Swanson: "Inter-Org Mediating Spaces, LST and Accountability"
Posted by: daviding
Date: June 19, 2004 07:42AM
As one of the authors for the paper that G.A. cites, I haven't taken the opportunity to respond to his comments earlier.
Let me frame the idea of mediating spaces in a larger context. Ian Simmonds and I, in our research of technology, find that most technologists think of their technologies as a thing, e.g. human interacts with a computer, computer provides responses to another human. An alternative view (which can change the way we represent a technology) is that a technology be seen as a mediating space with special properties and features. Thus, e-mail is a medium that is asynchronous and replicable without degradation (as a result of being digital).
G.A. describes the mediating spaces as "processes that facilitate sensemaking". I would usually have expressed a technology as a structure (i.e. arrangement in space) rather than a process (i.e. arrangement in time). I'm not sure if this makes a difference in the paper, but maybe it does.
The reminder that LST covers the concrete is interesting. G.A., in Philadelphia, said to me that perhaps we're now discussing a next-generation LST. I wouldn't say that conceptual systems (as digitally-rendered information is) are necessarily living, but they are systems. The relationship to "meaning" -- as the output from the process of "sensemaking" is probably worth discussing.
I'm a bit curious about the discussion of pathology, and how that might relate to evolution, mutation and/or transformation. Certainly, two organization trying to work together could be expressed as a pathology, but as an alternative to "organ rejection", do we eventually get an adoption / assimilation / symbiosis?
This is a deep paper, and I'll have more points, later ....