I'm thinking about cybernetics a lot lately, and more specifically about how so many systems I observe can be interpreted as neural networks, neural network simulations run on quantum computers, and even more specifically, about Ross Ashby's version of this form of cybernetics... which sounds suspiciously like the state equations of quantum mechanics.
Customer relations at the counter, traffic flow to and from work, just in time inventories at the temp jobs, the information arbitrage of contractors and in-house added value services, "I know a guy that knows a guy" type of stuff all look a lot like a neural network in continuous cycle.
W. Ross Ashby, creator of the homeostat, when talking about cybernetic systems, often made the point that the environment is an active participant in the feedback loop. Well, that's obvious.
A lumberjack chopping down a tree can't do much without the tree, But is the tree an active participant? Ross would say yes. The lumberjack observes:orients:decides:acts based upon the attributes of the tree. He modifies his axes swings based upon the chunks that fly out. The tree is not going to drop chunks exactly the same each time. There is contingency involved. He modifies his swings and positions when it looks like the tree is about to come down. Don't want to have the tree fall on you, so yes, the tree, the environment is an active participant, adding that fun little nonlinear enhancement to the feedback loop.
(This is what butthole social Darwinists ignore that their peril: innate virtues involved in fitness are less than half the equation, Only the fittest survive for that environment. As the environment acts upon the actions of the individuals, so one can, in a fitness seascape, make the right choice at the right time from position of the right circumstance, and end up at the bottom of the trough from the crest of the wave. WIPE OUT!)
Which makes me think (and I've said this many times before) that intelligence as a property isn't really real; any more than cold is real, or dark is real. Intelligence is the absence of stupidity, just as cold is the absence of heat.
As such, there is no such thing as a competely stupid person. Actually, there is, but under the demands of our particular universe, completely stupid is completely dead.
On the obverse, no one is completely smart. We are, of course, compartmentally smart, or rather, compartmentally stupid.
Some people have a whole houseful of smart, and just a closet of stupid, while others... the opposite.
We obviously utilize that. One can have only a closet full of smart and a house full of stupid, but by interacting with others, using the ultrasocial network we ape-shaped bugs have developed, take advantage of others who are not so stupid.
I do it both ways all the time. I, in fact, know given my current circumstances, that there are some not so stupids out there looking out for me, which is why I landed this temp job,and also why I have an interview with an art foundry.
If it wasn't so nice, I'd probably be paranoid.