Rittel & Webber on ‘wicked and tame’ problems

Consequences for equity: Differentiation of publics has heightened pluralism, making it difficult to satisfy all, or even most of them in policy formulation. The problem lies at the nexus of goal-formulation, problem-definition, and equity issues (p 156).

Revolts: 1960s RANDian systems theory approaches led to revolts by blacks, students, anti-war demonstrators, conservationists – movements all opposing ‘underlying systemic processes’ [is this Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man being challenged?] (p 157).

‘Makeability’: the idea that the future can be shaped by enough planning intellect (p 158).

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Weedman on information retrieval

Wardrobe metaphor: There’s an interesting metaphor about wardrobes as ‘document’ retrieval systems organised along personal preferences, leading some less favoured clothes being consigned to less accessible places.  The idea made me think of data that doesn’t make sense to those who have it becoming hard to access by those who might understand it, and data that those who have it but don’t want anyone else to know it being deliberately hidden or ‘buried’.

Information-bearing-entities: also referred to as ‘documents’.  It seems to me that Suzanne Briet was stretching it to call animals in a zoo documents; that would ignore the context of imprisonment, spectating, and cultural artifice which makes the whole experience an ‘artefact’ rather than fixing elements within it as documents.

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Day zero: reaching equilibrium

You could argue the toss whether the cold, wet winter’s evening in Brisbane on Monday, 22 July, could be legitimately counted as part of the ‘user experience’ for my first lecture in my MA programme – INN533: Information Organization – and if so, whether it improved matters or not. After all, a hot sticky night have had as many pros and cons as its opposite. What I can tell you is that, following in the footsteps of Max Weber, Herbert Marcuse, and Jürgen Habermas, I think there’s a whole range of salient factors in developing a critique, and that nevertheless doesn’t preclude the possibility that there are no right or wrong answers.

The late notification of the lecture’s nature, the ambiguity of the language used in the notification, the mention of a physical lecture hall, and the fact that I was not alone in misreading the instructions, made me realise quite sharply that things were not going to meet my expectations. The lecture was to be virtual, conducted across the ether, and via some dodgy Java application called Blackboard Collaborate.

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