Creative Modeling for Technology Visionaries Qualitative & Simplified Quantitative Modeling for Product Creation Module 5:...
Designing in a Material World <ul><li>Engineers study lots of math & science to understand material world & design stuff. ...
Roadmap <ul><li>Brute versus institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s Searle got to do with it? </li></ul><ul><li>Som...
Brute vs. Institutional Facts <ul><li>There are objects in the world that don’t depend on observers,  brute facts,  e.g. m...
What’s Searle Got to Do With It? <ul><li>Mill Prof of Philosophy of Berkeley. </li></ul><ul><li>Philosopher of language an...
Engineers & the Enlightenment <ul><li>Enlightenment vision: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universe completely intelligible. </li><...
Defense of the Enlightenment Vision <ul><li>Relativity: Not a refutation of traditional physics; merely an extension. </li...
Default Positions <ul><li>There is a real world that exists independently of our experiences, thoughts & language. </li></...
Epistemology versus Ontology <ul><li>Epistemology: The study of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Ontology: The study of what e...
A Word about Intentionality <ul><li>“Intentionality” is used by philosophers to indicate directedness toward objects in th...
Objectivity versus Subjectivity <ul><li>Have existence versus knowing, as well as objective versus subjective. </li></ul><...
Intrinsic versus Observer-Relative <ul><li>Intrinsic feature: Something that exists independent of observer (observer inde...
The Background <ul><li>Need to know a lot to function in everyday world. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of background common to al...
How Language Works <ul><li>Speech acts:  Many different types. </li></ul><ul><li>Can describe, promise, command, etc. </li...
The Illocutionary 5 <ul><li>Speech acts have 5 illocutionary points or types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assertive: commit to t...
Structure of Social Universe <ul><li>Mind creates an objective social reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Example, money: </li></ul...
Building Blocks of Social Reality <ul><li>Need 3 new elements:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective intentionality. </li></ul...
Collective Intentionality <ul><li>Need the notion of “we intend together.” </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to reduce to individ...
Social vs. Institutional Facts <ul><li>Social fact is any fact involving 2 or more agents w/ collective intentionality. </...
Assignment of Function <ul><li>Use of objects as tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monkey uses stick to get banana. </li></ul><...
Constitutive Rules <ul><li>How to distinguish between brute facts and institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Types of rule...
Complexity & Institutional Facts <ul><li>Searle’s strong thesis: All institutional reality explained by 3 things: </li></u...
Web Example: Institutional Complexity <ul><li>Go on Google, search for online book seller, sign in to Amazon.com using acc...
4 Types of Status Function <ul><li>Symbolic: “Es regnet” counts as sentence in German. </li></ul><ul><li>Deontic: Imposes ...
Institutional Facts Don’t Wear Out <ul><li>They get better with use. </li></ul><ul><li>Use reinforces collective intention...
Lessons for Tech Vision <ul><li>All engineering artifacts are social facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Some engineering artifacts a...
All Engineering Artifacts Social <ul><li>Minimal circumstances: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Are We Too Object-Centered? <ul><li>Current movement toward human-centered design. </li></ul><ul><li>Human factors & user-...
Some Engineering Artifacts Institutional <ul><li>Which objects have the big 3: collective intentionality, assigned functio...
Disciplines Low I/P Ratio <ul><li>Many traditional disciplines have high complexity of physical design. </li></ul><ul><li>...
Disciplines with High I/P Ratio <ul><li>Many artifacts require high attention to institutional artifacts. </li></ul><ul><l...
Buildings as Mixed Artifacts <ul><li>Requires attention to institutional concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires attention to...
Mapping the I/P Landscape
Why Does This Matter Now? <ul><li>The web has changed a lot. </li></ul><ul><li>Interconnected, software reconfigurable sys...
Design Principles <ul><li>Systems thinking is key. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the big 3: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective ...
Bottom Line <ul><li>Brute versus institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>John Searle’s  Construction of Social Reality. </l...
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The Construction of Engineering Reality

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Module 5 of Modeling for Tech Visionaries by David E. Goldberg

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  • Very interesting presentation.
