Principia Cybernetica Web

Mailing Lists and Newsgroups on Cybernetics and Systems

The following is an (incomplete) list of electronic discussion forums on cybernetics and systems science. Please annotate this page, or send us an email if you want to add a forum, or if you find some information to be out of date.

For mailing lists, the first address mentioned is the address to which you should send mail if you want it distributed to all subscribers (for "closed" lists, such as PRNCYB-L this is only possible if you are a subscriber yourself). The subscription address is the one where you should send mail to subscribe, unsubscribe or perform other administrative commands. The maintainer address is the one of the person who is responsible for administering the list, and where you might send questions if the automatic subscription procedures somehow don't work.

There are basically three types of mailing lists:

  • The first type is run manually. These are identified by a subscription address that looks like listname-request[at]somewhere.somedomain. To subscribe, send a message to that address with some text a human being can understand, e.g. "Please subscribe me to .... list."

  • To subscribe to a majordomo list you'll need to send the line
    subscribe LISTNAME
    in the body of the message to the subscription address. LISTNAME is the first part (before the "[ at ]") of the list address, e.g. PRNCYB-L.

  • To subscribe to a LISTSERV list you need to send the message
    SUBSCRIBE LISTNAME Your_First_Name Your_Last_Name
    in the body to the subscription (LISTSERV) address. Some hosts run a similar piece of software called listproc obeying similar commands.
For more details on lists in general: see Directory of Scholarly E-Conferences

Principia Cybernetica Discussion list

List Address:
pcp-discuss[ at ]
Subscription Address:
owner-pcp-discuss[ at ]
joslyn[ at ] (Cliff Joslyn)
Associated server:
Principia Cybernetica Web
Official mailing list (closed) of the Principia Cybernetica Project. See the description of PCP-discuss for information on how to subscribe.

Cybernetics Discussion Group

List Address:
Subscription Address:
listserv[ at ]
Philip Wirtz
Associated server:
Listservs at the CSOL
CYBCOM is presently the list which most generally addresses the domain of cybernetics and systems theory, taking over from the terminated CYBSYS-L (see below). CYBCOM stands for the "CYBernetic COMmunications Group" over the Internet. It is based at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., USA. CYBCOM, was established in Fall 1993. The Center for Social and Organizational Learning at the GWU invited a group of people to form a "steering committee" for the CYBCOM List, to facilitate future discussions. This is an effort to make sure that, whenever one of the committee members is not available for some reason, conversations on the list can still be facilitated and kept going. Currently, Dr. Stuart Umpleby (Director of the Center for Social and Organizational Learning, GWU), Dr. Paul Pangaro (President, PANGARO INC., Boston), Dr. Sanaullah Kirmani (Visiting Professor of Management Science, GWU), and Jixuan-Hu are on the committee.

Control Systems Group List (CSGnet)

List Address:
Newsgroup Address:
Subscription Address:
Maintainer: (Gary A. Cziko)
Associated server:
WWW-server, FTP- archive
CSGnet links together those members and affiliates of the Control Systems Group who have access to electronic mail. The Control Systems Group is a collection of people from many fields, including (so far) biology, economics, education, engineering, ethology, law, management consulting, medicine, psychology (clinical developmental, experimental physiological, and social), social work, and sociology. Our common interest is exploring control theory as a way to understand behavior. Our shared conviction is that control theory offers not just an improvement of or an extension to mainstream concepts of behavior, but a replacement for them. Our aim is to continue to develop an understanding of the organization of living systems, using control-system models, to explain how behavior is generated and why it occurs.

The basic concept accepted by members of the Control Systems Group is that all organized behavior continuously controls the portion of perceptual experience which can be influenced by the actions of organisms. This is not an article of faith. It follows from a detailed quantitative analysis of behavior, showing that action affects the very perceptions on which action is based. The action might be as simple the tightening of a muscle, and the perception as elementary as the signal generated by a sensory nerve attached to a tendon Or the action might be as complex as formulating sentences, inflections, and expressions used in a conversation, and the perception as rich as judging the effects of one's communication on the attitudes of the listener, even as the words are being spoken.

