Why is “cyber” associated with certain connotations?

Since I started to get into Cybernetics I developed a special sensitivity regarding the usage of the term “cyber”. A few well known examples:

Cyber War
Cyber Army
Cyber Terror
Cyber Crime
Cyber Bullying/Mobbing
Cyber Security
Cyber Attacks
Cyber Sex (nothing against sex, but why Cyber?)
Cyber Punk (which is actually cool ;))

So: Why in the world is this term associated with these (more or less) lethal or freaky contexts? Why is it not called “Internet War”, “Internet Terror”, etc.?

My only conclusion so far: The origin of the term “Cyber” itself, in conjunction with popular SciFi led a to biased perception what Cyber(netics) actually is.

At this point I would like to embed a little anecdote of Stafford Beer. Once he traveled to the US and had to show up his passport. The immigration officer looked at his job description and said: “Interesting, you are a Cybernetician – you are freezing people, right?”. Stafford answered (as far as I remember): “No, that is Cryonics, but never mind.”

So he changed his professional status to “professor”, because he got rid of explaining it over and over again.

Obviously many people thought (and still think) that Cybernetics is somewhat like a mix of a future science and alchemy – definitely related to mystical knowledge that can be only obtained by sacrificing a chicken liver on full moon. Or that it is connected with a global conspiracy which wants to control everybody’s thoughts… That is really a pity, because the basic concept of cyber is not that esoteric, spacey or control freak-like at all: It is just about the circular causalities that we humans encounter when we observe our environment (or inner-, outer-, sub-environments, what ever you want to specify it).

Unfortunately there is a cultural problem with the idea of ‘control’ –namely sup- or oppression. In my opinion this is narrow minded, since I am very happy to enjoy the autonomous self-regulatory activities of my immune system. Therefore a deeper look into Cybernetics offers the insight that viable systems are always more successful, if they distribute and share power within the system with THESE parts which have the “requisite variety” to handle the situation (which describes just a principle and not a ethical behavior or the perceived purpose).

This observation is indeed quite ancient and still very present.
And very powerful.

I dare to say: I am a Cybernetician.

Business Model On A Barf Bag

It is sometimes funny how one can be hit by inspiration. And to feel this specific urge to get ones thoughts out of the brain. The following sketch happened on my recent flight to Finland. I took a barf bag (this piece of paper was the easiest to get), and I asked my mother for a pen.

Everything came out in a 10 minute session.

Of course this one does not represent the current state of planning or development of the next venture, but this reminds me on very new born babies: They actually look also not too sweet in the beginning. 😉

And somehow is the narrative of a Business Model On A Barf Bag very poetic – at least for me.


Autodidactic autopoietic past, present and future

A couple of months ago I discovered the platform Schule Plus. I instantly liked the idea: Let’s connect schools and companies in order to enrich school activities / the school experience (workshops, excursions, speaker, etc.). So I did not hesitated for a second and applied.

And yesterday I had my first session at the FCG Düsseldorf. I spoke in front of around 50 young students (14-16 yrs) from Netherlands and Germany about my development and how it happened that I ended up as an entrepreneur.

The most interesting personal aspect, while I prepared the slides: Remembering what I have done between 1990 and 1995 (slide 19) – for the first time in 20 years. And being once again aware of the power of  self motivation as an autodidact.



I really enjoyed the session and the questions of the students – and especially I was positively surprised to see that in the Dutch school system it is possible for students to attend at a special school, which does 100% of the curriculum in 80% of time. So the students get the chance to found their own – real – business and can develop this for one day of the week.

Last but not least I was very happy to see, that 3 of 5 student companies where lead by a girl.