hacían las selecciones simplificando y regularizando la pluralidad de las referencias. Esta diversidad de referencia constituía en los medios masivos una unidad que realimentaba otras situaciones en el futuro de la comunicación. Por el contrario, las redes están formando un espacio público descentralizado geográficamente, centralizado por los códigos. Los medios en red (móviles e internet) son sistemas parciales cuya principal función es incluir a la persona entera de los participantes de la comunicación (al modo de la familia, la tribu o el clan). Las redes reúnen en un proceso de inclusión/exclusión. Todas las acciones y experiencias vividas por los participantes son elementos integradores del proceso de comunicación.

Raul Espejo, respejo@syncho2.demon.co.uk

Academic Director of the World Organization for Systems and Cybernetics
Visiting Professor at the University of Worcester, UK
Director of Syncho Ltd, UK.

Reflections on Power, Democracy and Communications

Ashby's Law of Requisite variety, Beer's Viable System Model, Maturana's Biology of Cognition, Habermas's theory of communicative action and Luhmann's theory of social systems have assisted my reflections upon issues such as power, democracy, participation and fairness in society. I have explored these issues from a cybernetics perspective in several publications (Espejo, 2001a, 2001b, 2004) and they remain a central concern of my current work on nuclear waste management in Europe. My focus is on national policies with an impact on local communities and their environments. Sometimes these policies impinge on particular communities, something that often makes more tangible the difficulties that policy makers encounter as they attempt inclusiveness; the not-in-my-backyard syndrome. Achieving inclusiveness requires bridging local-national gaps, and poses significant practical problems; how can society improve on lengthy and costly dialogues, often perceived as inefficient and ineffective? Representative democracy gives us the opportunity to elect our representatives; however there are limitations to this form of democracy. It often fails to engage people and it takes too long to replace ineffective incumbents. More and more, particularly with the benefit of current information and communication technologies, people are envisaging more direct forms of democracy. Why not give people the opportunity to influence more directly particular policies? Can anyone challenge that local people know local issues better than those distant politicians? Why should policy formulation be left mainly in the latter's hands? Is it not that the risks and unintended consequences of these policies will affect principally local people? And, is it not that their judgments about local issues are likely to be better than those of distant politicians?

Espejo, R. (2001a). Auditing as a Trust Creation Process.
Systemic Practice and Action Research, 14 (2), 215-236.
Espejo, R. (2001b). The wisdom of the people: A framework for transparency. In K. Andersson (Ed.), Proceedings of values in decisions on risk (pp. 428-438). Second VALDOR Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, June, 2001.
Espejo, R. (2004). The footprints of complexity. Kybernetes, 33 (3/4), 671-700.

Antonio Fernández Vicente, eresicton@yahoo.es

Plaza Santa Isabel, 4, 1º D,
Murcia, Spain.

Commodification and the information age: technocapitalist system

This paper describes the relation existing between commodification and the information age. Commodity implies that objects no longer have any value in itself. It is relative, instrumentalized and destructive, as we realize in Costa-Gavras' Arcadia. Informationalized capitalism offers a technical background to commodity as a cybernetic system. Cyberworld provides a rapidly-growing field to commodification as a global marketplace by extending commodities into daily life. Digital communication is nowadays another branch of the entire business system. For reification becomes an everyday life reality when the structures of our experiences are based not yet upon our direct experience, but upon the schemes and frameworks elaborated by the software's owners. Mediated communication is embedded in the commodification logic. Digital communication is articulated for the market by wage labor. Market logic is presented by capitalist system as the essential resource for all social exchanges. Social organization is embedded in commodification process in order to maintain the market system as a natural reality. An example may be found in the second-wave cybernetics, which expresses that the individual does not so much represent reality as construct it. Nowadays, reality is constructed by the logic of neoliberalism through technical system. Competition and self-interest has been naturalized throughout the repetitions of experiences embedded in digital capitalist machine.

Mercantilización y la era de la información: el sistema tecnocapitalista

Esta comunicación describe la relación que existe entre la mercantilización y la era de la información. La mercancía implica que el objeto carece de valor en sí mismo. Es relativa, instrumentalizada y destructiva como podemos ver en el film Arcadia de Costa-Gavras. El capitalismo basado en la información ofrece un trasfondo técnico a la mercancía como un sistema cibernético. El cibermundo provee un campo de rápido crecimiento a la mercantilización como un mercado global a través de la extensión de la mercancía en la vida diaria. La comunicación digital no es sino una ramificación del sistema de negocio. En consecuencia, la reificación deviene una realidad cotidiana, toda vez que las estructuras de nuestra experiencia se someten a la mediación de un dispositivo técnico sujeto a la esquematización de los poseedores de los software. La comunicación mediada se inserta así en la lógica de la mercancía. La comunicación digital se produce para el mercado a través de la lógica del trabajo asalariado. El sistema capitalista presenta la lógica del mercado como la fuente esencial para las interacciones sociales. La organización social se sitúa en el proceso de mercantilización con vistas al mantenimiento del sistema de mercado como una realidad natural. Podemos encontrar un ejemplo en la segunda ola de la cibernético, que expresa la idea de que el individuo no representa la realidad, sino que la construye. Hoy en día, la lógica del neoliberalismo construye nuestra realidad a través del sistema técnico. La competición y el egoísmo han sido naturalizados a través de la repetición de experiencias situadas en la máquina digital capitalista.

Gafurov, Akmal Abbasovich, gafur@tkt.uz

73, 182 app., Buyuk Turon str.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 700029

Mathematic Model of Social Development

The trend model of social development is described. The model is based on the evolutionary and revolutionary change of three motives of the human's social behavior (administrative, economical and moral-ethical) and allows make an analysis, prognosis and optimization of the development process for current states.
Seven differential equations of trends of three motives of the social-behavior's system “person-society” are considered as the model of the “actual section” of the social development's processes. These equations are based our postulates and follow from well known historic-philosophical judgments.
Indicators as GDP per capita, life expectancy, education level, crime rate, the perception corruption index as well as 12 indicators of social development accepted at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen (1995) are used in calculation of aggregated values of three motives sociobehaviour for the average representative of a society.
The graphs of the “actual section” give very simple and clear picture of social processes. It is so simple, that allows even non-specialist to make a correct analysis and prognosis of social development. These graphs allow to find clear answers to many actual questions on social development and optimal way of the transition from dictatorship to democracy and prosperity.
Prognosis of results of reforms in many countries including the CIS, made on the base of the suggested model 15 years ago, have come true, despite principle contradictions with the opinions of many known analysts.

