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    Pask's Words and What We Want From Them:

    A Conversation Around Concepts from Conversation Theory

    Dr Paul Pangaro
    President, PANGARO Incorporated
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    23 February 1994 7-10 pm
    Antioch University Seattle Arbor Place Building

    Conversation Theory as elaborated by Gordon Pask offers a formal framework in which to explore notions such as interaction, participant, analogy, objectivity, agreement, understanding, knowing, intelligence, and amity (a.k.a. love). Pask has provided very specific meanings for all of these terms, whose details and coherence to the whole theory provide useful tools and important reference for those of us working in the context of second-order cybernetics. Unfortunately, those meanings appear to be entangled in a body of work that, as it ages, seems less likely to be available to us.

    Working from "first principles" of the theory, Pangaro will expand concepts of Conversation Theory from within its own framework. Thereafter the audience will be invited to participate in bringing other terms and meanings into the conversation, to explore how those notions might relate to the framework. Such terms might include structural coupling, truth, responsibility, community, and integrity. All participants are invited to bring their own interests to the discussion.
    Paul Pangaro received a B.S. in Humanities from MIT, where he also worked in the research laboratories of Jerry Lettvin and Nicholas Negroponte. He traveled to England to earn his Ph.D. from Brunel University in Cybernetics under Gordon Pask. In 1981 he started a private company for the sole purpose of applying second-order cybernetics to so-called "real-world" problems, and has been engaged in contracts with organizations such as the British Admiralty, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, NYNEX and Du Pont. Projects have included large-scale training environments for submarine commanders and nuclear power plant operators; anthropological studies of future applications of communications technology; and the epistemological, sociological and technological problems of the modern corporation. He is currently developing independent projects, one for the application of software modeling to the emergence and management of purposeful, coordinated action in groups; and another, a cybernetic musical.



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