Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Twitter approach towards a theory of sustainable communication ecology

I started "twittering" about a month ago. As of today, I consider myself a born again twitt. A twitter stream from this morning, follows:

RT@OpenHQR What is Holistic Quantum Relativity? Me: demographics+genetics+mimetics = #education informatics.

Australian academic S.J. Whitty .. "project management is a memeplex"

S.J. Whitty "In this paper I will . . argue . . for . . memetic approach to PM research" PDF @

Dawkins says “all life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities” Memes are self replicators,

Kofman says "we do not talk about what we see; we see only what we can talk about”:

Bandler says "Misled by the structure of our language, we come to assume that blue is a property" of the thing. Printers know how that works

S.J. Whitty says the language of P M "has evolved by memetic selection. This presupposes no design, only the appearance of it. "

S.J. Whitty says " Memes are tools for thinking, and they have to be used in order for them to generate behaviour " #Education is thinking.

S.J. Whitty "Instead of seeing knowledge as cnstrctd by social system, memetics defines social systems as cnstrctd by knowledge processes.

Blackmore suggests that our enormous human brain size has been created by memes, a product of genetic and memetic evolution.

S.J Whitty :" Memetic research could identify/isolate. . 'best practice' Organisations would then . . . (get to) a shorter learning time

AIPM says "Our vision is to be recognised by bsiness,industry, government, as the leader in prject mngmnt profesnalsm.

Oops! The correct link for Australian Institute of Project Management is

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thread started in 2008 gets back on my radar. @CoEvolving Innnovations

This is a most rigorous discussion with lots of charts and footnotes. Pretty interesting, but I still haven't had a chance to print it out. I can't do rigorous reading on the screen. That's why I love Print. If you are interested, the link.

Here's how it starts:
As Service Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) has been developing, I’ve noticed a refinement of language. Rather than just abbreviating the long clause to service science, I’m now careful to use the phrase of a science of service systems, following Spohrer, Maglio et. al (2007). There’s a clear definition of service system in the final April 2008 revision of the report by the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing.
My two cents:

I still have to print out, highlight and mull the many points you’ve put on the table. Perhaps the following will be useful in disentangling what’s happening.

Suppose the bins were energy, time and space. It eliminates the notion that information creates stuff. Actually making stuff starts with stuff that moves through a process. Information makes the process require less time and energy. But without the input of stuff, we still don’t get to more stuff.

In this schema, re energy, we get people power. Tool assisted people power. Then biomass based power. The next stage would be solar or renewable power sources. Input stuff might be framed as time/energy that has been fixed in space. The system structure can then be framed as the emergent structure of time/energy in time/space.

Three variables make for much simpler models.

Twitter: "pointless babble" or peripheral awareness social grooming? or not a "media" as commonly understood?

Since my day job is nurturing my IRA and I love a good argument, I've been spending most of time blogging at the Print industry over at ToughLoveForXerox. Recently I started playing with twitter as ToughLoveforX. Not surprisingly, that leaves very little bandwidth for more theoretical discussions about how print fits into the communication ecology.

Luckily, as most things happen in the world, I got a follower request, checked out who else they were following and got to a rigourous discussion about the nature of media. If you are interested, it is worth the click. Over 35 responses as of this morning.

The blog in question is hosted by
danah boyd and I'm a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. I received my PhD from the School of Information at UC-Berkeley. I live in Boston, MA. Buzzwords in my world include: public/private, identity, context, youth culture, social network sites, social media. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.
At any rate, here's my "contribution" to the discussion.
"Perhaps a good way to clarify what is going on with Twitter is to consider that it does not work as a 'media' in any conventionally defined sense. It might better be framed as technology assisted social communication.

That puts it into the same thought bin as the agora, the 15th century coffee shop, the Royal Academy in the 18th century and the madrassa and high school of today. While there are many emergent 'purposes' of twitter, they are the result of the interactions.

I think I've found that communicating is much easier without the implicit stress of requiring a reply. Adrian said "Doesn't much this babble fall into what Goffman called "civil inattention." I think "civil inattention" implies "no reply necessary." Once that implicit stress is removed, it removes friction from the exchange. As Twitter time shifts conversations it removes the time constraint. As the internet makes space irrelevent, it removes the space constraint. What is left is what people do in the absence of time/space constraints, under conditions of low proximate stress.

As for it being mostly babble, as has been said above most of human conversation is babble, until it's interesting-to-me. It's similar to the problem in physics of non-locality and electrons that are in two places at once, until you look. If look = measure = interesting-to-me, I think the metaphor holds.

Since I blog to and about the printing industry it shouldn't be surprising that I see the world through a Print centered lens. But, I think the elimination of the implicit requirement of a response, helps explain why books reinvented science. It's also the underlying notion that makes me think that new technologies in print will do that again in the service of education.