New Virtual Journal Club- Conant and Ashby (1970)

I’ve taken my notes on one of the important papers I’ve been reading and created a page here that I’ve called a “virtual journal club”. Many times in my career I’ve had the pleasure of working with a group that shared what they were learning on a weekly or monthly basis. Since I’m reading and taking notes, I might as well share what I’m reading here.

I anticipate a benefit for me will be the deeper understanding I’ll gain from the discipline of needing to read closely enough to summarize papers.1

The paper Every Good Regulator of a System Must Be a Model of That System by Conant and Ashby is a formal attempt to prove that to control a system, a regulator has to contain a model of the system. If true, then the brain embodies a model of the body in the real world. It becomes the basis of the approach of Friston and his Free Energy Principle which I think is fundamental to how the brain actually makes decisions on a moment to moment basis. I think one of the Friston papers would be a logical next step to create some background that is hard to create in blog posts.

  1. This has been entered internet lore as The Feynman Technique based on comments he made about how he tackled difficult questions.  

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