    Difficult to read without the speaker discussing it but the content is very interesting, especially the reshaping of the virtual world by institutionals constraints and how designer should focus on new aspects like scalability/virality but also constructive rules letting the community of users build on the system (in a positively controlled fashion).
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The Construction of Engineering Reality

  1. 1. Creative Modeling for Technology Visionaries Qualitative & Simplified Quantitative Modeling for Product Creation Module 5: The Construction of Engineering Reality David E. Goldberg University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, Illinois 61801 [email_address]
  2. 2. Designing in a Material World <ul><li>Engineers study lots of math & science to understand material world & design stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>Take terms “product” & “service” for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>Theories in the humanities take reality as a social construction. </li></ul><ul><li>Is engineering material or social construction? </li></ul><ul><li>Both!! And knowing the difference important in postmodern world of design. </li></ul>Madonna Ritchie (b. 1958)
  3. 3. Roadmap <ul><li>Brute versus institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s Searle got to do with it? </li></ul><ul><li>Some preliminaries: truth, existence & knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of intentionality & language. </li></ul><ul><li>The building blocks of social reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional complexity in the real world. </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons for tech vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional/physical ratio. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Brute vs. Institutional Facts <ul><li>There are objects in the world that don’t depend on observers, brute facts, e.g. mountains, trees, atoms. </li></ul><ul><li>There are other objects that depend entirely on people and their interactions, institutional facts, money, chess, football . </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers study a lot about physical world and world of brute facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Much design about getting brute facts right, e.g. a screwdriver. </li></ul><ul><li>Are engineered objects mere brute facts? </li></ul>Screwdriver
  5. 5. What’s Searle Got to Do With It? <ul><li>Mill Prof of Philosophy of Berkeley. </li></ul><ul><li>Philosopher of language and mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Early work took off from Austin’s work on speech acts. </li></ul><ul><li>What does language have to do with it? </li></ul><ul><li>His book, The Construction of Social Reality (Free Press, 1995) , critical to our study. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps us understand social and institutional facts, separate physics from the social. </li></ul>John R. Searle (b. 1932)
  6. 6. Engineers & the Enlightenment <ul><li>Enlightenment vision: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Universe completely intelligible. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans capable of systematic understanding. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loss of faith in vision: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First world war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relativity theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set theoretic paradoxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freudian psychology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Godel’s incompleteness theorem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantum uncertainty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kuhn & Feyerabend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wittgenstein: discourse a series of language games </li></ul></ul>Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727)
  7. 7. Defense of the Enlightenment Vision <ul><li>Relativity: Not a refutation of traditional physics; merely an extension. </li></ul><ul><li>Set & semantic theoretic paradoxes: Just a series of errors we can make if not careful. </li></ul><ul><li>Freud: No longer accepted. </li></ul><ul><li>Gödel: Actually supports separation of ontology (what exists) from epistemology (how we know). </li></ul><ul><li>Quantum: Some interpretations a real challenge. Conventional view just accept indeterminacy of macro-micro relations. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural relativity: Proves that cultures can be interpreted in common human framework. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Default Positions <ul><li>There is a real world that exists independently of our experiences, thoughts & language. </li></ul><ul><li>We have direct perceptual access to that world through our senses </li></ul><ul><li>Words have reasonably clear meanings & can be used to talk about real objects in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Statements true and false depending upon their correspondence to facts in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Causation is a real relation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Epistemology versus Ontology <ul><li>Epistemology: The study of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Ontology: The study of what exists. </li></ul><ul><li>Our ontology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Live in world of physical particles in fields of force. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of these living systems with consciousness evolved. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These systems are intentional: Think and act toward other objects. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. A Word about Intentionality <ul><li>“Intentionality” is used by philosophers to indicate directedness toward objects in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Word “intend” is intentional, but not all intentionality is intending. </li></ul><ul><li>Intentionality and consciousness are linked. </li></ul><ul><li>There is someone home. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Objectivity versus Subjectivity <ul><li>Have existence versus knowing, as well as objective versus subjective. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mountain: existence  objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pain in toe: existence  subjective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pain in toe: knowledge  objective </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ontological subjectivity does not prevent epistemological objectivity. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Intrinsic versus Observer-Relative <ul><li>Intrinsic feature: Something that exists independent of observer (observer independent). </li></ul><ul><li>Example: A mountain. </li></ul><ul><li>Observer-relative feature: Something exists only relative to an observer. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: A screwdriver. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical existence is intrinsic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Screwdriverness is observer-relative. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engineered objects are at least partially observer-relative. </li></ul>Fujiyama
