What is Kairos
-- in the light of the range of documents on this site?
There is a mix of "articles" or "documents" on this site. This gives rise to questions regarding their "status" and whether they are to be taken "seriously", singly or as a whole -- especially when some can be construed as "irresponsible" from conventional perspectives, in a period when many rely on humour to convey valuable insights. The mix may be variously understood as constituting any of the following, singly or in combination -- in no particular order.
- Academic papers: Some correspond to the conventions of scholarly papers and have been published separately in journals (as indicated therein where appropriate, and so listed Conference-, Organization- and Publication-related Initiatives). They may have been solicited for issues of a journal on a specific theme. It is appropriate to note that, contrary to the practice of many authors, the documents on this site are not subject to the commercial copyright restructions characteristic of academic journals and the rstrictive business models of their publishers.
- Reports and studies: Some take the form of reports typical of management or strategic studies, and may have originally been intended specifically to serve that purpose:
- Strategic proposals: A variety of documents are included reflecting responses to different opportunities:
- Essays: Some are commentaries or speculative explorations, perhaps best considered as essays -- possibly of humorous or satirical intent -- even as provocative "trial balloons" to elicit reflection and new questions through which strategic understandcing may be reframe. Examples include:.
- Socio-political criticism: Some documents are a direct response to global summitry, public debate and pronouncements by global leaders. In this period this includes a range of documents on the nature of terrorism and the role of the US. Examples include:
- Reviews of books and reports: Critical reviews of potentially significant reports have been occasionally produced. Examples include those relating to reports to the Club of Rome:
- Learnings from social initiatives: A number of documents take the form of reports about strategically significant initiatives (with which the author had some association), and the learnings to be derived from their organizational and communication challenges -- especially in the light of the assumption that collective initiatives are indeed "their own metaphor" (as argued by Gregory Bateson).
- Meeting organization commentary: Examples include:
- Commentary on experimenal intentional communities: Examples include:
- Resource checklists: Some documents may be primarily intended as compilations of bibliographic or web resources to enable others to explore a particular topic. It is appropriate to note that the approach taken to the compilation of the references to any individual document is distinct from that of conventional practice for academic papers. Rather than indicating only those specifically mentioned withinn the body of the argument, the references may include other documents of potential valute to those interested in the topic. One particular example is ***
- Presentation experiments: Some are deliberate experiments in alternative forms of presentation, especially when focused on visualizations, animations or the use of unusual metaphor.
- Humour and satire:
- Visualization, mapping and animations: Mnay of the documents elaborate images of different forms, as indicated separately
- Poetry: A range of experimental "poems" is indicated separately
- Archive: Some are primarily included as part of an archival record of past explorations by the author, whatever the original concern and irrespective of their form -- and whether or not they have been completed.
- Historical record: Many of the documents have been elaborated within the context of projects of the Union of International Associations, a body central to the development of international documentation from the first decade of the past century. The documents notably bear witness to the process of transition to computerisation and adaptation to online interaction with information.
- Travelogue: The spread of documents over decades suggests their interpretation as a form of "travel journal" -- a history of "places" and "perspectives" visited, however briefly, in the universe of knowledge and sociopolitical activity. More cynically this might be understood as corresponding to the tagging impulse giving rise to graffiti, or even to the World War II mark Kilroy was here.
- Technical possibilities: Some documents focus specifically on technical possibilities, especially in relation to matters of strategic concern with information processing implications -- and the metaphoric implications of technology, understood in terms of technomimicry. As a content management system, Kairos may be considered an implementation of one such possibility. Other examples include:
- Philosophical speculation: A significant number of documents have been produced within the context of academic
What is Kairos -- in the light of the rnage of documents on this site?preoccupations with futures studies. Some are deliberately speculative, whether or not they take a more philosophical form.
- Questions: A range of documents have been produced on the importance of questions in this period of crisis, and the desirability of a new approach to them. These include:
- Blog: Some documents might be considered as typical of blog postings on current concerns. They may be so treated by others and (partially) copied into blogs elsewhere.
- Knols: Similarly, in an extensively hyperlinked web context (and given the intention also to provide the documents in segmented form in a content management system), some might be understood as "knols" (as originally defined by Google) -- pieces within the larger puzzle constituted by the collection of documents on this site. This is consistent with the movement towards early "pre-publication" of academic studies in a Web 2.0/Semantic web environment as a means of eliciting comment and sustaining discourse (rather than submitting to the delays of conventional hardcopy publication).
Since most of the documents are indicated as being "drafts", some that initially took the abbreviated form typical of a blog posting may be progressively transformed into some other more substantive form. Some of the documents included are indicated as incomplete or "not done" -- possibly merely a brief indication of an idea which may be further developed subsequently.
Questions asked regarding the documents include "to whom are they addressed" and "what impact do they have". This presupposes a conventional marketing focus emphasis on a "target audience" which is currently as much a part of the problem as it is of any fruitful response to global challenges, as argued separately (Enhancing Sustainable Development Strategies through Avoidance of Military Metaphors, 1998). In an information society characterized by information overload, the documents could well be more appropriately understood as "notes to myself" as the author.