Luciano Gallón, l.gallon@ieee.org

Sustainability, Technology and Humanism PhD Student
UNESCO Chair on Sustainability,
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Barcelona, Spain
Associate Professor
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana,
Medellín, Colombia

Chain Knowledge-Invention-Technology-Wealth (Kitwe). A System Dynamics Basic Model

The objective of this work is to develop a model for a dynamic system and to simulate its behavior by means of the use of software in order to advance in the understanding of two subjects of research related to the complexity of knowledge management and technology management based on its direct or indirect consequences in the integral wealth of the individual or the organization. First, which would be a basic systemic and dynamic model of the system made up of the elements: Knowledge, Invention, Technology and Wealth (which will be denominated KITWe Chain), and second, what behavior can be obtained from the elements of the model so that the characteristics, relationships, causes and consequences of the management decisions associated to the intervention of the surroundings and projects of knowledge or technology that modify the behavior of the wealth can be better included or understood. From another point of view, it is looked for a model that helps to understand and to predict failures and successes in technology projects. This work presents an original approach to a systemic model of the KITWe chain and shows first results that confirm the hypothesis that investing without a careful balance in knowledge and technology leads to serious consequences with the wealth.

Dra. Leonarda García legarcia@pdi.ucam.edu,
Dra. Mercedes Carmona mcarmona@pdi.ucam.edu

Universidad Católica San Antonio
Campus de los Jerónimos, s/n,
30107 - Guadalupe, Murcia (España)

The Evolution of the “Fourth World” in Spain (1997-2006): The consolidation of a regional digital gap

In the socio-technological development model described by Castells (2001), being disconnected from Internet means being outside of a system that clusters into networks areas, individuals, and/or activities that generate value.
However, the challenge is not only to develop on a technological dimension, but also to grow at the rate that Internet does, because advancing below the established standard also means underdevelopment. And, as the information society advance is taking place in a very complex and asymmetrical system, from a social and economical viewpoint, the use of Internet does not spread homogeneously among all groups: there exists a certain trend for the initially disadvantaged regions to worsen their position, thus making even more intense the inequalities which characterise the comparative situation of each region in a global context.
Based on the Innovation Diffusion Theory (Mahajan, Wind and Muller, 2000), this paper analyses the existence and size of a technological gap among Spanish regions concluding that, although differences have considerably decreased, the situation is still far from being close to rapprochement. And results are not optimistic because the future development does not seem to be quite positive considering data up to.
Anyway, since it is a dynamic process still in its first stages, future Internet evolution in Spain will depend mainly on public actions used to persuade its use and to motivate social, economical and technological development at the most adequate speed and direction to reduce the digital gap.

Felix Geyer, geyer@xs4all.nl

Van Beeverlaan 8A
1251 ES Laren, The Netherlands
Phone 31 35 533 5641, Fax: 31 35 533 5643

The War On Terror

This paper will concentrate on the Muslim side in the war on terror, and will demonstrate that relatively atheist Europe is too defensively tolerant against the fanatical forms of Islam, and underestimates the danger of Islamic fundamentalism (salafism) more than the US, and thus is too accommodating towards fanatical currents in Islam.
Why there is such fierce fundamentalism among sizeable minorities in many Arab countries - and also non-Arab Muslim countries, like Iran and Indonesia - is quite another problem. Poverty, lack of education, undemocratic dictatorial governments arousing considerable resistance, etc., may play a part, while quite a few texts in the Quran warrant or even promote fundamentalism. Lack of education and factual knowledge about (one's own position in) the world, promotes fundamentalist and even jihadist varieties of Islam - even though these can be nourished by non-religious resentments against the exploitation by the capitalist Western world.

The average European seems more resigned to the inevitability of the expansion of Islam - perhaps as a result of centuries of European-Arab encounters, perhaps because in the US case fundamentalist Christian beliefs inoculate against accepting Islamic fundamentalism. A large part of the European leadership also seems to be less realistic and cave in to the pressures of Muslim leaders, and more fatalistically inclined to accept a somewhat servile accommodation with the fanatical elements of Islam . Whether this is caused by cowardice, economic interests or more or less latent anti-Semitism, it produces an attitude that is described under the concept of "dhimmitude" .

Fabio Giglietto, fabio.giglietto@soc.uniurb.it

Faculty of Sociology
University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”
Via Saffi 15, 61029 Urbino (PU) Italy
t. +39 722 305726 f. +39 722 305727

Social semantics 2.0

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, a large amount of people in the world is now able to produce 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 present a vision and few examples of how this large amount of data might be used for sociological research.
From the theoretical point of view this kind of researches drawn on the concept of social semantics developed by Niklas Luhmann. Social semantics, once crystallized in books is today also available in online conversations. The networks of interpersonal communications, when computer mediated, becomes observable and, as a consequence, social scientists have access to invaluable new data.
Today, the online data have four characteristics that tend to increase even more the sociological value of this conversations. As a matter of fact, the online network of communications is in fact persistent, searchable, replicable and addressed to an invisible audience. Due to these properties online conversations may be analyzed with standard content analysis qualitative or quantitative techniques.
The paper will present three examples of researches based upon the analysis of online conversations.

Andrés G. Seguel, agseguel@gmail.com

Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y de la Comunicación
Departamento de Sociología 2, CEIC-IKI.
Barrio Sarriena s/n.
CP 48940. Leioa, Bizkaia. España

Complejidad social y experimentación con las TICS: socializaciones del código en la sociedad del conocimiento

La complejidad social deriva de la interconexión e intercambio de información de un gran número de elementos basados en un patrón de comunicación que se puede denominar de «comunicación con sentido». A estos intercambios comunicativos se les suele analizar desde la metáfora del código. Este artefacto teórico es de una extraordinaria validez, pero su estatuto funcional (como reductor de complejidad) se ha plasmado al menos en dos posiciones derivadas de la digitalización de lo real: la que los plantea como un esquematismo simbólico compuesto por dos partes (una que indica y otra que esconde un valor reflexivo) y la perspectiva que considera los códigos como signos de dualización cultural que permite una interpretación plausible de la realidad.
La sociedad se asume como seña de una operatoria sociológica más profunda y por ello pretendidamente descifrable. Pero asistimos a procesos sociales con comportamientos complejos que se sustentan en un doble moviendo simbólico: la sociedad liberada de su centralidad simbólica genera nuevos agentes y los nuevos agentes son reflexivo. Se puede intuir así un paso apresurado: del código de la sociedad a la sociedad del código.
Quienes mejor ejemplifican esta transformación son los hackers, que pueden ser inteligibles mediante la perspectiva del código de la sociedad o, por el contrario, como agentes socializadores del código. Mediante el análisis de este movimiento presentaré lo que denomino «socialidad del código», cuyas características desarrollaré a lo largo de esta comunicación.

