What can I say, this past week saw the British Library open up its secrets to me, and they are lovely secrets. I know some people who don’t like the exterior of the British Library and love the interior, but I really like both outside and inside. The reading rooms are spacious, cool and feel like a place I want to research and be scholarly. My only niggle is naming, and so to some separating, the reading rooms into Humanities 1 & 2, and Science 1 & 2. I’d prefer a different naming scheme but that’s me.

Some of the material for my cybernetics research is out of print and not held by many libraries, which makes the British library a perfect place for me to get hold of what I need. The man who registered me at the library read my letter of reference, which I needed to join, and was instantly fascinated, he even asked if I had a bibliography which he could check on the catalogue for me. It was quite a personable way to join a library, which I have noticed seems to reflect the majority of the staff in the library.

From Newspeak to Cyberspeak is a book which shows the power and structure of Cybernetics as a universal language for understanding control and communication within human, animals and machines. The book takes the line that Cybernetics is far more than a science or field of inquiry.

I have also been digging into the relationship between Norbert Wiener and Bertrand Russell, the former studied with the latter in Cambridge after receiving his PhD. Forty years later Wiener wrote in his ‘Cybernetics’ that “I am myself a former student of Russell, and owe much to his influence.”

And now for ann interesting coincidence: I wrote a piece on this here blog about disunified research, and it briefly discussed hybrid thinking and new knowledge, it also quickly covered the idea of a ‘pidgin’ language within any research cluster, especially the very new in terms of knowledge being produced. At the same time, or several hours later, depending on how you view such things, I was working my way through ‘From Newspeak to Cyberspeak’ by Slava Gerovitch as part of my cybernetc research and what I quickly came across was the idea that the Soviet Union deliberately used a form of Newspeak to delineate the ‘soviet’ from everybody else. . I don’t think in terms of Godly, or Fately, synchronicity, but I can see how we connect and give meaning to things, again this is something I cover in my thesis and so there will be more thoughts on this in later weeks, socio-cultural pattern recogntion is quickly becoming my craft, whether by choice or not.

I went off track there. What I meant to say is that in separate spheres of my thinking this week the spectre of language and what it means turned up. This is not to reduce the importance of either but remark upon a coincidence and what light it sheds on my week.

You Should Read: From Newspeak to Cyberspeak by Slava Gerovitch – Cybernetics is the reason I read this but it is so much more. The picture of Soviet science it paints is fascinating and enlightening. It removes the iron curtain of ignorance from my eyes.

Hope you all have a good Week

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