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[Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA


I suspect the quality of the unknown thing here would need qualification.
Experienced practitioners in software are often dealing with to-be-designed
artefacts, although these mostly fall into a more minor category of things
conforming to well-known conceptions or abstractions, hence they are
usually only unknown in a rather contained sense (a bit like roughly
knowing what kind of model you need to build out of lego).

Contrary to this, computing problems entailing a new computational paradigm
would certainly throw such programmers into a genuine unknown (the dawning
realisation that one is working with a different kind of kit).  Also, with
respect to requirements, the real unknowns are usually the soft
requirements on agreeing what the problem is in the first place, which will
be largely governed by the social situation of said programmers, i.e. being
paid to get something built.

Naming is very important in software in order to try to communicate
functional intent, hence practitioners would no doubt be comfortable
establishing agreement about naming before moving on.  Nonetheless you may
well be identifying some form of design mediation at play too.


On 13 October 2015 at 23:08, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> wrote:

> Henry, all,
> I am at this moment going through a video database on design work in a
> software development company, and, observing a discussion between two
> developers who talk about features of the software that are not yet
> developed, but which could be, ??the insight came upon me that, to possibly
> create anything together (and there is no other way to do it since one
> alone has not the tools/competence to do it), they had to name it. So, the
> developers were talking about something that does not yet exist but which
> nonetheless needs to be referred to in order for them to even begin working
> on it. And naming something that does not yet exits does not happen
> immediately, because they do not have a name for it. Naming it takes time
> and space, that is, work. So, I think the notion of "displacement" that you
> mention, if it captures this work that talking does to the imagining, very
> relevant to what I am witnessing in my data. And, given the salience of
> "place making" in the thread, the term "disPLACEment" may be timely here.
> Alfredo
> ________________________________
> From: HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> Sent: 13 October 2015 23:34
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Cc: Alfredo Jornet Gil; Rolf Steier; Geoffrey C. Bowker
> Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA
> Mike,
> In your original post on Oct 10, you  suggested that we might "...come up
> with a deeper understanding of the interlocking issues involved". As you
> say, each chatter will have their own response to that. Mine is that I can
> relate the three issues to displacement, which is arguably the most
> important property of language as a semiotic system. It is the ability of
> with language to refer to and construe aspects of the world removed in time
> and place (from the here and now) and to the "make believe" ("irrealis").
> I was reminded of this on re-reading an article by Bruno Latour on
> Interobjectivity that Greg Thompson posted back on Aug 18. Most people, if
> asked, think of language primarily as something for communication. Animals
> communicate, but, as far as we know, do not displace. (Though It might be
> argued that animals do a better job of communicating than people.!) I would
> like to emphasize the importance of the temporal domain, as well as the
> spatial, with displacement.
> Henry