Social complexity and experimentation with TICS: socializations of the code in the knowledge society

Social complexity derives from the interconexión and exchange of information of a large number of elements based on a communication pattern that can be denominated «communication with sense». These communicative interchanges are usually analyced from the metaphor of the «code», a theoretical device with an extraordinary validity; nevertheless the functional status of the code -as a complexity reducer- has been shaped in two forms born from the digitalization of the «real thing». First, the perspective that raises the code as a symbolic scheme made up of the things that indicate and things that hide the creative value. Secondly, the perspective that considers codes as signs of a cultural duality tha allows a reasonable interpretation of social reality.
Societies are assumed like signs of a deeper sociological operation and, in consequence, may perhaps be decoded. But we are attending social processes wich sustain complex behaviours in a double symbolic movement: on the one hand society released from its symbolic centrality generates new social agentes, on the other, these new social agents are reflexive. The dialogue may feel hurried: the passage of the code of society to the sociability of the code.
The «hacker movement» is a great example of this transformation. To sum up, it is posible to affirm that hackers are intelligible fron the code of the society or, contrary, hackers maybe be undestood as socializing agents of the code. In some actions and objectives of hackers we can find an exercise called «the sociability of the code» and its characteristics will appear throughout the communication.

Jorge A. González, jorge@labcomplex.net

Torre II de Humanidades, 6o. Piso
Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán
04510, México, D.F.

Grounding Cibercultur@: A critical review of non-systemic misconceptions on “information society” and other academic fashions.

This paper deals with the interaction between technology and social representations. I understand technology as a strength with orientation that interacts with historical symbolic ecologies, with special focus in experiences on peripheral countries.
Into current conceptions of complex processes labelled as Information Society, there is an important lack of systemic thinking. That is mainly due to the extended use of notions (with no scientific criticism) taken from media language and journalism writing that had been applied to complex realities with almost no regard on their interdefinibility and their systemic relations.
Such are the case with notions as digital divide, information highway, and information and communication technologies. Notions with scarce theoretical value, that consequently undermine several political and practical consequences.
A complex systemic construction of this problem based on the constructivist epistemology as formulated by Rolando García (2006) will be used in order to relocate and redefine the systemic relations
The paper will try to design the boundaries of that “empirical complex” and will explore a tentative set of concepts to provide a stronger representation of multidimensional flows between technology and social complexity.
García, Rolando (2006) Sistemas complejos, Barcelona, Gedisa.

Gutiérrez-Álvarez, F M, mauricio.gutierrez@ceipa.edu.co
Director System I+D University Institution CEIPA
University of Antioquia

The Society And Economy of the Communicative Knowledge by Means of Cybernetic Sociosystems

The work, out lives to the accumulated knowledge like conscientious and experiential of information - or contained of sense- manifest in some cybernetics contemporaries sociosystems.
The recognition begins with an analysis for the development, planning, taking of decisions and interpretation of these in interface. Established the communicative interface between multiple cybernetics sociosystems; that is to say, between emitter and receiver, the theoretical-analytical object of the presentation is centered in cybernetics sociosystems generated by the resultant encode in this interface and way of previous illustration:

The demostrative process, will run under three argumentatives horizons: Epistemologic, Methodologic and Applied (Logical Organization). To example way, Sociotechnological observations and its cybernetics in complex organizations systems.
It is presented presoposes of interpretation and analysis of some technological sociosystems; understanding these last, like contemporaries sociological observant of theoretical-abstract nature but with sense to the social complexity of today. The horizons of the presentation are:
1. Epistemological horizon: In this one they become manifest referring constituents for the observable concretion towards a sociological one; specially connected to Immanent slight knowledge of the social thing. For it, demonstrative resources in traditions represented from concepts like virtual-image are used (Levi, P- Heidegger, M), spirit (Hegel, G W F), form (Simmel, G), Social System Autorreferential (Luhmann, N) Cybernetics-Autorregulation (Asbhy, R- Geyer, F - Wiener, N) space-time (Kant, I) and sociological systems (Buckley, W).
2. Methodological horizon: They carried out, some observations of first and second order to the contemporary modern society in its social artefactual constitution.
3. Perspective horizon theorical-abstract (Metatheory): Preliminary modelling alpha numerical of the cybernetics sociosystems through Autorreferentials social systems and intuitive presentation of matrix.

Key words: Cybernetics, Complexity, Modelling, Sociosystems, AutoReferential, Semiotic, Process.

Bernd R. Hornung, hornung@med.uni-marburg.de

University Hospital Giessen and Marburg GmbH
Data Protection Office
Robert-Koch-Str. 5, D-33037 Marburg, Germany

Science, Technology, and Innovation in Society

Science and technology as rational, systematic, and even mathematical disciplines go along with innovation implying creativity and social acceptance as irrational components. Cybernetics has shown, however, that the former "hard" natural sciences are not so hard at all, and that the latter - social sciences - can be formalized to some extent.
The paper develops in which way the Cartesian "Book of Life", including both the natural and the social sciences, can indeed be considered as being written in mathematics.
Spencer-Brown´s "Laws of Form" - his calculus of distinctions - establishes the foundations of mathematics and links mathematics to philosophy, in particular epistemology. It is both a fundamental kind of mathematics and a theory of fundamental thinking and cognition. Thus it is a viable conceptual tool from which to develop concepts of epistemology, cognition, knowledge, information etc.
Ernst Cassirer provides another component, the idea of a relational approach to mathematics and the other sciences. Theoretical and empirical phenomena are not "things" but sequences of relationships connecting "things". The sciences try to identify and develop such sequences which are then linked by higher-order sequences establishing correlations (i.e. again relations) between the original sequences. The result is an overall relational web connecting all disciplines.
This does not constitute a mathematization in the usual numerical sense, but it provides a coherent and uniform formal tissue and framework for science, technology, and innovation in complex society.

