obviously, an example of a "great mind."
was an anthropologist and philosopher who applied cybernetics to the life sciences.
In his books, he defines the basic unit of information as a DifferenceThatMakesaDifference
and elaborates this idea into the growth processes of life, the mind, and the universe, seeing the world around us and in us as intertwined communication circuits (YouCannotNotCommunicate?
- not by GB but related)
He claimed that progress in thinking is made by the interplay of strict and loose thinking, and that TheMapIsNotTheTerritory
When studying the world, he always tried to understand the whole of the picture. He was looking for the ThePatternWhichConnects?
in superficially diverse areas as:
- Mind and nature (also the title of one of his last books)
- Human culture (he studied the folks over at PapuaNewGuinea? as well as the rest of the world)
- Learning, learning to learn, learning to learn to learn...
- Creativity, humor, schizophrenia, alcoholics
- Language and communication processes in and between cultures, cells, the universe, steam engines, trees, governments, humans and dolphins, cats, dogs
- Complexity and combination of information, as related to:
- Moire effects, holography, the stripes of zebras
- InformationTheory, system theory
- Symmetry in flowers and armaments races
- this list could go on forever, so you should read his books
It feels like one of his passions was to make the patterns behind communication processes evident and find explicit
knowledge about them.
Some of his books include:
- "Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology", ISBN 0226039056 his chef d'oeuvre, methinks
- "Mind and Nature : A Necessary Unity", [ASIN: 0525155902], every schoolboy should know
- "Naven", about his experiences in PapuaNewGuinea?
He was married with anthropologist MargaretMead?
, their daughter is named Mary Catherine.
died in 1980, but his spirit will live on for a long time.
Please feel free to edit and amend.
Gregory Bateson, Esalen, October 5, 1978
So there it is in words
And if you read between the lines
You will find nothing there
For that is the discipline I ask
Not more, not less
Not the world as it is
Nor ought to be -
Only the precision
The skeleton of truth
I do not dabble in emotion
Hint at implications
Evoke the ghosts of old forgotten creeds.
All that is for the preacher
The hypnotist, therapist and missionary
They will come after me
And use the little that I said
To bait more traps
For those who cannot bear