I met Gary at the 2010 American Cybernetics Society conference, and was very struck by his remarkable intellect, breadth of reading, gentleness and a common-sense attitude to educational technology which is rare.
Gary was very supportive of my idea to write a book on "Educational Cybernetics" (he was the only other person outside Bolton who described himself as an 'Educational Cybernetician"). He sent me some wonderful slides, which I've posted here. I think they give a sense of his intellectual curiosity and precision of thought.
Gary's summarised his thoughts on educational cybernetics as:
"MY take on it is that basic cybernetic principles are applicable at many levels from micro i.e.instructional design on up through course and programme design and development to whole institutional and countrywide viable systems development."And this is how he saw Cyber-Systemic Modelling
He sent me some PDFs of his presentations on Cybernetics and Educational Cybernetics which I've attached below.
I also noted that he wrote a marvellous review for a book on Educational Technology by Lars Qvortrup (who applied Luhmann's thinking to technology, which I am very interested in). Although not a Luhmannite (he said he found it "unpleasant"... but I didn't get a chance to probe him about this!) I think this review gives a sense of what we have just lost: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/431/870 (I've grateful to Terry Anderson for highlighting this)
One of the strange things (and I'm sure Gary would be amused by this) is that when people die, the impetus to re-examine their work and carefully consider their arguments seems somehow more intense. I wonder why that is?