The Architecture of Ideas: The Life and Work of Ranulph Glanville, Cybernetician

Bill Seaman


Imprint Academic

he Architecture of Ideas: The Life and Work of Ranulph Glanville, Cybernetician includes a text by Bill Seaman, the editor of this collection, called 'Composing Composing' which explores a number of Glanville’s texts in a pointed fashion. Late in his life Ranulph began to use the poetic term composer to be substituted for the term observer. ‘Composing Composing’ is a "composed" conversation derived from some of the salient artifacts of thought that Ranulph has provided for us. It is derived in part from a close reading of The Black B∞x, a three-volume series, and other of Ranulph’s texts as well as the interview that is the heart of this book ― ‘A Long Conversation’.

Glanville helped generate through conversation, publications, works of art, design, music, modes of teaching, and, in particular, his manner of addressing problem solving and creativity, a cybernetic way of coming to understand the world. Our ‘Long Conversation’ circles through these topics, sometimes returning to one or the other topic to further elucidate its finer points.

Ranulph was to some extent a contrarian ― someone who wanted to question the status quo in an ongoing manner, and he would do so utilizing the multiple strategies and methods discussed throughout this book. The volume starts out with a heartfelt text by Aartje Hulstein, Ranulph’s wife, who discusses this brilliantly lived cybernetic journey.