Principia Cybernetica Web

How to use Principia Cybernetica Web

The following explains how to use the main menu and navigation functions available to browse efficiently through PCP web. If something goes wrong (e.g. a page doesn't download), please check the common problems.

Menu Bar

The menu bar at the top of each page provides a quick access to the main navigation functions:
calls up a forms interface to the searchable index
calls up the Table of Contents centered on the line that represents the page you started from, so that you can get a quick view of where that page is situated in the hierarchy.
What's New
links to the "Recent Changes/Additions"
calls up a randomly selected page in Principia Cybernetica Web. This helps you to explore new areas and get an idea of the diversity of material present.
allows you to switch between two different servers for PCP-web, one situated in Belgium (Europe): EU, and one situated in New Mexico: US, so as to get the fastest connection for your geographical location
links to the present page.

Navigation Side-bar

The side-bar on the right of each page helps you to navigate in the hierarchical structure of PCP -web (see further).
this arrow points to the pages that are higher up in the hierarchy. The link just above the arrow goes to the "parent" page, the link above the next higher arrow goes to the "grand-parent", the next to the "great-grand parent", and so on, up to "Home", the welcome page which is the highest level of the hierarchy.
this arrow points to the list of "children", which are just below the present page in the hierarchy. The different children are all at the same level, though, unlike parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc which are at successively higher levels.
links to the page which follows the present page in the Table of Contents. Always choosing "Next" will let you follow one (out of several possible) path(s) through the whole Web, guaranteeing an exhaustive covering of the material.
links to the page preceding the present page in the Table of Contents.
announces a (possibly empty) list of links to comments made by different users to the page you are reading
Add comment
allows you to enter your own comments, and to create an "annotation", i.e. a new page linked to the present page.
allows you to add a comment immediately after an existing annotation, within the same page (not creating a new page). This command is only available if the page you start from is itself an annotation.


The sign denotes a link to an outside document, i.e. not residing on the Principia Cybernetica server. Selecting that link will bring up the document in a new window, while keeping the Principia Cybernetica window open in the background.

General Orientation

The Principia Cybernetica Web can be read in many different orders and according to many different dimensions. A general overview of what is available on the server is provided in the home page.

New users who don't know about the Project, are advised to start with the general introduction (and possibly with some of the pages referenced there, for more details). Once acquainted with Principia Cybernetica's general purpose, they can get a quick overview of the present state of the project, and then, depending on their preferences, branch out to study either the project organization and practical management, or its theoretical results, as gathered under the header of Metasystem Transition Theory.

Several navigational aids are available for users with more specific interests in the Navigation page. If they are looking for a particular topic they can enter the appropriate keywords in thesearch form. If they would like to know what has been changed since the last time they consulted the Web, they can check the recent additions. If they would like to systematically study the corpus of information, they can consult all entries in the Table of Contents, or by continuously following the "Next" command.

Every page has one (or, rarely, more) "parent" page(s), which is hierarchically superior to it. Most pages have in turn a number of "child" pages, which are hierarchically inferior. Thus, all pages are uniquely situated in a tree-like classification scheme. For more details about this hierarchical organization, check the Web Structure. For more details about the different elements and fields of a typical page, see the node organization.

Copyright© 1999 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page


Aug 4, 1999 (modified)
Aug 1993 (created)


Navigation in PCP Web

Web Organization

Prev. Next

Guidelines for making annotations

Common problems with PCP web


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