As important function of the Control Systems Group is to provide a support system for people who have become dissatisfied with the quality of explanations in their own fields, and who have come to see control theory as a source of inspiration and a tool for productive and creative work.


Newsgroup Address:
STATUS: Unmoderated. provides a forum for the discussion of the theory and application of systems science. In the broadest sense, systems science is the study of the nature of systems. Such systems can be physical, chemical, biological, sociological, economic, etc. Systems science and system theory can be applied to systems of all types. Systems science as defined here includes mathematical systems analysis, systems engineering, general systems theory, etc. This definition is intentionally vague in order to encourage discussion on all aspects of the study of sytems.

Discussion might include, but is not limited to:

  • An overall discussion of the various aspects of the study of systems.
  • Discussion of the particular methods for analyzing systems.
  • Application of different methods to particular systems.

Newsgroup: alt.cyb-sys

Newsgroup Address:

Whole Systems

List Address:
Subscription Address:
Maintainer: (Flemming Funch)
Associated server:
Whole Systems
This is the Whole Systems list for the discussion of:
  • the principles of whole systems,
  • abundance economies,
  • the creation of a new civilization,
  • new global paradigms
  • whole system metaphysics
  • networking and synergy
The list is for the exploration of whole system principles, particularly in regards to economic, ecological, sociological and metaphysical transformation of our civilization. The intention is to create and discuss a positive vision for the future of planet Earth as a whole system.

This is an unmoderated public list. No flaming will be allowed, but frank discussions are welcome. It is pre-supposed that the participants support the general idea of creating a better future and are able to tolerate diverse viewpoints.

Wholesys-l is a very busy list with many members and a lot of traffic. If you prefer to get only a few selected postings and no discussions, you should rather subscribe to the wholeinfo-l list. On the average one or two messages a day, which are each complete in themselves, will be forwarded from wholesys-l to wholeinfo-l. You can not post to the list directly.

Systems and (human) Values

List Address:
Subscription Address:
Maintainer: (Martin L.W. Hall)
Associated server:
Systems, Values & Organizations
This is a list that tries to investigate and encourage the investigation of Systems (science), (human) values and organizations. In a nutshell, it tries to look at the human side of using systems science. Of the systems oriented lists I had not seen many that addressed the human and organizational issues of using systems science. I named it sysval because I think that the merging of systems and (human) values is of particular importance but I would welcome any issues that are related to systems science, humans and organizations.

Dialognet lists

Maintainer: (Kent Palmer)
Associated server:
Various discussion lists on Philosophy, Literature, Systems Theory & Autopoiesis


List Address:
Subscription Address:
Associated server:
International Society for the Systems Sciences
List for people affiliated with the International Society for the Systems Sciences. Closed, unmoderated.


List Address:
Subscription Address:
Maintainer: (Cliff Joslyn)
This list has stopped operating because of too many other activities by the list maintainer, but you are invited to restart it if you wish to take over the administration. Contact Cliff Joslyn.

An electronic mailing list dedicated to Systems Science and Cybernetics on the SUNY-Binghamton computer system. The list is commited to discussing a general understanding of the evolution of complex, multi-level systems like organisms, minds, and societies as informational entities containing possibly circular processes. Specific subjects include Complex Systems Theory, Self-Organizing Systems Theory, Dynamic Systems Theory, Artificial Intelligence, Network Theory, Semiotics, fractal geometry, Fuzzy Set Theory, Recursive Theory, computer simulation, Information Theory, and more.

The purposes of the list include: 1) facilitating discussion among those working in or just interested in the general fields of Systems and Cybernetics; 2) providing a means of communicating to the general research community about the work that Systems Scientists and Cyberneticians do; 3) housing a repository of electronic files for general distribution concerning Systems and Cybernetics; and 4) providing a central, public directory of working Systems Scientists and Cyberneticians.

The list is coordinated by members of the Systems Science department of the Watson School at SUNY-Binghamton, and is affiliated with the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) and the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC). Different levels and kinds of knowledge and experience are represented.

Copyright© 2001 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

F. Heylighen, C. Joslyn,

Oct 18, 2001 (modified)
Feb 6, 1995 (created)


Reference material

Cybernetics and Systems Theory

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