ICVL 2020

Dr. Ștefan Odobleja in the journalism of the times - 2020

Dr. Ștefan Odobleja in the journalism of the times - 2020

Compiled and neat collection, notes and indices by Tudor Rățoi and Ștefan Odobleja jr., PUBLICITARIA 2020 Publishing House

For about half a century, Dr. Stefan Odobleja has kept a wide interest around his name. Contradictory as a whole and coming quite late from what the bearer would have deserved, this interest included during the mentioned interval various professional categories, from the recognized specialists in the field illustrated by Ștefan Odobleja, continuing with the press and finishing with an audience not exactly knowledgeable in the related issue, but aroused by the messages coming from the Romanian written media starting with the ʼ70s of the last century.






For about half a century, Dr. Ștefan Odobleja has been keeping a wide interest around his name. Contradictory as a whole and coming quite late from what the bearer would have deserved, this interest included during the mentioned interval various professional categories, from the recognized specialists in the field illustrated by Ștefan Odobleja, continuing with the press and finishing with an audience not exactly knowledgeable in the related issue, but aroused by the messages coming from the Romanian written media starting with the ʼ70s of the last century.
Today, Ștefan Odobleja still captures the attention of many, but, as before, not at the level of expectations and not at the level of those claimed on various occasions more or less official and unofficial.
So long after the Odobleja case started and after two volumes offered to the press containing the correspondence of the founder of generalized cybernetics1, we thought it was time to remember together the conditions under which the debate around Ștefan Odobleja, Consonantal Psychology and what has been written and said in the journalism of the times about this case.
Obviously, what can be found in the following pages are not new and do not include everything that has been published on these topics. They have appeared over time, beginning in the 1970s and until recently, the purpose of this paper being to gather in one place most - not all - of the materials that can testify to this case.
The vast majority of the texts (re) brought to attention are press materials, published in some magazines of the time or in newspapers. Along with these are some articles, studies, references, etc. with scientific and quasi-scientific character published in culture magazines, having as authors Ștefan Odobleja, Correspondence. Vol. I. Edition composed by Tudor Rățoi and Cristian Anița. Foreword by Ileana Roman, MJM Publishing House, Craiova, 2002, 273 p .; Idem, Correspondence, vol. II. Edition composed by Tudor Rățoi and Ștefan Odobleja jr., Terra Griphonis Publishing House, 2018, 279 p. Specialists in the field, personalities who were directly involved and carefully studied the work of Ștefan Odobleja.
As this is not the case and there is no need to get to the bottom of the problems, as is certainly known and as it was, in fact, natural in the given circumstances, those who spoke on the matter did so in an attempt to answer the questions that arose. born around Odobleja: Is he really the founder of cybernetics? Is consonantal psychology the main book of cybernetics? Were the claims of the Severin scientist in relation to N. Wiener justified? Had the latter plagiarized Odobleja, or had he at least known his fundamental work? And so on
Going through what appeared, it can be clearly seen, as one of the connoisseurs well observed at the time, that Odobleja was greeted with distrust by the academic forums, while on another level he made friends and admirers, but also unyielding opponents. Both, directly and indirectly, aroused his stubbornness and in these conditions, more and more insistent reports, comments and interviews began to appear in the press. It was also observed that Odobleja's followers differed, some considering him the de facto creator of cybernetics, in a generalized form, others a forerunner of cybernetics, along with two other Romanians, the doctor D. Danielopolu and the engineer Paul Postelnicu.
In the field of hostilities, the most pertinent, balanced and nuanced points of view came, of course, from the specialists: acad. Mihai Drăgănescu, prof. Pantelimon Golu, prof. Mihai Golu, the future acad. Alexandru Surdu, Dr. Victor Săhleanu, Prof. N. Mărgineanu, Dr. Al. Olaru, prof. Ion Stroie, prof. Ion Irimie, dr. Eng. Marius Guran and others.
