Classic Knols from Barry Kort

· Knols

Herewith are the articles I originally posted on Google Knol.

System Doom

Chaotic Flights of Fancy

 · ,

The Bell System was the single most extraordinary example of a highly functional system ever crafted by humankind.

This essay compares Theodore Vail’s Bell System to Henri Poincaré’s Solar System and offers some insight into the concept of high-functioning systems.

Sabina Spielrein

Forgotten Pioneer of Psychoanalytic Research


Who was Sabina Spielrein? What role did she play in the early years of psychoanalytic research and in the development of new ideas and methods for educating children? This brief article summarizes information compiled by a colleague of mine who has declined to append his name to the information presented below.

Foundations of Ethics

Contribution of Lawrence Kohlberg, Carol Gilligan, John Rawls, Lonnie Athens, James Gilligan, Suzanne Retzinger, René Girard, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke


This knol reviews and integrates fundamental ideas on ethics, including seminal contributions by Lawrence Kohlberg, Carol Gilligan, John Rawls, Lonnie Athens, James Gilligan, Suzanne Retzinger, René Girard, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke. The article concludes by linking back modern secular views on ethics to ancient sources on the same ideas.

Building Community

Thoughts on Community Building


This knol presents ideas first introduced in 1994 on a three-stage model of community building that I call “Communitas”.

A Beginner’s Guide to Action Research

Joint problem solving in academic cultures.


Action Research is the practice of collaborative problem solving in the Education Community. In Action Research, the students (and parents) collaborate with professional educators in solving problems arising in the course of educating students.

This brief Knol is an introduction to the basic idea of Action Research in Education.

Narcissistic Wounding

Neener, neener.


This is an essay and reflection on Narcissistic Wounding as it arises in adolescent cultures and reappears in online cultures populated by the same demographic groups who manifest narcissistic traits in face-to-face cultures.

Drama Engines

How Wikipedia has emerged as the most popular venue for lunatic dramaturgy.


A hodge-podge of conflicting and inconsistent rules, coupled with a profoundly ill-conceived community governance model, has transformed Wikipedia into the Internet’s premier Drama Engine, featuring a daily dose of lunatic social drama from Wikipedia’s Post-Modern Cyberspace Theater of the Absurd.

The Governance Model of Wikipedia

A review of Wikipedia’s popular practice of blocking and banning adversarial editors.


Wikipedia’s self-governance model is so anachronistic, it predates fundamental concepts introduced by the first historic designers of the Rule of Law.

All About Redheads

The relationship of Adrenalin, Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Eumelanin


Redheads have reduced levels of Eumelanin compared to the rest of the population. But because of correlates in cell biology, reduced levels of Eumelanin may be accompanied by comparably reduced levels of Epinephrine (Adrenalin), Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin as well. The resulting change in demeanor and the diminished energy for Fight or Flight make redheads more likely to turn to non-military solutions to threatening circumstances. Is it any wonder redheads are over-represented in the Cerebral Arts?

The First Book of System Design

Principia Cybernetica


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


Toad Sneezing and the Unken Reflex


Musings on the Unken Reflex, Freud’s notion of the Uncanny, and the role of Bombesin as the mediating neuropeptide.


The Fantastic Flying Scape-Goat for Azazel


Speculations on some theological notions about scape-goating rituals.

Seething Heartbreak

The Comfort of Oxytocin


Semiotic review of cultural references to Oxytocin.

Oxytocin Deficit Dishonor

Affection, Trust, and Distrust


Observations on emerging research on the role of Oxytocin in regulating feelings of affection, trust, and disaffection.

Death and Dishonor

The Tragedy ot Ted Westhusing


Reflections on the suicide of Ted Westhusing, Professor of Military Ethics at West Point Academy.


Reflections on Patterns of Relationships and Trust


A reflection on the notions of Liminal Social Drama, Anti-Structure, and Chiasmus.

Apostasy and Emunah

Turning away from unreliable and untrustworthy belief systems.


Musings on the notion of Apostasy, the turning away from a long-held or widely held belief.

The Calculus of Ideas

Model-Based Reasoning


This brief article identifies the key steps in devising a plan to reach a goal.


BSEE With High Distinction, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 1968

MSEE Stanford University, 1969

Ph.D. Systems Theory, Stanford University, 1976

Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Network Planning Division of AT&T Bell Labs 1968-1987

Lead Scientist in the Network Center of MITRE, 1987-1990

Visiting Scientist in Educational Technology Research, BBN Systems and Technologies, 1990-1999

Visiting Scientist in the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, 1999-Present

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