Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)    DOI: 10.54808/JSCI



Editorial Board

Rigor and Inter-Disciplinary Communication
Thomas Marlowe, Nagib Callaos (Editors)
Pages: 1-98
This article is a collection of contributions of several authors, who participated in an initial step oriented to a collaborative work on “Rigor and Inter-disciplinary communication”. This initial step is in a publication project that will be supported by participative co-learning, co-researching and peer-to-peer reviewing.

Publishing on this trans-disciplinary topic will, in turn, be an initial project in a program oriented to the following purposes:
  1. To address two seemingly unrelated issues: Meta-Education (including continous self-education) and Peer-reviewing.
  2. To suggest a methodology based on systemic/cybernetic relationships between Co-researching and Co-Learning ; which may increase the effectiveness of both Meta-Education and Peer-reviewing by cybernetically relating them with co-regulative negative feedback and feedforward, as well as with co-additive or co-amplificatory positive feedback.
  3. To generate an internally integrated publications. The latter would support knowledge integration processes for both: authors and readers of the respective publication.

The Notion of Intellectual Rigor: A Systemic/Cybernetic Approach
Nagib Callaos
Pages: 99-133
The main objectives of this article are 1) to show that the notion of rigor has not been adequately addressed, let alone in the context of “intellectual rigor” and that when it is addressed in Science, it is done in an evidently wrong way and even violating the most basic and elemental Predicate Logic, and 2) to show that we can briefly describe a general notion or rigor (including intellectual rigor) as “achieving objectives” while being restricted by principles (e.g., axioms, natural laws, accepted theories, etc.) and constraints (e.g., disciplinary semiotic systems and methods, environmental limitations, etc.)

An additional objective of this article is to initiate a conceptual, notional, intellectual, and/or semantic clarification of “Intellectual Rigor”, i.e. the purpose is to initiate a thematizing process on this intellectually and pragmatically important conception, idea, or notion. The pragmatic value of this clarification process is especially required for peer-reviewing in scientific, technological, humanism, and philosophical publishing. This is even more important for inter-and trans-disciplinary research and communication. Disciplines usually have their own semiotic disciplinary systems which usually provide the means for peer-reviewing. Even so, in a survey of members of the Scientific Research Society, “only 8% agreed that ‘peer review works well as it is’.” (Chubin & J., 1990, p. 192) [Italics added]. Isn’t this situation requiring some research in order to improve it? Should this research not be started with trans-disciplinary research related to clarifying the notion of Intellectual Rigor?

We will try to give an initial baby step oriented to trigger this kind of collective research. We will do it by means of briefly describing the notions of “Intellect” and “Rigor” with the purpose of trying a tentative initial description of “Intellectual Rigor”, with the hope to trigger some reflections and reflexions on this issue, as well as to collect feedback, criticism, more details, other intellectual perspectives, and potentially some collective co-learning and research on this very important issue.

