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Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts)

On 20 April 2011 02:27, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Well, this convesation is really demonstrating something about concepts and
> language, isn't it?
> When Huw joined the conversation, he silently changed the topic. Previously
> we were talking about human beings and their life activity, using concepts
> from Cultural Psychology and Activity Theory; Huw talked about machines,
> using cybernetics. But he used the same words, and did not signal thgat he
> was using the words now in a different context and therefore indicating
> different concepts.
Possibly because I do not hold that dichotomy.

Maturana, Autopoiesis and Cognition, p78:

"Living Machines.

That living systems are machines cannot be shown by pointing to their
components.  Rather, one must show their organization in a manner such that
the way in which all their peculiar properties arise, becomes obvious.  In
order to do this, we shall first characterize the kind of machines that
living systems are, and then show how the peculiar properties of living
systems may arise as consequences of the organization of this kind of

Though I'd also add that any theoretical model presented is a machine too.

Many people think of machines that are closed, like the jacquard loom,
rather than open to the environment like the watt governor.


> No problem with using xmca to talk about machines, or
> people-as-if-they-were-machines, but we need to be clear about it.

> Andy
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