Cybernetics and the Fiction of Objectivity

Objectivity is a strange beast.

The language and corollary cognition with which we engage complexity is itself the constitutive invocation of a necessarily partial model of the systems we seek to define, articulate and/or usefully shape. The definition of a “system” being quite clearly the manifest as epistemological reality of that artefact, entity or logical container – we find ourselves negotiating terms over a foundationally indeterminate ontological cartography.

If true that all orchestrated definitions are only ever the product of so many half-mirrored surfaces and indefinitely-extensible referential structures, then a consequence is that all systems of belief are rendered as fictional and circularly tautological phantoms that depend as much on a fantasy of external, metaphysical fixture and certainty as they do upon its necessary and persistent absence.

It is something of a psychoanalytic suggestion, but this vacuum of certainty that exists irreducibly and in some sense beyond definition is indistinguishable from that incompleteness and logical void within. This represents a symmetry of ontological identity that inversely asserts the counter-intuitive fact upon which we might yet consistently build a concept of systems.

When the system of explanation bootstraps itself (in this way) into the system it seeks to model, the most interesting questions arise. The approach of, to and as interdisciplinary conjecture in this domain follows a similar arc and entangled trajectory. The emergent invocation of (a) General Systems Theory could be argued to have seen this coming some 70 years ago.

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