The Rigor of "Interdisciplinary"
Jeremy Horne
Pages: 134-161
This special edition of The Journal on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics (JSCI), subtitled "Rigor and Inter-Disciplinary Communication¨ contains my arguing "rigor" assumes different meanings, each variety interacting with the others inside the framework "interdisciplinary", also causing problems, beginning with Descartes saying you know something by subdividing a whole. How do we re-assemble this Humpty-Dumpty to restore the 17th century natural philosophy tradition? We need know what "interdisciplinary" means to know the context of "rigor",* after definitions, etymology, and historical backdrop. "Rigor" ostensibly is the quality, strength, and intensity of exploring ourselves and the environment. However, upon closer inspection, we see it remarkably resembling the "dropdown" word "disciplinary" inside the general "interdisciplinary", forcing the question, "what is the distinction; why is it important?". While many higher education institutions (HEI) tout their "interdisciplinary" programmes, graduate students learn very quickly upon entering graduate school their mandate: narrow your focus. Closer inspection reveals "rigor" describing discipline's force, explicitly, the granularity of a field and the academician's response, i.e., generating quality knowledge. Not to be excluded is the the disciplinarian's ethos, her/his reflecting on core values driving the academic quest. Rigor can operate at odds with interdisciplinary; students in specialized areas can compromise learning further about a larger world. Perforce, humans realizing the Universal process internalize interdisciplinary, i.e., living it, "rigor" signifying honesty. Somewhat a sidebar illustrating rigor's corruption is the peer review process, demanding others "be rigorous" (publish or perish), and the dramatic and disconcerting rise of fake and predatory journals. "Rigorous" peer review can exclude knowledge development and corrupt knowledge quality. When we dig deeper into the shaded meanings of "interdisciplinary", discovering multitudinous problems with its subset "discipline" apparently overlapping "rigor", it becomes increasingly apparent these fit inside a philosophical system. How are a discipline's boundaries determined? How is "rigor" intended? If "rigor" means specificity, how specific is specific? A flaccid use of the term – itself non-rigorous – is a double-edged, granularity dissolving into oblivion, generality disappearing into the ether. Well, then, if "interdisciplinary" exists, what is its ontological status? Here, again, is required a philosophical system. However, we have a paradox, not unlike Russell's set encompassing all sets, "rigorous" describing "rigor". Perhaps you can understand why I usually quote the word. Now, the reader might be somewhat befuddled; I intend shaking out the "why" in a future paper and book on the philosophy underpinning all the above.
* I avoid using the American punctuation style because it is illogical.

Intellectual Rigor and Beyond: Inter-Disciplinary Communication in a Glocalized Context
Ekaterini Nikolarea
Pages: 162-174
This paper will challenge the present concept of “intellectual rigor” in an inter-disciplinary communication and discuss how it should be expanded so that, on the one hand, specialists that move between at least two different linguistically discourses (i.e. in a glocalized context) can develop: (1) uncertainty and stress tolerance for unknown scientific terms when trying to communicate their ideas in a different linguistic scientific environment; and (2) association skills, that is, skills in finding equivalences in two different linguistically discourses. On the other hand, peer reviewers, especially those who are monolingual (i.e. only English-speaking ones) and do not have any knowledge of OTHER scientific discourse(s) and socio-cultural context(s), should develop the necessary skills and understanding of what is entailed in not just an inter-dicsciplinary communication but rather in an inter-dicsciplinary communication in a glocalized scientific context.

Interdisciplinary Fields as Ecological Communities
Susu Nousala, Thomas J. Marlowe
Pages: 175-183
This work is a discussion, informed by observational field and literature discussions, regarding possible existing conditions that are continuously at play within and between the processes and development of interdisciplinary fields. Specifically, this paper focuses on the virtual intellectual field and the physical field of communities in process. Particular focus has been given to the movement and oscillation of the relationships and interplay, with resources in practice, between fields and states in transition, that respectively, create ongoing processes that may be identifiable as interactive sets of evolving actions. These processes may in turn provide clues/insights into the nexus interdisciplinary breakaways that then go on to formulate new evolving sets of recognizable, ecological community structures. These newly formed sets of community adaptations formulate and develop stability through acquisition of relevant resources, and become new fields of inquiry and disciplines in their own right. The pathways for such investigation are difficult to discover, since much of the interaction is hidden or indecipherable. It is however, still possible to apply rigor to the discussion and argue that the development of ecological communities as understood in existing biological structural discussions (Ing 2016; Nousala 2014; Marlowe et al., 2011; Hall et al., Nousala et al., 2005; Holland 1973) can inform investigations into the developmental processes of interdisciplinary fields

An Evaluation of Two Realist Philosophical Approaches for Rigorous Interdisciplinary Communication
Fr. Joseph R. Laracy
Pages: 184-196
A major concern for scholars in the fields of systemics and cybernetics is promoting rigorous interdisciplinary communication. The Canadian philosopher and theologian, Bernard Lonergan, SJ, and the American physicist and theologian, Ian G. Barbour, have made significant contributions in this space. While their approaches are clearly distinct, both Lonergan and Barbour are philosophical realists. Each in their own way, they propose a shared epistemology and an inclusive metaphysical system for diverse fields, hence facilitating interdisciplinary communication. In this article, we concisely explicate their unique approaches as well as critique particular aspects. These rigorous approaches to interdisciplinary communication show promise for cybernetics and systems theory.

