The Oral Tradition

Ranulph Glanville and Allenna Leonard

The Oral Tradition was a centerpiece of past ASC Conferences.  For one evening formal presentations were replaced by storytelling. The event was an opportunity to remember some more personal experiences of and with our pioneers and
to share them with future generations of cyberneticians.  The people we recall have been our mentors, our friends... people we loved and respected, not just for the power of their ideas but for their integrity and their generosity as human beings.  In addition, this is a time to hear the aspirations of the new generations, their intentions and the directions of their research.

Stories shape and reshape the narrative we call cybernetics and chart its progress from its beginnings to today.  We reflect on the past partly to see it from a contemporary perspective and partly to recall the original purposes as we move into the future.

This year we shall revive that tradition.  Please join us to listen to some old stories and to tell some new ones.  As Heinz von Foerster, a master storyteller himself, said when he heard the tribute that we stand on the shoulders of giants;  "Then you must tell us what you see."  The old stories are important because they ground us and add resonance to the new stories we live and tell.  Join us at the metaphorical campfire!  Relive the wild frontier and look out over new lands!