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Philosophy Of Web 2.0


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Development of thinking seen through the approaches of different philosophers and different notions of causality

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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Philosophy Of Web 2.0

  1. 1. the assumptions behind human agency and organizations development of our thinking – the road to Internet, WEB 2.0 and complexity sciences Esko Kilpi 1
  2. 2. contents • middle ages and dependence • from enlightenment, scientific revolution to the modern and to the notion of independence – rational causality – Kant – systemic causality – Forrester • post-modern and the notion of interdependence – complex causality – Hegel, Mead • Internet, WEB 2.0 2
  3. 3. dependency, independency, interdependency from middle ages to today 3
  4. 4. dependency the middle ages 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. the middle ages no notion of an individual as an autonomous agent the subject defined in relation to a cosmic order, in union with gods individual identity related to one’s pre-given position within the social hierarchy 7
  8. 8. independency enlightenment and the scientific revolution 8
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  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. scientific revolution • modernist position of the autonomous individual • everything is open to doubt (but not the existence of the individual doubting self, according to Descartes) • self consciousness was understood to require withdrawal from the objective world through individual, internal processes of observation and thought • individual as separate from others, aware of himself, defining himself through processes of introspection and reason • atomistic view of society consisting of a collection of autonomous, rational individuals • rational hypotheses about an objective reality 11
  12. 12. Immanuel Kant humans are autonomous individuals. each individual has the capacity, through powers of reason, to choose for himself his own objectives and devise plans to realize 12
  13. 13. rational causality 13
  14. 14. rational causality mechanistic, linear, if-then double the input, double the output 14
  15. 15. sender – receiver model of human communication. rational causality brought to human communication Shannon & Weaver 1949 15
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. a system according to Kant a bounded set of self-organizing, interacting parts which produce both themselves and an emergent whole 18
  19. 19. systems the individual mind is a rational, autonomous system inside a person which processes information to form mental models and maps, while collectives of such individuals are social systems - organizations 19
  20. 20. Jay Forrester “social systems belong to the class called multi-loop nonlinear feedback systems. in the long history of evolution it has not been necessary until very recent historical times for people to understand complex feedback systems.” 20
  21. 21. system dynamics concepts of feedback systems are more and more applied from physical systems to social systems. feedback system ideas were first developed and applied to engineering systems. understanding of closed-loop (feedback) systems has now reached social systems 21
  22. 22. the principles of system dynamics 22
  23. 23. structure determines behaviour structure here implies the inter-linkages among different parts of organization and includes human decision-making processes. an example of this is a supply chain, which involves complicated interaction of the components (customer, retailer, wholesaler, distributor, factory, and raw material supplier) 23
  24. 24. the structure of organizational systems involves soft variables a supply chain structure includes how each agent forms perceptions about the future behaviour of its customer. the mental models of people play a crucial role in determining the dynamic behaviour of organizational systems 24
  25. 25. systems are fundamentally dynamic in time a static snapshot of a system reveals the size of the stocks at that instant, but discerning the role of the flows, or of the feedback loops that control them, requires a period of time during which they will exhibit their influence. it is this evolution of the system in time that is its primary characteristic, not its state at any instant 25
  26. 26. the behavior of a system is ultimately controlled by its structure by the combination of stocks and flows of which it is composed and by the positive and negative feedback loops that control the flows 26
  27. 27. structure is made up of stocks and flows – causal loop diagrams represent these 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. interdependency the post modern 29
  30. 30. who is the philosopher of the Internet? 30
  31. 31. 31
  32. 32. Hegel consciousness and ways of life are constituted in social activities. for Hegel the individual is a social being dependent on others. the individual develops a mind and purposes of his own in interaction with others 32
  33. 33. Hegel’s thinking • a sense of self arises in social processes of mutual recognition • an individual can only recognize himself, as a self, in the recognition of those he recognizes • a move away from the idea of self as the autonomous individual to a notion of interdependent people. • individual selves are constituted in their interaction with each other • individual change cannot be separated from change in the groups to which an individual belongs and vice versa 33
