Posts tagged ‘Riddles’

Perception of order

February 7th, 2007

At several occasions, Heinz von Foerster presented a numerical sequence which, in a modesty, I shall call “Heinz von Foerster’s sequence”. Given the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3 … up to 9 how would you complete the following ordered sequence:

8 — 5 — 4 — 9 — 1 — …

If you prefer to read about the riddle in detail have a look into Heinz von Foerster’s article “Perception of the future and the future of perception” published in Instructional Science 1 (1972) 2: p31-43.

Here is a variant of “Heinz von Foerster’s sequence”, again for numbers 0 to 9:

8 — 3 — 1 — 5 — 9 — …

The problem is not truth

February 2nd, 2006

There is a wonderful quote by Heinz von Foerster that I first learned about at a workshop in April 1991 in Vienna where he presented it in his opening talk:

The problem is not truth,
the problem is trust.

This is a very riddle. One can read it in many ways, and every time I look at it it’s likely to tell me another story. I am most thankful to Heinz von Foerster that he suggested 2 things for reading this riddle: Look up the words in an etymological dictionary, and … silence. He just looked into my eyes and smiled.

May I invite you to see for yourselves. Here is the quote with links to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

The problem is not truth,
the problem is trust.

In an opening address for a conference in 1990, see “ethics and second-order cybernetics“, Heinz von Foerster tells a story about the origin of the quote.

rätsel sind die auflösung

January 6th, 2006

es gibt keine auflösungen. rätsel sind die auflösung. oder, wenn du so willst: das ist die auflösung, das rätsel und auch nicht. rätsel verbergen nichts, sie legen offen, sie sind überall und nirgendwo. ich trage sie, die rätsel und ihre auflösungen, in mir.