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Polarity: information-communication


Distinguishing Emergent Conceptual Polarities: experimental ordering of a collection of research papers (Part #11)


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Information systems (high-tech, transparency, secrecy) -- Communication (dialogue, low tech, subtlety, tacit, unsaid)

Information systems: A prime concern has been the creation and development of information systems (1966 *; Need for a World Management Information System to Assist Initiation and Coordination of Global Development Programmes, 1969; 1970; 1971). These have been seen as fundamental to global strategies, to sustain networks of international organizations (Possible Use of Computers and Data Processing Equipment by International Non-governmental Organizations, 1968; Description of a Proposed Information System to Facilitate Contact between Organizations, 1969; 1969; 1969; 1969 *; Reflections on Associative Constraints and Possibilities in an Information society, 1987), schools of thought (1971; 1973), or to the development of the databases managed by the Union of International Associations (1971; 1981 *) .

The possibility of designing information systems to bypass characteristic inter-organizational, inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary territoriality has also been a concern (Computer Conferencing as a Means of Enhancing Communication at a Large Conference / Festival, 1977; Computer-enhanced Communication Environment for an International Conference Centre, 1979) -- especially as a basis for knowledge management (Knowledge-Representation in a Computer-Supported Environment, 1977; Specification for Structural Outliner Computer Programme, 1992; Insight Storage and Retrieval in a Computer-supported Environment, 1993; Strategic Correspondences: computer-aided insight scaffolding, 1995; Coherent Policy-making Beyond the Information Barrier, 1999).

The future role of global information systems has also been considered (Songlines of the Noosphere: global configuration of hypertext pathways, 1996; Musings on Information of Higher Quality, 1996; Simulating a Global Brain: using networks of international organizations, world problems, strategies, and values, 2001), notably with respect to governance (Computer-assisted generation of strategies, 1995)
Communication: In contrast with the information focus (whether or not facilitated by information systems), there has been a long-term concern with the effectiveness and quality of exchange (International Cooperation, Communication and Sources of Information, 1965; Improvement of Communication within the World System, 1969; Sustainable Dialogue as a Necessary Template for Sustainable Global Community, 1995), in international meetings (Computer Conferencing as a Means of Enhancing Communication at a Large Conference / Festival, 1977; Computer-enhanced Communication Environment for an International Conference Centre, 1979; 1991 *) and notably through dialogue (Towards Transformative Conferencing and Dialogue, 1991), including computer-assisted (Towards a web framework for synthesis in dialogue: insight capture from the flow of conference interventions, 1996; Sustaining the Coherence of Dialogue through Apartness: configuration of entities through hypertext, 1997; 1998; 2001).

Of continuing concern has been alternative understandings of meaningful exchange (Varieties of Dialogue Arenas and Styles, 1992, 1997, 1998; Inter-Sectoral Dialogue and Sustainable Development, 1992; Learnings for the Future of Inter-Faith Dialogue, 1993), notably in non-western cultures.

A particular interest has been the communication of complex patterns of insight (Representation, Comprehension and Communication of Sets: the Role of Number, 1978; 1979; Needs Communication: viable need patterns and their identification, 1980; Patterns of N-foldness: Comparison of integrated multi-set concept schemes as forms of presentation, 1980; Representation of issue arenas on icosidodecahedral net, 1994; Transdisciplinarity through Structured Dialogue, 1994; Evaluating Synthesis Initiatives and their Sustaining Dialogues, 2000), notably through symbol (1994), metaphor (1993), mytho-poetic speculation (2002), and more generally in terms of appropriate forms of presentation (Representation of Concepts and Augmentation of Intellect, 1973; Knowledge-Representation in a Computer-Supported Environment, 1977; Forms of Presentation and the Future of Comprehension, 1984; Review of Frameworks for the Representation of alternative Conceptual Orderings as Determined by Linguistic and Cultural Contexts, 1986).

Use of low-tech approaches has also been explored (Participant Interaction Messaging: improving the conference process, 1980; 1991; Time-sharing System in Meetings: Centralized planning vs Free-market economy ?, 1994; Designing Cultural Rosaries and Meaning Malas to Sustain Associations within the Pattern that Connects, 2000).

Some of the challenges for dialogue were highlighted with respect to the possibility of communication with aliens (Communicating with Aliens: the Psychological Dimension of Dialogue, 2000). Implicit in many of these concerns is the communication of subtler and emergent forms of order (Presentation and Representatives: Presenting the Future, 2001) and the challenge of the unsaid (Varieties of the Unsaid in sustaining psycho-social community, 2003).


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