So then to begin in the middle I have many questions:
What constitutes an observer? How do we think about what an observer is/does? Is it as simply complex as the recursive: “An observer creates distinctions; distinctions create observers.”?
What is a distinction? In order for it to occur, does it require only an observer, or is there also an ‘observed’? If so, what constitutes the observed if we are speaking of it before the act of observation? Or is there no such thing as an ‘observed’ before its being observed? Is it possible for the specific distinction within the observed to be meaningless before observation while still maintaining on a higher order level that there is a realm of the ‘unobserved-observed’?
I mean to think about this issue as much as possible without the benefit of assumptions, knowing this is impossible.
Does the concept of the complementarity of field/wave in quantum physics help conceptualize this problem? Physicists can speak of descriptions of … using words that evoke particulate metaphors or wave-like metaphors. The … is always …, although some like to speak of wavicles to try and express the idea that beneath (?) the individual descriptions of what happens in particle physics experiments as either particle-like or wave-like, some more encompassing ‘reality’ is manifesting in an either/or fashion while remaining singular in itself.
The epistemological issue of the observer/observed qua cybernetics thus seems analogically exact to the epistemological dilemmas raised in our attempts to understand the quantum mechanics. Both point to some aspect of recursion as a central feature of any potential ordering of knowledge.