Eva Kasparova, kasparov@vse.cz

University of Economics,
Prague 3, W. Churchilla 4,
Czech Republic

ICT utilisation in training and business practice

Reality of present practice from the worldview shows still higher needs of experience exchanging and sharing. Increasing of communication nets and increasing number of information offers not just new possibilities but also a lot of open questions how traditional educational, business, etc. institutions and organizations will be affected by this new development. One of the effective ways how to increase ability to work in virtual space seems to be virtual teamwork the modern and quite typical forms of co-operation based on the ICT utilisation. The paper focuses on present experience on virtual teamwork training. Due to “hot technology tools”, Web2.0, Social Web and the others the gate to the effective training seems to be opened. Technology tools are the only one step in the innovative process. According to Maturana's idea of self-structure determinate systems seems to be quite a large space to look for a new approaches and techniques of virtual teambuilding. A self-organization and impossibility of instructive interaction is an important question as a main objective of team function. Therefore a concept of an observer, informal learning and the storytelling present technique of knowledge and experience exchanging will be discussed there. A number of questions are not still fully answered there. The paper tries to answer the question by the analyses of the present experience from virtual teamwork training.

Arne Kjellman, kjellman@dsv.su.se

Skrb 140,
S-86296 Njurunda

On the Meaning and Architecture of Language.

The Subject-Oriented Approach investigates human knowledge from the ”insider's” point of view, which further develops the theoretical framework of cybernectics and the ideas of von Foerster, Maturana and Luhmann. The SOA claims the traditional scientific approach to be misleading because of the numerous feedback loops occurring on the perceptual path of the human brain.
For the same reason reference must be treated as a relationship that obtains between a speaker's personal experience and his construct of a private “external world”- a priverse, where these constructs (model entities) can be seen as the result of an interaction between incoming stimuli and the internal mean available to present it. Therefore languaging reflects human thinking on a personal plane and each statement primarily reflects personal experience contradicting the traditional view. Each statement thus in the tacit bears the sign of its utterer - and the formal framework of language can, according to this view be constructed on strictly private basis. The fundamental elements of language are words randomly chosen that are connected to the private feelings experienced by its first constructor, say Adam. These words (adjectives and verbs) appoint activities in Adam's awareness and reflect personal experience and when the meanings of these words are later learned by others natural languages will emerge. In the construction of language Adam uses the primary set of feeling names (words) to construct other lexical categories. The SOA's success of language creation consolidates its ideas.

Jan Klas, Tomás Sigmund, Václav Subrta,{klas, sigmund, subrta}@vse.cz,
PhD. Students at the Department of Systems Analysis
Faculty of Informatics and Statistics
University of Economics
Prague, Czech Republic

Public realm crisis and contemporary organizations

The purpose of this study is to define the public realm from the cybernetic point of view with emphasis on complexity of modern society - to identify and evaluate the aspects that create current understanding of public realm/space and its crisis. The central question to be examined in this paper is what the possible effects of this point of view for solving the problems of public realm crisis which has been analysed by Arendt, Sennett and Goldhaber are. The study seeks to integrate this traditional point of view and the sociocybernetic one.
The study provides a theoretical analysis of public realm crisis. It is divided into four parts:
(1) Review of current (sometimes implicit) definitions of public realm and explanation why the public realm crisis matters. These definitions differ to some extent from the sociocybernetic ones. Traditional approach to public realm absence will be presented.
(2) Sociocybernetic approach to public realm questions. Complexity issues and their impact on definition and problems will be found. We will refer to the ideas of Ahlemeyer, Giddens, Maturana, Varela and others.
(3) The most widely accepted explanation of public realm. Problems mentioned most often.
(4) An attempt to find a definition acceptable by all three mentioned approaches, discussion of possible effect of this definition on solving the problems of public realm crisis.

Ana Carmen Laliena Sanz, analaliena@gmail.com
PhD Student
Dept. Sociología
Universidad de Zaragoza
María del Ruste nº 19
50.750- Pina de Ebro

Foundation Ecology and Development: The practise of social managerial responsibility in Aragón

The changes produced by the economic globalization have determined the substantial modification in the forms of production, distribution of markets and societies. At the same time, non-profit organizations (NPO) have increased their consciousness of these changes. NPOs (Bellostas Pérez, A. et al.,2002) analyze deeply the evolution, management, behaviour and issues of these changes in the firms. NPOs realize themselves as implied and concerned actors. In this context, it is necessary to place the current relation between the profit sector -firms- and the non-profit. Traditional differences and roles are blurred thanks to the promotion of strategies of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
We focus our analysis in the process of CSR building (AECA, 2004) as a new fashion and new market//social strategy in the aragonese society. We will consider the initiative of the Ecology and Development Foundation. They are involved in the promotion and adoption of practices and approaches of CSR among managerial organizations, consumers, firms and public administrations.
Ecology and Development Foundation shows us its role as relevant actor of spreading CSR practices. It suggests that NPOs have a big power using its role as demand in the play of markets. It can turn in booster of the initiatives and development of behaviours socially responsible for companies. Its importance like stakeholder with specific needs and concrete requirements is increasingly active in the companies, fomenting in certain managerial groups a process of more sensitive reorientation towards conducts more sustainable and compromised with his environment and with the future.

