Intro to Networked Collaboration

Architectures of Participation

I am a little late in posting on this reading because of much work the last two weeks. I think and hope that the work is caught up for a while.  I had a wonderful few weeks with a lot of meetings and people. One of whom is quite a user experience maven, with lots of knowledge about application design and ethnographic research. In the end she told me she was an architect at school. Another colleague told me she was an Art History major many years ago, and so is a ‘visual learner’. So interesting how those of us with these skills and pre-dispositions are finding ourselves in interesting creative roles, really making a difference in society today.

The article is a little obtuse the way it is written, with incomplete sentences and all, but I like the whole idea about the psychology of why we want to be connected to others. It really goes well with Chapter 2 of Smart Mobs about the whole misconception of Darwin and the emergent realization in our times that human beings are really cooperative collaborative beings, rather than exclusively self-interested competitive ones. In a sense, this conflict is evident in our political debate today, and was with Socrates and Callicles or Aristotle approx 2400 yrs ago. Blaise Pascal in the enlightenment also wrote a great deal about why we are attracted to each other or why we entertain ourselves through a sense of isolation and aloneness. Brain science informs us now about all of this in a much more concrete way.  And the digital technology we use today makes the idea of brain chemistry, impulses, and reactions to visual or aural stimuli even more profound and evident.

I love the idea of the fabric, the way we are all woven together, and the way despite our differences in personality and brain chemistry, we march to a pretty collective notion of our reality. While we have many choices as individuals, the choice set is pretty much presented to us by a collective notion of a constructed reality largely presented to us through language and metaphor and culture.

This is the next frontier for us to understand how come we can all march together off of a cliff, a bit like what is happening now. But, we will get the knowlege pretty soon, since our collective survival depends upon it, and our generation is more sensitive to these kinds of questions than our parents, who were more like soldiers or company clerks!

Hopefully, we will break down the some of the control institutions who do try to limit our choice sets unnecessarily, so that we can truly have a wider range of individual choice, and a system that is less prone to mega-collapse through the choices of too few of us acting in self-interest.

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October 4, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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