Self-Cybernetics

  • Cybernetics applied to oneself, by oneself
    • creating feedback loops where there aren't any
    • making personal data visible, actionable
    • creating the environment to promote specific way of acting / thinking
  • Cybernetics and Me

    Model: Viewing yourself and your environment interacting as a system Action: Generating your own cybernetic systems to alter what you do

    1. Storing information into your environment
    2. Treating your future self as an unreliable actor and trying to influence it
    3. Creating or using tools/rules that generate a self-cybernetic system

    non-cybernetic thinking: what type of note-taking system is the easiest to look things up? cybernetic-thinking: what type of note-taking system will cause me to write things down in a way that is easy to look them up?

    • Self-Cybernetics is about building systems (tools, visualizations, feedback loops) to guide behaviour

    How do you know when you're caught in a harmful cybernetic system (...)?

    • there are issues with Self-Cybernetics approach - I found out that the way I show the time-tracking data to myself can have a huge impact on how I act, and I can't always easily control the side-effects (for example overshooting on too much client work) - You Get What You Measure

    Do self-cybernetic systems weaken your willpower? Or is an emphasis on willpower less compassionate and understanding of the social environments that affect us? As opposed to self-cybernetics, what are self-agency exercises? Travel is perhaps an exercise where you do not design environments but appreciate them.

    • I'm not sure how "chanting" and other repeated "magic words" are related to this, but I think that there are some connections here, maybe a way to "program" yourself through words (also further related to ideas of Linguistic Determinism)

This is yet another application of Self-Cybernetics on myself making my experiments visible to me, reminding myself to reflect on them, and presenting them to myself in a way that works around my psychology.

  • relying on self-cybernetics to model ones behaviour could make one completely lost without those external inputs
    • reference: "Accelerando" and Manfred's glasses
  • similar to how I leave physical things I need to take with me near my shoes - Self-Cybernetics
  • is Self-Cybernetics a Second-Order Cybernetics?
    • or even higher, since the cyberneticians not only understand that they part of the loop, but also changes the loop based on the feedback from that loop?
Szymon Kaliski © 2021
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