Important Parameters in Interdisciplinary Designing for Learning
Lillian Buus
Pages: 197-205
Learning design has many approaches which on one hand can be very instructive or on the other hand can be more of a collaborative process. This article takes the collaborative approach and look into the factors collaboration and communication from an interdisciplinary approach to learning design. It is found that two of the most important factors when designing for learning in a interdisciplinary and collaborative design approach is communication (dialogue, conversation, or negation of meaning). The article also touches upon the action learning approach as a way of thinking the learning design methodology, because it is important to use the collaborative approach as a learning process where the participants act upon their ideas and in a iterative process redesign and rethink the learning design. The article is based on experiences from several projects, where this collaborative learning design approach has been tried out, and latest in an interdisciplinary case study.

Building a Cybersecurity Strategy
Carol Woody, Robert Ellison
Pages: 206-216
A cybersecurity strategy provides a plan for the integration of security controls and security-linked functional requirements that are implemented across the system that is composed to protect the organization’s operational missions. A cybersecurity strategy must include consideration for expected as well as compromised performance, such as when a system is under attack. Implementing this plan requires extensive collaboration across all participants in the lifecycle—within and outside of the organization—as more services and third-party elements are used. This paper focuses primarily on the elements of the cybersecurity strategy that are critical for predicting the desired outcome based on decisions implemented in the early segments of the lifecycle and examines how the available evidence assembled along the way can be structured for software assurance monitoring

Interdisciplinary Communication: From Gravitational Waves to Multiuniverses
Robert M.L. Baker, Jr., Bonnie Sue Baker
Pages: 217-243
The prospect of communication with other universes utilizing High-Frequency Gravitational Waves (HFGWs) is discussed. Global communications via HFGWs were analyzed by us in 2012 [1]. We extended communications involved in that paper to intercommunication with exoplanets within our Universe in 2016 [2], both of those studies are summarized. Herein we further extend communication to the possibility of interacting and perhaps communicating with other universes – the “multiuniverse connection.” Our method, involving Rigor and Inter-Disciplinary resources, is scientific curiosity satisfied by imaginative reasoning. The recently published Theory of Our Universe by R. M L Baker, Jr. [3] and a working hypothesis on Non-Varying Rate of-Time (NVRT) Processes, are a result of such reasoning, and are discussed in simplified terms. The Theory involves the rollout of our Universe in space and in time, essentially spacetime itself rolling out. Time rolls out from the smallest meaningful time, termed Planck Time and from the smallest meaningful distance, termed Planck Length (both are quantum-mechanical concepts). They rollout in concert with rate of time starting out extremely fast and slowing and the dimensions or space starting out extremely small and growing. There is no need to assume dark matter or dark energy in this Rollout Theory of our Universe; neither one of which have been independently observed. Furthermore, observations of celestial objects and of their motion leading to the Hubble constant have produce anomalous results that can be explained by this Rollout Theory. The discussion of this new Theory leads directly to the discussion of the osculation points or frontiers we may have with other universes, based on a United States Patent Section on Spacetimeuniverse Geometry [4]. A result is that we propose these osculation points or frontiers might be a basis for intercommunications with multiuniverses. We conclude that an “interdisciplinary” approach to communications is absolutely necessary. Also we strongly recommend to develop HFGW detection and to study their possible laboratory HFGW generation. Einstein was reported to have commented that: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” We concluded that the future will be forged by innovative, imaginative “out of the box” thinking and we also conclude that this paper embraces these attributes.

Multimedial Refocalizations of Attention in Digital Learning: An Interdisciplinary Model
Erzsébet Dani
Pages: 244-260
Some years ago I created a digital-learning-related teaching model for higher-education purposes and called it HY-DE model (to be described in detail below) as it was based on the HYper and DEep modes of attention.1 It was meant to respond to the new learning environment of the digital world, which called for innovative teaching models. The theoretical model started from the circumstance that the communicational and information-searching as well as learning habits of what I term the “bit generations” (generations Y and Z) have changed; that students of the digital world have attained extremely high stimulus threshold, a refined sense of the visual, and can be characterized by an emphatic presence of hyper attention. The model works with manipulating the phases of hyper and deep attention with the help of the digital environment: starting out from the hyper phase, attention is gradually steered towards the deep phase, where serious learning can take place.