  34. 34. the social construction of reality a sociological theory of knowledge based on Hegel's ideas. the focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality 34
  35. 35. George Herbert Mead human societies are not possible without human minds and human minds are not possible in the absence of human societies. Humans must cooperate to survive and they also have an intense, intrinsic need for relationship and attachment to others 35
  36. 36. human social forms and human consciousness thus both emerge at the same time, each forming and being formed by the other at the same time, and there cannot be one without the other 36
  37. 37. interdependency the primary psychological unit is the group, the primary biological unit is the individual. the process of existing is a process of communication in different, significant groups. radically said: without communication we can't exist 37
  38. 38. the tissue resulting from many single plans and actions 38
  39. 39. is this the way we see organizations in the future? a self-organizing nexus of contributions perpetually under construction 39
  40. 40. or this? 40
  41. 41. while individuals can have own intentions and can plan their own actions, they cannot plan the actions of others and so cannot predict the interplay of plans and actions – thus the end result can never be fully managed a different notion of causality is needed to understand what is actually going on 41
  42. 42. the difference between a clock and a family? • the family cannot exist separately from its members as a plan or idea governing the interactions because the family is the interactions • neither are the members or the family there before they interact because what they are - arises in the interaction. they form and are formed at the same time • the family is never complete. it is continuously in development of continuity and change 42
  43. 43. self organizing interaction • organizing in a family is about complex ongoing processes of people relating to each other • what a family really becomes emerges from the relationships of its members, rather than being determined by the choices of one or few individuals • this is because families are not things that can be designed or managed from outside 43
  44. 44. an evolutionary view in sciences today • the parts of a living organism are not first designed and then assembled to form the organism • the parts emerge, as parts, not by prior design but as a result of internal interactions within the organism itself, in a self-organizing dynamic, in the particular context • the context, the whole, is never complete. the whole is under perpetual construction • if this new thinking guides our view to what an organization is and how it functions, we need to distance ourselves from seeing it as “a thing” that can effectively be designed in advance and managed from outside 44
  45. 45. complex causality not linear, not systemic, but complex 45
  46. 46. complex causality a pattern of movement stable and unstable at the same time continuity and novelty at the same time predictable and unpredictable at the same time 46
  47. 47. complexity sciences • concerned with phenomena that are characterized by nonlinear dynamics • a complex system consists of a large number of interacting entities (often called agents) • during the interaction they respond to each other • each agent is following its own rules and aims in interacting with relatively few others • interaction is non-linear 47
  48. 48. organizations seen through the lens of sciences of complexity 48
  49. 49. organizations are population wide patterns emerging in local interaction 49
  50. 50. the patterns of interaction are called attractors 50
  51. 51. fixed point attractor 51
  52. 52. limit cycle or periodic attractor 52
  53. 53. strange attractors 53
  54. 54. 54
  55. 55. 55
  56. 56. what forms the pattern of interaction? • attractors can take a number of different dynamical forms depending upon variables such as: – flow of energy / flow of information – number of interactions / quality of interactions – degree of diversity • an attractor is what the behaviour of a system settles down to • this may take fractions of a second in some phenomena, and hundreds of thousands of years in others 56
  57. 57. novelty stems from complexity • novelty is created in tension. it results from differences, diversity and paradoxes • you have to keep the paradoxes and tension alive to create potential for novelty • stability and instability at the same time – if only stability – “death” – if only instability – “anarchy and death” 57
  58. 58. Hegel, Internet and social software WEB 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 58
  59. 59. WORK 2.0 • having a question but not knowing who to ask? • asking questions and allowing other people to choose whether or not they are able to comment and contribute. if they have the time and the experience they may choose to engage with you • geographically dispersed work. everyone whose contribution is needed cannot work in the same office at the same time following the same working hours – peer production • connecting across space, organization unit, time and age boundaries – transaction costs of work • working transparently and having reflective conversations • flexibility in the way you want to structure your day, or where you want to work • iterative work – collective shared editing of information 59
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  64. 64. more information 64