During the 1950s and 1960s most of the work which was called cybernetics tended to focus on control systems in engineering or on applications of the concept of feedback in fields ranging from mathematics to sociology. At the 1970 meeting of the American Society for Cybernetics in Philadelphia Heinz von Foerster sought to redirect attention to the original interests which had led to the founding of the field of cybernetics. In a paper titled "Cybernetics of Cybernetics" he made a distinction between first order cybernetics, the cybernetics of observed systems, and second order cybernetics, the cybernetics of observing systems.
Hanns Heinz Ewers tells a short story of a boy who was so unnatural of disposition as to take a special delight in people sick with elephantiasis. Our "European intellectuality" finds itself in an identical condition today which, through Jewish pens, worships the Kokoschka, Chagalls and Pechsteins as the leaders of the Art of the future. Features of degeneracy are already apparent, as, for instance, with Schwalbach, who dares representing Jesus as flat footed and bow legged.alfred rosenberg
Heinz performs the magic trick of convincing us that the familiar objects of our existence can be seen to be nothing more than tokens for the behaviors of the organism that apparently create stable forms. These stabilities persist, for that organism, as an observing system. This is not to deny an underlying reality that is the source of objects, but rather to emphasize the role of process, and the role of the organism in the production of a living map, a map that is so sensitive that map and territory are conjoined.