[Humanist] 23.108 poetry and cybernetics

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Jun 26 07:16:40 CEST 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 108.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 14:38:04 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: poet's encounter with cybernetics
        In-Reply-To: <20090531064946.CB5E260C8 at woodward.joyent.us>


Your interest in machine-human analogies and a mention of Charles Olson's
"The Kingfishers" in an essay by Guy Davenport which mentions a link with
Norbet Weiner's work on cybernetics has led me to send you this excerpt
from the 1949 poem:

not accumulation but change, the feed-back proves, the feed-back is / the
law [...] Around an appearance, one common model, we grow up / many. [...]
/ We can be precise. The factors are / in the animal and/or the machine
the factors are / communication and/or control, both involve / the
message. And what is the message? The message is / a discrete or
continuous sequence of measurable events distributed in time [...] / This
very thing you are

I thought the parrallelism between communication/control and
animal/machine might be of interest to your and the Humanist readers.

Francois Lachance

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