Los cambios producidos por la globalización económica han determinado, por un lado, la modificación sustancial en las formas de producción-distribución y de otro, que organizaciones no lucrativas, (Bellostas Pérez-Grueso, A. et al.,2002), analicen más detenidamente la evolución, gestión, comportamiento y objetivos de estos cambios en las empresas, reconociéndose como partes implicadas y afectadas por las mismas. En este contexto es en el que hay que situar la actual relación entre el sector lucrativo (las empresas) y el no lucrativo (ONL). Sus tradicionales diferencias se han desdibujado gracias al fomento de estrategias de responsabilidad social.
Centramos nuestro análisis en el proceso de construcción de la llamada Responsabilidad Social Corporativa (AECA, 2004) en Aragón y esto nos ha llevado a considerar la iniciativa de la Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo. Esta Fundación tiene entre sus áreas de trabajo promover criterios de Responsabilidad Social Corporativa mediante el fomento y propuesta de adopción de enfoques de responsabilidad social entre organizaciones empresariales, consumidores/as y administraciones públicas.
Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo, en su labor de representante de las personas consumidoras y comprometidas de este territorio, nos sugiere que el avance y proyección de la iniciativa ciudadana organizada aragonesa, puede convertirse en catalizadora de las iniciativas y desarrollo de comportamientos socialmente responsables de algunas empresas. Su importancia como grupo de interés con necesidades específicas y exigencias concretas es cada vez más activo en las empresas, fomentando en ciertos grupos empresariales un proceso de reorientación más sensible hacia conductas más sostenibles y comprometidas con su entorno y con el futuro.

M. Lunca, m.lunca@planet.nl

Jan van Galenstraat 59
3572 LB Utrecht
AIPS - The Netherland
+31 30 243 14 86

The Universality of the Frame Problem

Artificial Intelligence epitomises the entanglement of technê and epistêmê nested in its Frame Problem (FP). Frames carry out the technicality of including/excluding actionable information. The FP is shown to be universal in both the mechanical formalism of avoiding infinite regression by Turing machines and the disciplinarily bounded objects of study. Philosophical concerns with bounded rationality, theories of mind, and all-round solvability enhance the epistemic FP. Science's interest in the FP derives from the role of computational formalisms in formalising informal and formal disciplines, and from information being the material, medium, and ontology of scientific problems. In order to define the translation of information into knowledge, the paper differentiates the separable kinds of information and the control of the in(de)finite by finitary methods. Notable is the bridging of the observational-theoretical divide by that all scientific inquiries state assumptions, treat information as (actionable) knowledge, and enframe by default objects of knowledge and knowers together.
One unifying ontologic argument for interdisciplinarisation, formalisation, and quantum observing is unearthed, namely that information is finitely accessible because it is as finite as the ontos. This obviates some discrepancy in cybernetics' use of classical information and our use of cybernetics to control the observer's entanglement in the observed. To correct this, cybernetics needs to turn quantum and emulate the universality of the FP.

Keywords: decision, enframing, Frame Problem, infinite regression, quantum observing

Alvaro Malaina, malaina@ehess.fr

22 rue d'Athènes,
75009 Paris

Technology, science and complexity. A multidimensional approach from the “complex thought” of Edgar Morin

Edgar Morin is one of the most important living French sociologists. His work comprehends the field of complexity and translates it for the benefit of the social sciences. He has made an enormous work of synthesis of the most important theories of complexity (i.e. those of self-organization, information, communication, etc.). He also belongs to the systemic approach and to the so-called second order cybernetics which, as we know, was founded by Heinz von Foerster. Within this framework, Morin creates what he calls the “complex thought”, which can be profitably contrasted to the theory of Niklas Luhmann in the context of a sociocybernetics perspective.
In this paper I demonstrate the application of Morin's “complex thought” to the problem of technology. It is interesting to make a general review of the subject of the Conference, starting from Morin's particular theory, and trying also to overcome his point of view in order to search a more general and integrative vision. The paper wants to be an example of how to use Morin's “complex thought” as an heuristic methode for the sociocybernetics perspective. We shall think, starting from Morin and beyond Morin (crossing authors such as Jean-Pierre Dupuy or Anthony Wilden), in the inter-retroactive process between science, technology (“technique”), society and State, from a point of view which integrates epistemology and ethics.

Margarita Maass, maass@labcomplex.net

UNAM, México

The social memory construction on the technology. A sociocybernetic reflection

The twentieth century is distinguished by the accelerated development of the industrial and technological media communication in Mexico and the entire world. More and more this phenomenon generates a complex reality in which some isolated worlds are united with economic, political and symbolical bonds, in a dense process of transformation.
This paper presents part of the findings of a wider empirical study focusing on memories of three generational groups, their access to, and reception of, different media technologies, and how these affected the construction of their media memories. I will demonstrate how social class, gender and age, and different media technologies -such as radio, television and the internet- interact to form media memories of global events. Access to, and familiarity with, these material support systems combined with the social disribution of specific kinds of cognitive dispositions are the key conditions for making sense of media messages. The paper tries to show how, through an analysis of second order we can include/understand the effects of the technological vector in the symbolic ecologies of the social agents.

Key words: Memory, reflection of 2nd order, sociocybernetic

Chaime Marcuello Servós
, chaime@unizar.es

Dpt. Sociology
E.U.Estudios Sociales
Universidad de Zaragoza

Social Efficiency and Accountability in Non Profit Entities: A Case Study of Aragonese Social Entreprise

Social Enterprises (SE) suffer a double tension. On the one hand, they should participate in the market, and have to compete with other firms and to be sustainable in terms of prize, costs and quality. On the other hand, they look forward to be a medium of social inclusion through the employment. In fact, their main target is being an access gate to the labour market for people with difficulties or in a situation of exclusion. In this way, SE have two scopes where they should show their efficiency. First one, it is the traditional economic-financial efficiency. Second, it is to consider the social efficiency of their activities and the validity of their social inclusion model. So, the SE should justify their usefulness and legitimacy to the whole social actors, because they receive direct support and funds from the Administration. It is not enough with fulfilling marked requirements, more transparency and responsibility than any other market entity is required in their own interest.
In this paper the processes and proceedings of accountability in the Aragonese SE are reviewed. Firstly, a theoretical incursion through accountability of NPOs keys and a review of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) model is carried out considering the sustainability approach. Conclusions are a proposal of recommendations, as a tool of presenting results and accountability of the SE.

Key words: Social Enterprises, Transparency, Social Impact, Accountability…

Dario Menanteau-Horta, dmenante@umn.edu

University of Minnesota, USA

“Social Complexity, Technology and the Consequences of War”

Development and survival of social systems have been historically related to the process of technological innovation, adaptation, and enhancement of systems' functions. The key element of sustainability of societies is, therefore, the capacity to create new knowledge, improve and disseminate techniques while maintaining an adaptive and dynamic form of social organization.
Technology implies the notion of change with potential impact upon all human activities. Throughout history technology has been influential in diverse areas of industry, medicine, and communication, as well as in wars and conflicts.
The analysis focuses on two objectives: (1) First, a review of the concept of social complexity as it relates to some uses of technology in society which are perceived as beneficial to human life (i.e., technology increasing food production, new drugs and medications, faster and safer means of communication and transport). (2) Second, an opposing argument identifying situations where the advances in technology are utilized in destructive social activities such as wars and social conflicts. . Today, military weapons, largely dependent on modern technology, have become more sophisticated and highly destructive.
The paper concludes that a sociocybernetic approach is welcome to move us from a limited interpretation of the functions of technology to a more holistic transformation of society leading towards social development.

