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Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533


The founding metaphor of cybernetics is re-examined. The helmsman is part of a body- object hybrid that is terrain-dependent. The available palette of behaviours can only be understood in this way. The boat/helmsman hybrid demonstrates moment-to-moment feedback characteristics that include a form of damping which is based on the hybrid's previous history. The moment-to-moment goal is a direction over water, not a destination. End goal navigation is based on prediction and depends on a map and a plan. The boat/helmsman metaphor places the physical characteristics of an entity on an equal footing with the flow of information within and without it.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): cybernetics; governor; helmsman; hybrid terrain; physical; teleological delight
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