According to Wikpedia, "was an English psychiatrist and a pioneer in cybernetics, the study of complex systems. His first name was not used: he was known as Ross Ashby. His two books, Design for a Brain and An Introduction to Cybernetics." He was also an inveterate keeper of journals and index cards. He was self-critical, saying "my early notes, especially Volumes 2 and 3, are appalling even for their simple ignorance and inaccuracy. They are quite unfit for any human eye." But he was also rather ambitious. In fact, his self-criticism is a function of his ambition, or so it seems to me.
What draws me to him is this: He had not just ambition but also pursued hobbies. For instance, "he enjoyed browsing second-hand book shops which years ago could be found in most towns" and "he taught himself watch and clock cleaning and repairing. Later he bought a watchmaker’s lathe and made the tools he needed and a cabinet to hold them in with all the drawers carefully labelled." But even in his hobbies, he seems to have been more ambitious than I could ever be.
1. It is perhaps not uninteresting that Luhmann refers to him in his essay on "Communicating with Slip Boxes": "Vgl. W. Ross Ashby. The Place of the Brain in the Natural World, in: Currents in Modern Biology I (1967), S.95-104."
2. See his life.