A term for the science of information, that is, of what makes dynamical systems and meta-systems.

Cybernetics were born with the advent of the computer, but most of its contributions are only developments of ideas taken from branches of economy, physics, biology, mathematics.

Cybernetics allows to formalize in terms of information the ideas of liberal philosophers and economists. For instance, it studies the relation between feedback and stability, explains why a centralized organization of a system will discard more information than distributed organization, hence be less stable, etc.

Of course, practical applications depend on the adequacy of the formalism to the actual situation, which is simple in some cases, and not possible in other cases.

You might like to read papers from Norbert Wiener (who coined the term "cybernetics"). Math-aware people can also follow the developments of Shannon's information theory, Kolmogorov complexity, etc. I don't know what papers to read for physics-aware people, but there sure are a lot.

See also Dynamism and Reflection.

This page is linked from: Calvin N. Mooers   Computing Liberalism   Ethics   Principia Cybernetica   Self-extensible   Valentin F. Turchin