The modeled process is multidisciplinary as it comprises several disciplines. The semantic networks of the individual disciplines (discipline [=a branch of science], discipline [=rules, regulation, rigor], and disciple [=pupil, follower, student]) are all there in the way the HY-DE model operates. They refer simultaneously to research area, regulation of research (inclusive of normative methodological rigor), and teaching, which introduces the student into the terminology and methodology of the given research area. The involved disciplines transgress their boundaries, though, exerting their combined effect through a division of labor as it were (Barry, Born, & Weszkalnys, 2008). Thus self-contained disciplines transcend their own constraints to attain HY-DE objectives in synergy, yielding a new pattern of learning and more effective teaching.

It is in the affinity and interface of the various independent disciplines, subdisciplines, and branches of learning where interdisciplinarity develops, in which the theory of the method is grounded. I availed myself of the research methodology, terminology, and relevant research results of psychology, cognitive psychology, brain research, philosophy, narratology, pedagogy, digital pedagogy, reading research, sociology, learning theory, educational assessment and measurement, digital literacy, and applied informatics. Some of these areas are interdisciplinary in themselves. Thus my model can be regarded as based on multi/interdiscilinarity, doubly or even several times over.

Collaboration and Communication in the Leadership of Educational Technology
Peter F. Holowka
Pages: 261-272
The communication practices between educators, administrators, government officials, and students were key features of educational technology leadership in Western Canada. This paper presents the findings of an exhaustive study of all 75 large K-12 districts in Canada's three westernmost provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. A data transformation model mixed methods triangulation design methodology was used in this study of over 1.1 million students across a geography of over 2.2 million square kilometers. Western Canadian K-12 relies heavily on cloud computing, and this approach enabled a successful shift to online education during COVID-19. What emerged from this research were several organizational collaboration practices that enabled inter-disciplinary communication 1i. These practices produced this highly robust IT infrastructure. This paper will present these collaborative communication practices and the formalized organizational initiatives that enable them. The extent and impact of these interdisciplinary collaborative communication practices were so profound that they nullified differences in school district size and the locus of authority for educational technology decision-making.

Using Mobile and Wireless Computing to Facilitate Virtual Collaboration During a Pandemic
Wen-Chen Hu, Benu Bansal, Naima Kaabouch
Pages: 273-288
People used physical meetings and gatherings to collaborate with others in the past. However, this physical collaboration no longer works during a pandemic because people are required to keep social distance, stay away from the crowd, and even work or study at home. A new way of collaboration using mobile and wireless computing, like Zoom, Slack, and Teams, has started to flourish. Mobile and wireless computing does facilitate virtual collaboration without doubt, but it also brings new concerns like security and privacy issues, which do not occur often during physical meetings or gatherings. A secure and privacy-preserved remote environment is essential for the confidential information shared over the virtual platforms because the cloud-based tools have the threat of unauthorized access and data jeopardizing. This article discusses various issues related to using mobile and wireless computing to facilitate virtual collaboration during a pandemic, and how and what technologies are used to preserve user privacy while participating virtual collaboration and make mobile and wireless computing more secure.

Teaching and Learning as Interdisciplinary Communication
William Swart
Pages: 289-301
This article defines learning as the gap between current and required knowledge and teaching as the process of designing and implementing interventions to reduce that gap. It then lists principles for good learning to occur. These principles require that interventions be designed with multiple disciplines in mind so that the student is able, capable, and willing to learn the intended subject matter. It then lists the constraints to applying these principles in the lecture, online, and blended modalities. It concludes by defining a rigorous teaching process as one that follows the principles of continual improvement as defined by Deming’s PDSA cycle.

Abstracts and Editorial Comments