308 - Cybernetic Vision of the World

N. Lygeros

“To open a door, a handle is enough.” in The time of chameleons

From thought to action there is often only a step, but it is decisive. Then comes up the problem of the diffusion of the generating idea. To take up the terms from Philippe Aries, must it be attributed to the collective unconscious or to clear ideas? In the first case, the elaboration of the idea results from a process, mysterious by nature because spontaneous: the idea is dis-localised in the set of peoples and finally manages by its reduction to progressively shape the society. In the second case, the process of mentalities transformation is caused by the individual or by specific works, for whose it is theoretically possible to measure diffusion. The first approach would be diffusionist, while the second one is mostly built in an individualistic way since its source is the set of the great thinkers. In our articles “Structure, Relations and Singularities” and “Anarchism, Thoughts and Discoverers”, we have shown the importance of the sources and of the diffusion medium. So the diffusionist and individualistic approaches, far from excluding each other, would rather be complementary, as was noticed by Henri Couteau-Begarie in the strategic world. A thought without diffusion is useless, a diffusion without thought is nothing. And we find again the intellectual-informant duality, as in thought and language.

Andre Martel proposed an outline of the passage from thought to action in the form of a strategical triptyque: research (ideal ennemy), didactic (desired ennemy), action (real ennemy). although this outline may look scant, it is nevertheless a diffusion model. This has for origin an individual effort, local so to speak, on a strictly intellectual level, that rests on general ideas serving, once taught, to the elaboration of instructions whose realizations are acts. Through these ideas we can perceive another one, that is the political-military duality, that had a relatively clear and equilibrated meaning, before the advent of the nuclear weapon. Then, afterwards the link between political dimension and military fight was reinforced to the benefit of big-scale strategy. In sum, in this more reserved frame, we find the same complexity of an assembled duality. It is then natural to link that to the conclusion of our article on “Les répercussions d’un impact local sur une structure hiérarchisée”.

From those considerations, we deduct the importance of not only the impact of a thought but of the choice of the medium of this impact, if we want to generate an irreversible transformation, differenciating the past from the future by way of the act. It is useless to hit a door to open it since there is just a handle to turn. The whole door, even if massive, is only held by structural details: hinges and lock. The whole problem is the understanding of the structure. Because the importance of the thought is not only measured by its originality, but also by its ability to travel through the diffusion medium it wants to transform by its contribution. A gift has value only if it is accepted, otherwise it loses its meaning. In the same way that a favourable terrain is necessary to the blooming of ideas, the diffusion medium has to be thought; not as an adversary to annihilate, but as an individual having to be convinced of the well-foundedness of our thought. Daring is essential. Some may label this intervention reckless, others will discern in it the characteristics of a promethean mind, holistically thinking the world in a cybernetic sight creating through these realizations the memory of the future. Indeed, the choice of the conceptual objective in an eschatological frame coming from the perception of the border effect is of a considerable importance when we realize it is possible.