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Archive for March, 2008

Plots are everywhere

A nice description of the “cause and effect”-mind from Mark Bernstein :

“Scott McCloud’s brilliant Understanding Comics teaches us a lesson that transcends the realm of comics: if we see two things next to each other, we draw a connection from one to the other. Our minds construct a sequence, a connection, a relationship. Even if the relationship is obscure, we’ll eventually find it (or make one up). In space, we call this collage. In time, it’s montage. We see things next to each other and we imagine a sequence. We see a sequence, and we imagine a story, a cause and its effect.”

OFCOM on when to adopt self- or co-regulation

“In performing its general duties under Section 3 of the Communications Act (the Act), Ofcom is required to promote and facilitate the development and use of effective forms of self-regulation according to Section 6(2) of the Act. Shortly after Ofcom came into existence, a consultation was held seeking views on the criteria which Ofcom will use in promoting effective co- and self-regulation. This resulted in the publication of statement in 2004 establishing 13 different criteria to be applied by Ofcom in discharging its duties to promote and facilitate co- and self-regulation.

Since 2004, there has been a increasing body of knowledge in relation to the application of co- and self- outside of the communications sector and internationally. Ofcom therefore considers that it is timely to review its approach to discharging its duties in relation to promoting and facilitating appropriate forms of co- and self-regulation.”

(Im just aggregating this from REGULATORY Newslog, original source: OFCOMs Press release)

Ghostland Observatory: Sad Sad City

Music from Austin, Texas: Ghostland Observatory: Sad Sad City

recommended by roomies.

Just saw Leones and Altmans westerns

Sergio Leones – Once upon a time in the west

A great spaghetti western on the myth of the west. But this time blue-eyed Henry Fonda is the kid-killing villain, and the hero is Claudia Cardinale-charmer Harmonica, a Mexican(!) with a mission, played by Charles Bronson. Bernardo Bertolucci is the writer.

Robert Altmans – McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Robert Altmans snowy and rainy western. A man comes to town, and what a man, though only until pressure becomes to high. Listen to the woman, man!

(Great) music by Leonard Cohen.

Both westerns with a different take on the myths.

Reading: Discursive Analytical Strategies – Niels Aakerstroem Andersen

[Discursive Analytical Strategies describes four different ontological strategies by Laclau (deconstruction), Foucault (discourse), Koselleck (semantic field) and Luhmann (system/environment). Here is the abstract of the Luhmann part. Luhmann did in 50 books, Andersen in 30 pages, I in 3 three pages (sic!). Page references is to the 2003 edition. Here is the Discursive Analytical Strategies – Niels Aakerstroem Andersen-text in OpenOffice-version as the format beneath is not that intuitive]


Analytical strategy (the epistemology) (from the introduction)

how will the epistemologist construct the observation of others?

Contrary to method, which is observation of an object, while analytical strategy is observation of the observation (alike ontology and epistemology)

Niels Aakerstroem Andersen describing Niklas Luhmanns system theory (page 63 to 93)

Social systems is autopoietic systems of communication consisting in and by communication.

System theory as second-order observation (the Spencer-Brownian Luhmann)

Form and difference

Viewing observations is the operation of creating distinctions (difference between smt and smt else)

(and what is observed is above all dependent on this distinction. (64))


Distinction is always two-sided; inner: the indication, the marked space (m)

Only one side is marked, as it is only one observation.

The unity of the distinction (inner and outer side) is defined as form

Second-order observations

first-order is observing the indication, second-order is observing the indication + blindspots (outer part of the distinction / the unmarked space)


The operation of observation also establishes distinction between self-reference and external reference.

First-order uses external reference as it is a system distinguishing smt in the environment.

Perspective is mono-contextual: uses distinction without being able to distinguish.

Second-order is self-referential as it observes the system itself

Perspective is poly-contextual: observer knows that

– she cannot see, that she cannot see

– reality depends on the observer

– the observed is contingent with the difference, that defines the boundaries of the observation

The system is auto-logical (not simply self-referential), as the perspective makes the system describe its object and itself, and the description modifies the object to be described.


All observations are within a distinction, but not all observations are second-order observations.

Three ways of making distinctions:

1) object: distinguishing smt from smt else, which is unspecified (horse/not-horse)

2) concept: indicating in a way that restricts the unmarked (man/woman)

3) second-order concepts: restrictive distinctions, which can be re-entered or re-enter themselves (gov/opposition)

A system is only able to observe itself if it is able to copy its guiding distinction and re-enter it into itself. (69) [rule of second-order observations]


First-order paradox: The observer cannot see the distinction on which her observation is based, and yet she can make dinstinctions.

Second-order: the fact that the distinction system/environment is, at the same time the same and not the same once the subsystem has seperated itself (copying the distinction and re-entering it) in order to observe the system as observer.

