Cybernetics takes the idea of using sensing and feedback to control and
optimize performance and extends it to the universe in general.
New Cybernetics or second-order cybernetics is the cybernetics of cybernetics.
It investigates the construction of models of cybernetic systems looking
beyond the issues of the first original cybernetics and their politics and
sciences of control, that the investigators are also part of the system,
and of the importance of autonomy, self-consistency, self-referentiality,
and self-organizing capabilities of complex systems. Investigators of a
system can never see how it works by standing outside it because the
investigators are always engaged cybernetically with the system being
observed; that is, when investigators observe a system, necessarily they
affect it and are affected by it.
The scope and impact of control systems could be substantially increased
with the incorporation of properties we usually associate with cognition,
such as reasoning, planning, and learning.
N. Wiener. 1954. The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and
Society. Boston: Da Capo Press
Heinz von Foerster (1974), Cybernetics of Cybernetics, Urbana Illinois:
University of Illinois.