  13. 13. The Background <ul><li>Need to know a lot to function in everyday world. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of background common to all cultures: deep background. </li></ul><ul><li>Part varies: local structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Rationality as part of the background. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How Language Works <ul><li>Speech acts: Many different types. </li></ul><ul><li>Can describe, promise, command, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Austin defined “illocutionary act:” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaker says something. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Means something by it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tries to communicate what he means to hearer. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distinction between propositional content and force or type of the speech act. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Please leave the room. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will you leave the room? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You will leave the room. </li></ul></ul>J. L. Austin (1911-1960)
  15. 15. The Illocutionary 5 <ul><li>Speech acts have 5 illocutionary points or types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assertive: commit to the truth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directive: direct hearer to do something. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commissive: speaker promises to do something. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expressive: speaker expresses opinion about state of the world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Declarations: speaker creates something with utterance. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Structure of Social Universe <ul><li>Mind creates an objective social reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Example, money: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trivial physics: money not money because of material existence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money, money because of our intentions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other examples: language, government, universities. </li></ul><ul><li>Object fits description because we think it does. </li></ul><ul><li>What is ontology of the social and the institutional? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Building Blocks of Social Reality <ul><li>Need 3 new elements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective intentionality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignment of function. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constitutive rules. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Collective Intentionality <ul><li>Need the notion of “we intend together.” </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to reduce to individual intention are complex. </li></ul><ul><li>Existence of biological organisms with collective intentionality suggests CI is a primitive. </li></ul><ul><li>Social insects as an example: ants or termites for example. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Social vs. Institutional Facts <ul><li>Social fact is any fact involving 2 or more agents w/ collective intentionality. </li></ul><ul><li>In Searle’s terms, ants create social facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional facts go far beyond social facts as we shall soon see. </li></ul>Australian ant hill
  20. 20. Assignment of Function <ul><li>Use of objects as tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monkey uses stick to get banana. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Man sits on rock. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Physical existence facilitates function, but function is observer relative. </li></ul><ul><li>All function assignment is observer relative. </li></ul><ul><li>Aside: What does this say about engineering design? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Constitutive Rules <ul><li>How to distinguish between brute facts and institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Types of rules: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some rules regulate: “Drive on right side of road.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some rules regulate and constitute: Rules of chess both regulate conduct of game and create it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Constitutive rules form: X counts as Y in C. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Move two and over one” counts as a knight’s move in chess.” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Complexity & Institutional Facts <ul><li>Searle’s strong thesis: All institutional reality explained by 3 things: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective intentionality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assigned function  wall keeps people out physically, but low fence or boundary marker keeps people out by convention. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constitutive rules. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional facts can be iterated, interlocked, and codified. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Iterated: Marriage requires a presiding official (judge or cleric). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interlocked: Property, courts, markets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Codification: Can be codified In rules & laws. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Searle’s café scene: Order a beer in Paris café by sitting in a chair at a table, asking in French for particular brand, from a waiter (none of the terms important physically). </li></ul>