Conducting system-theoretical analysis

a system theorist must

account for and substantiate his choice of guiding distinctions

account for the conditioning of the chosen guiding distinction (conditions of the indication)

point out, substantiate and account for the implications of the exact observation point. (the moment one system has been selected as observation point, others become environment and is viewed through and determined by that system)

The concept of meaning

All systems are autopoietic, meaning that they themselves create the elements they consist of, including the the constitutive boundary between system and environment. (72)

Social systems create themselves through meaning and are unable to operate outside of meaning. Meaning is unfixable, unstable and indefinable. Meaning is a concept of difference.

Meaning is simply the distinction of actuality/potentiality. [based on Husserls phenomenology!]. Meaning is the link between the actual and the simultaneously presented possibilities.

The concept of communication

Social systems operate in terms of meaning in the shape of a closed connection of communication.

A communication is the synthesis of the selection of information, selection of form of message and the selection of understanding (a subsequent communication (therefore it requires at least two communications in order for a communication to exist (in this sense social systems arise in the recursivity of communication))).

All above shape meaning as a medium: The selection of information shapes the distinction of actualized information/possible information; the selection of message shapes the distinction of actualized message/possible messages; and the selection of understanding shapes the the distinction of actualized connection/possible connections. (77)

Form analysis (78)

Form is the unity of a difference. [To what is the marked indication linked? What gives the restriction in the concept distinction or the second-order concept distinction?]

System analysis (80)

A social system is simply the unity of the distinction system/environment. When communication recursively connects with communication, social systems emerge because of the distinction by the communication between self-reference and external reference – between that which constitutes the system itself and that which makes up the environment.

How does a system distinguish between system and environment when it observes [the communicative descriptions]?

Differentiation analysis

Re-entry of the distinction system/environment: system/environment becomes system, which differs from the environment etc etc.

the form of differentiation (the unity of the difference between the systems): how are the differences similar or not similar (similar/different)

Luhmanns example of the differentiation of society (the point of observation:society):

segmental diff: similar sub-systems as tribes, villages and families

stratified diff: differentiation in uneven layers on the difference top/bottom

functional diff: differentiation in dissimilar sub-systems that differ from each other in respect to their function in society.

Media analysis (form/medium)

media (mediums) is loosely coupled elements, characterized by high resolution, being accessible to Gestalt fixations. (84) (Form is on the other hand fixed connection of elements.)

Money is an example of a medium. Decisions are an example of form; they impress themselves in a medium and condense its elements into one decision, which is only a decision in relation to previous decisions and decisions not taken.

Concrete example:

The printing of the company’s logo on paper forms the medium money by requiring expenditure, the decision is not interchangeable , its meaning is tied to time and space, and can only be understood in relation to the company’s other decisions.

The form/medium staircase [continuously re-entry as above with the guiding distinction system/environment]: distinction, meaning, language, media of distribution (writing, television), general symbolic media (money).

Semantic analysis (condensation [of meaning]/meaning)

Semantics is based on the distinction between meaning and condensed meaning. Condensation means that a multitude of meaning is captured in a single form, which subsequently makes itself available to an undefined communication. Consequently, semantics are characterized as the accumulated amount of generalized forms of difference (for example concepts, ideas, images, and symbols) available for the selection of meaning within the systems of communication.

Three dimensions of meaning, which enables a distinction between three semantics:

1) The fact dimension; semantics of facts as generalized forms of “being one and not the other”

2) the social dimension: generalized forms of ego and alter; no “us” without “them”

3) the temporal dimension: the tension between past and future; “What moves in time is past/present/future together, in other words, the present [-] along with its past and future horizons” (88) [a direct consequence of the guiding distinction system/environment!]

Connections between the different analytics [Andersen on “thin ice” as he says (Luhmann on thin ice?)]

Form analysis analyses the unity of a concept, points to the blind spots by illustrating how it is based on a paradox [see page 68!, no notes here]. The semantic analysis is then able to employ the paradox as a guiding principle in tracing the history of specific semantics.

Semantics and differentiation (89) Thesis: the simultaneously transformational ruptures in the history of semantics indicates a transformation of the social structure.

System analysis and media analysis. Thesis: the historical evolution of new media makes the formation of new social systems possible. The study of how new social systems arises, therefore , should always begin with an analysis of the media-related conditions of the emergence of that system. (90)

[Concept of complexity is left out!]

Reading: Jesper Tække – Den kommunikerende organisation

[Jesper Taekkes Den kommunikerende organisation spenderer 10 sider paa at forklare Luhmannteorier, og siden 14 sider paa operationalisering af disse til organisationsanalyse (en organisationskommunikationsanalysestrategi). Abstractet har kun udvalgte dele af Luhmannteorien i teksten. Se abstract af Niels Aakerstroem Andersen for videre forklaring af Luhmanns teorier. Senere (naar WordPress 2.5 udgives) vil disse abstracts komme i BibTex form via Jabref og dertilhoerende wordpress-plugin)]

Kommunikation, kompleksitet og kontingens.
Den kommunikative proces skaber kompleksitet, der af Luhmann defineres som det forhold, at ikke alle elementer i et system på samme tid kan aktualiserer alle potentielle relationer til systemets andre elementer. Derfor betyder kompleksitet altid selektionstvang, man må vælge en mulighed blandt andre, der ikke i samme tidsmoment kan aktualiseres. Det er hertil kun kompleksitet der kan reducere kompleksitet.

