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An example through Grey Literature
Effects and measures to be taken

Copyright © Dr William Theaux 1999

<Access to French Version>



In an article for the International Journal on Grey Literature, I have described how Lacanian Psychoanalysis, and its theory, were able to describe the fate of the management of Grey Literature by such social instance as the Academia. The basic theoretical references, which are at the source of this article are described and illustrated in the page below. I have attempted to use format features to allow either quick or in depth reading, as for instance with hyper-links with clickable minipictures.


Essay in four parts:

Cybernetic Principle of Reflection
...at the point where technology reaches back to its cause...

Linguistics, participation of humankind
...as with the Psychoanalytic experience of the Unconscious...

Ancient option of Idealization
...'Psychoanalysis' means analysis of the Psyche, analysis of the 'mirroring'...

Contemporary option of regeneration
... the reflection of the cause imposes specific measures...


...at the point where technology reaches back to its cause...

The management of Grey Literature may encounter a major difficulty when it overlooks that Grey Literature stands at the source of the social organization. This oblivion already appears in the usual definition of Grey Literature as "what is produced by academia, governement, industry etc..". It is true that these institutions 'produce' what can be detected as Grey Literature (pre-print, data, reports, email etc...) - but it would be wrong to neglect the fact that though they may be defined and organized by a 'White Literature' (official and négociable texts) - this White Literature is nevertheless preceded by the said Grey Literature in fact.
Though we may find it a non-definable loop - and perhaps a contradiction - in reality, there is even no paradox, for the integration of the Information Technology (IT) in the system of the story of this acknowledgement, results in a clear, and rather simple analytic disposition. I must only say that I shall use in this page the term 'Cybernetics', as I do usually to signify the whole range from Electronic Network via IT, up to AI (Artificial Intelligence), even including their Hardware.
At that point, an animated picture, with Cybernetics as a black box, will take a few seconds to explain the logical situation that we are facing.

Pic10: Product formation and Repression of the Cause

This picture illustrates how the cause
- for instance of a social meeting or a textual enterprise -
meets Cybernetics, which reflects or operates like a dam,
so that an object springs from the enterprise, looking like its

...as with the Psychoanalytic experience of the Unconscious...

The tension which is established by an interactive apparatus (Cybernetics as the black box in Pic10) alters the casuistics of human phenomenon - bringing its cause to appear as its product. This is well known in philosophical and psychological situations, as it is felt, for example, when a subject wonders if s/he is the author or the result of a dream (or the Unconscious). Such question can be triggered by Transference, hypnosis or drugs. In the modern world this situation becomes dramatic when it is raised by Cybernetics - for it may not leave a space for even questioning.
An example is given by Grey Literature whose acknowledgement is compelled by Cybernetics (Internet etc...). The next picture illustrates how Linguistics formulates how a name (Grey Literature in this case) represents what appears to be produced:

Pic20: The naming of the cause and its repression

This picture illustrates the Signifier (Grey Literature) above the signified (Product)
It is supported by the founding algorithm of Linguistics by F. De Saussure

and its dynamic representation in the Lacanian Cyphermatics

...Psychoanalysis means analysis of the Psyche, analysis of the 'mirroring'...

The objectivation of the cause is a complex process which bounces a virtual representation of the origins. The objectivation of Grey Literature is a similar assertion of registration - of - what - is - not - registered. It is a paradox for what is thus registered is not not-registered anymore. Such detection of the un-detected is a frequent issue in Science, and it is typical with Psychoanalysis which uncovers the Unconscious. This paradox is resolved through the Linguistic rules of registration and naming (textualization). This process of textualization is efficiently formulated by the Lacanian Optical Model - which offers two options:
The first one shows the classical regime of awareness standing in front of an illusion (Grey Literature as product):

Pic30: The virtual product through Cybernetics as beyond a mirror

This is a static ideology mode based on the ignorance of the cause.
Activity there, is limited to Repetition, and the illusion (of production) is
sustained by a philosophical Absolute, or 'idealization'.

This mentality of a Classic Age is described from Lacan's Optical Model:

... the reflection of the cause imposes specific measures...

If the Classical perspective (Pic:30) is maintained while Cybernetics establishes the Modern age, its feed-back processes induces a collapse or aggravates the Idealization into a super-egotization, which is also associated with a death-drive. One century of Psychoanalysis has shown an alternative to this situation:
A stimulation of memory in the social process of textuality makes the second option in the Lacanian theory. It is an analysis, which allows for intelligibly drawing back the product on its cause. This analysis of the reflection induces dynamic effects, directly on the cause. It is generating, regenerating or updating what we usually call a Code. For instance, this is practical with genetic engineering--when the industrial effect of genetically altered product will eventually alter the genetical code of the human agent himself. Measures of analytic reflection must be thus implemented in order to re-generate the cause. This situation is equivalent with the textuality of the social order.

Pic40: Realization of Productivity and Regeneration of the Cause

Instead of a collapse (Pic:30 - illusion) - a regeneration of the social code,
- genetical code, hormonal code etc... according to the situation -
is triggered by measures of dynamic analysis of the organization.
Plural circuit of and Serial logic are Cybernetical and Sociological concepts..

..which are also described in the lacanian formula of the psychoanalytic position

An analysis of the reflection called PLural ANalysis (PLAN) addresses the specific logic which results from the implementation of Cybernetics in the Society and/or the environment. This is especially true when Grey Literature is released within the social organization, for Sociology can easily be identified with textuality (note: this is even a founding moment of the social event according to the major social theory of E.Durkheim). Our example, the objectivation of Grey Literature, offers an opportunity--and a vital request--to get back towards the cause of the Social Organization, i.e. to implement a reflection that watches and/or regenerates the original social code.


It must be reminded that a regeneration of Code is likely to originates from the interposition of a Cybernetic apparatus in a general process of industry (casuistics in theoretical term). It is reasonable to contemplate applying a Plural Analysis in the environment or during the processes which release Grey Literature and electronic forms of distribution of Literature.

Plural Analysis, PLAN, applies also in other situations - as in the Medicine of the Social Body - in biological engineering environments - and also in plain creativity, adaptation to change, conflict resolution etc... when a cybernetic (computers, network etc...) apparatus participates with the social enterprise.
See an outline presentation of PLAN, and a deeper description, as well for its training program.

Copyright © Dr William Theaux 1999