Mein background bestand ja darin, daß ich ein Labor gegründet hatte, das Biological Computer Lab an der University of Illinois – da sind sehr viele freaks gewesen, also Leute, die nicht so denken wie alle anderen.
Von Foerster in: "Interview mit Heinz von Foerster". by Kai Lorenz, Gernot Grub. Berlin, 23 January 1997.
Either Stone Age man was a technological wizard, who carefully removed his technological achievements so as not to upset his inferior progeny, or our population dwindled from a once astronomical size to the mere three billions of today.Heinz Von Foerster
I shall act always so as to increase the total number of choicesHeinz Von Foerster
The world, as we perceive it, is our own invention.Heinz Von Foerster
While in the ?rst quarter of this century physicists and cosmologists were forced to revise the basic notions that govern the natural sciences, in the last quarter of this century biologists will force a revision of the basic notions that govern science itself. After that “?rst revolution” it was clear that the classical concept of an “ultimate science”, that is an objective description of the world in which there are no subjects (a “subjectless universe”), contains contradictions.Heinz Von Foerster
To remove these one had to account for an “observer” (that is at least for one subject): (i) Observations are not absolute but relative to an observer’s point of view (i.e., his coordinate system: Einstein ); (ii) Observations affect the observed so as to obliterate the observer’s hope for prediction (i.e., his uncertainty is absolute: Heisenberg ). After this, we are now in the possession of the truism that a description (of the universe) implies one who describes it (observes it).Heinz Von Foerster
What we need now is the description of the “describer” or, in other words, we need a theory of the observer.Heinz Von Foerster
Objectivity is a subject's delusion that observing can be done without him. Involving objectivity is abrogating responsibility – hence its popularity.Heinz Von Foerster