New Books Network

T. Fischer and C.M. Herr, “Design Cybernetics: Navigating the New” (Springer, 2019)
Those who have followed this podcast in the past, and those who follow developments in cybernetics in the present, will be no strangers to the name Ranulph Glanville. This brilliant, multiple-PhD holding polymath who co-mingled cybernetics with ethics, pedagogy, and, above all, design, has, through his voluminous body of ground-breaking... Read More
Safi Bahcall, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries” (St. Martins, 2019)
Safi Bahcall‘s Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries (St. Martin’s Press, 2019) reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Bahcall, a physicist and entrepreneur,... Read More
Xiao Liu, “Information Fantasies: Precarious Mediation in Postsocialist China” (U Minnesota Press, 2019)
International and transnational historiography has given us vivid glimpses of the development and impact of cybernetics on a national scale in such countries as the Soviet Union, Chile and, of course, in the US and Great Britain where the field initially began to coalesce. Now, Xiao Liu’s Information Fantasies: Precarious... Read More
Michael E. Kerr, “Bowen Theory’s Secrets: Revealing the Hidden Life of Families” (Norton, 2019)
A pivotal development in the history of psychology was the invention of family systems theory by psychiatrist Murray Bowen. He was among the first to observe families in a naturalistic setting, and his observations informed his ideas about families as ‘systems’ that functioned as ‘emotional units.’ Michael E. Kerr served... Read More
Nicholas Shea, “Representation in Cognitive Science” (Oxford UP, 2018)
In order to explain thought in natural physical systems, mainstream cognitive science posits representations, or internal states that carry information about the world and that are used by the system to guide its behavior. Naturalistic theories of representation provide explanations of what information, or content, these internal states carry, and... Read More
Bradley Cantrell and Adam Mekies, “Codify: Parametric and Computational Design in Landscape Architecture” (Routledge, 2018)
Landscape architecture has a long history of innovation in the areas of computation and media, particularly in how the discipline represents, analyses, and constructs complex systems. Bradley Cantrell and Adam Mekies‘ new book, Codify: Parametric and Computational Design in Landscape Architecture (Routledge, 2018), spans academic and professional projects to form... Read More
Raul Espejo, “Cybernetics and Systems: Social and Business Decisions” (Routledge, 2019)
Regular listeners of this podcast will, no doubt, be familiar with the name of Raul Espejo, former Director of Operations of Stafford Beer’s famed Cybersyn Project under the Chilean government of Salvador Allende in the early 1970’s. On this episode, the esteemed Dr. Espejo joins us in his role as... Read More
Pamela Buckle Henning, “A Guide to Systems Research: Philosophy, Processes, Practice” (Springer, 2017)
Like a number of the books discussed on this podcast, A Guide to Systems Research: Philosophy, Processes, Practice (Springer, 2017), was intended to fill gaps in a field that, through its often fitful development across the widely spread branches of its multi-disciplinary networks, has found itself in need of comprehensive... Read More
Gary Metcalf, “Social Systems and Design” (Springer Verlag, 2014)
In the opening chapter of his edited volume, Social Systems and Design, out from Springer in 2014, Gary Metcalf asks if it is possible to establish ethical “first principles” for the design of social systems.  Inspired by his mentor, Bela Banathy (a giant of the systems field), and pondering the... Read More
George E. Mobus and Michael C. Kalton, “Principles of Systems Science” (Springer Verlag, 2015)
Of the many barriers to a more robust presence for systems approaches in the academy, the relative scarcity of sufficient introductory textbooks in the field stands out as a particular irritant.  In the decades since the publication of von Bertalanffy’s General Systems Theory in 1968, a vast agglomeration of conceptual... Read More