"Navigating between Risk and Return"

STALEMATE Strategic Studies

God and Golem, Inc. Revisited


The subtitle of the current page is derived from a work by Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), coiner of the term "cybernetics". The latter was defined by its originator in a previous writing by the same name [Wiener 1948] and elucidatively subtitled: "The science of control and communication in the animal and the machine". In "God and Golem, Inc." [Wiener 1964] he arguably attributed new meaning to teleology by considering purposiveness in addressing the human ramifications of cybernetics and its intersection with religion.

This teleological notion of purposiveness is examined historically here to serve as a thread through strategic issues regarding the evolution of Homo cyberneticus as viewed from anthropological, meta-scientific, economic and parapsychological perspectives. The series of topics treats the adaptive implications of distributed artificial intelligence and knowledge management, virtual and augmented reality, pervasive computation and nanotechnology.

* Teleology

The philosophical etymology of "teleology" is traced from Aristotelian origins through revival by Thomas Aquinas and critique by Immanuel Kant to goal-directed feedback in cybernetics.

  • Aristotelian metaphysics
  • The concepts of "ένεργεια" ("energeia") and "δύναμις" ("dynamis") appear paramount in the context of pre-scientific reason embedded in Aristotle's early metaphysical language of becoming.

  • Scholastic metaphysics
  • The neo-Aristotelian metaphysical terms "potentia" and "actus" as employed by Aquinas figure prominently in the Scholastic fusion of reason with faith and its critical subsequent extraction in treating teleology.

  • Kantian epistemology
  • Kant's lesser known "Kritik der teleologischen Urteilskraft" ("Critique of teleological judgment") suggests a take on teleology in divorcing rationalism and pure reason ("reinen Vernunft") from empiricism and practical reason ("praktischen Vernunft").

  • Cybernetics
  • The concepts of control and communication at the foundation of cybernetics are reflected in the etymology of the term, with "κυβερνήτης" meaning "steersman" or "governor", and embody a revised rendition of purposiveness.

    * Anthropology

    In representing the contemporary man-machine relationship, thought is regarded as computation together with its extracorporealization through information technology. The merging of physical and virtual reality, computational pervasiveness and ethical implications are further investigated.

  • Computation, technology and the artificial
  • Virtual reality
  • Ubiquity
  • Ethics

  • * Epistemology

    The epistemological status of science as mental discipline with taxonomic intention and as technologically validated pragmatic paradigm is viewed in relation to computation, knowledge management and software engineering within the context of the Metaverse and Web semantics.

  • Scientific discipline, knowledge and computing
  • Knowledge and software engineering
  • Semantic Metaverse

  • * Economics

    The critical role of intellectual assets and their humanistic valuation in knowledge-based economics, the significance of knowledge and technology transfer to sustainable innovation and the nature of innovative collaboration in sustainable enterprise are studied.

  • Intellectual capital in the knowledge economy
  • Knowledge and technology transfer for innovation
  • Collaborative innovation in the adaptive enterprise

  • * Parapsychology

    The convergence of human-computer interfacing, virtual immersion, teleportation, scenario generation and telepresence in augmented reality with phenomena within ESP, psychic healing and out-of-body experience is considered from an interdisciplinary and (trans)cultural perspective with the intention of demystifying and instrumentalizing scientific parapsychology.

  • ESP
  • Psychic healing
  • Out-of-body experience

  • Bibliography