In praise of plasticity

Fuller, Matthew. 2020. In praise of plasticity. In: Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer, eds. Data Publics: Public Plurality in an Era of Data Determinacy. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 34-53. ISBN 9780429196515 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Plasticity, in neurology, is the ability to adapt, change, grow, and find new forms at multiple scalar levels whilst retaining, rerouting, or developing function. This chapter will discuss the notion of plasticity as it is articulated by the term “underspecification” in Gordon Pask’s cybernetics, by the forms and practices of machine learning and by some tendencies in the political tradition of anarchism. The first two are clearly related by a technical and philosophical genealogy, the latter significant as an attempt to render learning and transformation and to have the widest degree of redundancy or requisite variety in decision-making processes. The relation of knowledge formation and learning are key to the articulation of a problem in a technology or in the affordances of a social formation and its disposition towards plasticity.

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Book Section

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Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 May 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

21 Feb 2023 12:15

Last Modified:

21 Feb 2023 12:15


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