Michael Paetau michael.paetau@iais.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS)
Schloss Birlinghoven,
53754 Sankt Augustin,

Media-Technology and the Structural Change of Knowledge Societies

The paper takes the media-technology as an example to investigate the role of technology in so-called transformation-situations of a society, i.e. complex settings which change society's character in a radical manner, so one says that is not the same society as before. Such structural changes of societies are very complex events, which are never attributed to single causes. Generally a lot of changes of singular facts have preceded such structural caesuras as an effect to special circumstances, like poverty, lacks of democracy, requirements of the world market, economic growth or crisis, ownership structures, and last not least development of new technologies and media. In my paper I want to discuss the relevance of media technology for such societal breaks. My hypothesis is that any structural changes of society with caesuras of political and economical power are obliged to social structure of knowledge and the mode in which a society do manage its knowledge. Or, inversely expressed: caesuras of the mode of knowledge will force a more or less significant overthrow of economic and political dominance. Insofar all societies are »knowledge societies« in the sense that any society has to emerge forms and techniques to proceed important decisions regulating its knowledge: Which knowledge should be kept, which can be deleted. And in which form this could be done? In a sociological discourse context - and anymore from a sociocybernetics point of view - it is not need to emphasise that society's decisions on storing and communication of knowledge are not made by society's own will. It emerges based on media-technology which is available, the current societal structure, and a lot of other variables which have to be described. The interdependency of these factors expresses the concrete complexity of a knowledge society.

Jon Mujika Perea, xaltocan3@gmail.com
Escola Universitària d'Enginyeria Tècnica Industrial de Terrassa (EUETIT).
Carrer Colom, 1
08222 - Terrassa (Barcelona)

Assessment Of Regional Policies Of Solar Photovoltaic Energy

This paper is a systemic approach for the assessment of regional energy policies in the Basque Country. The work tries to offer an evaluation tool of the Basque Country's government policy in the renewable energies in order to identify the strengths, defects, weaknesses and opportunities that shows the defined model.
The Systems Dynamics methodology makes possible the integration of the economic, social and environmental systems in a single escenario and in this framework the variable that is going to be measured is the number of solar photovoltaic installations because the renewable energies strengthen two fundamental issues of the new energy system: distributed energy production and consumption and social awareness in the consumption model.
All the human activities supose an environmental impact. In this case silicon supply for solar panels is an important factor that affects this energy implementation. Anyway social conception of energy and the economic planning are essential in solar energy development. If financial helps from public institutions are the bases of this process, education to improve social awareness will permit a continous growth of solar energy with feed-backs for new energy consumption and technology management strategies.
This paper tries to be a tool adressed to the society to assess institutional energy policies in a understandable way.

Evaluación de las políticas regionales de la energía solar fotovoltaica

Este trabajo es un acercamiento sistémico a la evaluación de las políticas energéticas regionales en el País Vasco. El documento trata de ofrecer una herramienta de evaluación de la política del gobierno vasco sobre las energías renovables con el objetivo de identificar las virtudes, defectos, debilidades y potencialidades que el modelo energético definido ofrece.
La metodología de la Dinámica de Sistemas hace posible la integración de los sistemas económico, social y medioambiental en un único escenario y en este contexto la variable que va a ser medida es el número de instalaciones solares fotovoltaicas ya que las energías renovables fortalecen dos aspectos fundamentales del nuevo sistema energético: la producción y consumo distribuido de la energía y la conciencia social sobre el modelo de consumo.
Todas las actividades humanas suponen un impacto ambiental. En este caso el suministro de silicio para los paneles solares es un factor importante que afecta a la implantación de esta energía. Sin embargo la concepción social de la energía y la planificación económica son esenciales en el desarrollo de la energía solar. Si las ayudas financieras de las instituciones públicas son las bases de este proceso, la educación en conciencia social permitirá un aumento continuo de la energía solar con retroalimentaciones sobre nuevas estrategias de consumo energético y de gestión de la tecnología.
Este trabajo pretende ser una herramienta dirigida a la sociedad para evaluar las políticas energéticas institucionales de una manera comprensible.

Francisco Parra-Luna, parraluna@cps.ucm,vivianpa2000@yahoo.es

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Is It Possible To Use Second-Order Cybernetics As A Techonological Device In Sociological Research?

In this paper Sociocybernetics is re-defined as the science which deals with the control of the efficiency of social systems, which mean the necessity of controlling any negative difference produced between the achieved outputs and the expected outputs. In this sense, most of published works with the label of “sociocybernetics” would not be real sociocybernetics approaches or applications. In the same way “Second-order Cybernetics” which could be understood as a more sophisticated and technological view of Sociocybernetics, seems to emphasize above all the relationship Observer/Observed Object mainly with the aim of analyzing the fact of observation itself. I will suggest that the relationship observer/observed object will be limited only to certain cases where “communication” (not observation) is realized under strong conditions of power from the part of the communicator, and that an excessive emphasis on this relationship has negative consequences for society and may rise ethical problems for social scientists. In general, presenting knowledge as only a subjective perception of the communicator would lead to inaction. But a different and more practical outcome could be expected if the communicator presents the women's problems as an objective verifiable knowledge (through the known inter-subjective agreements among experts), since then the responsibility has to be sought in the political determinants of the sociopolitical structure and other systemic factors.