  23. 23. Web Example: Institutional Complexity <ul><li>Go on Google, search for online book seller, sign in to Amazon.com using account ID, order a book, using a credit card, get recommendations from recommender system & order some of those books, too. </li></ul><ul><li>Get confirmation message via e-mail account, and books delivered by FedEx. </li></ul>
  24. 24. 4 Types of Status Function <ul><li>Symbolic: “Es regnet” counts as sentence in German. </li></ul><ul><li>Deontic: Imposes rights and obligation (Tom is a professional engineer.). </li></ul><ul><li>Honor: Status for its own sake. (Bardeen won the Nobel Prize twice). </li></ul><ul><li>Procedural steps: Assignment of status can be broken down (petitions, primaries, convention, campaigning, voting, electoral college, to become President of US). </li></ul>
  25. 25. Institutional Facts Don’t Wear Out <ul><li>They get better with use. </li></ul><ul><li>Use reinforces collective intentionality. </li></ul><ul><li>Types of Institutional fact creation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergence: early examples, money, marriage, property, emerged. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed: TCP/IP, Google, Ebay, other web companies are designed and go viral with widespread adoption.. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Lessons for Tech Vision <ul><li>All engineering artifacts are social facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Some engineering artifacts are institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional engineering disciplines have low institutional/physical ratio. </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science and web IT artifacts have a high institutional/physical ratio. </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping the institutional-physical landscape. </li></ul><ul><li>Design principles for institutional artifacts. </li></ul>
  27. 27. All Engineering Artifacts Social <ul><li>Minimal circumstances: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Object </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We have collective intentionality for object to be used (more or less) as designer intended. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, all engineering artifacts are social. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Are We Too Object-Centered? <ul><li>Current movement toward human-centered design. </li></ul><ul><li>Human factors & user-interface design. </li></ul><ul><li>Don Norman’s books center on ease of use. </li></ul><ul><li>Human factors, HCI, usability studies. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Some Engineering Artifacts Institutional <ul><li>Which objects have the big 3: collective intentionality, assigned function, X counts as Y in Z. </li></ul><ul><li>Example TCP/IP, 4-byte number counts as an address in TCP/IP network. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, standards and protocols are designed institutional facts. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Disciplines Low I/P Ratio <ul><li>Many traditional disciplines have high complexity of physical design. </li></ul><ul><li>Low complexity of institutional design. </li></ul><ul><li>Low institutional/physical ration (I/P ratio). </li></ul><ul><li>Metallurgy, material science artifacts are complex physically, social content is low. </li></ul><ul><li>Metallurgy and material science are instrumental to product design, not end user design. </li></ul><ul><li>Some mechanical, civil artifacts have low I/P ratio. </li></ul><ul><li>Bioengineering, newer discipline with low I/P ratio. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Disciplines with High I/P Ratio <ul><li>Many artifacts require high attention to institutional artifacts. </li></ul><ul><li>Computer science is the poster child. </li></ul><ul><li>Many websites have high I/P ratio. </li></ul><ul><li>Some websites have high demands for physical design as well: Google. Scalability of servers. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Buildings as Mixed Artifacts <ul><li>Requires attention to institutional concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires attention to physical adequacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Architect is often professional charged with former. </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering is professional charged with latter. </li></ul>Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, Barcelona
  33. 33. Mapping the I/P Landscape
  34. 34. Why Does This Matter Now? <ul><li>The web has changed a lot. </li></ul><ul><li>Interconnected, software reconfigurable systems enable brave new world of institutional facts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily constructed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily propagated (viral marketing). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily iterated (systems upon systems). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Has led to need for discipline of “postmodern systems engineering.” </li></ul>
  35. 35. Design Principles <ul><li>Systems thinking is key. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the big 3: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collective intentionality: viralness. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignment of function: designed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constitutive rules: X as Y in C, creating games. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider 4 types of status: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Symbolic: take care in use of words. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deontic: e.g. rights and obligations of a user. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Honor: can be meaningful. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedural steps: systems view often requires interlocking steps. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inventiveness all the way up. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Bottom Line <ul><li>Brute versus institutional facts. </li></ul><ul><li>John Searle’s Construction of Social Reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Big 3 of Institutional facts: collective intentionality, assignment of function, and X counts as Y in Z. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity of institutional systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons for engineering. </li></ul><ul><li>Critical to understand for design in our postmodern times. </li></ul>

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