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Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 19:11:47 -0500
From: (betty lou mcclanahan)
Subject: SPECIAL TALKS:  Patrick Gunkle/Ideonomy  Jan/22 & 23/97.

 HOSTS:  Marvin Minsky, Whitman Richards.
for more information:, tel. 253-0630.

                            THE SCIENCE OF IDEAS

                         An Introduction To Ideonomy

                    * Two Public Talks by Patrick Gunkel *

                   Jan. 22 (Wed.) & 23 (Thurs.), 2:00-3:30pm
                     The MIT Media Laboratory, Rm. E15-054

SYNOPSIS: The subject will be introduced, defined, and described.  An account
of its origins and present status will be given.  Its methods will be
explained and its basic materials exhibited.  Its general purposes and
potential value to various fields will be touched on.  Its products and
results will be illustrated.


   "Ideonomy" is a fledgling science of the laws - the general types and
recurring patterns - of ideas, and of their use to describe, generate, and
exploit all possible ideas in connection with any subject, idea, or thing.  It
might be thought of as idea engineering on a grand scale.
   Ideonomy may be distinguished from those existing subjects to which it is
most closely related.
   Whereas ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE is primarily aimed at the automation of
mind, COGNITIVE SCIENCE at the modeling of human intelligence and thought, and
LOGIC at the formalization of reasoning, IDEONOMY is preoccupied with the
discovery, classification, and systematic characterization of universal ideas,
with facilitating the human use of ideas, and with automating the creation of
   An enormous subject, ideonomy is compromised of over 200 divisions, which
include the study of analogies and differences, shapes, causes and effects,
processes, actions, appearances, questions and answers, properties and
relations, languages, generalizations, errors, metaphors, functions and
values, networks and hierarchies, interactions, cognitive and heuristic
principles, and future possibilities.
   In each of these cases Ideonomy seeks to identify:  The types of these
Examples, Interrelationships, Causes, Effects, Reasons for studying, Needed
materials and methods, Basic dimensions and properties, Questions to ask when
treating, Related concepts, Relations to other ideonomic divisions, and the

   Patrick Gunkel is a former MIT affiliate, who for many years, as an
independent scientist, has had the luxury of pursuing his own research,
scholarly, and writing projects, thanks to long-term funding from some of the
more imaginative foundations.
   He has served as a consultant to the Charles Kettering Foundation, the
Institute For the future, the Hudson Institute, Walter E. Disney Enterprises,
and other organizations, on matters ranging from the future of space,
communication technology, pharmacology, the environment, national security,
and education, to the design of Epcot at Disney World, the preparation of an
encyclopedia of the future, and the future of science.
   A renaissance man, his interests and creativity have spread across every
discipline; a peculiarity which culminated in his efforts over the past twelve
years to develop ideonomy.
   Major areas in which he has worked and written, apart from brain theory,
have been physics, philosophy, theoretical biology, and social criticism.