From reading the texts, however, it can be seen that the press had an infinitely stronger percussion force than anything. Even scientists have openly acknowledged many times that if the press had not exerted such intense pressure, it would not have been impossible for an Odobleja case never to have appeared, at least in the dimensions in which it appeared. in the years 1974-1978 and beyond until 1980. Magazines such as "Flacăra", "Tribuna", "Magazin", "Week", "Horizon" and others. They supported a fierce pro-Odobleja campaign, with a major impact on the public and even scientific environment. The pages of the paper include, for example, two round tables organized by "Flacăra" and "Magazin" attended by scientists familiar with Odobleja's work and who honestly expressed their views, not always entirely on Odobleja's part, on the issues raised by Odobleja. Newsrooms.
It should also be added the interviews hosted by the publications of the time / times with some of the most entitled to rule on the Odobleja case. In this regard, it is worth mentioning, first of all, the interviews taken by Liviu Petrina, in 1980 and 1981, to the professor Dr. Eng. Paul Postelnicu, respectively acad. Ștefan Milcu, the latter, a high school and college colleague of Odobleja, and later, when the author of Consonantal Psychology will claim his recognition of the paternity of cybernetics, one of those with a very important role through his evasive position, under the guise of scientific objectivity, in rejecting de facto and de jure of the claims of his former colleague less favored by fate.
Apart from these interviews, there are also conversations with Dr. Odobleja, the one around whom the discussions took place. One of them, accompanied by the story of the circumstances in which it took place, is the first discussion that was published, in July 1973, in the magazine "Tribuna" from Cluj, having as initiator the poet Valeriu Armeanu, who can be considered one among the openers of the Odobleja case. Then there is the dramatic and tragic interview of Em at the same time. Valeriu, taken from the scientist shortly before his life and published in lFlacăraˮ, and the interview that Aristide Buhoiu gave him in the spring of 1978, but broadcast by the Romanian Television only in 1982.
Then… other interviews, with the scientist's son and heir, Eng. Ștefan Odobleja jr., Or with other personalities and characters who were at a greater or lesser distance from the one in the center of attention.
It should be emphasized that, taken as a whole and at the same time individually, the media productions that have appeared over time are extremely unequal in value. In many respects they are redundant, at the same time, some almost superficial, resuming almost obsessively data and elements of biography and even opera, eluding, for implicit reasons, the aspects of depth and substance. But even so, they are not entirely negligible, because they gave birth to and maintained an atmosphere around an authentic case, definitely circumscribed to the history of Romanian and universal science.
In this climate, there were original approaches to understanding and interpretation from some people of pen such as Cezar Apreotesei, Ion Stroie, Ion Străchinaru, Gabriel Iosif Chiuzbaian and others, which can still be read with interest.
To these must be added journalists devoted to Odobleja's cause, full of empathy, pathos and honesty, who have approached the Severin scientist with understanding and perseverance for years. Among them, Ștefan Odobleja himself nurtured a special appreciation for Liviu Timbus, seconded by Liviu Petrina, Cornel Nistorescu, Ovidiu Ioanițoaia, Cici Iordache and, in general, the whole team from "Flacăra", and locally Valeriu Armeanu, Ion Stroe -Oancea, Gelu Negrea and Constantin Negreanu.
Among those specialized and well introduced and familiar with the issue of consonantal psychology and cybernetics, the engineer Stelian Bajureanu from Pitesti seems to have been very close to him and an unconditional devotee. With him, the scientist corresponded extensively and, as is well known, Bajureanu represented him at the International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems in Amsterdam, in 1978, where, according to the Romanian delegate, Ștefan Odobleja also obtained international consecration. A role similar to that assumed by Stelian Bajureanu belonged to Professor Ioan Cristescu from Bucharest, who supported Odobleja in his travels in Bucharest, occasioned by the scientist's participation in scientific events in the Capital, organized in 1974-1975 and 1977, including the International Cybernetics Congress and systems since 1975.
Taken as a whole, the texts gathered here allow, at the same time, a critical judgment of what has been said and especially committed over time that it will be done in favor of Odobleja. If a balance sheet were drawn on this basis, it would probably be found that very little has been done, especially in the last three decades. It is paradoxical, but it seems that, pushed from behind or voluntarily, the communist regime was more generous with the father of consonantal psychology. For the important works on Odoblejian's work were then made: the printing of the Romanian version of the capital work of consonantism, the appearance - it is delayed - of the two works, "Consonantist Psychology and Cybermetics" and "The Logic of Resonance", which, perhaps, possibly, the anastatic version of "Consonantal Psychology", printed by Iosif Constantin Dragan abroad. The funerary monument executed by Adrian Curcan at the crypt of Ștefan Odobleja and which, unfortunately, is known to have been stolen cannot be omitted from this series.
