Simple Rules, Complex Behavior’: Paradoxes of Cybernetic Rationalization
Jan Overwijk (Utrecht University)

part of: School of Materialist Research (Online Promotional Seminars, June)—All lectures will take place at 18:30 CET
June 17, 2021, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

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  • Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities Skopje
  • Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University
  • Critical Inquiry Lab at the Design Academy Eindhoven

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The School of Materialist Research is proud to present its (free) promotional seminars for the month of June, 2021. Jan Overwijk will present his lecture: “'Simple Rules, Complex Behavior’: Paradoxes of Cybernetic Rationalization” on June 17, 2021 at 18:30 CET, as part of a cluster entitled “Mathematics, Complexity, and the Limits of Algorithmic Ontologies.” This seminar will explore the implications of a artificial life program by the name of ‘Tierra’ run by the Santa Fe Institute in the 1990s. Its slogan, ’Simple Rules, Complex Behavior’, captures the program’s strange logic in which the design of a few parameters sets off an unpredictable evolution. This paradoxical logic, he will argue in this talk, closely resembles that of the labor process and political economy of post-Fordist capitalism. In an attempt to understand the present, he will work out this resemblance by developing the concept of ‘cybernetic rationalization’. It signifies, he concludes, a manner of governing the paradox between simple rules and complex behavior, or between communicability and the incommunicable.

Jan Overwijk is a finishing PhD-candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam and a lecturer in Liberal Arts & Sciences at Utrecht University. He is also editor at Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy.

The School of Materialist Research (SMR) is an informal graduate and post-doc level program that offers seminars and workshops that address the materialisms running through contemporary science, philosophy, art, mathematics, design, architecture, and politics. SMR is an international platform, founded by the Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University, Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Skopje, Department for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics at TU Wien and the Critical Inquiry Lab at the Design Academy Eindhoven that functions as a global online school combining education, research, and mentorship to advance academic study at the intersection the Social Sciences and Humanities and the STEM sciences. Two more institutions from Europe are expected to join the platform in the upcoming months. The Spring and Summer Sessions are offered for free and open to the public serving as promotional events that illustrate the programmatic commitment and style of work offered by the School for Materialist Research. Some of the confirmed speakers in the Spring/Summer series of seminars include: Paul Cockshott, Greg Michaelson, Ray Brassier, Anne-Françoise Schmid, John Ó Maoilearca, Giuseppe Longo, Agon Hamza, Adam Nocek, Katerina Kolozova, Vera Buhlman, Iris van der Tuin and many many more.

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