More Bits from Cybernetics

As I read Steven Heim’s book* I keep finding more and more interesting information. The concept of communication was an important component of cybernetics. In fact  Norbert Wiener’s seminal work Cybernetics was subtitled, Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine. The emergence of the field of cybernetics was the result of more than a decade of informal talks […]

Engineering a Rorshach

It is a pretty universal desire to want someone else to know exactly how one feels. By the same token, many people would love to know, to feel, exactly what someone else is feeling. This is the definition of empathy. But empathy – to truly feel what another individual is feeling – is impossible. The […]


It is so very sad that Robin Williams found no way to alleviate his suffering.  I’ve read many of the tweets from people who treasured his genius and whose lives had been touched by his wonderful gift.  There are a smattering of tweets who call attention to the serious problem of depression and suicide, but […]

Empathy and Abstraction

Empathy – another definition When I wrote about empathy in a previous posts (Empathy Take 1, Empathy Take 2, Empathy and Sympathy, Emotion & Empathy Circuitry in Infants), I was concentrating on the relationship between people. I found this interesting definition of empathy in Fiona Gray in her article, The Synthesis of Empathy, Abstraction and […]

While I’m Processing…

Yesterday’s post turned out to be more of a “Dear Diary” entry than I had intended. I should have waited an appropriate period to process my time with Mom rather than writing from the midst of the experience. Who wants to read a laundry list of the day’s events? That’s what journal notes are for: a […]

Empathy – Take 2

I just started reading The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen, the autism researcher who also wrote Mindblindness. The subtitle of the Science of Evil is, On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty. Baron-Cohen’s thesis is: cruelty exists when empathy fails. Baron-Cohen’s definition of empathy First part of definition: “Empathy occurs when we suspend our single-minded […]

Empathy – Take 1

My understanding is that empathy means to feel what another person is feeling while sympathy is the ability to understand what another is feeling. Here are two definitions from the web: Definition 1: “Both empathy and sympathy are feelings concerning other people. Sympathy is literally ‘feeling with’ – compassion for or commiseration with another person. […]

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