Organisationer må konstant kunne matche omverdenskompleksiteten internt ved at opbygge en intern kompleksitet til at afkode og tolke informationer fra omverdenen, således at den vedvarende kan adapte til det kommunikations – og konkurrence miljø den agerer indenfor.

I det sociale møder man kompleksiteten som kontingens: ”Noget er kontingent, når det hverken er nødvendigt eller umuligt; når det altså kan være sådan, som det er (var, vil blive), men også kunne være muligt på en anden måde”

Selvreference og kultur
Tre niveauer: Basal selvreference der viser hvilke elementer der kan vinde anknytning og accept i organisationen. Selvrefleksivitet der viser hvilke legitimeringsformer der er kondenseret i systemet for hvad man kan sige, hvorledes etc. til hvem, hvad enten det er for at sige noget selv, eller for at tilbagevise hvad andre siger, eller for at søge at få besluttet en ny norm for hvad man kan sige, eller for at tilbagevise en andens forsøg på at installere en ny norm.

Dvs. at studier af selvrefleksivitet viser organisatoriske legitimeringsformer herunder også for ændring af legitimeringsformer. Refleksion afdækker hvilke selvbeskrivelser der verserer i organisationen, om de er delte eller er forskellige i forskellige subkulturer. Alle tre niveauer giver mulighed for at beskrive hensigtsmæssighed og kongruens i organisationskommunikationen.

Symbolsk generaliserede kommunikationsmedier og meningsgrænsen
Meningsgrænsen beskrives også i forhold til hvordan organisationskommunikationen knytter an i forhold til funktionssystemer og altså i forhold til hvilke koder der anvendes i kommunikationen og hvilke kondenseringer der kan identificeres i forhold til værdivalg i koderingen. Det funktionelt differentierede samfund beskrives af Luhmann (2000, 1999) som uddifferentieret omkring en række funktionssystemer såsom politik, økonomi, videnskab, kærlighed med flere. Hvert funktionssystem er kommunikativt uddifferentieret omkring et symbolsk generaliseret kommunikationsmedie (SGK) med en binær kode. (Det politiske SGK er fx magt og koden position/opposition)

Den kommunikative organisation kan kun opretholde sig selv, hvis den er reflekteret om sin kommunikation i alle koder. Selvorganiserende kommunikationssystemer opbygger semantikker, der virker som preselektioner i forhold til alle SGK også mht. dem der ikke har udviklet sig til funktionssystemer.

Aflejringen af preselektioner er en vigtig del af den samlede organisationskultur og kan afdækkes gennem kommunikationsanalyser i forhold til hvilke holdninger der er fremherskende og umiddelbart møder accept, samt omvendt i forhold til hvad der negeres eller slet ikke kommer på tale som alternativ i beslutningsprocessen.

Kultursystem og økonomisystem

Det selvstyrende kultursystem DR viser med seneste selvorganisering – i bedste andenordens observation – bevidsthed om omverdnens eksistens: Det er behov for gennemsigtighed med de økonomiske kontrakter som DR udbyder.

Derfor nyheden om offentlig åbenhed om kontraktudbud nu via deres mere og mere betydningsfulde platform: Det er funktionssystemet økonomi , der faar systemet DR til at konditionere sig (Tække, 2006, side 12 og 19).

Andre public service (PS) missioner: (i både norsk, svensk og dansk udgave, PS at informere svenskerne om nordisk sprog!) (kun for normudfordrende og unge) (oversigt over hele landets lokalnyheder) (i startfasen måske meget anvendeligt at profilere fænomenet blogs så kraftigt, egentlig er det jo bare et værktøj til et brugerdrevet, der burde være tema/emneorganiseret.)

10 aar med 1996-2006 (historisk vue):

Extract of the wording in Barack Campaign email

I’m on Barack Obama’s campaign’s email list, and the following is an extract of the wording they use in their goal of getting support and money.

“We are different”, “we are the people” and with a contest where the winner joins god himself:

Friend —

Dinner with BarackToo many political fundraisers are hosted by Washington lobbyists and filled with representatives of special interests.

Our campaign is different.

Our funding comes from a movement of more than one million people giving whatever they can afford — even $5 — and Barack wants to sit down with supporters like you.

In the next week, four supporters will be selected for a different kind of fundraising dinner. And we’re reserving two of those seats for new donors like you.

If you’ve ever thought about making a donation to join our campaign, now is the time.

Make a donation of any amount between now and 11:59 pm EDT on Monday, March 31st, and you could join Barack and three other supporters for an intimate dinner for five.

Can you make a donation of $5 or more today?

Our movement is changing the way campaigns are funded. (…)

Swedish Public Service!

Keep the covers coming! 10 minute-The Hives-delirium:

My favorite part of Touching The Void

“You got to keep making decisions, even if they are wrong decisions … if you don’t make decisions you are just stuffed”

Touching the Void on atheism, only need to see until 4.50

DON’T see it all, it will ruin the film!

Thanks goes to Louise and Kasper, who recommended this a while ago.

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