Rafael Pla-Lopez, Rafael.Pla@uv.es

Dpt. Applied Mathematics
Universitat de València,
Dr.Moliner 50,
46100 Burjassot, Spain

A Simulation Of The Duality North-South In Social Evolution_

In prior works, we developed a mathematical model about the duality East-West in Social Evolution. Thus, we introduced a feature of western individualism so that the evolution arrived to "collectivist" social systems in the “East”, to a "capitalist" social system in the “West”, and could further carry to an ecologic holocaust, to capitalism forever or to a free scientific society.__In order to introduce the duality North-South which also occurs in the real history of the humanity, we work now in a bidimensional space with a cylindrical topology, and make the relief between generations slower in the “South” and the learning of “young” subsystems faster in the “West”.__We need to re-calibrated the parameters in order to get an accurate simulation of the real social evolution of humanity until the present time, with a faster social evolution in the “North”, so that later collectivist systems arrived first in “North-East”, and "capitalist" system arrived first in “North-West”, and they only would appear in the South through a Cultural and Technological Diffusion.
When we got these results we'll be able to study if an eventual “free scientific society” can develop first in the South (like a “Socialism of the XXI Century” from Venezuela) or in the North, and if an eventual ecological holocaust would begin in the North or in the South.

Dr. Vojko POTOCAN, vojko.potocan@uni-mb.si, Dr Matjaz MULEJ, mulej@uni-mb.si
University of Maribor,
Faculty of Economics and Business
Maribor, Slovenia

Socio-Cybernetics And Business Cybernetics As Approaches In Dealing With The Relation Between Technology And Social Complexity In Invention-Innovation Processes

The aim is to start discussion about similarities and dissimilarities of Business Cybernetics and Socio-cybernetics concerning invention-innovation processes. Both Business Cybernetics and Socio-cybernetics deal with human aspects of life in a (requisitely) systemic style, although from slightly and essentially different viewpoints - business and social sciences, respectively. Both of them are relatively new sciences concerned with complexity of the contemporary life and controlling - managing - influencing it. What ever is the level of modernization of tools by technological innovation, they are always tool under control of humans. These humans can differ in knowledge, values, circumstances and socially beneficial use of tools. Thus, it might belong to roles of socio-cybernetics to help humans develop their subjective attributes toward more social responsibility in general; business cybernetics should do the same inside humans' business life. The critical point seems to be much more in the cultural innovation of the contemporary humans than in the technological innovation. Such conclusion emerges also from a study about opinions of the world-top managers (IBM 2006), again. But its findings are in danger of oversight because culture-related invention-innovation processes might endanger the power positions of the power holders, who are not requisitely holistic to see the crucial danger resulting from their own oversights leaving culture aside.

Damijan Prosenak, MBA, damijan.prosenak@siol.net
SI-2310 Slovenska Bistrica,
Ob parku 16,
Ddr. Matjaz Mulej, mulej@uni-mb.si
Prof. Emeritus, University of Maribor,
Faculty of Economics and Business,
SI-2000 Maribor,
Razlagova 14,

Application of Technology to Enhancing of (Co-)creative (Co-)operation and Socially Responsible Action of All in a Society

Humankind is facing complex consequences of many human one-sided actions and seeking solutions to reduce them. These solutions should be based on creation of the biggest possible social well-being, including consideration of the constraints in the natural environment, and thus adding to the narrow economic measures psychological and sociological ones, summarized as happiness on the basis of requisitely holistic creativity. Such action should include: requisitely holistic understanding of the world and one's own role in it; enhancing of the ethics of interdependence; action on the basis of creating, co-operation and innovating aimed at finding and realizing solutions for real human problems; consideration of complexity of influences on the natural and social environments and their constraints.
How can technology help human? A possible chance lies in the creative application of internet - as a platform enabling global connections and (co-)creative (co-)operation in collaborative interest-based networks. This way can improve access to relevant information, knowledge transfer, and co-operation. An open access might increase the share of active/creative people: every network member can contribute to formation and realization of ideas. The improved information transfer between users and companies concerning the real needs and related solutions supports creation of the requisitely suitable products, including diminished burden to environment.

Dr. Suchismita RayPaul, rypauls25@yahoo.com
Kalyani; Nadia, 741235, INDIA

Technology And Social Complexity. Micro-Credit And Empowerment Of Women

Micro-credit is considered as a practical and scientific tool of bringing about a change in the socioeconomic scenario in developing countries. It helps empowering women in general and specially of poor socio-economic background. It is an extension of small loans to entrepreneurs belonging to poorer, weaker sections of the society. The concept of Micro credit pioneered by Dr. Mahammad Younus, has given good results in Bangladesh. Micro credit help the poor women in different ways. It can be said that this is a means to transform the power equation in the society. But, however, besides micro-credit there might have other factors towards empowering women. 150 case studies were considered for analysis. The study results show that micro credit system also depends on the factors like education, age, maririal status, supporting environment and overall consciousness of women as a human being. For determining the degree of empowerment, there are some uncertainties involved in terms of vagueness. To encounter the vagueness of values, fuzzy set theoretic approach is being considered as a potential candidate from conceptual as well as practical point of views. This work aims for using fuzzy set theoretic approach to deal with such complexities like determing the degree of women empowerment in Indian society. As an example, fuzzy values like low, medium, high etc. with membership set was considered for analysis. This analysis gives us a positive result.

Bernard Scott B.C.E.Scott@cranfield.ac.uk and Zach Johnson

Cranfield University
Defence College of Management and Technology
Defence Academy
United Kingdom

Self and other steering within the dynamics of organisational change

In general terms, e-learning services are suites of applications that provide tools to aide the design, development and delivery of educational experiences to students and that support the business processes that underpin that delivery, e.g., curriculum development, recording of student progress, staff development and research and consultancy activities. The paper is concerned with developing a sociocybernetic approach to inform the organisational and cultural changes that accompany large scale implementations of e-learning in HE institutions (HEIs). Both authors have worked as 'change agents' in this field. In sociocybernetics, change agents are participant and reflective observers who perform action research in an organization and who apply the 'ethical imperative' of 'maximising alternatives' so that, reciprocally, “A is better off when B is better off” (von Foerster, 1991). There are other approaches that advocate the use of participant and reflective observers who perform action research (e.g. Revans, Harri-Augstein and Thomas, Senge). However, these approaches also employ an explicit structured agenda that is visible to the client organisation. Our concern is to critique and enrich both these latter approaches by making clear how and when to employ strategy and tactics which deliberately keep the full agenda invisible from the client but to do so in ways that are ethically justified. Our founding concepts are drawn from the sociocybernetics literature, notably, Ashby and Beer on variety management, Bateson and others on the pragmatics of human communication, Pask and Luhmann on the constitution and dynamics of social systems and von Foerster on self-organisation and second order cybernetics.

