Recursive Cybernetic Design

In 1962, a few years before Alan Kay started his career, Engelbart set the program for his own U.S. Air Force–funded research group at the Stanford Research Institute (Bardini 2000:1-32), aiming for nothing less than to re-engineer the “HLAM-T,” the “Human using Language, Artifacts, Methodology, in which he is Trained” (Engelbart 1962:9). This HLAM-T was always a cyborg, and as such it can be engaged in a continuous process of “augmenting human intellect.” According to Engelbart, the latter can be achieved through the process of “bootstrapping.” This is a term that can mean many things in the Silicon Valley, from initiating systems to kicking off startups, but in the context of Engelbart’s work, bootstrapping is the “…interesting (recursive) assignment of developing tools and techniques to make it more effective at carrying out its assignment. Its tangible product is a developing augmentation system to provide increased capability for developing and studying augmentation systems” (Engelbart and English 2003:234). Just as Moore’s so-called law, this is a dream of exponential progress emerging out of nonlinear, self-enforcing feedback. How much more Californian can you be?

Notes:

Folksonomies: cybernetics iterative

 Utopian Hacks
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Bachmann, Götz , Utopian Hacks, limn, Issue Eight, Retrieved on 2017-07-11
  • Source Material [limn.it]
  • Folksonomies: culture hacking self-improvement