The recent exponential increase in the use of the internet and other “media” to influence and shape dominant cultural experiences via “virtual reality” exploits a core facility of human psychology – that of being able to accept “substitutions” for the “Real Thing.” In this paper, I want to raise some basic questions and dilemmas for our living in the space of a third-order contextualization that uses “virtuality” in an ever-increasing manner for the configuring and homogenization of human experiences. In doing so, I also raise the question of the need for us to develop an adequate model of a “third-order cybernetics” for dealing with the ways in which human experience is contextualized and configured by phenomena that constitute the third-order system.
What we lack in education in 21st century culture is the interdependence between people and ideas in terms of a larger structure and relationship that gives meaning to the moment. In sociology, anthropology and linguistics, structuralism is the methodology that elements of human culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to a larger, overarching system or structure. It works to uncover the structures that underlie all the things that humans do, think, perceive, and feel.
Conversation matters to any community of interest (including our community of a single mind), but nowhere is the value of conversation more clear than in commerce, because commerce cannot flourish, or even exist, without conversation. Conversation is internal and external and the skill to design and implement conversations that enhance relationship/meaning and understanding is the fabric of interpersonal and commercial communication infrastructure. In simple terms conversation is to open a channel, commit to engage, constructing meaning, evolving and transforming in the process, converging on an agreement and acting or transacting. Through conversation we learn, coordinate and collaborate on goals towards a common vision with awareness of the limits a conversation can have e.g. the conversational infrastructure and conversational participants involved.
The Industrial Revolution harnessed physical machines to extend and enhance our muscles. The Information Revolution harnessed virtual machines to extend and enhance our nervous systems. A “Conversation Revolution” would harness the existing infrastructure of physical machines and virtual machines to create a mesh out of “networks of objects” and networks of individuals and organizations. Such a mesh would enhance coordination and collaboration and create wealth by introducing new efficiency. It would also expand opportunities to generate new knowledge.
Source: Design for Conversation
Our ability to transform information – phone calls, music, video, virtually everything – into digital bits of data and to transmit billions of them per second is founded upon the innovative work of Bell Labs and MIT mathematician, Claude Shannon (1916-2001). – – – Claude Shannon's extraordinary idea – that basic principles of binary or digital information can be related to fundamental physical laws – was instrumental in shaping our digital era. Today, Shannon’s theory remains the guiding foundation for communication scientists and engineers in their ongoing quest for faster, more energy efficient, and more robust communication systems.
Source: Shannon's Theory Explained
Not everyone values the need for critical thinking. Often, being methodically objective is viewed as cold, sterile, and worst of all, boring. To those who say “Have faith and let your feelings guide you to the truth,” or “Don’t let facts get in the way of an inspiring or interesting story,” these words will probably not resonate. But for those who truly understand and appreciate the importance of critical thinking, this paper, including the attached tables, can become a useful reference for daily life.