After 1990, the major achievements were few. Among those who will remain are the election of Ștefan Odobleja as a post mortem member of the Romanian Academy and the restoration of the memorial house in the village that today bears the scientist's name, this new local name being himself a fact worth mentioning, but also he and the house memorial are the result of the perseverance and dedication of the engineer Ștefan Odobleja jr. The authorities - both county and local - unfortunately treated rather indifferently major projects such as the one proposed a few years ago by the same Adrian Curcan, to erect an imposing monument symbolizing consonantism on one of the main arteries of Severin.
The annual symposia held under the title "Ștefan Odobleja - Eternity in the present time" are also part of the area of achievements, but in turn are the expression of the efforts of engineer Șt. Odobleja through the homonymous foundation, which was born on the vacant site by the abolition of the International Academy of General Cybernetics based in Lugano and its branch in Oradea, after the death of Iosif Constantin Dragan (in 2008) and, respectively, the rector of the University of Oradea, Teodor Maghiar (in 2012).
Significant research and publication approaches starting from consonantism in general and from consonantal and logical psychology in particular were continued by acad. Alexandru Surdu, and more recently by Dr. Nicolae Popescu from Drobeta-Turnu Severin, who, for several decades, has been particularly concerned with the work of Ștefan Odobleja, in connection with whom, alone or in groups of which they were part and other researchers with medical specialization, has published articles and books: Consonantal psychosomatics - The contribution of Dr. Stefan Odobleja to the concept of psychosomatics (2nd ed.), Universitaria Craiova (2016, Romanian version); Consonantist Psychosomatics - Contribution of doctor Stefan Odobleja to the concept of psychosomatics, LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Saarbrϋcken (2015, version in lb. germ., In colab.); Phonoscopy - A new method of clinical exploration, Dr. Şt. Odobleja, preface: dr. Nicolae Popescu, coord. dr. Nicolae Popescu and eng. Ştefan Odobleja jr., Universitaria (2011), Consonantism and multidisciplinarity - “Psychosomatic correlations in primary and secondary kinetoprophylaxis”, Universitaria (2006).
Rereading these texts, it is not too difficult to conclude that posterity still has great debts to Stefan Odobleja. One of them often returned in the references of those who considered themselves entitled to take action in the Odobleja case, signaling the need synonymous with the implied obligation to continue the study of the tens of thousands of document sheets that make up the personal archival fund of the Mehedinti National Archives. . These documents have long been archived, moreover they are even microfilmed mostly for the purpose of securing and preserving them as archives of special value. They have been waiting for their researchers for a long time, but for unknown reasons they are delayed. It seems that Constantin Noica's prediction according to which Ștefan Odobleja's manuscripts "could contribute to the renewal of the perspectives and points of view of today's scientific culture" has not yet been confirmed.
If he could not capitalize on them to the end, we are sure that, in Romanian culture at least, they will awaken, through their novelty and courage, great creative vocations, which we need for our qualification in world cultureˮ.
The consolation could come from the fact that in science time has other dimensions and from the conviction that this (re) meeting of many with the father of consonantal psychology and resonance logic will not only not be the last, but will reawaken their interest in a circle of problems. and reflections with consequences both of self-interest and in favor of a cause that should never be considered peripheral or lost.
Or maybe what the scientist told Valeriu Armeanu in 1973 may be true, namely that out of too much love for ideas, at some point you are / are indifferent to what happens to them. Maybe it's because we love them too much, “Then, when you see them in someone else's house, you get scared. Yes, I lived in fear - Odobleja said in that interview - of not disturbing a whole and of good impressions that snobbery has maintained and still maintains in regard to N. Wiener. I did not disclose their indigenous origin, lest they be given the same importance as before. And that's how fate reconciles with life.

Tudor Rățoi, Ștefan Odobleja jr.