From Cybersyn to social macroscopes and panopticon: humanity in the face of branching paths

Date(s) - 08/02/2021
11:00 am - 12:15 pm

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Intervention dans le cadre du séminaire IXXI

“Les engagements épistémiques des théories de la complexité »

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From Cybersyn to social macroscopes and panopticon: humanity in the face of branching paths (David Chavalarias)

In the 1970s, the Cybersyn project took its inspiration from cybernetics to propose a Chilean distributed management system based on an extensive bottom-up information-gathering system. 50 years later, large scale bottom-up information systems have been deployed on a global scale in all areas, whether economic, social or health-related. These information systems are used today to built macroscopes and panopticon for the purposes of governance or citizen reflexivity. At the same time, human societies have reached an unprecedented level of complexity and interdependence that raises the question of redefining the relevant scale for analyzing social systems. In this talk, we will raise the question of the role, effect and use of information infrastructures on human societies and humanity in general. We will identify several possible futures among which we speculate that humanity will have to choose in the very short term.


The conference “Epistemic commitments of complexity theories” aims at gathering practitioners of the field, as well as researchers in philosophy, history, sociology, in order to address the axiological, ideological and political aspects of some of the most important complexity theories: complex systems sciences (Santa Fe Institute style), cybernetics and systemics (autopoiesis, Hayekian neoliberalism, Odum ecology, etc.)…
– 11 Jan: “Introduction to complexity theories”, Fabrizio Li Vigni and “British cybernetics”, Andy Pickering

– 18 Jan: “Second cybernetics. the science of saving energy”, Thomas Turnbull and “From cybernetics to complexity”, Jean-Pierre Dupuy

– 25 Jan: “CosmoTech: from complexity research to business”, Michel Morvan and “From complexity theories to lean management”, David Vallat

– 1 Feb: “Modeling and expertise in social simulations”, Catharina Landstrom and “Complexity sciences and Hayek’s neoliberalism”, Fabrizio Li Vigni

– 8 Feb: “The politics of Gaia”, Sébastien Dutreuil and “From Cybersyn to social macroscopes: contributions of complex systems research to a social reflexivity”, David Chavalarias

– 15 Feb: “The (non)neutrality of science and algorithms”, Lampo and “The monetization of ecosystemic services”, Victor Lefèvre
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