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Cindynics

The Cindynics, (sciences of danger, of the Greek κίνδυνος : danger, and also : fight, battle) were initiated in France by Georges-Yves Kervern in the aftermath of major catastrophes, like those of Bhopal or Chernobyl. Georges-Yves Kervern was a graduate of the french École Polytechnique (X55) who had been Deputy Director of the UAP insurance group : Cindynics do not come from the academic world, but from a corporate wolrd having to manage concrete difficulties.

Compared with the two-dimensional classical representation of risk (probability x impact), the major reversal of the cindynic approach has been to put human organizations back at the core of the problematics of danger.

If the questions of the finality of the actors and the validity of the models were imposed in post-disaster studies, Cindynics also had to take into account the questions of ethics and regulation : Georges-Yves Kervern was one of the first proponents of business ethics in France.

Cindynics describe the concept of resilience, and the associated concept of vulnerability, defined as the propensity of situations to generate damages : the concept of mastering of propensities is the core strategic concept of Cindynics. The propensity approach adopted by Cindynics is a corollary of the rejection of frequency approaches that are not adapted to real, complex, and unique situations. If this notion of propensity seems inspired by Karl Popper, the notion of mastering of propensities is in fact mainly inspired by the key concept of the Art of War: cindynic thought is a deeply strategic thought.

By applying the cindynic methodology to information risks, IFREI had to deal with the problem of modelling non-consensual situations. Among the issues encountered were the protection of confidential or personal data, and misinformation, now illustrated by the deceptive use of social networks for the purpose of interference in electoral processes, for example in the United States. These situations are characterized by the confrontation of antagonistic operations, which is the opposite of the consensus often observed in the field of prevention.

IFREI has thus developped Second order Cindynics by relativizing the concept of situation, and introduced the concepts of divergences and disparities of perception, which allow to characterize the notion of conflictuality (the situation's propensity to degenerate into conflict) . Moreover, this allows to model the friction phenomena described by Clausewitz in the military field, which are also observed in the operations of risk prevention, but also, more generally, in development actions.

The reduction of disparities and divergences identifiable by the cindynic methodology allows to improve operational efficiency in both the prevention and the development fields. The same approach is naturally applicable in the field of conflict prevention and conflictualities reduction.

The Cindynics thus appear as a common language usable by the actors of these three domains : this advance is all the more remarkable that these three domains are most often inextricably meshed in a risks-conflicts-development complex.

These evolutions also echo the evolutions of strategic thought and, for example, the emergence of the chinese doctrine of "unlimited warfare" whose object is precisely the combination of offensive actions carried out simultaneously in several - in particular non-military - areas

The construction of cindynic models is based on the work of Mioara Mugur-Schächter, who developed an epistemological method: the relativized conceptualization methodology (RCM). The descriptive core thus obtained is voluntarily compact and limited, so as to be operable in various fields and cultures, to favor transdisciplinarity and cross-sectoral approaches, and to allow extensions fitting specific situations.

 

 

Further readings

Second order Cindynics :
Extension du concept vulnérabilité/résilience : Opérateurs de conformation, conflictualité et conciliance des situations infocindyniques.
MCR modelization of conflicting cindynic situations.
P.Cohet.

Disparités de perception et divergences prospectives : prévention et résolution de conflits, maîtrise des risques, et développement.
Cindynics and the Risk-Conflict-Development complex.
P.Cohet.


Strategy :
Cindyniques et Art de la guerre, Infocindynique et Ultraguerre : La convergence cachée des sciences du danger et de la pensée stratégique chinoise.
Cindynics, the Art of War, and China's Unlimited Warfare.
P.Cohet.

MCR Methodology :
La Méthode de Conceptualisation Relativisée. M.Mugur-Schächter.

Online video : Le Tissage des Connaissances. M.Mugur-Schächter. (you need to allow cookies)

 

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