Karl-Heinz Simon, simon@usf.uni-kassel.de
Kassel University - CESR,

Gotthard Günther - Sociocybernetician?

A former German philosopher, Gotthard Günther, was one of the members of Biological Computer Lab, founded and led by Heinz von Foerster. Work in that lab marked an important milestone in the development of a new cybernetics, which later on became the label “second order cybernetics”. The creative power of the Lab was strongly associated with the interdisciplinary team von Foerster was able to organize and manage in Urbana in those days.
Gotthard Günther was one of the most unconventional thinkers in that group, however, it seems that he is nearly forgotten nowadays, in contrast to von Foerster and Maturana, and others, who are in the focus of scientific interest. In my contribution I aim at looking into the influences Günther had or might have on sociocybernetics.
The main interest of Günther was to establish a so-called non-aristotelian logic and ontoloy. In logic, which is in his opinion the basement setting ground for all the other scientifc endeavors, he was developing a multi-valued logic, but not in the sense of adding additional values “between” true and false but rather in adding “ontological loci” where values like true or false could be associated to. Those spots he called contextures. In some sense Günther regarded that type of logic as an attempt to operationalize Hegel's dialectical logic, a philosopher, who gave Günther many ideas and life-long challenges.
Many of his concepts were (and are still) relevant for computer sciences, artificial intelligence, mathematics, and philosophy - but what about social science and sociocybernetics?
Indeed, there are also several ideas which should not be forgotten in the field of sociocybernetics. The most important ones, in my opinion, are:
o The importance of self-reflexivity and means for operationalizing self-reflexive structures.
o The idea of an architecture of the social world as composed of several dimensions or contextures.
o The idea of development of social systems as quasi-dialectical modes of progress, and means for operationalizing that kind of dynamics.
We will introduce ach of the above mentioned issues shortly and will give a discussion about the actuality of these concepts for contemporary sociocybernetic activities.

Danie Strauss, dfms@cknet.co.za

The historical roots of the all-pervasive effect of the rise of modern technology on the complexity of Western societies

The rise of modern technology is portrayed against the background of the relatively undiffe-rentiated structure of the medieval feudal and guild sys-tem. In the transition from the late medieval period to early modernity a mechanistic world view emerged - preparing the way for the eventual technicism that accompanied the appearance of modern technology during and after the industrial revolution. With a view to his own system theory Von Bertalanffy highlights the sub-sequent transition from a mechanistic orientation to organicism. Concurrent with the rise of modern (science-based) technology, during the industrial revolution, Western Europe experience the influence of the classical liberal idea of the state (Locke: the doctrine of state withdrawal: laissez faire, laissez passer) and that of the classical school in economics (Adam Smith).
This development led to a situation in which the legal interests of workers were pushed aside, thus paving the way for the rise of trade unions, labour parties, subsequent totalitarian regimes and the reaction of Marxism and Neomarxism. The complexities involved in this unfolding picture are assessed in terms of Luhmann's idea of the differentiation of autopoetic systems and Münch's idea of differentiated spheres of life with their own inner laws. A brief exploration of this view of Münch sheds light on the limitations in Luhmann's view of the (undifferentiated structure of the) legal system. The ideas of Münch are further explored in an account of the multiple societal freedoms found in a differentiated society, with reference to the role of the constitutional state as public legal institution. The article is concluded with a paragraph on the meaning of technology.

Igor Vrecko: igor.vrecko@uni-mb.si, Matja_ Mulej, mulej@uni-mb.si
University of Maribor
Faculty of Economics and Business (EPF),
Razlagova 14,
SI-2000 Maribor,

Humans' capability of technological adaptations to the general technological progress of humankind

Distinctive progress and changes in humankind's operations is characteristic of the last, relatively “young” period. This led, in relatively short period of time, to great changes, partly innovative and partly detrimental, in arrangements and operations of economies, markets, companies, as well as of the whole societies and individuals. The development of information technology stimulated a swing of globalisation to the biggest extent ever in humankind's history. Globalisation stimulates competitiveness, and this demands permanent implementations of improvements and other novelties of technology, products and services, systems organizations and similar - with one word: it demands innovative changes. Innovative changes demand new changes that create a cyclic development. We can ascertain that changing is intensifying and that changes are not intensified linearly, but progressively. In the center of the dynamics of innovations is the human, who on the one hand generates changes and on the other hand is confronted with them and is trying to adapt her-self to them with her own changing. The human brain is more “qualified” for execution and coordination of routine work than innovation. But the increasingly changing dynamics of humankind's social and economic environment demand humans to withdraw from routine. This can create conflict in humankind's ability to adapt herself to all changes in her environment. The questions arises where are the potential limits of humans' ability to change or to adapt/change her-self and are we approaching the marginal dynamics capability of humankinds to change with existent and future dynamics of technological progress?

Héctor Zamorano, zamorano@citynet.net.ar

Facultad Ciencias Económicas y Estadística
U.N.R.- Rosario

Technology and social complexity: Analyzing the step before

Science, Technology and Society studies, Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) researches, start once innovations are introduced into society. Undoubtedly, is very interesting and also very important to analyze how social groups modify their behaviour when including new devices into their lives, how they cope with their current reality using technology. But (there is always a but) the question is: why new devices appear?
I suggest discussing this issue analyzing the step before products are introduced into society.
In the analysis of the interrelationships between technology devices and society it is important to discuss some questions:
-Whose ideas create innovation?
-What innovations are thought for?
-Which are their aims?
-Can we consider all new devices as technoscientific innovation equally important?
New technology has its starting point outside society, it is thought by only few people, usually because of economic reason and also, sometimes due to control and domination reasons.
So, complexities are human creations. The aim of these is to put into the market the devices that enable people to cope with these created complexities. Undoubtedly, complexities create exclusion for those who can´t use innovation or can't access to the benefits of these new devices.
Thus Ralf Dahrendorf´s concept can be seen clearly when he claimed that “possibilities” increase while “titularities” decrease (there are more innovations but less people who can use it or who access to its benefits).
This behaviour is possible because the economic freedom proposed by this economic system and globalization produce an unequal society and increasing concentration of economic power.


Your comments about these pages
Chaime Marcuello. webmaster
created: May 27,1998
updated: JUN 10, 2007