The First Book of System Design

Principia Cybernetica

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A creation story for the Cybernetic Age from the Post-Apocalyptic Seminary of Neuro-Mathematical Systems Theology.

The First Book of System Design

Principia Cybernetica, 1999


If God were enamored of Model-Based Reasoning,
The First Book of System Design might look something like this:


In the beginning, God created an open loop system. The system was
without witness or controller, so God created a small-minded
controller. God carefully avoided clueing in the small-minded
controller on the finer details of the theory of feedback control
systems.

Even God was amused, and so ended the first day.

And God said, “Let the small-minded controller draw up a goal
statement.” And behold, the small-minded controller identified the
desirable goal states for the system. And God thought it sounded
pretty good.

And evening and morning were the second day.

And God said, “Let the small-minded controller determine corrections
and adjustments and engage in determining rules of guidance and
control.” Unfortunately, a debate about the sanctions and punishments
to be inflicted in the event of a rule violation pre-empted almost all
of the third day.

And evening and morning were the third day.

And God said, “Let there be a university in which the small-minded
controller can envision system concepts and engage in discovering the
deeply hidden laws of feedback control theory.” The small-minded
controller considered adjustment of rules and sanctions and more
intelligent alternatives to rules, and God saw that this was good.
And God thought that it was even worth all of the adrenalin,
serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins he had to supply.

And so ended the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the small-minded controller’s policies be
implemented with long-range vision and insightful strategies.” The
small-minded controller considered insights and feedback loops and
state-space measurements and sampling theorems, and comparative
analysis and simulation models. And God saw that this was very
ingenious and fruitful.

And so would have ended the fifth day, except for the unintentional
renewal of the debate about the choices amongst rules and sanctions.

On the sixth day the small-minded controller devised criteria
for classifying and assessing trajectories converging to the goal
states and the associated rates of convergence. This wasn’t the thesis
topic that God had planned. God wasn’t able to read the thesis,
however, because he had to take the afternoon off to create day and
night and heaven and earth and seas and plants and stars and trees and
seasons and years and sun and moon and birds and fish and animals and
human beings and the invisible karma economy.

On the seventh day God rested and the small-minded controller
submitted his model and analysis. It turned out that the recommended
system model was nearly identical to the way that God had created the
world, so the small-minded controller gave thanks to God for his
implementation according to the integrated system model. There was,
however, some opinion expressed that humans should have been created
in the mimnetically reflected image of the small-minded controller’s
recursive system model.

And God caused a deep agnosimnesia to fall upon the model-based reasoner …



CopyLeft 1999 by Barsoom Tork Associates and The Orenda Project
in association with Zazen Enterprises and the Post-Apocalyptic Seminary of Neuro-Mathematical Systems Theology.


This partial Gnosimnesic recovery of things deeply hidden since
the beginning of the world may be freely kerygmatized,
mimneticized, or semiotically mapped. Or not.

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